Critiques 4 U

writing weather winter critique group

My snowy yard

Happy January, everyone! Typically, this is a month redolent with opportunity and new beginnings. Where I live, it also means that your kids only go to school half the time. So…kind of counter-productive. On the upside, snow days mean sleeping in, waffle breakfasts, and long days in pajamas. Also, lots of reading. So let’s do a critique contest, shall we?



If you’re working on a first page and would like some objective feedback, please 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)

Also, please be sure your first page is ready to go so I can critique it before next month’s contest rolls around. If it needs some work and you won’t be able to get it to me right away, I’d like to ask that you plan on entering the next contest, once any necessary tweaking has been taken care of. 🙂


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!


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

  1. Thanks for entering, everyone! The winners this week are…

    Irene Kessler
    MM Forsythe
    Mary Balice

    I’ll be in touch shortly with the 3 of you. Everyone else, I’ll see you next month!

  2. Judy Levine says:

    Enter contest. Women’s Fiction.

    I have your books and find them helpful. I’m already on your mailing list. I’ve reworked the beginning of this novel many times and would like an outside (and professional) opinion of the current first page.

  3. nina says:

    YA clean romantic fantasy

  4. Talia says:

    I would love to win a critique! My genre is YA fantasy.

  5. Janet Kerr says:

    Thank you for doing this each month.

    clean contemporary romance

  6. Mary Balice says:
    Contemporary Fiction

    Thank you!

  7. Tracy A Cross says:

    Science fiction

    Thanks for the opportunity.

  8. Jay Hicks says:

    Hi Becca. I’m writing contemporary/historical fiction involving an elderly recluse who is forced to change her ways when she learns she’s not the last living member of her family. Thanks for this opportunity.

  9. M M Forsyth says:
    Dual timeline (contemporary/medieval) with romantic elements

  10. Susan Grillo says:
    Romantic suspense

  11. MG Historical Fiction Thanks for the opportunity!

  12. I think the snow scene looks beautiful. I love snow, but I understand how it can interfere with life. Thanks for this opportunity.

  13. Emile Horne says:

    I’d love a shot at this critique!
    My WIP is a YA contemporary.

  14. J.A. Richardson says:

    Hi. Mine is: YA Contemporary.
    Thanks for the opportunity!

  15. Rahma Krambo says:

    Contemporary women’s fiction

  16. Holly & Jenn says:

    Great opportunity! We’re in!
    YA Adventure

  17. Emily Cushing says:

    Thanks for the opportunity and stay warm. 🙂

    MG Mystery

  18. Barbara Parker says:

    Working on historical fiction

  19. Leta McCurry says:

    Thanks for the opportunity. My email is and my genre is historical fiction.

  20. Bev says:

    Thanks for this opportunity for a critique.

  21. duncankatlyn(at)gmail(dot)com

    YA thriller

  22. JC Martell says:

    Would an entry be considered if you’ve already had (the great pleasure!) of winning before? This is a mighty generous thing you do.

    I have been a member of One Stop for Writers since it originated, and it’s still my #1 resource for line editing, and more and more for the big picture planning and revision with all the super new resources you’ve added. I’m amazed at all the new and useful things you come up with! What about some sort of “action” thesaurus? All those dull walk, stood, sat, said, thought, etc. There are resources out there, including plain ole alternative-word lists but your approach is always so much more detailed and I DO like all my resources in one place. I would love something that not only has the alternatives, but how they “compare” (if that makes sense) – without having to look up the definition of the alternative word. A BIG thank you for One Stop, once again.

    • Hi, JC! If someone has won a critique in the past and they win another one within the same calendar year, I have a policy to withdraw them from the running for that contest. But so far, that’s never happened. And because this is January, everyone’s back in the running :).

      And thank you for your suggestion. We will keep this in mind or future resource ideas!

  23. Irene Wittig says:

    My genre for the novel I am currently working on is Historical Novel – and is about Vienna from the time of their civil war in 1934 through the war to 1959.

    Thank you for your newsletter and all the helpful information you are willing and eager to share with fellow writers.

  24. Irene Kessler says:

    I’m in.

  25. Blaine says:

    Count me in 🙂
    Gay Fantasy/Romance

  26. Romana Iorga says:

    Romantic suspense

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