Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year’s Revisions Conference: The Critique Partner Connection Begins NOW!

Welcome to Operation Awesome’s Critique Partner Connection! Today’s all about finding that super awesome critique partner you’ve been missing out on. Whether it’s your NaNoWriMo project or an older manuscript that’s thisclose to querying, we here at Operation Awesome feel like you should find that fresh set of eyes to help you along the way.

The Critique Partner Connection is an all-day event. In fact, it’s an all-New Year’s Revisions Conference event! You can submit your info from now until January 7th! That means you can collect as much super useful revision advice from our guests as you can while searching for crit partners! Double win.

Now for the rules.

Leave the following items in the comments section of this post:

1)    Your name
2)    Genres you write in (include your target audience: adult/YA/MG/children)
3)    Genres you’re willing to critique (same as above)
4)    A brief description of your current project (it can be as short as a one-line pitch, but no longer than five sentences)
5)  What you’re looking for in a critique partner (line edits vs. big picture, critique of a specific project vs. critique of all your projects, anything else you’d like to add)
6)   Your email address
7)   The first 200 words of your current project

That’s it! You can submit your info so others can contact you, but you can also contact others who enter the Critique Partner Connection! Now go forth and CONNECT.

Best of luck to all of you!


Unknown said...

1) Audrey T. Carroll
2) YA Fantasy and Literary Adult are the two genres I write most, although right now I'm working on an Adult Dystopian.
3) YA Fantasy, Literary Adult, Dystopian, Picture Book... I'm open to the possibility of other genres, such as non-Fantasy YA for instance, but am most well-versed in those listed.
4) Varsha Kaur has always lived her life with a carefully crafted mediocrity, avoiding her parents' fear that the government take an interest in employing her. But, when a symposium takes place in the city, Varsha meets a government kid named Orlando and puts herself at risk as the pair form a friendship where trust is vital but difficult to earn.
5) I'd like to connect with someone who can give me big picture critiques on areas like plot and character development, and would be willing to stick with me for as many projects as possible.
6) audreytheresa (at) gmail (dot) com
7) 2095
Varsha Kaur had become an expert in keeping an eye on her surroundings. The building she approached might have seemed innocuous to an innocent bystander, a ramshackle old place that looked like it had been abandoned years earlier. And yet, if someone was looking for it, it stood out among the otherwise pristinely kept glass storefronts and awnings artfully labeled with the places’ names. The red paint on the door fell to the sidewalk in large chips, the hinges ready to detach with the provocation of any light breeze that might come by. Varsha couldn’t so much as peek in the windows; the gaps in the wooden planks nailed to the outside were made up for by thick beige shades pulled all the way down on the inside. Cobwebs linked the wood together, still shimmering with the rain from the night before. It was so early in the morning that the sun was only just rising, but Varsha had to find a way to squeeze the visit in before work. Checking over one shoulder and then the other, Varsha grabbed the loose doorknob. With a slow breath, she opened the disheveled red door, slipped inside, and closed it behind her, moving as quickly as possible without drawing attention to herself.

Michelle said...

1. NAME: Michelle
2. GENRE I Write: Science Fiction Fantasy for Adult/YA/MG
3. GENRE Willing to Critique: same as above
4. DESCRIPTION: My current work, Una of The Coral Graves is a Fantasy Science Fiction YA novel. LOGLINE- In a world without men, strange out-cast, Una must find the one person who might save them from The Calamity’s return; a father.
5. I’M LOOKING FOR: a person willing to get knuckle deep into critiquing a story, because I’m willing to do the same. Long-term would be great, but I am flexible.

Una of The Coral Graves

I slept on the ledge again and woke shivering.
The Coral Graves are singing, keening a high pitched whine as they sway in the wind rushing down from the north. I wrap my blanket around my shoulders and watch the tall pillars lean like so many gigantic blades of grass, first one way, and then the other. It’s a miracle they don’t topple. But by the grace of the Oracle, miracles are common here. They have to be. They ensure our survival.
I rise to my feet and step to the edge. Beyond the wilderness that circles our gateless wall, the rising sun runs a band of rippling light along the pillars. They catch the colours of dawn and hold them. Their mirror-like surface shimmer warm peach, soft blues and glimmering golden streaks. I use the proper words to describe the scene, but they rattle around like iron spikes in my mind. There is nothing soft or warm. Not for me.

