Critique Group Contest: Romance Critter Needed!


As I mentioned earlier this week, my online crit group is in need of a new member. My crit partner Lynnette Labelle is heading up the contest, so if you are interested in entering, please make sure to follow the directions below (DO NOT email your entries to me.)


Just a bit about us:

Three members (Lynnette, Gwen Mitchell, and me).

What we write: Romantic Suspense, Paranormal Romance, and Sexy Contemporary Romance.

The group's personality: We're tough in our crits (see my Beta Club days for examples of my critting) but all feedback is delivered with respect and love. Everyone in the group is super supportive and we lean on each other to get through the tough parts of this business. It is a warm and friendly group, and when I won this very contest and joined last year, I instantly felt welcome.  Fair warning: If you do not have a sense of humor, you need not apply.

Why would you trust us to crit your work?  Gwen and I have recently placed in RWA contests and both of us would be considered RWA PROs (if we’d fill out the forms).  Lynnette is a certified copy editor and proofreader and is in the process of starting up her own online manuscript editing/writing coach business.

Alright, interested? Here are the rules (pulled directly from Lynnette's post):

Are you a romance writer looking for a critique group? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Rumored Romantics has an opening and we’re going to fill it by hosting a contest starting TODAY! Isn’t this exciting?

Note: Regardless of whether or not you’ve entered one of the critique group contests before, read the information below as some things have changed.

The details:

• This contest is only for romance writers of adult fiction who are seeking a critique group.

• All entrants must be 18 years or older.

• Entries should be 2-3 pages from an unpublished manuscript, double spaced, 12 pt. font, Times New Roman. Anything beyond 3 pages will NOT be read.

• This is a three part contest. Part One, a 2-3 page writing sample, is open to all contestants. Finalists are selected to move on to Part Two. During this stage, the finalists will be asked to supply a longer writing sample and critique a short piece, which we’ll provide. A select few will continue on. In Part Three, the remaining finalists will critique a longer sample and fill out a bio/questionnaire. Sound like a lot of work? It is. Sorry about that. All of the above is necessary in order for us to see that our writing and critiquing styles are compatible with yours.

• Entries will be judged on the quality of the writing and critiquing, but we aren’t expecting perfection. Please send us your best work without external help. We want to see how well YOU write and critique, not your critique partner or professional editor.

• All entries for Part One of the contest are due by midnight Wednesday, April 28, 2010.

• One entry per person, unpublished work only.

• Send your entry in the body of an e-mail (She will NOT open anything with an attachment) to:

• You should expect an e-mail from Lynnette confirming I received your entry. If you haven't gotten one within 24 hours, check the e-mail address. Note: her name is spelled with two n's. LyNNette. If you don't spell it correctly in her e-mail address, she won't get the message.

• The first round of finalists will be announced on her blog and notified by e-mail some time during the week of May 2.


• Membership for one lucky writer to a small, online, romance critique group*

• Note: Rumored Romantics is looking for someone who is willing to critique at least ONE chapter a week. Chapters are no longer than 20 pages double spaced. So, the most your minimum required critique would be is 20 pages. To be clear, you’d only have to critique one chapter a week, not one per member. However, everyone is encouraged to participate as much as they can.

If you have any questions about the contest or Rumored Romantics, ask away.

*We reserve the right to not choose anyone if we don't find a good fit for our critique group.

Hint #1:
You must write adult romance, BUT we don’t actually want to read the sex scenes or romance scenes in your story (at least, not for the contest). You’ll have better results if you show us a piece that represents how different your work is from everyone else’s. Get it?

Hint #2:
When you submit your entry, it doesn’t have to be a complete scene. Don’t stress yourself out trying to find a 2-3 page scene in your manuscript and don’t cut important parts of a scene to make it fit. In fact, if you cut the end of the scene, we might be intrigued enough to want to read more. Hook us and you’ll have a great chance of winning.

Hint #3:
Here’s how we're going to read the entries. We’ll copy and paste from the e-mail into Microsoft Word. If the font isn’t Times New Roman, 12 pt, we’ll change it to that. If it’s not double spaced, we’ll modify it. Once the entry is formatted correctly, anything beyond three pages will NOT be read.

Good luck!  And please, if this doesn't apply to you, but you know someone who may be interested, please spread the word via blog/twitter/facebook.  I'd really appreciate it!

And if you aren't entering, I'd love to hear how you found your crit group members?  And what do you look for most in a member or beta reader?


**Today's Theme Song**
"Invitation" - The High Violets
(player in sidebar, take a listen)