Critique Connection

As promised, this is Critique Connection. If you are looking for a critique partner, briefly describe your manuscript in progress in the comments and leave a way to contact you. With enough people, the comments section will likely turn into a bit of an online dating site for people writing children’s books who want another set of eyes. Many critique groups and partners have come about as a result of this system and so I’m happy to keep doing it.

It’s up to you to decide what you need from a potential critique partner. Do you want them to look at your query? Your first 10 pages? Your entire manuscript? Be as clear as you can (and as realistic as you can about what you’re willing to do for others) for best results.

To boost your chances for a successful match, include the following information in your comment:

  1. Your audience and genre (ie: YA thriller). Most people are going to be writing PB, MG or YA because this blog is specific to children’s books. I don’t know how many have tried to connect with other types of projects, but I’d imagine children’s books do best here.
  2. A short description of your story. There’s no length limit but please be kind. 🙂
  3. A way to contact you. If you’re worried about spammers attacking a link to your email, format it like this: mary (at) kidlit (dot) com and trust potential critique partners to translate it to mary@kidlit.com.

Finally, be PROACTIVE! If a book looks good or even if it looks similar to what you’re doing (a situation that usually gives writers the fits until they realize that idea is just part of the puzzle and execution of that idea is where the differences are), reach out to that writer. Introduce yourself. See if there’s a connection. Writing is a solitary pursuit but there’s actually a tight-knit, awesome community out there. You never know who you can meet!



24 Replies to “Critique Connection”

  1. Hi everyone,

    I’m working on R&R’s I’ve received from agents for my complete MG fantasy & fairytale retelling manuscript.

    I’d love to have a critique partner for a second set of eyes.

    My story is about an eleven-year-old girl who must fetch a sacred crossbow to bridge the gap between an ancient, Oriental world and Earth or her mother will be killed. It’s a blend of Rick Riordan’s PERCY JACKSON AND THE OLYMPIANS series and Grace Lin’s WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON.

    I’m looking for someone who writes MG and is more or less in the same stage as me (either in the query trenches and needs more feedback or is close to finishing the manuscript). Those who read MG are welcomed as well!

    If you’re interested, please email me at hongtranbooks[at]gmail[dot]com and we can swap the first 10 pages to see whether we’re a good fit.



  2. Hi guys! I’m looking for a critique partner for my YA thriller.
    Here’s my WIP pitch:
    Set in a time of escalating terrorism, the United States has begun passing legislation that they hope will limit the onslaught of violence by targeting any and all who have ties to extremist groups.
    In this world, Willow and Aniq could not live more different lives. As the daughter of a beloved Senator, 16 year old Willow attends a premiere private school where she is successfully navigating her Sophomore year, while 17 year old Aniq was re-located to the Asylum Quarters after his parents were deported for their extremist ties.
    A single event sets these two on a collision course when both their older brothers are accused of plotting a terrorist attack.
    Following a cryptic clue her brother left her, Willow finds herself caught up in a group called the Initiative. Here she meets Aniq and learns that there are those in the government who have been orchestrating many of the terrorist attacks in order to gain a vice like grip over the country.
    Believing Willow’s brother left evidence hidden where only she can find, the Initiative asks Willow and Aniq to retrieve the evidence in order to stop the next terrorist attack, clear their brothers’ names and reveal those in the government responsible. Along the way they both encounter fear, prejudice and betrayal as they find out how far they are willing to go for justice.
    Set over the course of 48 hours, Justice is a young adult thriller told from the points of view of both Willow and Aniq and I just finished the second draft.
    If you are interested in becoming crit partners, please email me at destinyjbenjamin [at] gmail.com

  3. Kate Lynch says:

    I’m a mid -grade writer in the trenches at the moment with a manuscript that I was hoping was nearing the final stage of completion-but I’ve tweaked the plot, so I’m looking for an extra pair of eyes to critique 10 pages or so at a time-or the final ms. My novel is about an eleven-year old boy who must find a lost treasure before the family’s seaside home is gone forever.
    I’m looking for a mid-grade writer as well to share monthly critique time with.
    Thank you!

  4. Hi everyone,

    I am currently working on finishing up my YA paranormal. My story features a 17 yr old protagonist who works as a Sandman – her job is to collect good dreams while the average person sleeps, where they are sold on the black market. I also have a MG contemp in the works.

    I’d love to have a critique partner for an extra opinion.

    I write both MG And YA, so someone who writes either of those would be great. I would love someone who is about in the same stage as me.

    My contact info is enhaglund[at]gmail[dot]com. I’d love to hear from you!


  5. I’m rewriting/revising my MG fantasy, have an agent, and am looking for a critique partner(s). I’d like to find serious writers/readers from whom I can learn.