Anonymous said...

1) Amanda Byrne
2) UF, PNR, and contemporary romance
3) Pretty much anything except horror. I'm a huge mystery/thriller reader. I'm probably not your best bet for something like MG or chapter books, though.
4) After being forced to share a hotel room for a night, Sara and Taylor find themselves fumbling from friendship into a relationship. But each has secrets they're keeping, and the longer they remain hidden, the worse the fallout will be.
5) Ideally, I'd like to find someone long term. I prefer big picture vs. line by line, someone who's willing the brainstorm with me if they find something that doesn't quite gel.
7) Snow flew with such force, Sara Andrews couldn’t see the plane. Hell, she couldn’t see the gangplank leading to the plane. This could not be good. There was no way the plane would be able to take off.
Only her boss would make her fly to Chicago on a sales presentation with the knowledge of a massive storm barrelling through the area. Turning from the window, she wheeled her roll aboard to the ticket desk.
She blinked, not believing the sign above the desk. Yup. Flight 246, Chicago to Portland, was canceled. Fantastic. One thing was certain. She was not spending the night in the airport. The skirt she was wearing didn’t allow for that.
Taylor had to be around somewhere. Scanning the gate area, she spotted Taylor Smith, her partner in crime for this trip, leaning against a support pillar. She marched over to him. “I’m going to see about booking a flight out tomorrow, and then I’m heading to the nearest hotel with a free room. You staying or coming with?” Ultimately, it didn’t matter to her what Taylor decided to do. She was only being polite.
He straightened. “Coming with. I’m not keen on sleeping on the floor.” He followed her over to the ticket desk line, and then promptly ignored her.

Jenna Cooper said...

1) Jenna Cooper
2) Almost any genre in YA, currently working on a science fiction and a fantasy
3) Any YA work. I like everything. :)
4) Princess Imogen woke up without any memory of the past six months and the news that to end a twenty-year war, she's to marry the enemy's king. But when memories start coming back to her--memories of a young man--she has to figure out who took her memories and why, and whether or not marrying the king is the right thing to do.
5) I'd love to have a close critique partner to go through all of the stages together with. Someone to talk to when trouble's arising with plot or characters, someone to read for big picture problems, and then also when it comes down to it, line edits. I'm looking for something permanent, but at the same time I realize that there needs to be a good match.
6) jennalizis[at]gmail[dot]come
7) I should have remembered this corridor. After weeks of staying as a guest in Uldor castle, I shouldn’t have needed my father’s men to escort me. Their armor glinted from the sun coming through the windows and shone in my eye. I tried to blink it away, but it relented only when we moved away from the windows and in front of my father’s door.
He said it was urgent and as soon as I mended from my fever I had to meet him. My forehead no longer flamed, my cheeks reduced from bright pink to their usual peach, and my muscles didn’t ache anymore, but I hadn’t recovered. In my illness, I lost my memory of the past six months. I woke up after five days, my mind settled as if I’d slumbered through a portion of my life.
If my father wanted to speak to me, though, it had to be important. As the king of Dunthur, he never trifled with me unless necessary.
The men opened the entrance to my father’s quarters. I marched in, the heavy doors shutting once I came through.
The king smiled behind his black beard when he saw me, but not the condescending way he often did. He smiled like a father would to his daughter, and it startled me.

Nicole Settle said...

1) Nicole Settle
2) YA all genres but currently fantasy
3) YA all genres
4) Tobin wakes up in a desert with no memory and only a magical compass tattooed on his palm to guide him, which eventually directs him to Graceville—a town where the citizens are controlled by moral compasses. When anyone strays from the moral path, the compass elicits excruciating pain. Tobin realizes how oppressive the compass is when he starts falling for Isabel—a girl he is forbidden to love.
5) I want someone I can go through the writing process with from the big picture stuff in the beginning to line edits at the end. I would also like to find someone long term.
7) Why the hell is there sand in my mouth?

The gritty grains make a horrible crunch as they crackle between my teeth. My chapped lips pucker as I try to spit. I can’t. My mouth is so dry it hurts to swallow.

I swipe my hand across my mouth and my eyes blink open, staring out at my surroundings.

Everything is beige. Sand dunes stretch out on the horizon and all I can see is barren land.

