First 50 word critiques!
Here's how we envision this working, but if you have suggestions for changes, please let us know!
Step one – we post someone's first 50 words [approximately, don't stop in the middle of a sentence].
Step two – folks like you, yes YOU, leave a critique in the comments. Be nice, but be honest. [Comments that are not polite/respectful will be deleted.] What would YOU like to know if this was YOUR first 50 words? Do you think it's a good opening line for the category/genre? Does it have a hook? Does it pull you into the story? Do you want to read more? Why or why not? Be specific, so your critique helps the person who wrote the entry.
Step three – anyone who leaves a comment can email us their own first 50 words IN THAT CATEGORY/GENRE.
Step four – depending on how many emails we get, we'll post 1-2 each Monday over the next several Mondays for critiques.
Step five – once we either run out of entries OR we decide to move on [haven't figured this part out yet], we'll post a new category/genre for the following series. If you've posted a nice/honest/helpful critique on at least TWO previous entries, we'll consider your first 50 words for inclusion. This means that even if you don't write in the category/genre that's currently on the blog, you still need to comment if you might want to submit an entry in the future.
Our first category/genre is middle grade [MG] [because that's what I write, and I'm using my first 50 words to start this]. Since this is our first round, you obviously can't comment on at least two previous entries. So if you write MG and you want to submit your first 50 words for critique, you MUST comment and critique my first 50 in the comment section of THIS blog post. For future rounds, you'll need to post a critique on at least TWO previous entries before you'll be able to submit. [And don't wait until the day you email us and go back and post a critique on an entry from several months ago. We'll notice.] This will only work if everyone plays fair.
Then send us an email formatted as follows [if this idea works out, we'll probably make a google form, but for now let's do it this way]:
The subject of the email MUST say “First 50 Critique – MG”. Otherwise it will get lost in all the emails we receive.
The FIRST sentence in your email must state “The following 50 words are my own work and I give OA permission to post it on the OA blog for the life of the blog.”
Next, write “I commented on the entries posted on [date] and [date] as [your online ID].”
Then copy/paste your first 50 words into the email.
We will NOT include your name or other identifying information in the post. Just your first 50 words.
So here's how the email will look for this first round:
Subject: First 50 Critique – MG
The following 50 words are my own work and I give OA permission to post it on the OA blog for the life of the blog.
I commented on the entry posted on Monday September 30, 2019 as [your online ID].
My first 50 words:
[Copy/paste your first 50 words here.]
UPDATE: Two of the First 50 Critique entries we received by email last week were misdirected and finally forwarded to us by the person who accidentally received them [hi Michelle, and thanks!] We're not entirely sure how that happened, but we want to try to prevent that happening in the future. So, when you send us an entry by email, please be sure to open a brand new email and address it to our gmail account at OperationAwesome6. Click here for more info on contacting us. Also, the entry window will probably close on a Wednesday, and we will send a confirming email to everyone who enters. If you do NOT receive a confirming email by that following Friday, please contact us by Twitter DM and we'll track it down and/or give you an alternate email address to use.
That's it! Entries will be accepted until end of day on Wednesday October 2. So leave a comment on THIS blog post on my first 50 words [see below] and send your MG entries now!
Reminder: Be nice, but be honest. [Comments that are not polite/respectful will be deleted.] What would YOU like to know if this was YOUR first 50 words? Do you think it's a good opening line for the category/genre? Does it have a hook? Does it pull you into the story? Do you want to read more? Why or why not? Be specific, so your critique helps the person who wrote the entry.
First 50 Words - MG Entry #1:
Her father never gave her a name. "You're nothing but a smudge," he'd said, with extra emphasis on the word smudge. “A smudge does not have a name.”
He'd flashed the thought at her with so much force, she staggered back as if he'd slapped her.
That was the day, several years ago, when she'd asked to go to school.