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Even More Manuscript Critiques and Guest Appearances

Well folks, we’re in the last two weeks of Worldbuilders, and we’ve got a lot of things to show you before the end.

First off, at our last count, we’re already giving away more than 1,500 books in our prize lottery.

ShelfJanuary

A lot of those books are signed, limited edition, or otherwise rare. And we’re not even counting the books we’ll be announcing over the next couple weeks.

So remember that for every ten bucks you donate to Heifer International on our team page, you not only make the world a better place, but you get a chance to win these books and many more.

And now for today’s dose of awesome….

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This year we’ve had a lot of professionals offering to read-and-critiques manuscripts for unpublished authors. Even more rare, we’ve had authors offering up cameo appearances in their books. We posted a blog full of them earlier in the fundraiser, and now we have some more.

As always, be sure to read each of the descriptions closely, since everyone is offering something a little different.

First the cameo appearances….

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Hugo-award winning author Mary Robinette Kowal will tuckerize your name into a forthcoming piece of fiction. What does this mean? It means that she will work your name into a story or novel depending on what your name is and which project it seems to fit best into. She’ll also send you a signed manuscript before publication.

If you want the joy of being in Mary’s work, head over here and bid.

  • Become part of a series about time travel by Wesley Chu.

Wesley 600x400

Find your place in science fiction immortality. Wesley Chu is pleased to offer one tuckerization in his upcoming series, Time Salvager, about a time traveler who jumps back in time to reclaim resources from more prosperous pasts.

Wesley Chu is the author of The Lives of Tao (Goodreads Choice Awards 2014 Finalist for Best Science Fiction) and The Deaths of Tao (Booklist and Shelf Awareness Starred Review). Time Salvager has been sold to Tor Books and Tor UK and is projected to release in 2015. All proceeds from the auction will benefit the 2013 Worldbuilders fundraiser.

To show that he’s such a cool guy, Wesley has stretch goals in place, making the character cooler (and more likely to survive) the more money it raises for us.

If you want to be a part of this series, be sure to go bid here.

And now the Read & Critiques….

Pat’s Note: Some of these auctions include feedback of your query letter and/or synopsis. I would like to say that I would have killed to get a professional’s opinion of those things back when I was trying to get published.

Well, maybe I wouldn’t have killed. But I would have maimed the hell out of someone.

Also, please only bid on these if your manuscript will be ready for critique in 2014.

  • A read and critique of the first 15,000 words of your manuscript, as well as your query letter and synopsis, by Cassie Alexander.

CassieAlexander

Cassie Alexander is offering a read and critique of the first 15,000 words of someone’s novel. You’re welcome to include your query letter and synopsis on top of that word count.

She’ll be critiquing for plot, pacing, readability, character arcs, voice, how well the opening works, and give overall, general impressions of the story.  All critiques will be done in MSWord via track changes, and will be done in under a month.

Cassie Alexander is the author of the five book Edie Spence urban fantasy series, comprised of Nightshifted, Moonshifted, Shapeshifted, Deadshifted, and Bloodshifted, and has been published in Germany, France, and the Republic of Czech. She’s an experienced workshopper, having attended Viable Paradise and Clarion West, and frequently is a writing workshop professional at conventions she attends.

To bid on this awesome chance, head over here.

jaimeLeeMoyer_logoFinal

Jaime Lee Moyer is offering a read and critique of the first 75 pages of your finished novel. While she won’t line edit for grammar, she will comment on plot, pacing, character arc, voice, how well the “hook” or opening works, how well the story sustains her interest, and give overall, general impressions of the story. Critique will be done in MSWord via track changes, but please use a readable font and double-space your work. The critique will be returned to you within three months, edit letters and deadlines allowing.

Jaime Lee Moyer is a speculative fiction writer, poet and recovering editor. Jaime is the author of Delia’s Shadow, the first in a three book series coming from TOR beginning in September 2013. Delia’s Shadow won the 2009 Columbus Literary Award for Fiction, administered by Thurber House and funded by the Columbus Art Council. She doesn’t take herself nearly as seriously as that credit implies.

Jaime’s short fiction has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Lone Star Stories, and two of the well-respected Triangulations anthologies. She was the editor of the 2010 Rhysling Anthology for the Science Fiction Poetry Association, a poetry and short fiction editor for a semi-pro zine for five years. For a short period of time she read slush for a literary agent, and has critiqued more novels and short stories than she wants to count.