What am I doing in a desert?

How did I get here?

My heart races. I can’t answer my own questions.

I strain to think of my life before this, but all I get is a headache. I can’t even remember what I look like, making the bones in my body feel foreign and my skin nothing more than a leech attaching itself to my skeleton.

I struggle to sit up, an ache pulsing through my head like a flash of lightning. I squish my eyelids tighter and bring my hands over my head like I can block out the pain even though it’s internal.

And then a noise comes. A sound so quiet. A sound that’s happening in my head.

Unknown said...

1. Tiffany Turpin Johnson
2. YA of all types (typically includes a romance and some sort of otherworldly element—paranormal, magical realism, speculative, sci-fi, fantasy…but no hardcore genre fiction)
3. YA of all types (I prefer for there to be a romance of some sort, but there doesn’t have to be otherworldly elements)
4. The Phoenix is a speculative YA thriller that I am now querying to agents. Sample logline: In a world where resurrection is illegal, 16-year-old Brie wakes up to a dead boy tapping at her window.
5. I’m looking for honesty, but in a positive way—no ripping to shreds, everything must be constructive and specific. That’s what I offer as well! And I’m looking for more big-picture stuff—alpha and beta reads or plot, characterization, etc.—not line editing, as that’s what I do strongest on my own.
7. There's a dead boy at my window.

My ex-best friend Evan huddles on the second-floor porch, clinging with both hands to my window frame in the moonlight. A year and a half ago we sprinkled his ashes (so we thought) behind the Coral Beach High School football field. His parents said some nice things, and a lot of kids cried. The principal even shut down school for a few days. Seemed like an overreaction to me, but when the most popular guy in school disappears and turns up dead, overreaction is status quo.

Yet somehow here he is, staring at me with eyes wide and bloodshot and definitely alive. His hair is all gone, his skin so sickly pale it glows silver in the moonlight, and there's a huge, jagged scar running across his skull. Beneath the flimsy hospital gown his body is shrunken, concave. Not at all the cocky quarterback I remember. Despite all that, I'm sure it's him.

"Brie," Evan says, voice muffled through the glass, "are you in there?"

I blink a few times, so hard that blue spots swirl on the backs of my eyelids. This can't be happening. I must be hallucinating again.

Aldrea Alien said...

1) Aldrea Alien

2) Fantasy, Science Fiction, Paranormal. All have a romantic element. (A few may be closer to NA, but I consider them all to be Adult for now)

3) Same as above. I'm more plot-based than genre in my reading, but heavily fantasy-inclined. Please, nothing with zombies and definitely no horror. (Will also read YA in these genres as well as adult)

4) Current Project would be Dark One's Mistress:
Kidnapped and imprisoned, Clarabelle Weaver is determined to escape the clutches of her kingdom's newly-made Lord, but when she learns his heirless death will allow the soulless criminals enslaved in his army to terrorise the land, Clara must decide if her freedom is really worth a kingdom.

5) What I'm looking for in a critique partner ... mostly, I'm looking for honest opinions and suggestions. Line editing and long term preferable.

6) aldreaalien[at]yahoo[dot]co[dot]nz

7) The first 200 words of Dark One's Mistress:
"Clarabelle!" The cry rang out, scattering the pigeons resting atop the roofs and sending the nearby cats into a fit of hissing as they scampered for cover.
Clara halted on the edge of the street, her face burning as the echo of her mother's manly bellow continued. All around her, men and women paused in their daily business. The street gained an eerie silence. In the past, she'd heard worldlier folk boast that such deathly quiet could only be heard here in Everdark.
Then someone coughed, another person sneezed, and the sounds flooded back. The hum of talk. The clink of coins. A few turned to stare at her, the young woman in question, but mostly, the irate cry seemed to be forgotten.
A sigh huffed through her lips. Why does she have to scream like that? She contented herself with the roll of her eyes, wishing the heat in her cheeks would fade. It wasn't as if she was some small child. She knew her duties well. Knew the streets even better.
She shuffled her burden: bread, half a wheel of cheese, a skin of goat's milk and a tiny, dog-eared book on the world beyond. The last was for herself.

Stephanie Scott said...

