Search Results for: Triangulation

Interview: Triangulation

I did an interview about a week ago over on Triangulation.

A good time was had by all. You can watch it over here if you like.

pat

P.S. I think this might be my shortest blog ever….

Posted in Interviews, the craft of writing, videos | By Pat29 Responses

Cameos and Critiques

Today’s blog continues two of my favorite Worldbuilders traditions, professional critiques of manuscripts and people getting to make guest appearances in upcoming books.

Let’s jump right in.

  • Critiques

This is something I would’ve killed for when I was first sending the book off to publishers. The opportunity to have your manuscript read by a skilled editor, agent, or author is huge. It doesn’t just have an impact on your book, this sort of feedback can help you develop your craft as well.

We always put a bunch of these up for auction, and this year is no exception.

But even better, this year we have critiques available in the lottery, too. Back when I was in college I couldn’t have afforded an expensive auction. So now I’m delighted to give unpublished writers a chance to win a professional critique by donating to the WriMos for Worldbuidlers team page. For every $10 you donate, you’ll get the chance to win a critique, as well as all the other goodies in our prize lottery. Even better? More critiques will be added as we hit higher donation totals on that team page team.

So, if you want to jump in on that option in the lottery, donate right here. If you’d like to be a little more certain that you’ll get a critique, then this next section is for you. We have sixteen different critiques going up in the auction.

A NOTE BEFORE YOU DIVE IN: We’ve made each critique expandable here, so if you’re interested in one, you can click on it to expand out more information. PLEASE READ THIS INFORMATION CAREFULLY.

Everyone is offering something a little different. Each author, editor, or agent is handling their auction in their own way…

  • Everyone has different skills, and they’re each offering something different.
  • Critiques are for different lengths of manuscript. From 7,500 to 150,000 words.
  • The professionals below are busy people. Critiques will have to fit in their schedules.
  • When auctions mention “X pages” of a manuscript, that’s standard manuscript format.
  • Most importantly, it’s important to realize that what you’re getting here is a critique. You’re not buying an introduction to someone’s agent or editor. You’re not winning representation with an agent. Or a foot in the door with an editor. That’s not what’s on the block. You’re getting writing advice from a professional.

Also, I’d just like to point out that all donations to Worldbuilders are being doubled right now. So if you were looking for an excuse to be generous. This is it…

Okay. Enough preamble. Let’s get to the auctions.

Brett Hiorns: Critique of your manuscript, up to 150,000 words.

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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.

Pat Says: Brett is one of my oldest and dearest beta readers. I can vouch for his usefulness personally, and highly recommend his services. If you want this critique, you can bid right here.

 

Jennifer Azantian: Critique and commentary of entire submission packet.

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Jennifer Azantian is offering a detailed critique and commentary of your submission packet (query, synopsis, and first three chapters up to 15,000 words). 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.

Jennifer Azantian is an agent who founded Azantian Literary in 2014 where she specializes in science fiction, fantasy, and smart psychological horror novels for middle grade, YA, and adult readers. Of particular interest are stories that explore meaningful human interactions against fantastic backdrops, underrepresented voices, obscure retold fairy tales, modernized mythologies, literary science fiction, historical fantasy, magical realism, space operas, hopeful futures, internally consistent epic fantasy, and spooky or quirky middle-grade. With that said, she loves and will read pretty much anything that’s even a little bit “weird”. You can learn more about her on the agency website: www.azantianlitagency.com and probably far too much on Twitter: @jenazantian.

A full submission packet critique is amazing. If that interests you, bid right here.

 

Michael J. Martinez: Critique of up to 25,000 words of a SF/F novel.

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Michael J. Martinez is the author of MJ-12: Inception, first in the MAJESTIC-12 series of paranormal Cold War spy thrillers from Night Shade Books, as well as the Daedalustrilogy of Napoleonic Era space opera novels. His short fiction has appeared in the anthologies Cthulhu Fhtagn!, Unidentified Funny Objects 4, Geeky Giving and Vampire The Masquerade: Endless Lights.

Michael will critique up to 25,000 words of your SF/F novel (or a shorter work), including both an overall opinion on the strength of the work, thoughts on individual sections, and ideas on direction and ways to improve. This doesn’t include line edits, but he’s willing to answer questions and engage in a dialogue to help make your work better!

To bid on this awesome opportunity, go here.

 

Brenda Cooper: Critique of SF/F story up to 12,000 words, as well as a copy of her latest collection Cracking the Sky.

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Award-winning Pacific Northwest writer Brenda Cooper will read and critique a science fiction or fantasy short story up to 12,000 words. Her novel-length work is primarily science fiction written for nine to ninety year old readers, and her short stories range across genres and age-groups.

In addition to the critique, Brenda will provide a copy of her latest collection, Cracking the Sky.

Brenda Cooper writes science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories. Her most recent novel is EDGE OF DARK, which came out in March of 2015. Brenda is also a technology professional and a futurist.

Get your own critique of a short story by bidding right here.

 

Robert V.S. Redick: Critique of the first 20,000 words of your manuscript.

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Rob loves all kinds of storytelling, but has a soft spot for the literary end of the SF/fantasy spectrum. He is offering a critique of the beginning of your novel (up to 20,000 words). He concentrates on providing no-nonsense, no-attitude feedback concerning structure, clarity, consistency, pacing and other fundamentals, along with comments on the work’s overall effectiveness. Most importantly, Rob is always careful to search for your intentions rather than imposing his own.

Rob is the author of The Fire Sacraments, a new epic fantasy trilogy forthcoming from Talos Books; and The Chathrand Voyage Quartet, described by Locus as “one of the most distinctive and appealing epic fantasies of the decade.” The Chathrand Voyage began with The Red Wolf Conspiracy (finalist for the Locus Award and SFX Novel Award) and concluded in February 2013 with The Night of the Swarm. He is also a seasoned writing teacher, with an MFA from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers in Asheville, NC. Rob’s other passion is international conservation & justice issues. He has lived and worked all over the world, most recently Indonesia (2013-2015).

Have a rough beginning you want smoothed out? Bid here to get Robert’s help.

 

Cassie Alexander: Critique of your query letter, synopsis, and the first 10,000 words of your novel.

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Cassie Alexander is offering a read and critique of the first 10,000 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 within 60 days.   

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.

Your submission packet could rock if you bid on this auction right here.

 

Joe Ducie: Critique of up to 100,000 words of any manuscript.

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Joe Ducie will critique up to 100,000 words of any manuscript, with an eye toward YA, Urban Fantasy, or Spy/Thriller. If you’ve read his The Rig or Reminiscent Exile series, you know what you’re getting into. He’s got a knack for writing books that read like an action scene. If you’re writing a thriller or other lean, fast-paced fantasy, Joe’s opinion will help quite a bit!

Joe is a writer from Perth, Western Australia. By day, he charges a toll to cross a bridge he doesn’t own. Yet by night, in a haze of scotch-fuelled insanity, he works tirelessly on an array of stories both short and long. Joe possesses a fierce love of a smooth finish. Under no circumstances should you ask him just what that means.

Joe was born in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria in November 1987, and currently resides in Perth, Western Australia. He is primarily an author of urban fantasy and science fiction aimed at young adults. His current stories include Distant Star, Upon Crystal Shores, Red vs. Blue, and The Forgetful Library.

Joe attended Edith Cowan University and graduated in 2010 with a Degree of Counterterrorism, Security and Intelligence. He went back, the idiot, and completed post-graduate studies in Security Science in 2011. Joe has also studied Creative and Professional Writing at Curtin University.

When not talking about himself in the third person, Joe enjoys devouring books at an absurdly disgusting rate and sampling fine scotch.

Joe is a really cool guy, so if you want him to read your stuff, bid on the auction here.

 

Mike Braff: Detailed critique and commentary of the first 50 pages of your manuscript (rounded up to end of the chapter).

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Mike Braff is an editor at Del Rey Books and has been part of the editorial team there for the past eight years. He is in charge of the merciless slaying of enemies by battleaxe, the boarding and capturing of space craft in zero-g, and the management of a sect of magic users that secretly runs the paranormal underground in New York City. Not true, sadly, but he does love to read and acquire books about these things and other related sci-fi, fantasy, and urban fantasy topics.

Though he’s from New York originally, Mike once went to Canada for a few years to study Comparative Religion and World History at McGill University (BA ’07). Much to everyone’s surprise (including his own) the course of study proved useful when acquiring and editing fantastic stories for Del Rey, where Mike has been lucky enough to work with the likes of Pierce Brown, Kevin Hearne, Jason M. Hough, Matthew Stover, Ted Kosmatka, Alan Smale, Sylvain Neuvel and Indra Das, among many other talented authors. He lives in Brooklyn with a rescued pit bull named Ruby, adorable pictures of whom will be provided in abundance upon request.