Get in on this one by bidding over here.

  • A critique and commentary on your complete submission packet by literary agent Jennifer Azantian.

Jen

Jennifer Azantian is a literary agent at the Paul Levine Literary Agency where she represents science fiction, fantasy, and smart, psychological horror. She began her career with the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency in 2011 where learned from the best and had the pleasure of working with some of the most prolific and talented authors around. In her limited free time, she is a published author of several short stories and brings to the agency her passion for literature born of a writer’s heart. Her personal tastes run toward all flavors of the fantastic. She believes that it is against the backdrop of fantasy and science fiction that basic human truths can be best examined, magnified, and delighted in.

Jennifer Azantian is offering a detailed critique and commentary of your submission packet (query, synopsis, and first three chapters up to 15,000 words) as someone who has worked as gatekeeper to thousands of submissions in her budding career. She’ll include her thoughts on pacing, impact, characterization, world-building, and more within three months of receiving your submission. Though she makes no promises, she would be a fool not to consider representing a project if it truly blows her away.

Getting in with a literary agent isn’t easy – bid for your chance over here.

Josh and Patricia

Joshua Palmatier and Patricia Bray (co-editors of the DAW Books anthologies AFTER HOURS: TALES FROM THE UR-BAR and THE MODERN FAE’S GUIDE TO SURVIVING HUMANITY) will each read and evaluate your short story (up to 7500 words in standard manuscript format) within six weeks of submission. Each author will write a general evaluation of the story and mark up the manuscript using comments and track changes in the document itself, although this will NOT be a formal line or copy edit, simply commentary at specific points in the short story. Patricia Bray is the author of six fantasy novels from Bantam Spectra and has published numerous novellas and short stories in various anthologies.

Joshua Palmatier has five dark, epic fantasy novels published by DAW and four short stories in various anthologies. Their experience is mostly with all forms of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Their intent will be to offer editorial advice on how to improve your story and to use their experience as both authors and editors to make it the best it can be.

Joshua and Patricia have requested that you send them your manuscript no later than July 1, 2014.

To bid on Joshua and Patricia’s read and critique, head to the auction over here.

  • A critique of the first 10,000 words of a sci-fi/fantasy novel from urban fantasy novelist Michael R. Underwood.

Michael R. Underwood

Michael R. Underwood is pleased to offer a critique of an excerpt of up to the first 10,000 words of a fantasy/science fiction novel (adult or young adult) and offer critical feedback, covering how the excerpt opens, characterization, plotting, setting, and the expectations set for a reader by the excerpt, as well as an overview of strengths and weaknesses of the excerpt.

Mike will make notes throughout the manuscript and offer a formal overview of the manuscript in the form of a critique letter. This critique does not count as or entitle the winner to a submission to Angry Robot, an endorsement or a blurb, though if the sample is particularly strong, Mike may be willing to pass it along to someone. This auction is only for the critique.

Michael R. Underwood is the imprint-bestselling author of the comedic urban fantasy novels Geekomancy and Celebromancy (from Pocket Star Books), as well as the forthcoming Attack the Geek, Shield and Crocus, and The Younger Gods. Mike has been a bookseller, an independent sales representative, and is currently the North American Sales & Marketing Manager for Angry Robot Books. Mike is a graduate of the 2007 Clarion West Workshop, and his short fiction has appeared in Escape Pod and Crossed Genres.

Bid on this awesome opportunity over here.

  • A consultation about your query letter and synopsis, with a Skype discussion from Michael R. Underwood.

Michael R. Underwood

Michael R. Underwood will read and critique a query letter and short synopsis (2-5 pages) for a young adult or adult science fiction/fantasy novel, giving detailed written feedback.

In addition, Mike is offering a 20-minute Skype discussion about the query and synopsis. The discussion will also include advice on how to refine the pitch with an eye toward submission to agents and professional markets. This critique and consultation does not count as or entitle the winner to a submission to Angry Robot, an endorsement, or a blurb, though if the query is particularly strong, Mike may be willing to pass it along to someone. This auction is only for the critique and the consultation.

Michael R. Underwood is the imprint-bestselling author of the comedic urban fantasy novels Geekomancy and Celebromancy (from Pocket Star Books), as well as the forthcoming Attack the Geek, Shield and Crocus, and The Younger Gods. Mike has been a bookseller, an independent sales representative, and is currently the North American Sales & Marketing Manager for Angry Robot Books. Mike is a graduate of the 2007 Clarion West Workshop, and his short fiction has appeared in Escape Pod and Crossed Genres.

