Friday, January 8, 2016

Friday Fricassee

Happy New Year, dear ones!

I have been admittedly absent.  Rest assured that I have every intention of continuing to bring you the in-house critique you're used to (and that I'm confident is helpful, as the peer feedback here is always so thoughtful and thorough).

Here are some thoughts/details/comments/whatnots as we begin the year:

  • I'd like to focus on small, intense in-house critique this year rather than trying to keep up with a Secret Agent schedule.  FEAR NOT -- we will still have Secret Agent contests!  But here's the truth:  There are so many contests out there.  Some of them require that, once your entry has been accepted, you do not enter any other contests.  This makes sense, and I support it.  But I don't have time to research all the things and make sure my contests aren't bumping into others.  I also always allow our Secret Agents to choose the weeks that work best for them in their designated month, so, really, I can't play the squeeze-the-contest-into-the-blank space game, anyway.  My goal is to give you a longer heads-up time whenever there's a Secret Agent contest, so you can plan accordingly.
  • In light of a higher focus on in-house critique, I am ASKING FOR YOUR INPUT IN THE COMMENTS BELOW concerning the following:
    • Would you prefer crit sessions to be separated by category (adult/YA/MG)?
    • Would you prefer crit sessions to be separated by genre?
    • Would you prefer fewer entries in favor of slightly longer excerpts (300 words)?
    • Would you prefer more entries with shorter excerpts (under 200 words)?
  • On a personal level:  My year has started out super-busy.  It's performance week for the symphony chorus I sing in, which means I've been rehearsing or performing every night since Monday, with two performances yet to go.  I'm also diving into another round of revisions on my latest novel (and having an absolute blast working out ideas with Danielle, who shares my vision for this story as if she is an extension of my own brain).  Needless to say, the convergence of these two things has been a bit frustrating!  I'm looking forward to next week, when I can hyperfocus on the revisions and hopefully crank them out quickly.  For now, I'm sipping tea with honey and trying to keep my voice in shape for another forty-eight hours.  
  • All this to say that I will continue to not be around much.  As soon as I'm back on a workable schedule, though, I will jump in with our first critique round of the year.  I will also open another slot for a Premiere Critique, so keep your eyes open for that if you've been waiting.  (Again, I just don't have the time right now to commit to a 1-week-turnaround line edit.)  Thanks for hanging with me!
  • Reminder:  If you have a success story that you attribute either directly or indirectly to your participation in this blog, please do email me so that I can share your story!
Hugs to all!  And happy writing.  (I mean that.  Writing should bring you joy, even when it's hard.  Not that it's ever not hard.  I know what I mean. <3 div="">


  1. I think I'd prefer keeping the word count the same, but offering sessions by category would be helpful, especially for people looking to find CP's from participating. Breaking it down into specific genres might make it difficult for you to offer as many critique sessions unless maybe it was broad (like all speculative including SF/F, contemporary/suspense/thrillers, and historicals with romance falling into any one of the above). I do enjoy reading others' first pages and occasionally being able to offer my own for critique. Thanks for continuing to offer these opportunities!

  2. I like the idea of separating entries by categories or groups of genre. As for length, I'd go with longer rather than shorter.

    Happy new year!

  3. Longer, categorized crit sessions would be my vote!

  4. Thanks for all you do here! What helped me most as a new writer when I started reading this blog were the comments and critiques. I read them religiously and learned a lot. I would support anything that helps the critiques stay active; agree that categorizing by age category would be helpful, or genre.

  5. I vote to have things grouped by age category, and I like the 250 word limit, since that's more-or-less a printed page. Going to 300 would be fine, too. Thanks for all you do, Authoress!