He’s offering a detailed critique and commentary for the first 50 pages or so of your manuscript (rounded up to the end of the last chapter). This is not a line edit, but Mike will get back to you within 90 days of receiving your manuscript with an editorial letter detailing his thoughts and suggestions.

Want a real life editor to read your manuscript? Bid for the chance here.

 

Joshua Palmatier: 7500 word short story critique.

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Joshua Palmatier (co­editor of the DAW Books anthologies AFTER HOURS: TALES FROM THE UR­BAR and THE MODERN FAE’S GUIDE TO SURVIVING HUMANITY and the Zombies Need Brains anthologies CLOCKWORK UNIVERSE: STEAMPUNK vs ALIENS, TEMPORALLY OUT OF ORDER, ALIEN ARTIFACTS, and WERE) will read and evaluate your short story (up to 7500 words in standard manuscript format) within six weeks of submission. He 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.

Joshua Palmatier (www.joshuapalmatier.com) has had eight dark, epic fantasy novels published, the most recent by called THREADING THE NEEDLE from DAW, five short stories in various anthologies, and has co-edited six anthologies with Patricia Bray.. He is also founder of the small press Zombies Need Brains (www.zombiesneedbrains.com), which focuses on producing quality SF&F­themed anthologies.  His experience is mostly with all forms of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. His intent will be to offer editorial advice on how to improve your novel and to use his experience as both author and editor to make it the best it can be.

Joshua has requested that you send him your manuscript no later than July 1, 2017.

Have a short story that you want feedback on? You can bid right here.

 

Joshua Palmatier AGAIN: Critique of the first 100 pages of your novel.

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Joshua Palmatier (DAW Books author of the “Throne of Amenkor” trilogy, SHATTERING THE LEY, and THREADING THE NEEDLE) will read and evaluate the first 100 pages of your novel within 3 months of submission. The manuscript must be in standard manuscript format (typed, double-spaced, 12 pt font, etc). He will write a general evaluation of the novel’s opening 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 of the manuscript.

Joshua Palmatier (www.joshuapalmatier.com) has had eight dark, epic fantasy novels published, the most recent by called THREADING THE NEEDLE from DAW, five short stories in various anthologies, and has co-edited six anthologies with Patricia Bray. He is also founder of the small press Zombies Need Brains (www.zombiesneedbrains.com), which focuses on producing quality SF&F­themed anthologies.  His experience is mostly with all forms of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. His intent will be to offer editorial advice on how to improve your novel and to use his experience as both author and editor to make it the best it can be.

Get your novel critiqued by Joshua by bidding right here.

 

Jaime Lee Moyer: Critique of the first 75 pages of your finished novel.

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Jaime Lee Moyer is a speculative fiction writer, poet and editor. Jaime is the author of Delia’s Shadow (Tor, September 2013),  A Barricade In Hell (Tor, June 2014) and Against A Brightening Sky (October 2015). Delia’s Shadow won the 2009 Columbus Literary Award for Fiction, administered by Thurber House and funded by the Columbus Art Council, and is nominated for the Salt Lake County Libraries Reader’s Choice Award. She doesn’t take herself nearly as seriously as those credits imply. 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, and a poetry and short fiction editor for a semi-pro zine for five years. Jaime is the current editor for the Online Writing Workshop For Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror monthly newsletter. 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.

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.

If you’ve got a finished novel, get it critiqued by Jaime by bidding here.

 

Django Wexler: Critique of up to 10,000 words of an SF/F novel or story.

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Django Wexler is the author of The Shadow Campaigns series and The Forbidden Library, so he knows just a little about what makes a story compelling. He’s donated his time to read and critique up to 10,000 words of your novel or short story to let you know his opinions on style and pacing, characterization, what works, and what might need tweaking. This is a great chance to get some advice from one of the pros!

Django graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh with degrees in creative writing and computer science, and worked for the university in artificial intelligence research. Eventually he migrated to Microsoft in Seattle, where he now lives with two cats and a teetering mountain of books. When not planning Shadow Campaigns, he wrangles computers, paints tiny soldiers, and plays games of all sorts.

Want your novel critiqued by Django? Click here to bid.

 

Kevin Hearne: Critique of up to 15,000 words of your novel or story.

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Kevin Hearne is delighted to offer a critique of up to 15,000 words. His review will focus on issues of plot and character, and provide observations regarding dialogue, pacing, and much more. You’ll hear what works and what needs work.

Kevin is the author of the NYT-bestselling Iron Druid Chronicles and has an epic fantasy coming out in 2017 from Del Rey called A PLAGUE OF GIANTS.

If you want Kevin to read your manuscript, you can bid for the chance right here.

 

Pat Rothfuss (me): Critique of your manuscript, up to 150,000 words.

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Patrick Rothfuss (international bestselling author, lover of women, and hirsute iconoclast) will read your manuscript and give you critical feedback. (Up to, say, 150,000 words.) We’ll schedule this based on when your manuscript will be ready and the endless madness of my own schedular constraints.

I’ll read through your manuscript, scrawling notes and dirty words in the margins, then I’ll call you on the phone and we can discuss it. Or we could do a Google+ hangout. Or, if you live close, we can get together and chat over coffee.

I won’t write you up a detailed critique because that’s not how I roll. But we’ll chat for a couple of hours discussing the various strengths and weaknesses of the book, your writing craft, and I’ll offer any suggestions I might have. Then I’ll mail you back the manuscript with my notes on it.

If you wanna bid on this, you can do it right here.

 

  • Copy Edits and Fact Checking

This is slightly different than a critique of your manuscript, and so we’ve separated it out a bit.

A copy edit is a really big deal, and honestly something that most people don’t think about. Most authors don’t get this chance until their book has already sold, but it makes a huge difference in the readability of a manuscript.

Richard Shealey: Copy edit of a fantasy/science fiction manuscript.

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Richard Shealy will provide the service of copy-editing your novel-length manuscript OR short story + pitch. He only does Fantasy and Science Fiction, so please make sure that’s what you write! This copy edit includes typo correction, continuity observation, voice/character consistency, context-appropriate grammar adjustment, and fact-checking where needed. Upon the auciton completion, we’ll get the winner in touch with Richard to establish what sort of manuscript he’ll be working on and to get the ball rolling.

Please note: Richard is booked solid for the rest of the year, so the copyedit will happen in mid-to-late 2017.

Richard Shealy has been a reader of SF/F as long as he can remember, and he finally figured out he might make a living from that by combining it with his horrifyingly enormous word-nerdery. In his still relatively new career (he started in this racket less than four years ago), he already has had the enormous pleasure and honor to work with a number of authors and editors from across multiple spectra, not to mention becoming completely certain that he has found his dream job (seriously, people pay you to nitpick their babies?). He tweets occasionally from his own Twitter account, but far more prolifically in the guise of his alter ego. Caveat: Taking anything seriously from the alter ego is a massive waste of time.

If a copy edit is the thing you’re searching for, search no further and bid here.

 

  • Tuckerizations

What is a Tuckerization, you may ask? Well, it means different things to different people. Historically, it’s called a Tuckerization because Wilson Tucker used so many of his friends’ names as characters in his stories that it became something of an in-joke. Nowadays, it’s the chance to make a cameo appearance in a story. An author will take your name, or maybe your personality, or your physical description, and use it for a character in their story.

Maybe it’s not your name. Maybe it’s a sister’s, or a friend’s, or that kid you spent a lot of time with in kindergarten before he moved away. Maybe you only *start* with your name, but the author changes it a bit to fit in with the culture of the world you’re being put into. If that happens, you collaborate with the author and reach a solution you both like.

Whatever the case, it’s a chance to be a part of something really cool. It’s a chance, in some ways, at literary immortality.

We have ten tuckerizations available below, but they’re all a little different, so read carefully.

Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman: Your name in the final installment of THE ILLUMINAE FILES.

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You are bidding on a tuckerization in the final installment of the NYT Bestselling science fiction trilogy, THE ILLUMINAE FILES. The name that will be featured in the book must be your own legal birthname, not your WoW character’s name or something silly like “Seymour Butts”. The authors reserve the right to reject your birthname for inclusion in their novel, should it be something as mind-bendingly unfortunate as “Seymour Butts”. Sorry, Seymour.

You will be expected to sign a legal disclaimer giving us permission to use your name.

There is an excellent chance your namesake will die in this book. Horribly. Probably in the cold belly of space. While screaming. The authors and their publishers accept no responsibility for any emotional trauma that may result from your fictional doppleganger’s awful demise, or any horrible shit they might get up to before they die. You could end up being a villain who lights orphanages on fire. You could be the kind who kills puppies for sport. You could be an interstellar version of Ramsay Bolton. We don’t know yet, you’re just going to have to trust us now and live with it afterward.

