Critiques 4 U, September Edition


Hello, friends! Guess what? I’m all moved from Florida to New York. We’re in a rental house for now while our house is being finished, so there are still boxes everywhere and half our stuff is in the garage. But I’m so excited to be here. It’s September, and the weather is beautiful; my kids are actually playing outside without having to be bribed with popsicles. The deer like to wander across our yard to eat the apples that are falling off the tree across the street. SIGH. So happy!

IMG_1172The move itself was crazy, and since my kids got out of school in May and didn’t start up here until last week, it was the longest summer of all of our lives. So I hope you’ll understand why I didn’t run the critique contest last month :). But everything’s good now, and I’m ready to get back to the fun stuff. Because it’s been awhile, let me just restate the rules…

If you’re working on a first page and would like some objective feedback, leave a comment that includes: 

1) your email address. Some of you have expressed concern about making your email address public; if you’re sure that the email address associated with your WordPress account is correct, you don’t have to include it here. But if you do win and I’m unable to contact you through that email address, I’ll have to choose an alternate winner.

2) your story’s genre (no erotica, please)

3) the intended audience


Three commenters’ names will be randomly drawn and posted tomorrow. If you win, you can email me your first page and I’ll offer my feedback. Best of luck!

And just a reminder that we’re less than a month away from the One Stop for Writers release. If you’d like more information about this research tool that includes all of our thesaurus content (plus more awesome stuff) in one convenient place, sign up for our newsletter!


Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and its sequels. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online library created to help writers elevate their storytelling. You can find Becca online at both of these spots, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
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34 Responses to Critiques 4 U, September Edition

  1. And the randomly-chosen winners this month are…

    Anne Vaccaro Brady

    Thanks for entering, everyone. See you in October!

  2. Lizbeth Meredith says:
    2. women’s fiction
    3. Women over 40


  3. Diane Turner says:


    2. Literary

    3. Adult

    Thanks a bunch for doing this.

  4. Dylan says:

    2. Urban Fantasy
    3. YA

  5. If you’re interested in reading something to get you in the mood for fall and halloween, my paranormal thriller is remniscient of a fun 80s paperback that relentlessly stalks poor Emma Rocklin–to the grave.
    paranormal thriller
    young adult

  6. Southpaw HR Sinclair says:

    How fun to watch the deer eat apples!

    1. WP account
    2. Urban Fantasy
    3. For Grown-ups! 🙂

  7. Jo Taylor says:

    2. Realistic Fiction
    3. YA

    Congrats on the move and thank you.

  8. Rick B says:


    Having lived in NY, I know that you’ll love the seasons in NY (especially Fall, which you’re about to have, and Spring … Winter, however, may be a shock to your system!).

    And I’ve had deer in my yard when we lived in Colorado … they are SO much fun to watch!! But be careful, too … deer love to eat flowers right off the stems!

    Here’s the info for my shot at the critique …

    1. Email:
    2. Genre: mystery / suspense
    3. Audience: adults mostly, but could also be late teens (16+)

    And make sure you don’t hurt your back from lifting all those boxes!!

  9. Clista Seals says:

    2. Contemporary Romance
    3. Adult

  10. Yikes, I just bought a new condo and that was a rollercoaster, now on to the move to another state, like you just accomplished. I can empathize!
    Thanks for this drawing; here’s my info:
    2-New Adult
    3-YA and Adult

  11. Moving is always tough. But deer in the back yard, lovely!
    I’ve written my first science fiction short for the IWSG contest and would love feedback.
    Alternative History / Sci Fi
    New Adult/Adult

  12. Cyndi says:

    Congrats on the successful move – always a chore!


    2. Mystery/suspense

    3. Adult

    Thanks for all you do for the literary community at large!

  13. Tara Gentry says:

    2. Suspense
    3. YA (16 +)

  14. R.w.Foster says:

    1) You have my email address
    2) Fantasy
    3) I say everyone, but the censors say adult.

  15. Talia says:

    1) My email is included
    2) Genre: sci-fi/fantasy
    3) Intended audience: YA

    Thanks for the opportunity!

  16. Angela says:

    Women’s Fiction


    Thank you for offering this!

  17. H K F says:

    1) definitely correct email

    2) Fantasy

    3) adult / mainstream audience

  18. Pat says:

    Thanks for this opportunity.
    1. as above
    2. post-apocalyptic adventure
    3. YA/NA

  19. healed1337 says:

    1. WordPress account
    2. Urban Fantasy/horror
    3. Adult

  20. Holly Kerr says:

    Congrats on your move!
    contemporary chick-lit/spy thriller
    anyone above 18 (but not because of material, just audience I’m aiming for!)

    Thanks and fingers crossed!!!

  21. First, I cannot wait for the new one stop for writers. I’ve been inhaling the emotional wounds posts and am a die hard fan of your thesauri.

    I write contemporary romance and romantic thrillers and my email is Sophia(at)

  22. 1.
    2. Steampunk
    3. Adult

    Congrats on the move! It’s been a really hectic year for you! Hopefully after next month things will settle down a bit. ^^

  23. Paula Brierley says:

    2. Cozy mystery
    3. Women

    I live in Arizona and understand the Popsicle Bribe. I wouldn’t move from the desert but a few days of ocean and autumn colors would be nice. Hmm, maybe that will be part of my novel . . .

  24. Thanks for offering this opportunity.

    1) Included
    2) Realistic fiction
    3) YA

  25. Halli Gomez says:

    2. Contemporary
    3. Middle grade

    Thank you for doing this. I am going to start querying and would love to know if my first page will hook an agent.

    Congrats on the move! I was born in NY and moved to Florida. As an adult, I craved the change of seasons as well and moved to NC. There is nothing like fall where the leaves actually change color!

  26. Liz says:


    2. Fantasy

    3. YA

    Thanks so much!

  27. Irene says:
    Historical Fiction
    New Adult – Adult.

    Though now in FL., I’m a born New Yorker. You will love it. Don’t know where you are but each part of the state has its own charm. Enjoy. Thanks for your previous critique. You were kind enough to not tell me I had my story backwards. I now have a new beginning.

  28. FCS says:

    1) eisen5585[at]yahoo[dot]com
    2) Science fiction
    3) Young adult

    Thanks for having these! 🙂

  29. 1) (see above)

    2) Supernatural Mystery

    3) New Adult – Adult

  30. Congratulations on your move and a new home to be completed soon. I thought the trend was usually to move from NY to Florida. 😉

    I won a free critique from you earlier; so I’ll pass this time. I am still working that same picture book idea. It’s much better though thanks to great critiques, including yours. Thanks again!

  31. Isabelle says:


    2. Supernatural romance

    3. Young Adult

    Thank you so much for doing this.

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