1) Stephanie Scott
2) YA and New Adult (contemporary, sci-fi, dystopian, paranormal), but right now futuristic sci-fi thriller
3) YA, New Adult, Adult Romance - any genre within these categories. I just love a good story.
4) Sixteen-year old Renn Michaelsen is a soldier in a world rebuilding from civil war, thanks to the genetic genius of Drake Biomedical. She is sworn to protect Drake from the zealots that violently protest the company, but she also has another goal – find the zealots that murdered her parents and kill them. When her guardian is murdered and she is blamed, Renn makes an unlikely alliance and learns the truth about her world and who she really is.
5) Since this is my first book, I'd like someone that I can go through the entire process with. I'm looking for big picture, plot, characters, all the way down to the nitty gritty. I'd like to find someone who I can partner with for the long haul.
6) stephscottauthor(at)gmail(dot)com
7) I made a promise to myself that I would kill them. Tonight is the night that I plan to start. It’s testing night and this time I won’t fail. I pop the clip into my gun and slide my goggles over my eyes. Safety off. Deep breath in. Release and pull the trigger. Straight through the center of the target. Beautiful.

Now it’s just lather, rinse, repeat. I empty the clip into the target in front of me. Fifteen rounds. All of them should be kill shots. The target zips along the wire back to me so I can review my shots.

“Son of a bitch!” One bullet veered about three inches away from its intended mark. The fact that it’s not grouped with the others is driving me crazy. “Load another one up, I’m going to get this right.”

“Renn, it’s fine. You’ve passed.” I hear Norah’s voice over the loudspeaker, but I ignore her. I load the clip up from the box of bullets on the counter and slip it into my gun.

“Come on and quit dragging’ ass. Get another sheet up there.” I’m impatient. This has to be perfect. I have to be perfect. Otherwise, it's going to nag at me and I won’t be able to let it go.

S. A. Soule, Creativity Coach said...

Sherry (published author and former publication editor)

Adult UF and PR

I will Crit same as above, including horror and YA

Synopsis: Woman inherits haunted house and tries to solve an otherworldly murder mystery while being distracted by incredibly handsome man with a dark secret. (romance, horror, fantasy, ghosts)

Looking for in a critique partner: line edits vs. big picture, critique of WIP, etc.

Contact: sherry.soule AT

The first 200 words of WIP:

The perky morning light seeping through my window burns my eyes, and I glance at the clock. I’ve hit my snooze alarm one too many times and now I’m late for the funeral. Dammit, Skylar, get your lazy butt up! I fumble for the bedside lamp and switch it on. Stretching, I throw back the blankets and lurch into the bathroom, tripping over the wet towel on the floor and smacking my hip into the counter. Ouch! I turn on the shower, but it only spews lukewarm water. Not a great way to start my day. With my teeth chattering, I hurry through my shower, and wrap a towel around me.

Back in the bedroom, I start digging through the closet, but I just end up standing there, biting my lip and staring at the designer garments eagerly waiting to be worn. Sometimes I think death follows me around like a shadow. Everyone in my family is dead.

Except me.

I suddenly feel paralyzed, as though I’m teetering on a ledge, trying not to fall. Another funeral. Another family member gone. Outside the window, I can view Manhattan, the sky is gloomy and lights flicker on in distant windows.

S. A. Soule, Creativity Coach said...

BTW, I will Crit horror, YA, futuristic sci-fi thriller, romantic suspense, and dystopian. Basically, anything with supernatural elements, and if it has romance that's even better. ;-)

Dr. Milestone said...

1) Joel Shulkin
2) Children’s (PB, MG, YA); adult (medical thriller, urban fantasy)

3) Most of the above, along with other thrillers; I have less experience with YA but started writing one of my own so could use critiquing one as training.

4) I have been querying The Siren and the Whale (MG fantasy) for several months and got a couple of partial requests but no takers. My current logline is:

In the undersea city of the legendary Siren, it’s easy to live out one’s dreams—when twelve year-old Marie learns being reunited with her long-lost mother comes at a terrible price she discovers it’s much harder to wake up.

5) I’ve gotten so much mixed feedback on my query and synopsis that I really need someone to look at the whole manuscript and help me figure out whether the problem is in my ability to summarize the story or in the story itself. If someone wants to take a look at my other work (for example, I have a completed medical thriller in the process of an R&R and wouldn’t mind another pair of eyes to see if my changes are effective), that’s also cool.