Love,
Jay and Amie

You can bid on this auction right here.

 

Brian McClellan: Maybe get killed in a POWDER MAGE novel.

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I’ll work your name and a brief description into a POWDER MAGE novel as a minor character that will have at least a few lines. I may tweak the name to make it fit better with the world, but it’ll be you (or the person of your choice). Violent death is optional.

Bidding is open right here.

 

April White: Name a character in a new series! The more you pay, the bigger your role!

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Name a character in book one of a brand new series from the author of The Immortal Descendants time travel fantasies. Ringo, the charmingly clever street urchin who traveled through history with Saira Elian, a Descendant of Time, is getting his own spin-off series. He begins book one as the guest of Oscar Wilde at a fateful meeting with Arthur Conan Doyle, and with the skills of his otherworld-seeing friend, Charlie, finds himself at the heart of a mystery in Victorian London.

The winning bidder of this Tuckerization auction will have the honor of naming a character (and providing an identifying characteristic or two) in book one of Ringo’s series. In the event the winning bid is higher than $250, that character will have a significant interaction with Ringo. If it goes higher than $400, that character will become a major contributor to the story.

To find out more about Ringo, download book one of The Immortal Descendants series – Marking Time, by April White – and follow his adventures through history.

Interested? Bid right here.

 

Joe Ducie: Become a character in a new espionage thriller, and get a signed manuscript & first edition when it's done.

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I’m offering to name a character in my upcoming espionage/spy/thriller novel after you, a friend, family member, whatever you’d like. We’ll iron out the finer details together, but a few solid names are up for grabs. I still need to formally name the main antagonist, who will be a recurring character throughout the series, and is quite villainous. I’ve got the plucky sidekick in need of naming. A whole slew of characters who need properly naming in the protagonist’s team of rough-around-the-edge heroes.

I’ll send you a signed manuscript and first edition copy of the completed novel – these books are due to hit shelves around late 2017.

If being in a spy thriller is up your alley, you can bid right here.

 

Joe Ducie AGAIN: Name a character in a new YA fanatasy, again with signed manuscript & first edition on completion.

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If Sci-Fi/Fantasy is more your game, I’ll stick you in my next YA release about a magical library for lost and wayward, dimension-hopping, pocket world exploring, teenagers. Fair warning that one is rife with awkward love hexagons and brooding antagonists who are really just misunderstood.

I’ll send you a signed manuscript and first edition copy of the completed novel – these books are due to hit shelves around late 2017.

Sound awesome? You can bid right here.

 

Bradley P. Beaulieu: Become a character in THE SONG OF THE SHATTERED SANDS! The more you pay, the bigger your role!

Bradley P. Beaulieu is pleased to offer one Tuckerization for inclusion in his brand new epic fantasy series, The Song of the Shattered Sands. The character will appear in in Book 3 of the Shattered Sands series, and may live beyond those pages.

In the event that this auction breaks $500, I will elevate the character from a minor character to a character of some import. In the event that this auction breaks $1,000, I will ensure that the character either dies in a spectacular way or performs some major, selfless, heroic act.

Please see the auction description for the full details.

Does this sound epic or what? Check it out and bid right here.

 

William Alexander: Get your name in the sequel to A Properly Unhaunted Place.

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William Alexander’s next novel, A Properly Unhaunted Place, is about ghost appeasement specialist librarians. Peter S. Beagle makes a brief cameo. But you don’t. You aren’t in that book. You could be in the sequel, though. Bid for the chance to see your name in print, but please note that wonderful and/or terrible things are likely to happen to your fictional self.

Want in with the likes of Peter S. Beagle? Bid right here.

 

Shawn Speakman: Name a character in The Everwinter Wraith.

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Next year, I will publish The Everwinter Wraith, the sequel to my debut novel,The Dark Thorn, which has been reviewed as a cross between Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files and Terry Brooks’s Word/Void series. For this year’s Worldbuilders, I am offering a tuckerization for The Everwinter Wraith! The novel takes place in our world as well as in Annwn, giving us the opportunity to put your real name into the story in our world or creating a fantasy name and putting you in Annwn.  If you’d like to have your name and physical description written into the story, you have to bid and win this auction!

Want to know what kind of story you are getting yourself into before you bid? Write me at shawn@signedpage.com and I’ll send you an EPUB of The Dark Thorn or any of the short stories set in the Annwn Cycle series!

You should really check this out. Bid right here.

 

Kevin Hearne: Get included in an IRON DRUID story in the Besieged anthology.

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Kevin will use your full name in one of his new Iron Druid short stories to be included in the collection BESIEGED, out July 11 2017. You might be in California during the Gold Rush. You might be in modern day Poland. You may survive, or you may die a spectacularly gory death.

Kevin is the author of the NYT-bestselling Iron Druid Chronicles and has an epic fantasy coming out in 2017 from Del Rey called A PLAGUE OF GIANTS.

Wanna hang out with Atticus? Bid here.

 

Mary Robinette Kowal: Be included in an upcoming piece, plus receive a signed manuscript before publication!

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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. So it’s like a literary twofer.

Want this awesome prize? Bid right here.

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So, we’ve got a lot of options for you there, folks. Take your time, click around, and see what option tickles your fancy the most. Maybe make a list of the top 3. These auctions will be ending at slightly different times, so if you miss out on one, you can still go for another.

And if all of them slip past you, don’t forget that you could win a manuscript critique in the lottery if you donate to the WriMos for Worldbuilders team page. All hope is not lost.

More coming soon…

pat

Posted in Worldbuilders 2016 | By Pat8 Responses

Professional Critiques of your Manuscript

Today we’re launching one of my favorite parts of Worldbuilders. It’s something that I would have killed for back when I was struggling to get published. Something that I’ve never seen offered anywhere anywhere else.

This year, we have many big-hearted authors, editors, and agents are offering up their services for the good of the charity. (I’m doing it too, though my heart is a small, bitter thing.) We’re making ourselves available to read your unpublished manuscripts and give you our professional opinions on it.

Before, we’ve always auctioned these off, because that was the best option we had available to us. But it always bugged me a little, because I know that a lot of aspiring authors don’t have 500 bucks to spend on a critique, even it’s worth twice that much in terms of professional development.

This year, we’re still auctioning off a bunch. But we’re also making some available lottery style to anyone who donates on the WriMos for Worldbuilders team page.

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(Witness the high quality graphics we get when Amanda does them instead of Brett…)

That’s right. If you donate specifically via that page, not only will you be entered into the general lottery (which currently has nearly $30,000 worth of prizes, and that number will only go up), you’ll also be entered into this special, secondary lottery for a manuscript critique.

There are stretch goals for more critiques, including one from a literary agent if the page raises $1,500. So share the news with your friend who has been slaving over their book for years. Let your friends who are doing NaNoWriMo know about it.

In addition to donating, we have critiques available for auction, for those of you who don’t want to just leave it to chance. If you don’t win one of these, you can always go in and donate to the WriMos page and still have a chance.

We’ve got them separated into the 3 categories, which can slightly correlate to the stages of your manuscript as well.

A NOTE BEFORE YOU DIVE IN: We’ve made each critique expandable here, so if you’re interested in one, you can click on it to expand out more information. PLEASE READ THIS INFORMATION CAREFULLY.

Everyone is offering something a little different. Each author, editor, or agent is handling their auction in their own way…

  • Everyone has different skill sets, and they’re each offering something slightly different.
  • Some critiques are for 15,000 words of a manuscript, others are for 150,000 words.
  • The professionals below are busy people. Critiques will have to fit in their schedules.
  • When auctions mention “X pages” of a manuscript, that’s standard manuscript format.
  • Most importantly, you’re not buying an introduction to someone’s agent or editor here. You’re not winning representation with an agent. Or a foot in the door with an editor. That’s not what’s on the block. You’re getting writing advice from a professional.

Enough preamble. Let’s get to the auctions.

  • Critiques from Authors

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Authors tend to have a good sense for a story, since that’s what they spend a lot of their time thinking about. If your manuscript is in a pretty good place, but you’re not sure about some aspects of your story, or the pacing, or something like that, these are the people you should talk to.

Brad Beaulieu - up to 10,000 words.

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Bradley P. Beaulieu is pleased to offer one story or chapter critique of up to 10,000 words. Brad will draft a formal review that will cover such things as how well the story opens, complicates, and closes, how well the characterization works, dialogue, tone, pacing, tension, and a host of other issues. Essentially, he’ll provide a formal review on the positives and negatives found in the story.

