Friday, February 26, 2021

Submissions Are Now Open


UPDATE: There is something wrong with the submission form! Please send your entries directly to me at I'm sorry!!

ANOTHER UPDATE: The guidelines page wouldn't load because I HAD THE WRONG URL. It's just a day over here, folks! I've fixed the update page link.

Submissions for our Are You Hooked? critique round are now open!

Submit your entry HERE.

Read the submission guidelines HERE.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Call For Submissions: ARE YOU HOOKED?

 This is the original critique format for Miss Snark's First Victim, and the format used for the Secret Agent Contests and legendary Baker's Dozen Contests (now retired).  We haven't done this for quite some time, so I'm keeping it small--a maximum of 10 entries this time.

Here are the submission instructions:

  • Submission window: Friday, February 26, from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm CST.
  • Submit your entry HERE.
  • Genres: All genres except erotica/erotic fiction are eligible, in all categories (age groups).
  • No picture books or non-fiction. Narrative non-fiction is acceptable.
  • Please submit: The first 250 words of your manuscript.
  • This is a lottery. 10 entries will be chosen by the bot after submissions have closed.
  • Please do not end your excerpt in the middle of a

The winning entries will post to the blog on Monday, March 1, and will be immediately available for public critique. If your excerpt is chosen for the contest, I request that you critique at least 3 other entries (pay it forward, always!). 

Please post your questions below!

Monday, February 22, 2021

You Have Spoken!

I've gotta say--I was so encouraged by the response to Friday's poll. Thank you so much! 

Admittedly, I didn't take my time choosing a widget for the poll. (Blogger used to have one, but apparently they've gotten rid of it.) The one I chose, as I'm sure you noticed after voting, does not show the results. Kind of silly, yes?

There's more. The data they share is pretty convoluted, and I ended up having to use old fashioned tally marks on a sheet of paper! Basically, instead of simply telling me how many votes each of the six choices received, they shared all possible combinations of votes and how many of each of those were received. So, for instance, it told me how many people voted for "Secret Agent" and "Critique Partner Speed Dating". And then it told me how many people voted for "Secret Agent" and "Are You Hooked" and "Critique Partner Speed Dating". It wasn't particularly helpful.

BUT I'VE GOT THE NUMBERS, ANYWAY! And here they are:

SECRET AGENT: 51 votes

ARE YOU HOOKED: 36 votes

FIRST 3 WORDS: 25 votes




Obviously, the SECRET AGENT CONTEST is a big winner! Not that I'm surprised. Unfortunately, I can't just pull one of those out of my hat; they are always scheduled several months in advance.

MY PLEDGE TO YOU: I will get on this right away after my release hoopla has died down!

So the plan is this: We will have an ARE YOU HOOKED critique very soon--STAY TUNED!

For anyone who is new here:

ARE YOU HOOKED is an in-house critique in which writers submit the opening 250 words of their manuscript for public critique. 


A reminder that I'm currently running a special The Stolen Kingdom preorder giveaway just for writers! The prize is a 30-minute FaceTime or Zoom meeting with me, to discuss your WIP or writing in general. (And if you send me your first chapter prior to the call, I will critique it.)


And, finally, please be sure you're following me on Instagram. That's where I spend most of my time these days, and it's where you'll be able to connect with me most quickly.

Get your first pages in order! I'll be back soon with instructions. 

Friday, February 19, 2021

Want Some Stuff Here? Take This Poll!


My dear fellow writers!

I miss our interaction. I miss this blog. Every time I sit down and look at it and say to myself, "I really need to do something here," I feel overwhelmed and shut it back down. And then someone says something like this: "oh it's so good to see your blogs again! please tell us you're coming back soon to host more hijinks!" And I go all gooey inside.

SO HERE'S WHAT I WANT YOU TO DO: Please take a minute to answer this poll. It will give me starting place for something in-house, for starters. 

Also! If there's something you'd like to see that isn't included in the poll, please leave your suggestion/request in the comments below.

Spread the word! I can't promise the level of activity that we used to enjoy here, but there's no reason why I can't commit to some regular critiques and the occasional Secret Agent contest.

There. I've said it. Now hold me to it!

Thursday, February 11, 2021



Hello, friends!

Life has taken me far away from this blog, even though I keep telling myself I'm going to come back. For the record, I am no longer on Facebook and I seldom check in on Twitter. I'm most active on Instagram, though, so I hope you'll follow me there!

I'm writing today, though, to let you in on a PREORDER SPECIAL JUST FOR WRITERS that I've offered to subscribers of my newsletter and am now offering to you. If you preorder THE STOLEN KINGDOM before March 2, you can enter to win the following:

A free, 30-minute FaceTime or Zoom chat with me, to discuss your WIP and answer any writerly questions you'd like to ask. BONUS: If you send me your first chapter prior to the call, I will have notes for you!

Depending on how many entries I get, I may offer a second 30-minute chat so that I can give away two of them. Stay tuned!

Thank you, as always, for your support. Also? If you have a minute, please say hello in the comments. I MISS THIS COMMUNITY!!