    My manuscript takes place in a near future, where a thirteen-year-old must solve a series of book-related puzzles to find his famous publishing family’s missing 100th book, save his grandfather, and the values they cherish.

    Please email me at shannon shannonledger com.

  6. Ashley Pope says:

    Hi everyone,

    I’m working through revisions on my complete YA Fantasy manuscript, looking for a partner to share critiques.

    My book features sixteen year old Calla, a Scryer (divines using a crystal ball) who wants nothing more than to be free of her parents’ firm hold on her Ability. Desperate to escape their own plans for her, she leaves her city with Jarron, a boy who both mystifies and intrigues her, but finds herself entwined in a decades-old evil and an ancient prophecy that forces her to reconsider her ideas about her own fate and Ability.

    I’m looking for a fellow YA writer/reader. If you’re interested, please contact me at apopewriting (at) gmail (dot) com. We can exchange the first 10 pages to see if we are a match!

  7. Michael Bradford says:

    Hi there,
    I have a complete MG suspense/horror ms, and am looking for a serious critique partner to trade 10 pgs. at a time, or a whole ms if we are a fit for each other. I have an “almost” from a publisher who has provided in depth feedback twice, and I am looking to clean up the last of the loose ends before sending it in again.

    From the query:
    Dekker and his little sister Riley are forced to move out of the city to live with Aunt Primrose for the summer. When Dekker locks Riley in the cellar and she disappears, things go from bad to worse. He must hunt his way through Nightside, a strange place beneath the floorboards where dreams come alive, and find her before Aunt Primrose discovers what he’s done. But Dekker soon meets worse things than a grouchy aunt. He’s in a battle for more than just Riley’s life, and he’s in over his head. What is Dekker prepared to sacrifice to save his sister?

    Let me know if you are interested in exchanging the first 10 pages to see if we are a fit. -Michael: mbinhousepoet(at)gmail(dot)com

  8. Hi, everyone. I have a YA fantasy on my hands, and I am searching for someone who I can be a good match for, preferably a fellow YA writer/reader.

    My manuscript is set in modern times, with a mix of Ancient Greek mythology, legends, and magic, i.e. mythical creatures–dragons, griffins, etc.–and gods, with the 17-year-old female protagonist who must prevent the brewing war while risking her secret that could kill her. It’s a combination of Rick Rordan’s PERCY JACKSON series and Alison Goodman’s EON.

    If anyone is interested to see if we could work together, feel free to contact me at emily(dot)watson3(at)aol(dot)com. Thank you for your time.

  9. Thank you Mary and Hello all,

    I don’t know how a critique will work, I like the suggestions that you send each other 10 pages at a time. I am sure if someone sent me a complete manuscript and said – critique that – I’d go :-p

    However, we’re here to learn from each other and we need both beta readers and people we trust to give us good advice.

    I know I shouldn’t be but I’m an insecure writer. I say “Am I good enough?” at least 3 times a week. So I understand we need to give praise on the bits we liked as well as praise on the bits we didn’t like. (yes praise like – hey that was a good bit of writing but it went way over my head 🙂 )

    I don’t expect to get a partner from this (insecure writer again), but if you would like to pair up I’m a MG writer. I’m currently working on a Science fantasy story, but already planning my next story – a summer camp opens in the stomping ground of a very dark witch who hates screaming kids.

    I’m Steven by the way – steven (dot) short (at) me (dot) com

  10. Hi everyone. I’m currently seeking a critique partner for someone who writes/reads YA.

    My manuscript is YA fantasy, a cocktail of Rick Rordan’s PERCY JACKSON series and Alison Goodman’s EON, involving a take on Greek mythology that focuses on the Ancient Greek gods and creatures, i.e. dragons, griffons, etc. The 17-year-old protagonist is thrust into a game of manipulation and deceit, in which she must protect her secret all costs or risk death. (Sorry if that is a little vague.)

    If anyone is interested to see if we might be a match, my e-mail address is emily (dot) watson3 (at) aol (dot) com. Thank you for your time.

  11. Thanks, Mary!

    Though I’m not in the way of book-length works now, I do have a short story, MG/YA, 2000 words, “A Guide to Time Travel,” that I’d love feedback on for the sake of feedback, and am willing to trade for the first chapter of similar WIP.

    I believe in the power of connection in creativity – sounds like fun! Hit me with your best shot 😉 jennp (at) 123mail (dot) org

  12. I’m 3/4 through writing a MG coming of age story about an 11 yo kid that realizes he is transgender, and has to rely on creativity and friendship to get him through this transition. Would love feedback both on whether or not it is a compelling read, how to write a decent pitch and would love to exchange a close read on another MG story! contact me at jessmetts at fastmail dot com. Cheers!