Bradley P. Beaulieu is the author of The Lays of Anuskaya, which begins with The Winds of Khalakovo, continues in The Straits of Galahesh, and concludes with The Flames of Shadam Khoreh. Brad’s new epic fantasy series, The Song of the Shattered Sands, has been sold to DAW Books in the US and Gollancz in the UK. The first book, Twelve Kings in Sharakhai, was released in September of 2015. In addition to being an L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Award winner, Brad’s stories have appeared in various other publications, including Realms of Fantasy Magazine, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, Writers of the Future 20, and several anthologies from DAW Books. Brad is also one half of the dynamic duo who run Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers, and Fans. Mailing details and contact with Bradley will be set up following the auction.

Brenda Cooper - up to 12,000 words of a SF/F short story.

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Award-winning Pacific Northwest writer Brenda Cooper will read and critique a science fiction or fantasy short story up to 12,000 words. Her novel-length work is primarily science fiction written for nine to ninety year old readers, and her short stories range across genres and age-groups.

In addition to the critique, Brenda will provide a copy of her latest collection, Cracking the Sky.

Brenda Cooper writes science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories. Her most recent novel is EDGE OF DARK, which came out in March of 2015. Brenda is also a technology professional and a futurist.

Cassie Alexander - first 15,000 words.

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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.

Jeffe Kennedy - First chapter & synopsis critique.

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Jeffe Kennedy is offering a first chapter & synopsis critique, along with genre analysis – particularly apropos for anyone writing in romance/romantic elements crossover novels in SFF.

She is an award-winning author whose works include non-fiction, poetry, short fiction, and novels. She has been a Ucross Foundation Fellow, received the Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship for Poetry, and was awarded a Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award. Her essays have appeared in many publications, including Redbook.

Her most recent works include a number of fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns; the contemporary BDSM novellas of the Facets of Passion, and an erotic  contemporary serial novel, Master of the Opera. A fourth series, the fantasy trilogy The Twelve Kingdoms, hit the shelves starting in May 2014 and book 1, The Mark of the Tala, received a starred Library Journal review and has been nominated for the RT Book of the Year while the sequel, The Tears of the Rose, has been nominated for best fantasy romance of the year. A fifth series, the highly anticipated erotic romance trilogy, Falling Under, released starting with Going Under, followed by Under His Touch and Under Contract.

She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine.

Jeffe can be found online at her website: JeffeKennedy.com, every Sunday at the popular Word Whores blog, on Facebook, and pretty much constantly on Twitter @jeffekennedy. She is represented by Connor Goldsmith of Fuse Literary.

Robert Redick - up to 20,000 words.

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Back in the states after two years 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 international development worker and writing teacher, with an MFA from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers in Asheville, NC. 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 20,000 words), and will also be glad to assess a pitch letter or brief summary of the same. He generally includes some line edits, but concentrates on providing no-nonsense, no-attitude feedback concerning structure, clarity, consistency, pacing and other fundamentals of narrative. Most importantly, Rob is always careful to search for your intentions and aspirations for the story, rather than imposing his own.

Michael J. Martinez - up to 25,000 words of a SF/F work.

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Michael J. Martinez is the author of the DAEDALUS trilogy, the most recent of which, THE VENUSIAN GAMBIT, came out in May and earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly. He’s also the author of the upcoming “spy-fi” series MAJESTIC-12, with MJ-12: INCEPTION due out next fall from Night Shade Books.

Michael will critique up to 25,000 words of your SF/F novel (or a shorter work), including both an overall opinion on the strength of the work, thoughts on individual sections, and ideas on direction and ways to improve. This doesn’t include line edits, but he’s willing to answer questions and engage in a dialogue to help make your work better!

Brett Hiorns - up to 150,000 words.

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Brett Hiorns will read and critique your manuscript (up to 150,000 words).

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.

Pat Rothfuss - up to 150,000 words.

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Patrick Rothfuss (international bestselling author, lover of women, and hirsute iconoclast) will read your manuscript and give you critical feedback. (Up to, say, 150,000 words.) We’ll schedule this based on when your manuscript will be ready and the endless madness of my own schedular constraints.

I’ll read through your manuscript, scrawling notes and dirty words in the margins, then I’ll call you on the phone and we can discuss it. Or we could do a Google+ hangout. Or, if you live close, we can get together and chat over coffee.

I won’t write you up a detailed critique because that’s not how I roll. But we’ll chat for a couple of hours discussing the various strengths and weaknesses of the book, your writing craft, and I’ll offer any suggestions I might have. Then I’ll mail you back the manuscript with my notes on it.

 

  • Critiques from Editors & Agents

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Editors and Agents are equally good at story, but they’re also good at marketability and editing. This is the “I feel pretty confident in my manuscript, and I’d like to see if it can be taken to the next level” level.

Joshua Palmatier - up to 7,500 words of a short story.

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Joshua Palmatier (co­editor of the DAW Books anthologies AFTER HOURS: TALES FROM THE UR­BAR and THE MODERN FAE’S GUIDE TO SURVIVING HUMANITY and the Zombies Need Brains anthologies CLOCKWORK UNIVERSE: STEAMPUNK vs ALIENS and TEMPORALLY OUT OF ORDER) will read and evaluate your short story (up to 7500 words in standard manuscript format) within six weeks of submission. He 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.

Joshua Palmatier (www.joshuapalmatier.com) has had six dark, epic fantasy novels published by DAW, most recently SHATTERING THE LEY, five short stories in various anthologies, and has co­edited four anthologies with Patricia Bray, including TEMPORALLY OUT OF ORDER. He is also founder of the small press Zombies Need Brains (www.zombiesneedbrains.com), which focuses on producing quality SF&F­themed anthologies.  His experience is mostly with all forms of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. His intent will be to offer editorial advice on how to improve your novel and to use his experience as both author and editor to make it the best it can be.

 Joshua has requested that you send him your manuscript no later than July 1, 2016.

David Pomerico - first 50 double-spaced pages.

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David Pomerico is an Executive Editor at Harper Voyager, where he acquires and edits fantasy, science fiction, and horror while also overseeing the day-to-day direction of the imprint. Before joining Voyager, he was at Bantam Spectra, Del Rey, and 47North, working with a diverse group of authors and projects. His focus, editorially, is to help authors hone and polish their stories so that something he’s already committed himself to can reach the widest popular audience. He believes editing is a process of collaboration, and ultimately wants to work with authors who are looking not simply for a publisher, but a publishing partner.

You can probably Google him if you want to find out a bit more about him.

He’s offering a detailed critique and commentary (but not a line edit) for the first 50 pages or so of your manuscript (double­spaced, please—and no margin shenanigans!), which he will get back to you within three months of receiving the manuscript. Although it doesn’t need to be science fiction, fantasy, or horror (he reads pretty much all genres), those are his areas of expertise. And while he could possibly be blown away and want to make an offer on your book, this isn’t guaranteed (otherwise this might be a really pricey auction!).

Mike Braff - Approximately first 50 pages (rounded up to end of the chapter).

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Mike Braff is an editor at Del Rey Books and has been part of the editorial team there for the past six years. He is in charge of the merciless slaying of enemies by battleaxe, the boarding and capturing of space craft in zero-g, and the management of a sect of magic users that secretly runs the paranormal underground in New York City. Not true, sadly, but he does love to read and acquire books about these things and other related sci-fi, fantasy, and urban fantasy topics.

Though he’s from New York originally, Mike once went to Canada for a few years to study Comparative Religion and World History at McGill University (BA ’07). Much to everyone’s surprise (including his own) the course of study proved useful when acquiring and editing fantastic stories for Del Rey, where Mike has been lucky enough to work with the likes of Pierce Brown, Kevin Hearne, Jason M. Hough, Matthew Stover, Ted Kosmatka, Alan Smale, and newcomer Indra Das, among many other talented authors. He lives in Brooklyn with a rescued pit bull named Ruby, adorable pictures of whom will be provided in abundance upon request.

 He’s offering a detailed critique and commentary for the first 50 pages or so of your manuscript (rounded up to the end of the last chapter). This is not a line edit, but Mike will get back to you within 90 days of receiving your manuscript with an editorial letter detailing his thoughts and suggestions.

Jaime Lee Moyer - first 75 pages.

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Jaime Lee Moyer is a speculative fiction writer, poet and editor. Jaime is the author of Delia’s Shadow (Tor, September 2013),  A Barricade In Hell (Tor, June 2014) and Against A Brightening Sky (October 2015). Delia’s Shadow won the 2009 Columbus Literary Award for Fiction, administered by Thurber House and funded by the Columbus Art Council, and is nominated for the Salt Lake County Libraries Reader’s Choice Award. She doesn’t take herself nearly as seriously as those credits imply. 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, and a poetry and short fiction editor for a semi-pro zine for five years. Jaime is the current editor for the Online Writing Workshop For Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror monthly newsletter. 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.

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.

Matt Bialer - up to 20,000 words.

