Tag Archives: Critique Partners

#PreDV Practice hosted by Kat Cho

PreDV

This is a cool event sponsored by Kat Cho to help hone marginalized writerly pitches in preparation for #DVpit (DO NOT us this hashtag during the Pre-Event). Participants can post pitches on twitter using the #PreDV hashtag to get feedback from Kat and other volunteers. Marginalized writers are also encouraged to offer their own feedback on other pitches in the spirit of helping other writers.

Another great opportunity is writers can reach out to find critique partners from pitches they like in the age category or genres they also write in. So don’t miss out. Get those pitches ready!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

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Iceland Writers Retreat

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The Iceland Writers Retreat states that over the course of the retreat, each participant is enrolled in a total of five two-hour small-group writing workshops (max. 15 participants) led by internationally acclaimed authors, a Q&A panel with all faculty, and numerous readings and social functions. But there are only a few seats left, so you better hurry!

Each of our Featured Authors teaches two different workshops, and you have plenty of time to interact with faculty, including those with whom you do not have any workshops. The retreat takes place April 5-9, 2017 and costs approximately ISK 289,000 (approximately $2479 US dollars). Prices exclude airfare and airport transportation.

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But between all the intimate workshops and lectures, writers will have the opportunity to tour the spectacular Golden Circle, sit in cozy cafes of Reykjavik, soak in geothermal hot springs, listen to new Icelandic music, meet contemporary Icelandic writers, and learn about the country’s rich literary tradition. And remember, if researching for a novel or just wanting the workshops to improve your craft, this retreat is tax deductible! For complete registration inclusions, go here.

As always, have fun and learn lots!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

Encouragement for the Day!

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The difficulties of writing a novel can be tedious and more difficult than some people think. Writers don’t just pound out perfection in one sitting the first attempt. It can take days, weeks, months, or even years to get the first draft done, depending on other work obligations. Most writers have a day job not involving their writing career and have to squeeze writing in any free moment they can.

After the first draft is finished, comes the editing, and editing, and editing. A writer then sends manuscript to critique partners (CPs) or beta’s to help find plot holes, voice problems, or anything else they spot helpful. Hopefully, the writer has already caught most grammar and punctuation errors, but if not, CPs and beta’s can help with that too. And behold…more edits, and edits, and edits! If a writer is lucky, they’ll have funds to hire a professional editor to help with their manuscript, but this can get very expensive.

When a writer thinks the project is  at it’s best, they send off to literary agents. Sometimes these turn into requests for more revisions, so there is more editing involved. Now, I’m not going to get into the difficulties of landing an agent, or how long it can take to get a publishers to agree to publish EVEN if you have an agent. But, let me say, it can take years of writing new manuscripts and rejection after rejection before getting an agent or a publisher. And even after getting an agent or publishing contract, guess what? There are MORE edits! The process is loooooong! Writer’s know what I’m talking about.

What happens sometimes is a writer can get discouraged after so many rejections. Sometimes they want to give up. But, giving up is the only certain way to make sure a writer doesn’t succeed. The key is to surround themselves with like-minded people. The writing community is very supportive with each other. When they fell discouraged, they should reach out! But no matter what they do, DON’T GIVE UP! Let me repeat that…

DON’T GIVE UP!!!!!!!

Keep writing words to weave into fabulous stories. People want to read them. And they shall, if writer’s keep trying!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

Writing Retreat to Corfu, Greece (Women Only!)

The TLC Writing Retreats will be having a retreat/workshop in Corfu, Greece! There will only be eight writers permitted each week. This helps an attending writer get more one-on-one time with mentors.

  • Week 1: May 21-28, 2017.
  • Week 2: May 30th-June 6, 2017.

Just pick one week to attend. If you’re doing research on a story in Greece, this is your chance to vacation and write off that research on your taxes!

All-inclusive with single room              $4,500 USD
All-inclusive with shared room            $4,200 USD

• 8 days/ 7 nights
• 30+ hours of writing workshops
• All meals included (excluding alcohol)
• All transportation included
• One Full-day excursion
• Private cooking class
• Journal and all materials included
• A private tour guide with local insights into Corfu
Does NOT include airfare

They promise to help you tell your story with the included workshops, as well as access to a personal guide around Corfu, Greece. As always, have fun and learn lots!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Thanksgiving 2014
THANKSGIVING 2016

Thanksgiving is a designated time to remember what we are thankful for in life. For many, it’s having our health to spend time with family and friends while gorging on amazing meals until our stomach feels like it will explode. But there are others who might be joyful they survived a fatal illness to be here celebrating with people they love. Or maybe, there are those thrilled to still have a job, maybe paid off a mortgage, or even happy because they got that iPhone they’ve always wanted.