  13. Hi everyone, I seem to be the only PB person here so far, but I’ve got one I’ve been sending out to agents that I’d love to get another set of eyes on. It’s about a boy who has to drag his dad through his adventures of the day retracing his steps to find his favorite stuffed animal. It’s got a little bit of that childhood imaginary world thing going on.

    So, if you might be interested, let me know at luckyorwell@gmail.com

  14. Hello Everyone,

    I read and write MG and YA (any genre). Right now, I currently have a YA urban Fantasy that I am working on. I am not at the critique partner stage, but I’d love to have someone who has the same passion for writing in these genres! To talk to, critique, offer guidance, ect. I am more than willing to critique / offer suggestions on MS, even if I don’t have anything for you to do the same for.

    My manuscript is about a 17-year-old protagonist who has been branded by the Sphinx into servitude since the day she was born. She constantly tries to prove she is more than a human in a world of magic.

    Thanks and you can reach me at kwrigh14 (at) live (dot) come

  15. Kate Lufkin Day says:

    I’m writing a MG re-telling of the story of Joseph and his Brothers (from the book of Genesis in the Bible). It is set in Egypt, and is intended to work with a fifth-grade curriculum on ancient Egypt. It is not a “Christian” book per se, there is no religious “message.” It comes off more as historical fiction. Think Madeleine L’Engel. I’ve got six or seven chapters, and am looking for a critique group. Interested? You can reach me at .
    Kate Lynch: you look like a good fit, but there’s no contact info I can see. I’d be happy to read your stuff.

  16. Kate Lufkin Day says:

    Sorry! I meant to include my email: kblday (at) gmail (dot) com

  17. I’ve written a PB with a slant on the Cinderella story. Written for a boys perspective. Would like to exchange work and learn the writing process from anyone who is willing to collaborate. Email is Ivdwellers (at) AOL (dot) com. Looking forward to hearing from you.


  18. Hi!

    My name’s Jason and I have written a YA high school romantic comedy. I’m looking for a critique partner. I’ve found one on here, and it’s working out great, but I would like a 2nd partner as well. I mostly enjoy fantasy or comedy works.

    Nikki is a socially challenged high school sophomore honor student who likes this other socially challenged high school sophomore honor student named Maxwell. She starts a fake club because she thinks that will impress him, but it leads her to discovering that there’s a girl he plays games with online who’s not only into fantasy gaming like him, but also anime’, comic books, Poke’mon, and pretty much appears to be his perfect match! How can Nikki use her club of honor student girls to win his heart while trying to beat this new rival in a high-stakes battle of nerd love?

    It’s called Nikki Medina and The Good Friends Club. (At the moment anyway. It was previously called Nikki Medina and the Girl With the Pony Tattoo.)

    My email address is jrobbins3839 (at) hotmail (dot) com

  19. Hello,

    My name is Shelly and I have completed (or at least I think I have!) a children’s bedtime picture book geared toward 5-8 year-olds. It involves a little girl, a walk in the early evening in the summer with her cat, and some nocturnal animals. I have have shared it with some friends and family and now feel ready to have it critiqued by someone new.

    My email is: hungrytiga(at)yahoo(dot)com

    Thank you!

  20. Kate lynch-as a fellow mg writer on the hunt for a critique partner i am interested in discussing this possibility with you-you can find me at walkerwilliams31 at gmail dot com. Best wishes all!

  21. Book Riders is a 50,000 words Middle grade fantasy novel. It is educational and humorous in the style of the Phantom Tollbooth.
    It is ready for editing and querying. Only one person other than me read it in its entirety, so I need another pair of eyes.
    I am looking for Beta or CP, preferably someone who writes MG.

    Thank you kindly.

    Here us my blurb:
    Thalia is a 13-year self-aware Muse who wants to kick the dust out of old manuscripts. She might be a discarded fiction character written down as a rough draft and thrown in a trashcan, she still wants to prove herself. Her world of quirky characters can win its place on the library shelves.
    She discovers a labyrinth in the underground of the manuscript of discarded characters where she can choose plots, but they do not always lead where she wants. Tim, the 15-year old guardian of the manuscript and the pesky light fairy Zeda help her fight. They brave pirate-anagrams by scrambling their letters and are trapped by the Snow Queen’s army. They must win their place in the published characters’ world and in the nick of time before their manuscript gets shelved away and forgotten.

  22. Hi, I’m Kathy and my WIP is a fantasy PB for 5-8 year olds. I am both author and illustrator and this is my first PB. I would like to partner with other PB writers and/or illustrators for critiques on both artwork and manuscript. I’ve been working on this project a long time. At this point I really need some fresh perspective on what I’m doing. I found Mary’s message in my email today and was very happy to find other picture book authors looking for critique partners! My email is: kierrat888 (at) yahoo dot com. Thanks!

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