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Matt Bialer (literary agent) will read and evaluate the opening chapters of one manuscript (up to 20,000 words) within three months of submission, not including the last few weeks of December. He will read and critique, and help the author think about the issues that could be raised by editors at publishing houses.

He will write a general evaluation of the book, both strengths and weaknesses, but line editing is NOT included. If the book is fantastic or has the potential to be fantastic then offering representation is not out of the question — but representation is not a guarantee.

 

  • A Manuscript Copy Edit

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This is something completely new this year. A copy edit is a really big deal, and honestly something that most people don’t think about. Most authors don’t get this chance until their book has already sold, but it makes a huge difference in the readability of a manuscript.

Richard Shealy - Either a novel-length copyedit, or short novel & pitch copyedit.

Richard Shealy has been a reader of SF/F as long as he can remember, and he finally figured out he might make a living from that by combining it with his horrifyingly enormous word-nerdery. In his still relatively new career (he started in this racket less than three years ago), he already has had the enormous pleasure and honor to work with a number of authors and editors from across multiple spectra, not to mention becoming completely certain that he has found his dream job (seriously, people pay you to nitpick their babies?). He tweets occasionally via @SFFCopyediting but far more prolifically in the guise of his alter ego,@SheckyX. Caveat: Taking anything seriously from the alter ego is a massive waste of time.

Richard is offering a copyedit of novel-length manuscript (or short story and its pitch). Includes typo correction, continuity observation, voice/character consistency, context-appropriate grammar adjustment, fact-checking where needed. For a list of works he has copyedited, visit http://sffcopyediting.com/index.php/what/ and scroll down until you see the wall of cover images!

There you have it folks. You can bid on one of the 15 auctions we have going, or you can contribute to the WriMos for Worldbuilders page to be entered into the second lottery for other critiques.

Good luck…

pat

Posted in the business of writing, the craft of writing, Worldbuilders 2015 | By Pat12 Responses

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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….

 

Posted in BJ Hiorns Art, Worldbuilders 2013 | By Pat14 Responses

Manuscripts Critiqued, Cameos Auctioned, World Improved.

Worldbuilders-Logo_Web_Smaller

This is a Worldbuilders blog.

Today, we have some pretty awesome things we’re auctioning off.

First off, we’ve got authors, agents, and editors willing to read your manuscripts and give you critical feedback.

I hope I don’t have to stress what a rare opportunity this is. Authors occasionally read a manuscript for a friend, or do a quick critique at a convention. But generally speaking if you want this sort of professional attention you have to attend a pretty serious workshop, like Clarion. Or you have to be a student at one of the rare universities that takes sci-fi and fantasy seriously enough to bring in a professional to teach a class.

We’ve got a second set of auctions too: Cameo appearances in upcoming books. (Or naming rights, or tuckerizations, or guest appearances… whatever you’d like to call them.)

If anything these are even harder to come by. When I offered one up at this year’s Child’s Play charity auction, it went for 8,000 dollars.

Let’s list those first, actually….

Guest Appearances:

  • Name a character and decide what sort of creature (s)he is in Alma Alexander‘s next YA fantasy novel.

Alma Alexander

In the world of Alma Alexander’s next YA fantasy series, there are many different kinds of Were creatures. Some are obvious – there are the Corvids (who turn into things like ravens, magpies, crows…) and now rare and dangerous true Lycans (the original werewolves); there are creatures known as Random Weres (who can be chaotic – you have to wait until spring 2014 and read the first book of the series, “Random”, to find out just how…) and there are New Moon Weres, who don’t turn at the Full Moon like traditional weres do but rather on the nights of the New Moon, the dark-of-the-moon weres, who are usually (but they don’t HAVE to be…) vampire bats in their were form. Then there are the outliers and the accidents (she has a hapless were-chicken).

If you win this auction, you will get to (a) name a character in the final book of the series (you can negotiate, if the name is something she can’t QUITE fit into this world, until you both get a version that you are happy with), and (b) pick what creature (s)he turns into in their were form. Bonus: you get an ebook of Alma Alexander’s short stories – unrelated to this novel series, but it’s an immediate prize which you won’t have to wait to see happen as you will with the Tuckerization itself.

If you’re interested, go here and bid.

Bradley P. Beaulieu

Bradley P. Beaulieu is pleased to offer one Tuckerization for inclusion in his brand new epic fantasy series, The Song of the Shattered Sands. The character will appear in the first book, Twelve Kings in Sharakhai, and may live beyond those pages. Please see the auction description for the details. All proceeds from the auctions will benefit the 2013 Worldbuilders fundraiser.

Contact details with Bradley will be set up following the auction

Bradley has added in his own mini-stretch goals for his auction, that will activate once it gets past certain dollar amounts, making this auction even cooler.

Interested? You can bid on Bradley’s tuckerization over here.

Mike Martinez

We haven’t found the key to living forever, but you can achieve a bit of literary immortality in the pages of THE VENUSIAN GAMBIT, the third book in Michael J. Martinez’ DAEDALUS series.

In THE DAEDALUS INCIDENT (a best-of-2013 pick by BuzzFeed and Library Journal) and the upcoming THE ENCELADUS CRISIS, Martinez created a world in which the sailing ships of the English Royal Navy ply the avoid between the planets of our Solar System. By bidding here, your name will be used in THE VENUSIAN GAMBIT, due out at the end of 2014, and given to a supporting character – NOT just a redshirt. (Though your character’s survival is by no means guaranteed. Life’s rough in the solar system.)

Head over here to bid on this auction.

  • A Cameo appearance  in Patrick Rothfuss’s next novel.

Dignified winter pat

Here’s the deal. If you win this auction, you’ll win a chance to propose a name for a character in book three. If the name you’re proposing sounds great to me, then huzzah.

If not, the two of us will talk it over.

For example, let’s say you want to get your girlfriend’s name into book three because she’s a big fan, and you’re hoping it will get you that threeway you’ve always wanted. But her name is “Veronica” and that doesn’t quite feel right for my world.

So we start talking it over. Maybe we can use her middle name instead. Maybe we use her nickname and I tweak the character’s description a little bit so that it more closely resembles her. (Though I’ll probably do this a little bit anyway.)

Maybe I put a little twist on the name. “Veronia” for example, would be fine for my world. I like that name a lot, actually.

Or maybe you decide you’d rather use your own name after all. And it turns out that works wonderfully, because your name is Ferrel and that’s exactly the sort of name that would fit on a Vintish Courtier, and I happen to be tweaking the Vintish section of the book right now anyway….

What I’m getting at here is that we’ll negotiate until we’re both happy with the addition to the book.

If you’re interested, go here and bid.

Critiques

Before I list all the read-and-critique auctions, I’m going to have to put on my Dad Voice: a voice which contains all the baritone authority of my teacher voice, with an added subharmonic that implies if you screw this up, I’m going to be *really* disappointed in you.

“Please read the auction descriptions carefully.”

You see, each author, editor, or agent is handling their auction in their own way…

  • Everyone has different skill sets, and they’re each offering something slightly different.
  • Some critiques are for the first 15,000 words of a manuscript, others are for as much as 150,000 words.
  • All the professionals below are busy people. Critiques will have to fit in their schedules.
  • When the auctions mention they’ll read “X pages” of a manuscript, assume standard manuscript format.
  • You’re not buying an introduction to someone’s agent or editor here. That’s not what’s on the block. You’re getting specific writing advice from a professional.

Okay. Enough preamble. Let’s move on to the awesome….

Bradley P. Beaulieu

Bradley P. Beaulieu is pleased to offer one story or chapter critique of up to 10,000 words. Brad will draft a formal review that will cover such things as how well the story opens, complicates, and closes, how well the characterization works, dialogue, tone, pacing, tension, and a host of other issues. Essentially, he’ll provide a formal review on the positives and negatives found in the story.

Bradley P. Beaulieu is the author of The Lays of Anuskaya, which begins with The Winds of Khalakovo, continues in The Straits of Galahesh, and concludes with The Flames of Shadam Khoreh. Brad’s new epic fantasy series, The Song of the Shattered Sands  has been sold to DAW Books in the US and Gollancz in the UK and will release in late 2014 or early 2015. In addition to being an L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Award winner, Brad’s stories have appeared in various other publications, including Realms of Fantasy Magazine, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, Writers of the Future 20, and several anthologies from DAW Books. His story, “In the Eyes of the Empress’s Cat,” was voted a Notable Story of 2006 in the Million Writers Award. Mailing details and contact with Bradley will be set up following the auction.

If you’re interested, go here and bid.

  • Critique of a sci-fi or fantasy short story up to 30,000 words by award-winning writer Brenda Cooper.

SONY DSC

Award-winning Pacific Northwest writer Brenda Cooper will read and critique a science fiction or fantasy short story up to 30,000 words. Her novel-length work is primarily science fiction written for nine to ninety year old readers, and her short stories range across genres and age-groups.