6) joelshulkinmd AT yahoo DOT com

7) Far below the ocean surface, a twelve year-old girl named Marie drifted along the currents. Warm Caribbean waters wrapped around her like a cocoon. Her thin body twitched and jerked as images crashed and tossed in her mind. Children laughed and called her malsòti, or “weirdo”. An old woman with dreadlocks peered down over wire-rimmed glasses and scolded her for being disobedient. Their faces twirled and crashed together, becoming a giant wave that swallowed Marie, spinning her around and around until she couldn’t tell if she was up or down.

Help me! she screamed in her mind. Someone please help!

I’m here, dear one, a familiar voice said. I’ll protect you.

The waters seemed to part, revealing her mother’s soft brown eyes that were the color of warm banana yam pudding. Thin lips stretched from one high cheekbone to the other in the most beautiful smile imaginable. Tight cornrows peeked out from beneath an emerald green head skirt.

Manman, Marie said. Is it really you?

I’ve been waiting for you to find me, her mother said. It’s time for us to be together again.

I knew it! I missed you, Manman.

I’ve missed you, too, dear one. Her mother’s expression grew serious. But you must beware the Siren.

Diana Julianna said...

1) Julianna Helms
2) MG/YA SFF, thinking of a YA magical realism
3) Pretty much any MG and YA would be up my alley, but I would especially prefer high fantasy writers. Contemporary with an emotional twist works well, too, and so does magical realism and mysteries. Historicals, chick-lit, and paranormal won't work for me, though. Sorry. :(
4) A fantastical High Fantasy inspired by the Chinese legend, "The Butterfly Lovers".
5) I'm a very specific line-editor, so what I'd love is a CP with an eye for big things, such as plot inconsistencies, world-building, character arcs, etc.
6) thereviewsnews(at)gmail(dot)com
7) The sky is so dry.
Mother asked me to catch the snow, but I’ve waited for hours and still the clouds crack like tender bones, the day as dark as a widow. It seems wrong—I think everyone just expects it to be blistering hot, for the crops to strangle themselves as they spiral to taste dew. But it doesn’t. It is too dark not to be night, yet the air is just as dry as the summer sky.
I hike back to my house. The road is thin and splattered with forestry. The trees hover over me, their sharp, dying leaves slicing my skin. I glance up, and through the thick canopy a wink of red plasters itself to the sky, dripping towards the horizon like blood. I need to hurry. Mother understands when the weather is like this, all capricious with thunderstorms of sweat, but she prides so much upon promptness that she should turn as fickle as the weather if I’m not home before stars wrinkle the roaming night.
The road is so long it blurs my sight. It takes three lark songs, and my skin emerges from the greedy trees as typography of subtle scars, but finally home engulfs my vision and my feet again tread on solid stones instead of soggy ground.

Manju Howard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

1) LN Russell
2) YA & MG (Mostly fantasy)
3) Anything except erotica
4) After sneaking to a party her parents forbid, Faeth learns two life changing things. First, she’s not human. Second, the Oaltz, a dark line of her kind, are determined to either sway or kill her. She knows it will take courage, commitment and sacrifice to embrace her heritage. Thankfully, she’s not alone in her quest to discover who the real Faeth is, or where her path will lead.

5) What you’re looking for in a critique partner= big picture, critique partner to last longer than this WIP
6) ln40russell at hotmail dot com
7) My bag bounces against the back seat as I drive the two predictable miles to school. Pulling in, I see the same crowds of people walking together as every other day. The jocks, who are convinced everyone else is beneath them. The party crew, who hide along the back row, smoking and waiting until the last possible moment to go in, and the ‘normal’ kids who’ve been friends since diapers, there’s just no place for me here. I can’t wait until this is over - my invisibility to the kids I’ve spent every school day with since kindergarten. They aren’t mean to me; they just don’t see me.
‘Suck it up buttercup,’ I mutter, inhaling a long breath of outside air. I gather my things and follow the others; casually searching for one of the two people here that I consider friends- Maille O’Neil or Claire Taylor.
I smile remembering the day I met Maille. Jonathon Malcolm pulled my braids on a field trip and made me cry. She put a frog in his lunch bag and he nearly fell off the picnic table when he stuck his hand in and pulled out a gigantic croaking frog.