As for me, I’d like to thank:

  • My family and friends who’ve supported me with my writing. (And a special shoutout to Keith and Chris for donating on my GoFundMe page!)
  • My daughter and grandson for bringing me joy in my life with their adventurous spirit.
  • My readers. (Because without y’all, I’d have no reason to have a blog!)
  • All my critique partners, beta readers, and anyone who has ever glanced at a few pitches/pages/chapters and offered feedback  (I LOVE you guys!).
  • Contest hosts for supplying fabulous opportunities with agents and mentoring, and for those who selected me at some point in the past, for one thing or another. (For example: Brenda Drake, Authoress, Michelle Hauck, Samantha Fountain, and Jessa Russo.)
  • The mentors that participated in contests. Your feedback was completely awesome!
  • All slush readers (agents, editors, mentors, etc.) are the bomb. We don’t send enough chocolate, and I apologize!
  • The creator’s of Preditors & Editors, Writer’s Beware , Absolute Write Forums, Publishers Market Place, and QueryTracker. (I use them often.)
  • All the authors that allowed me to participate in their book releases or cover reveals!
  • For all the ARCs I received, because FREE BOOKS before their published is AWESOME!
  • I have a job and I adore working with all my coworkers!
  • And finally (but not last), to God for giving me the strength to get through each day.

I’m sure there are many things and other people I may have forgotten, and ask forgiveness if I have. Everyone in my physical and virtual life are very important to me. Y’all give me strength to become the best me. Thank you for being a part of my life!

Whatever your reason for being thankful today, I wish you the Happiest of Thanksgivings!

XOXO

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction

FINDING CRITIQUE PARTNERS

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With folks wanting to hone their pitches, queries, and first chapters before PitchWars submission, I thought I’d help everyone searching for a critique partner. Contests such of these are great for finding people who write in the same category and genre as you. Here are some places and things to do:

  • Put a tweet out requesting to swap material using the contest hashtag. Be specific about the age group & genre you write to be clear to prospective partners.
  • Watch for posts about entrants forming groups on their blogs to give each other feedback.
  • Absolute Write Forums: These forums are for all age groups and genres. Not to mention the research on agents and publishers you can find.
  • CPSeek Forums: There are topics on specific age categories and one just for queries and synopsis’.
  • Agent Query Connect: This is a place to post you’re looking for a crit partner.
  • Sub It Club Facebook Critique Partner Group: This is a private group you have to join, so no worries about what you post.
  • Ladies Who Critique: This is a sight where you can join groups by the genre.
  • Romance Critters: Whoa! A place for romance writers to swoon over each others critique. Awesome!
  • Query Tracker Forum: Not only can you keep track of your queries with this site, you can go to the forums and get feedback!

If you’re a member of a writers guild, you can usually find a place to get feedback on those sites too. I’m sure there are many more places to find help honing your craft, but these are a few places to get you started.

As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction

Critique Partners

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If you’re a writer, I can’t stress enough the importance of finding critique partners/beta readers. That’s right, I spoke in plural terms. Each partner might uncover different aspects of your story, such as weaknesses in your character, plot holes, typos, stilted dialogue, pacing and much more. No matter how perfect you think your story is, someone will find an error. And it’s better to find as many errors as possible before you start submitting to agents or publishers, and most importantly BEFORE you self publish!

So where do you find these partners? I found most of mine on Twitter hashtags during writing contests. Someone almost always puts a call out to swap stories for critique. Many times, you gain a permanent partner. There are private writing groups on Facebook that you can join, or places like CPseek. Absolute Write Forums, Write On Con events, local writing groups, and even English departments at your local college and university. Also following blogs of agented writers (such as Brenda Drake or Authoress for starts), can help you find opportunities for free critiques. I’ve found that the writing community is extremely supportive of one another, and among them is a wealth of knowledge!

Things to look for in a partner:

  1. They not only praise but offer the needed critique. If a partner does nothing but praise over your work, they don’t offer you any room to improve.
  2. They offer suggestions. Okay, this doesn’t mean they tell you exactly how to fix something, but at least tell you why something doesn’t work for them. This way, you know what direction to go.
  3. Similar tastes. If you write for middle grade, you may want to find someone who does the same because you both understand ‘voice’ for that genre. Or maybe you write strictly fantasy and want someone who writes the same. But remember, finding someone who writes exactly the same genre and category isn’t completely necessary, as long as they have a passion for the types of stories you write. (But it does help.)
  4. Can meet your dead line. That’s if you have a dead line. If you do, be clear up front and state the time frame. (Ex: You hope to polish your manuscript before entering an upcoming contest.)

There might be other things you desire in a critique partner, but this list is just a starting foundation. For ideas on the worst critique partners, read Chuck Sambuchino’s The Top 10 Worst Types of Critique Partners

As always, good luck and happy writing!

P.D. Pabst
Writer and blogger of MG/YA Fiction