In addition to the critique, Brenda will provide a copy of her latest novel, The Creative Fire.

Brenda Cooper writes science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories. Her most recent novel is THE DIAMOND DEEP, which came out in October 2013. Brenda is also a technology professional and a futurist.

If you’re interested, go here and bid.

  • Critique of a manuscript or short fiction up to 15,000 words by award-winning author D.B. Jackson.

David B Coe

D. B. Jackson, who also writes as David B. Coe, is the award-winning author of more than a dozen novels and the occasional short story.  THIEFTAKER, written under the D.B. Jackson pen name, is the first volume of the Thieftaker Chronicles, a series set in pre-Revolutionary Boston that combines elements of urban fantasy, mystery, and historical fiction.  The second volume, THIEVES’ QUARRY, was published in 2013.

Writing as David B. Coe he has published the LonTobyn Chronicle, a trilogy that received the Crawford Fantasy Award as the best work by a new author in fantasy, as well as the critically acclaimed Winds of the Forelands quintet and Blood of the Southlands trilogy. He has also written the novelization of director Ridley Scott’s movie, Robin Hood, starring Russell Crowe.  David’s books have been translated into a dozen languages.  D.B./David co-founded and regularly contributes to the Magical Words group blog, a site devoted to discussions of the craft and business of writing fantasy, and is co-author of How To Write Magical Words:  A Writer’s Companion.

D.B. Jackson is offering a critique of up to 15,000 words of your manuscript, either a piece of short fiction or the early chapters of a novel.  If you’re interested, head over here and bid.

  • Critique of the first 50 pages of your manuscript by sci-fi, fantasy, and horror editor David Pomerico.

David Pomerico

David Pomerico is an Acquisition Editor at 47North, where he works in all the wonderful sub-genres that make up science fiction, fantasy, and horror.  Still, his passions definitely lie in the realms of traditional fantasy, space opera, military sci-fi, and dystopian novels. Before joining 47North, he was an Associate Editor at Del Rey Spectra.  Some of the great authors he’s been lucky enough to work with include Ari Marmell, Peter F. Hamilton, Sarah Zettel, Chris Wooding, Felix Gilman, Jeff Grubb (and many more that he’d love to list), and future projects by Dana Cameron, Jason Sheehan, Mark Barnes, Jeff Wheeler, SD Perry, and Aaron Pogue (again, among many, many others!).

He’s offering a detailed critique and commentary (but not a line edit) for the first 50 pages or so of your manuscript (double-spaced, please—and no margin shenanigans!), which he will get back to you within three months of receiving the manuscript. While he could possibly be blown away and want to make an offer on your book, this isn’t guaranteed (otherwise this might be a really pricey auction!).

If you’re interested, go here and bid.

  • Critique of the first 75 pages of your novel by author, poet, and editor Jamie Lee Moyer.

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.

If you’re interested, go here and bid.

  • Critique of the first 100 pages of your novel by author and editor Joshua Palmatier.

josh

Joshua Palmatier (DAW Books author of the “Throne of Amenkor” trilogy and the “Well of Sorrows” trilogy written as Benjamin Tate) will read and evaluate the first 100 pages of your novel within 3 months of submission. The manuscript must be in standard manuscript format (typed, double-spaced, 12 pt font, etc). He will write a general evaluation of the novel’s opening 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 of the manuscript.

Joshua Palmatier has five dark, epic fantasy novels published by DAW, four short stories in various anthologies, and has co-edited two anthologies with Patricia Bray. His experience is mostly with all forms of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. His intent will be to offer editorial advice on how to improve your novel and to use his experience as both author and editor to make it the best it can be.

In addition to the manuscript review, Joshua will provide the winner with two signed, personalized editions of his books: WELL OF SORROWS and AFTER HOURS: TALES FROM THE UR-BAR.

If you’re interested in this auction, be sure to head over and bid.

Mike Martinez

Michael J. Martinez is the author of THE DAEDALUS INCIDENT (a best-of-2013 pick by BuzzFeed and Library Journal) and the upcoming sequel THE ENCELADUS CRISIS, due out April 1, 2014.

Michael will critique up to 25,000 words of your SF/F novel (or a shorter work), including both an overall opinion on the strength of the work, thoughts on individual sections, and ideas on direction and ways to improve. This doesn’t include line edits, but he’s willing to answer questions and engage in a dialogue to help make your work better!

To put Michael’s expert opinion in your pocket, by all means bid on the auction.

  • Critique of your entire submission packet, up to 15,000 words, by writer and editor Laura Anne Gilman.

Laura-Gilman

Laura Anne Gilman spent fifteen years as an editor for major New York publishers, the last six heading up the SF/F imprint Roc for Penguin USA.  She discovered/worked with such authors as Anne Bishop, S.M. Stirling, Carol Berg, Kristine Rusch, Harry Turtledove, and many others (several hundred, at last count).  She currently runs d.y.m.k. productions, an editorial services company.

As a writer, her work ranges from the Nebula award-nominated Vineart War epic fantasy trilogy to the SFnal/horror collection DRAGON VIRUS, as well as the popular “Cosa Nostradamus” urban fantasy series. Her short fiction has appeared in print and digital magazines, and more than twenty anthologies, including the forthcoming DEAD MAN’S HAND, and the novellas MILES TO GO/PROMISES TO KEEP.  Laura Anne also writes the “Gin and Tonic” mysteries for Simon & Schuster, under the name L.A. Kornetsky.

Laura Anne Gilman will read and evaluate your submission packet (cover letter, synopsis, and first three chapters up to 15,000 words).  She will read and critique, with an eye toward catching – and keeping – an editor or agent’s attention, and help you create hooks that will encourage the reader to ask for “more, please!”  She cannot promise to provide any introductions to agents or editors…but she won’t rule it out, either, if you knock her socks off.

Pat’s Note: The fact that this auction includes an evaluation of your submission packet makes it extra cool – people with great books get rejected because of bad cover letters every day. My book was rejected for two years mostly because I can’t write a query letter worth a damn.

If you want in on this, you’d better hurry up and bid on it.

  • Critique and commentary on approximately the first 100 pages of your manuscript by Del Rey editor Michael Braff.

Mike Braff

Mike Braff is an associate editor at Del Rey Books and has been part of the editorial team there for the past five years. He is in charge of the merciless slaying of enemies by battleaxe, the boarding and capturing of space craft in zero-g, and the management of a sect of magic users that secretly runs the paranormal underground in New York City. Not true, sadly, but he does love to read and acquire books about these things and other related sci-fi, fantasy, and urban fantasy topics.

Though he’s from New York originally, Mike once went to Canada for a few years to study Comparative Religion and World History at McGill University (BA ’07). Much to everyone’s surprise (including his own) the course of study proved useful when acquiring and editing fantastic stories for Del Rey, where Mike has been lucky enough to work with the likes of Kevin Hearne, Jason M. Hough, Richard K. Morgan, Matthew Stover, Ted Kosmatka, and newcomers Pierce Brown and Alan Smale, among many other talented authors. He lives in Brooklyn with a rescued pit bull named Ruby, adorable pictures of whom will be provided in abundance on request.

He’s offering a detailed critique and commentary for the first 100 pages or so of your manuscript (rounded up to the end of the last chapter). This is not a line edit, but Mike will get back to you within 90 days of receiving your manuscript with an editorial letter detailing his thoughts and suggestions.

Bid on this auction over on eBay.

  • Critique of the opening chapters (up to 20,000) words of your manuscript by Pat Rothfuss’s literary agent Matt Bialer.

Matt Bialer

Matt Bialer (literary agent) will read and evaluate the opening chapters of one manuscript (up to 20,000 words) within three months of submission, not including the last few weeks of December. He will read and critique, and help the author think about the issues that could be raised by editors at publishing houses.

He will write a general evaluation of the book, both strengths and weaknesses, but line editing is NOT included. If the book is fantastic or has the potential to be fantastic then offering representation is not out of the question — but representation is not a guarantee.

To bid on Matt’s critique, head over here.

  • Critique of the first 150,000 words of your manuscript by Patrick Rothfuss.

Skeptical

Patrick Rothfuss (international bestselling author, lover of women, and hirsute iconoclast) will read your manuscript and give you critical feedback. (Up to, say, 150,000 words.) We’ll schedule this based on when your manuscript will be ready and the endless madness of my own schedular constraints.

I’ll read through your manuscript, scrawling notes and dirty words in the margins, then I’ll call you on the phone and we can discuss it. Or we could do a Google+ hangout. Or, if you live close, we can get together and chat over coffee.

I won’t write you up a detailed critique because that’s not how I roll. But we’ll chat for a couple of hours discussing the various strengths and weaknesses of the book, your writing craft, and I’ll offer any suggestions I might have. Then I’ll mail you back the manuscript with my notes on it.