This is a great additional auction, especially if you’re more concerned about your submission packet than your manuscript.  If it interests you, head over and bid on it.

Peter and Friends

Head to Seattle to attend a full day of writing discussions and workshops. The Day of Narrative Design will consist of three parts throughout the day: Game Writing, Short Fiction Writing, and Novel Writing.

This event has not been scheduled for a specific date as yet, so that schedules can be worked through, but contributing authors have agreed to be flexible on date anytime between February 2014 – June 2014.

Peter Orullian, author and musician, finalist for the Compton Crook award and short-listed for the David Gemmel Morningstar award, will lead and participate in these sessions, having had a hand in each. Peter’s worked in the video game industry for ten years, and previously in the publishing industry for five.

 If you’re an established writer looking to branch out into another area of the field, or an aspiring writer looking for pro advice and instruction, or a reader interested in talking with writers working across these different mediums, then this will be a day to remember.

There’ll be a grab-bag of signed books from the cool folks you meet with throughout the day.

This is a really cool opportunity, and there are even more details over in the auction, so be sure to head over, check it out, and bid.

  • A read and critique of the beginning of your novel (up to 25,000 words) and pitch letter or summary, by Del Rey fantasy author Robert V.S. Redick.

Rob Redick

Currently based in Indonesia, Rob is the author of The Chathrand Voyage Quartet, described by Locus as “one of the most distinctive and appealing epic fantasies of the decade.” The series began with The Red Wolf Conspiracy and concluded in February 2013 with The Night of the Swarm. He is also a seasoned editor, international development worker and writing teacher. He loves all good storytelling but has a soft spot for the literary end of the SF/fantasy spectrum.

Rob is offering a critique of the beginning of your novel (to a maximum 25,000 words), and will also be glad to assess a pitch letter or brief summary of the same. He generally includes a few line edits, but concentrates on providing no-nonsense, no-attitude feedback. He seeks to balance a professional & analytical critique with his own spontaneous but self-aware response as a reader. And Rob’s always careful to remember that this is your book and your agenda, not his own.

You can bid on Rob’s auction right over here.

  • A read and critique of the first 150,000 words of your manuscript from the person who made Name of the Wind not suck, Brett Hiorns.

Brett Monkey

Brett has been one of Pat’s go-to beta readers since the beginning, and was even called in as an alpha reader for Wise Man’s Fear (the book really didn’t make sense at that stage). He’s currently the voice behind a lot of the Worldbuilders website content and auction descriptions, and has done webcomic work, amusing movie reviews and plenty of longer-form horror fiction. Pat keeps pestering him to publish a book or two, but apparently he’s afraid of success.

His preferred genre is horror, but he’ll tackle fantasy and science fiction, or anything that sounds interesting. He also enjoys young adult fiction for its brevity and creativity.

Brett can help you with character voice and dialogue, concise writing, and the nuts and bolts of grammar and punctuation. He’ll also analyze pacing and the consistency of world building, and he’ll do his best to poke holes in the book’s internal logic.

The critique will include reading up to 150,000 words, marking up the margins with suggestions, corrections, and random comments. He will also type up a detailed explanation of the manuscript’s strong points and possible weaknesses, as well as clarifications and expansions of his marginal notes.

A note from Pat Rothfuss:

Okay folks. Here’s the deal. When we were putting together this second batch of read-and-critiques. I said to Brett, “You give really good editorial advice. How would you feel about offering up a critique?”

“Nobody would bid on that,” he said.

“A chance to get feedback from the person who has been a pivotal part of my revision process?” I said. “I think people would jump at it.”

He just kinda shook his head at me, as if the extent of my dementia made him sad inside.

Still, he’s said he’s willing. So let me explain a few things about Brett, because he doesn’t feel entirely comfortable talking about how great he is.

I’ve known Brett for over 20 years. He was my first writing tutor back in college. He gave me advice on my first, horrible high-school novel. Later, he gave me feedback on a book I called “The Song of Flame and Thunder.”

That book changed titles several times, eventually becoming The Name of the Wind.

Brett read several drafts of The Wise Man’s Fear, too. Probably more drafts than anyone other than myself. More drafts than my editor. Not because Betsy isn’t awesome. It’s just that Brett started reading those drafts back in 1997.

