Okay. So funny story. I’m at RWA in New York. Nine lovely ladies who are fellow alumnae of 2014’s Pitch Wars meet to sing karaoke in a bar. Because we love her, we invite Brenda Drake, who brought us all together and made this spectacular singing extravaganza possible. She is SO AMAZED by the level of our vocal entertainment that she CAN’T STOP HERSELF from making us mentors because we were so awesome. Or because we so badly needed to be doing something else.
So I get to be a mentor! Last year, I was an alternate with a terrific mentor (Kara Leigh Miller) and I got my lovely and amazing agent, Sarah Younger, with my Pitch Wars manuscript. I write women’s fiction and romance for various ages. I’m also a full-time lawyer and a full-time kid chauffeur (I write half my words at their lessons and practices). I’ve been writing for years, have a copy editor for a father and an English teacher for a mother, and some of the most amazing critique partners in the business (ALL of whom are also mentors in this contest).
And I want your Adult manuscript!!!
What I’d love for you to send me:
A note on diversity: I want it. I do not want diverse characters who are present only to teach me something or to allow you to say you have a diverse book. I want diverse characters who act like people and who are neither offensive stereotypes or sterling, saintly examples. I'm not a fan generally of saints: never yet met one.
There are many amazing books in the world that are not at the top of my TBR pile. Life is short, and there are a lot of books.
Please DON’T send me (because I don’t read enough of these to be able to help you):
Okay. If I get to work with you, my plan is to help you do the following:
Get your plot holes filled.
I’ll read your manuscript and send you back an overall critique with my thoughts on all five of those categories. You’ll need to put on your big kid pants before you open that email. I’ll also send back my in-line thoughts on the little stuff. Then you fix. We talk. We email. We argue. Then you fix some more. I’ll read what you’ve fixed. I’ll critique. We’ll polish. And it’ll be amazing.
One caveat, and this is a big one: If you can’t handle criticism, don’t submit to me or anyone. If all you want is for someone to tell you what an amazing writer you are, you’re barking up the wrong tree. This contest is for people who want to IMPROVE.
That’s what we’re going to do. And I can’t wait!
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