Mailing details and contact with Patrick will be set up following the auction.

Go bid.  You know you want to.

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If you just joined us for Worldbuilders 2013, you can get learn more about the fundraiser on my blog, specifically, you can get details about how to win thousands of lovely books donated by authors and publishers.

If you’d like to see *all* the auctions we’re currently running, check the Worldbuilders eBay page.

Posted in Worldbuilders 2013 | By Pat32 Responses

Professional Critiques for Aspiring Authors

This is a Worldbuilders Blog.

At its heart, Worldbuilders is a charity for people that love books.

Given that so many of Worldbuilder’s supporters are readers, it’s not terribly surprising that a lot of them are aspiring writers as well.

Every year we run a few auctions where authors and editors offer to give folks critical feedback on their unpublished manuscripts. Generally speaking, every year, they’re some of our most successful auctions.

Since people seem to like them so much, this year we’re delighted to offer more critiques than ever before. We have an even dozen read-and-critiques being offered by skilled industry professionals: authors, agents, and editors.

First, I really want to thank everyone who is donating their time and talent to these auctions. You are all shining examples of humanity.

Second, I’d advise you to read the details of each auction carefully. Each of the critiques below is different, some are for the first 15,000 words of a manuscript, others are for anything up to 100,000 words. The different professionals have different skill sets and are offering different things.

Third, some of the folks below have laid out some guidelines in terms of when and how quickly they can offer their critiques. I’m going to add a general caveat on top of that, asking that you respect the fact that all the professionals below are busy people. That means if you win a critique with them, you’re going to have to work with them to schedule a time that works for both of you.

So, please be understanding. Besides, you rush a miracle man, you get lousy miracles.

If you win my critique, for example, it can’t happen until mid-February at the very earliest. I’m busy with revisions, and I simply won’t have time before that.

Fourth, when the auctions below mention that they’ll read “X pages” of a manuscript, assume they’re talking standard manuscript format. That means, generally speaking, double-spaced, 12 point courier font, one inch margins.

Finally, if you’re an aspiring author, but you don’t have the cash to win one of these auctions, don’t despair. I’m going to be throwing a *second* read-and-critique of my own into the lottery. That means if you donate at least $10 to Heifer International over on the Worldbuilders Team Page, you have a chance to win my critique, as well as over a thousand cool books and other goodies…. (more details below)

Also, need I mention that a professional critique would be an excellent gift for that hard-to-shop-for aspiring author in your life? It would. It seriously would.

Okay, on to the show:

  • A critique of the first 20,000 words of your manuscript by literary Agent Matt Bialer.

Matt Bialer (literary agent) will read and evaluate the opening chapters of one manuscript (up to 20,000 words) within three months of submission, not including the last few weeks of December. He will read and critique, and help the author think about the issues that could be raised by editors at publishing houses.

He will write a general evaluation of the book, both strengths and weaknesses, but line editing is NOT included. If the book is fantastic or has the potential to be fantastic then offering representation is not out of the question — but representation is not a guarantee.

Pat’s Note: Matt is my agent, and I really can’t say enough good things about him. He worked with my The Name of the Wind before we sold it to a publisher, and his advice was invaluable. He knows the genre inside and out, and he gives great editorial feedback.

To bid on Matt’s read and critique, head over to the auction.

  • A critique of a sci-fi/fantasy short story up to 30,000 words by award-winning author Brenda Cooper.

Award-winning Pacific Northwest writer Brenda Cooper will read and critique a science fiction or fantasy short story up to 30,000 words.   Her novel-length work is primarily science fiction written for nine to ninety year old readers, and her short stories range across genres and age-groups.

Brenda Cooper writes science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories. Her most recent novel is THE CREATIVE FIRE, which came out in November, 2012 from Pyr. Brenda is also a technology professional and a futurist.

In addition to the critique, Brenda will provide a copy of her latest novel, The Creative Fire.

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

  • A critique of the first 100 pages or 3 chapters of your novel by author Scott Lynch.
Scott will review one piece of writing, preferably a section of a novel-length work, up to 100 pages or three chapters. This work should be double-spaced in a common electronic format such as Word or TXT/RTF. Scott will provide a detailed overall response to the piece and cover specific topics such as plot, character, dialogue, theme, and other aspects of narrative craft. Line and copy editing will be strictly at his option. This critique cannot begin before January, 2013 and will probably require six weeks from receipt of manuscript.

 

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

 

  • A critique of the first 100 pages of your novel by author Joshua Palmatier (aka Benjamin Tate).

Joshua Palmatier (DAW Books author of the “Throne of Amenkor” trilogy and the “Well of Sorrows” trilogy written as Benjamin Tate) will read and evaluate the first 100 pages of your novel within 3 months of submission.  The manuscript must be in standard manuscript format (typed, double-spaced, 12 pt font, etc).  He will write a general evaluation of the novel’s opening 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 of the manuscript.

Joshua Palmatier has five dark, epic fantasy novels published by DAW, four short stories in various anthologies, and has co-edited two anthologies with Patricia Bray.  His experience is mostly with all forms of fantasy, science fiction, and horror.  His intent will be to offer editorial advice on how to improve your novel and to use his experience as both author and editor to make it the best it can be.

In addition to the manuscript review, Joshua will provide the winner with two signed, personalized editions of his books:  WELL OF SORROWS and AFTER HOURS:  TALES FROM THE UR-BAR.

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

(This is Patricia, not Joshua, obviously.)

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.

In addition to the manuscript review, they will provide the winner with two signed, personalized editions of the books:  THE FIRST BETRAYAL by Patricia Bray, WELL OF SORROWS by Benjamin Tate (pseudonym of Joshua Palmatier), and AFTER HOURS:  TALES FROM THE UR-BAR.

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

Bradley P. Beaulieu is pleased to offer one story or chapter critique of up to 7,500 words. Brad will draft a formal review that will cover such things as how well the story opens, complicates, and closes, how well the characterization works, dialogue, tone, pacing, tension, and a host of other issues. Essentially, he’ll provide a formal review on the positives and negatives found in the story.

Bradley P. Beaulieu is the author of The Winds of Khalakovo and The Straits of Galahesh, the first two books in The Lays of Anuskaya trilogy. The concluding book in the trilogy, The Flames of Shadam Khoreh, will be released April of 2013. In addition to being an L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Award winner, Brad’s stories have appeared in various other publications, including Realms of Fantasy Magazine, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, Writers of the Future 20, and several anthologies from DAW Books. His story, “In the Eyes of the Empress’s Cat,” was voted a Notable Story of 2006 in the Million Writers Award.Mailing details and contact with Bradley will be set up following the auction.

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

Laura Anne Gilman, the former executive editor for Penguin/NAL/Roc Books, and author of over twenty novels, will read and evaluate your submission packet (cover letter, synopsis, and first three chapters up to 15,000 words).  She will read and critique, with an eye toward catching – and keeping- an editor or agent’s attention, and help you create hooks that will encourage the reader to ask for “more, please!”  She cannot promise to provide any introductions to agents or editors…but she won’t rule it out, either, if you knock her socks off.

Laura Anne Gilman spent fifteen years on the editorial side of the desk, including 6 years running the Roc SF imprint, before becoming a full-time writer in 2003.  She also runs d.y.m.k. productions, an editorial services company.

Pat’s Note: This is something really cool folks. I would have given a kidney for something like this during the two years I spent trying (and failin) to get an agent to look at The Name Of the Wind.

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

D. B. Jackson, who also writes as David B. Coe, is the award-winning author of more than a dozen novels and the occasional short story.  His most recent novel, THIEFTAKER, written under the D.B. Jackson pen name, is the first volume of the Thieftaker Chronicles, a series set in pre-Revolutionary Boston that combines elements of urban fantasy, mystery, and historical fiction.  The second volume, THIEVES’ QUARRY, is currently in production and will be published in 2013.

Writing as David B. Coe, he has published the LonTobyn Chronicle, a trilogy that received the Crawford Fantasy Award as the best work by a new author in fantasy, as well as the critically acclaimed Winds of the Forelands quintet and Blood of the Southlands trilogy. He has also written the novelization of director Ridley Scott’s movie, Robin Hood, starring Russell Crowe.  David’s books have been translated into a dozen languages.D.B./David co-founded and regularly contributes to the Magical Words group blog (http://magicalwords.net), a site devoted to discussions of the craft and business of writing fantasy, and is co-author of How To Write Magical Words:  A Writer’s Companion.

To bid on Brad’s critique of up to 25,000 words of your manuscript, head to the auction over here.

  • A critique of the first 100 pages of your manuscript by editor David Pomerico.