Now is Brett a professional fiction writer? No.

But let me say this. Brett is a *great* writer. I know this because I’ve read his unpublished urban fantasy novel and it’s fucking brilliant. One of my greatest sources of guilt is the fact that his work here at Worldbuilders keeps him too busy to finish his final round of revisions and start submitting it to publishers.

Is Brett a professional editor? Also no. But he gives great feedback. He has the rare gift of not letting his ego interfere with his critique.

Let me say one last thing: Right now I’m writing a novella about Auri. I’m about a hair’s breadth from being done with the first draft, and I’ve never been so torn up and confused about anything I’ve ever written.

Part of me thinks this story is some of the best writing I’ve done: brave and different and brilliant. Another part of me thinks this story is… just the dumbest concept ever. Just vastly hugely embarrassingly stupid.

Brett is the first person I’ll be showing this story to. Because Brett is clever and honest and gentle. I know that after his critique, I won’t want to throw this story into a fire or put a gun in my mouth.

And even better, I know after Brett’s critique, I’ll understand my story better. I’ll be able to move forward and revise it in a productive manner.

So. If you’d like Brett to critique your stuff, you can bid on his auction over here.

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There you have it, folks.  Another blog full of cool opportunities for aspiring writers.

You can also see *all* the current Worldbuilders auctions by clicking the link below.

Stay tuned to the blog, because we’re going to be posting up more and more marvelous things until the fundraiser ends….

 

This entry was posted in BJ Hiorns Art, Worldbuilders 2013By Pat14 Responses

14 Comments

  1. Posted January 17, 2014 at 1:50 PM | Permalink

    HA!

    See Brett? I told you people would bid on it!

  2. Ally27
    Posted January 17, 2014 at 4:46 PM | Permalink

    I have a question: does the manuscript have to be finished (or the number of words required) by the time the prizes are given? Or can we have some time for doing some modifications before send it to the person, if we win?

    • Amanda
      Posted January 17, 2014 at 6:11 PM | Permalink

      For the sake of the people who are offering up their time for these, we ask that your manuscript be ready to give to them within the year. But it doesn’t have to be immediately, nope :)

  3. Daate
    Posted January 17, 2014 at 6:29 PM | Permalink

    Unfortunately I cannot afford to bid on it, but I would just like Brett to know—I really hope he reads these comments—that an amazing beta is invaluable, and his would be the first critique I’d bid on if I could. Absolutely. I’m an author myself and good betas—let alone great betas—are priceless! So, yeah. And I hope we get to read that urban fantasy one day.

    • Brett
      Posted January 19, 2014 at 5:01 PM | Permalink

      Aw, thanks, Daate. When I read Pat’s stuff, I’m always worried I’m not digging deep enough. When he writes, he does so very deliberately, with every word and phrase chosen for a specific purpose–plot, foreshadowing, mood, and even to affect the reader’s emotions. It’s a little daunting.
      As for my own book, my jump drive went missing a bit ago and only recently resurfaced. I’ve been writing and revising like a fiend (the manuscript is in my lap right now). It might actually see the light of day!
      I’m really looking forward to reading the auction winner’s manuscript. It’s always like a sneaky peek behind the curtain.

  4. Kthaeh
    Posted January 18, 2014 at 3:58 PM | Permalink

    “I know that after his critique, I won’t want to throw this story into a fire or put a gun in my mouth.”

    Oh, please. Please. Please. PLEASE don’t even joke about that shit, Pat. I’m not some bleeding heart, nor do I know anyone who has committed suicide. So this isn’t coming at me as a victim with heightened sensitivity or anguish here. I just can’t express how much it rattles me to read this sort of thing from you in a toss-away line of humor.

    I’m glad you have someone supportive to critique your work. You’re hard on yourself as a writer, we get it. I just hope with all my heart that you are not using black humor here to make light of ideation you actually struggle with.

  5. christie
    Posted January 18, 2014 at 7:47 PM | Permalink

    A novella about Auri…this made my weekend. Thanks.

  6. gabrielbdoc
    Posted January 19, 2014 at 5:52 PM | Permalink

    I wanted to get thar critic by Brett so bad.. But I just can’t bid anything right now =(

  7. Trellasaur
    Posted January 20, 2014 at 5:09 PM | Permalink

    I could not be more excited to hear of a novella about Auri. I have little sticky notes jutting out of The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear for each of her appearances because I simply adore her <3

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