Critiques 4 U


Hello, friends! How’s everybody doing? It’s a little overwhelming, isn’t it—working from home (maybe with kids), social distancing (ack, with kids), homeschooling (definitely with kids)…

But it’s ok. As humans, we’re good at adapting. We make lemons from lemonade and make the best of our weird situations. This one is no different. We will get through it.

One way to do that is to maintain normalcy in whatever ways we can. So at Writers Helping Writers, we’re rolling out our monthly first-page critique contest. Business as usual :).

If you’re working on a first page (in any genre except erotica) and would like some objective feedback, please leave a comment. Any comment. As long as the email address associated with your WordPress account/comment profile is up-to-date, I’ll be able to contact you if your first page is chosen. Just please know that if I’m unable to get in touch with you through that address, you’ll have to forfeit your win.

Two caveats:

  ▪    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, let me ask that you plan on entering the next contest, once any necessary tweaking has been taken care of.

  ▪    I’d like to be able to use portions of winning submissions as illustrations in an upcoming presentation on first pages. By entering the Critiques 4 U contest, you’ll be granting permission for me to use small writing samples only (no author names or book titles).

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

We run this contest on a monthly basis, so if you’d like to be notified when the next opportunity comes around, consider subscribing to our blog (see the left-hand sidebar).

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. Hey everyone! I’m glad to see we’re all doing our best to stay productive and sane during this time :). The winners for this round are Renita Bradley, Dawn, and Gerald Hapeman. Stay safe, and I’ll see you next month.

  2. Hannah says:

    Currently working on my 2nd draft, so I’m in the midst of developmental edits (characterization, plot, etc). I’d love some feedback!

  3. Bonnie Woodward says:

    I’d love to have my first page critiqued. Thank you for this opportunity!

  4. John Di Carlo says:

    In principio erat verbam. Unfortunately, we usually choose the wrong ones. HELP!

  5. I hope this is still open. I’d love a critique!

  6. I hope you’re all well! Thank you so much for the opportunity!

  7. Sherryl Clark says:

    Feedback on my first page would be great, thank you!

  8. Laurie Logan says:

    I’d love a first page critique! Thanks for the entry!

  9. Rhiannon M says:

    What a great opportunity – I’d love your eyes on my YA contemporary – thank you!!

  10. I would LOVE some feedback on my short story. I am a newbie a this—wouldn’t it be nice to help a long a novice….struggling…along the desert floor…thirsty for a waterback…I mean feedback….

    AM I supposed to leave a first page attachment here??

  11. Kira Decker says:

    This is so awesome! Thank you.

  12. Kimberley Bailey says:

    Thanks for the opportunity!!

  13. Oops! I think I accidentally left a reply on another comment instead of posting my own. Sorry about that. I’d love a set of eyes on the first pages of my new WIP, a contemporary romance. Thanks!

  14. Kim Lightle says:

    HEWWOOOOO!!!! Yes, I should very much like to have my first page critiqued!

    Thank you very much for doing this!

  15. Beverly King says:

    Loved the Napolean joke.

    I have a contemporary romance I’d like a critique on how to spark up the 1st page.

  16. Julie says:

    What a lovely offer! Feedback on my MG first page would be great!
    Thank you,

  17. John Catan says:

    Hi, I’m interested in a first page critique. Thank you.

  18. Amber Mae says:

    Where did Napolean keep his armies?

    In his sleevies?


    K, clearly I’m needing some quarantine intervention, cause that joke’s been stuck in my head all week. Thanks for offering this! It’s just what we need right now.

  19. Anna Hague says:

    I’ve put one aside and want to start again and finish it soon. I need help.

  20. Mike Lyons says:

    Pick me!

  21. Liz Searle says:

    You guys are the next best thing to chocolate!

  22. I have a MG historical fiction that has been rejected many times. I’d love fresh eyes on it!

  23. Cheryl Potts says:

    Hello to all you isolated writers out there. Little excuse for not writing right now, is there? Anyway, I am writing a historical novel about the life of Martha Washington. I would love some feedback on page one. Thank you so for doing this. Stay healthy.

  24. Gerald Hapeman says:

    I’m squashing it at home… Thanks. Fingers crossed.

  25. James says:

    Hello there. Im james. I write horror and I am currently working on a YA horror and MG both of which could use first page critiques. Thank you very much for doing this 🙂

  26. Dawn says:

    I have a sci-fi I’m writing that needs help. I’ve been told by beta-readers that the first chapter doesn’t get them into the story. I need more insight as to why and what I can do to spruce it up. Thanks!

  27. K.L. Baxton says:

    I’m so glad you’re willing to offer critiques, and I’d appreciate one for my MG urban fantasy. Thanks, K.L.

  28. “As humans, we’re good at adapting.”
    I agree. We’re already doing it 🙂

    Throwing my hat into the ring for critique 4U.

  29. Sounds great! Thank for doing this.

  30. Hi Becca – I would love a critique of my contemporary romance…and I have a first page ready. Thanks so much! Chris C

  31. Kim Ellis says:

    Sure. I’d appreciate a first page critique for my middle grade fantasy. Thanks,

  32. Susan Policoff says:

    I’m glad to see this feature again!

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