David Pomerico is an Acquisition Editor at 47North, where he works in all the wonderful sub-genres that make up science fiction, fantasy, and horror.  Still, his passions definitely lie in the realms of traditional fantasy, space opera, military sci-fi, and dystopian novels. Before joining 47North, he was an Associate Editor at Del Rey Spectra.  Some of the great authors he’s been lucky enough to work with include Ari Marmell, Peter F. Hamilton, Sarah Zettel, Chris Wooding, Felix Gilman, Jeff Grubb (and many more that he’d love to list), and future projects by Dana Cameron, Jason Sheehan, Mark Barnes, Jeff Wheeler, SD Perry, and Aaron Pogue (again, among many, many others!).

He’s offering a detailed critique and commentary (but not a line edit) for the first 100 pages or so of your manuscript (double-spaced, please—and no margin shenanigans!), which he will get back to you within three months of receiving the manuscript. While he could possibly be blown away and want to make an offer on your book, this isn’t guaranteed (otherwise this might be a really pricey auction!).

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

  • A critique of a novel up to 100,000 words by author and editor John Helfers.

John Helfers is an author and editor currently living in Green Bay, Wisconsin. During his sixteen years working at Tekno Books (the largest commercial book packager in the nation), he co-edited more than twenty short story anthologies, as well as overseeing many others for publishers in all genres. He has worked with many well-known authors and co-editors, including Lawrence Block, Larry Bond, Elizabeth George, Dale Brown, Stephen Coonts, Nelson DeMille, Charlaine Harris, John Jakes, Anne Perry, Jeffery Deaver, Michael Connelly, Walter J. Boyne, Harold W. Coyle, Mercedes Lackey, Margaret Weis, Kevin J. Anderson, Ice-T, Richard Belzer, and Max Allan Collins.

He has also edited more than forty novels by such authors as Doug Allyn, Brendan DuBois, James Patrick Hunt, and Jean Rabe.  He has also published more than forty short stories in anthologies such as If I Were An Evil Overlord, Time Twisters, and Places to Be, People to Kill. His fiction has appeared in anthologies, game books, and novels for the Dragonlance®, Transformers®, BattleTech® and Shadowrun® universes. He has written both fiction and nonfiction, including the third novel in the first authorized trilogy based on The Twilight Zone™ television series, the YA novel Tom Clancy’s Net Force Explorers: Cloak and Dagger, and a history of the United States Navy.

Again, this is for a complete edit of a novel (up to 100,000 words, including line-edit and editorial comments.) This will be done within six months of receipt of the manuscript after the auction is completed.  The manuscript must be supplied in electronic format (MS Word preferred).

 

Pat’s Note: You see that thing up there that I made red? That’s big. Nobody else here is offering you line edits.

 

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

 

  • A critique of the first 75 pages of your novel by author Jamie Lee Moyer.

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.

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

Patrick Rothfuss (international bestselling author, lover of women, and hirsute iconoclast) will read your manuscript and give you critical feedback. (Up to, say, 250,000 words.) We’ll schedule this based on when your manuscript will be ready and my own schedular constraints.

I’ll read through your manuscript, scrawling notes and dirty words in the margins, then I’ll call you on the phone and we can discuss it. I won’t write you up a detailed critique because that’s not how I roll. But we’ll probably chat on the phone for a couple of hours discussing the various strengths and weaknesses of the book, your writing craft, and I’ll offer any suggestions I might have.

If I think your book is super-awesome, I might be willing to pass it along to someone. But be very aware that what you’re buying here is a critique, not a blurb or an introduction to the publishing world. A critique.

Mailing details and contact with Patrick will be set up following the auction.

To bid on Pat’s critique, head to the auction over here.

  • Lottery Item: A critique of your entire manuscript by Pat Rothfuss.

(That’s right, ladies. All of this, and brains too…)

Here’s the deal. I’m well aware of the fact that a lot of authors are starving-artist types. I spent more than a decade below the poverty line working on my books before I was published.

I know those people can’t afford to blow a bunch of money on an auction for a critique, and I feel bad about that.

So this year, I’m throwing a critique into the lottery.

Here’s how it’s going to work. For every $10 you donate to Heifer International over on the Worldbuilders Team Page, you have a chance to win my critique, as well as over a thousand cool books and other goodies we have listed on our main page.

Unlike the books though, who go to pretty much anyone that wins. This prize will be selective. I’m going to call whoever wins it, and if they’re not an aspiring author who wants help with a manuscript, we’ll draw another name. We’ll do this again and again until it ends up in the hands of someone that can use it.

So if the auctions are out of your reach, pitch in on our team page. The more you donate, the more you’re likely to win.

*     *     *

If you’d like to see all the auctions Worldbuilders is currently running, you can find them over here.

If you want to see the other items that have been donated to Worldbuilders, or learn more about the fundraiser itself, you can head over to the main page here.

 

Posted in Revision, the business of writing, the craft of writing, Worldbuilders 2012 | By Pat29 Responses

Beta Readers: Part II

First, a few excerpts from the many, many messages I’ve received recently.

  • “Do you need another Beta Reader? I’d be happy to help….”
  • “I read on one of your latest blogs something about beta readers. I had no clue there was such a thing, but now I know about it I want to be one.”
  • “I think beta-reading sounds like the best job in the world–next to testing the softness of puppy-tummy-fur with one’s face all day.”

People have given many credentials and uttered many a plaintive plea. There have even been blatant attempts at bribery. People have offered me cash, computers, and promises of their undying love. About the only thing people didn’t offer is livestock and sexually explicit pictures of themselves.

I should have seen it coming, but honestly, I didn’t.

I know a lot of people would love to help me out by giving a beta read…

Wait, that’s not entirely true, is it?

What I meant to say is that a lot of people would love to read an early copy of the book, and, largely by coincidence, help me out with a beta read.

But I just can’t feel good about it. ** [See edit below.]

  • “I’d like to volunteer.  I know there is probably some precautions you have to take to make sure it’s not leaked, but I’ll do whatever you need, sign a contract, send in a testicle, mail in a kid for collateral, whatever… seriously though I can keep my mouth shut.”

Ultimately, this strikes at the heart of the issue.

Back when I was working on The Name of the Wind, I would give a copy of the book to anyone who even hinted they wanted to read it.

Getting other people’s feedback on the book is a key element of my revision process. You see, I’ve read this book so many times in so many versions, that I need an external view of it. A triangulation point, if you will…

But these days, I can’t just hand it out all higgledy piggledy. Things are more complicated. These days I have to worry about people leaking early, crappy versions of the book onto the net months before the pub date.

I know, deep in my heart of hearts, that most people would never dream of doing such a thing. But all it takes is one jackass….

And yeah, I have a non-disclosure form. Everyone signs it before they get the book. Even Sarah signed it.

It’s a vicious fucking thing that goes something like this:

You, by signing below, agree that you’ll do everything in your power to protect this manuscript and keep its contents secret. If you fail in this, and are a big chatty Cathy about it, I, Patrick Rothfuss, will fuck you up.

I will do this on all possible levels: financially, socially, physically, and spiritually.

If you lend it to your girlfriend who leaves it on the bus and then some jackhole finds it and it ends up on the internet, I will de-corn your cob. Seriously. Your entire cob. Every single kernel of corn. I am not even fucking kidding….

It goes on like that for some time. It is so terrifying that one of my friends said he didn’t feel comfortable leaving the house with his copy of the book.

But really, the non-disclosure form isn’t going to help. If the book gets leaked, I’ll be pissed forever, and suing some daft bastard into the ground won’t fix that.

  • “Do i have to invade a small nation? Do I have to sing show tunes in Times Square? Or is it just one of those “inner sanctum of friends” kind of thing?”

Ultimately, yeah. At this point it is. I have to know you personally, so I can trust you. It’s also important for me to know you because that helps me put your comments in context.

The other problem is that for me to really get the most out of a beta reader, I like to be able to sit down with them over coffee and chat about the book. I like to be able to leaf through the manuscript, ask them questions about their comments, and pick their brains about certain key issues. And seeing how most of you don’t live here in Stevens Point, that’s kinda hard.

So this blog is to say thanks to everyone who offered to help. I’d love to be able to take you up on your offers, but I’m afraid I’ll have to pass.

More soon,

pat

** Edit – May 18th

When I looked at the comments today, I was surprised to see people offering hugs of consolation, and giving me support, and telling me not to let the messages get me down.

This was kind of a surprise to me, as the messages I got from people asking to be beta readers were, by and large, lovely, considerate, flattering things.

So I re-read the blog and found the problem. It’s the following line:

“But I just can’t feel good about it.”

What we have here is a classic case of unspecific pronoun. It seems like I’m saying that I can’t feel good about all the people asking to read book two. But that’s not the case. I’m cool with that. As I’ve said, it’s really rather flattering, and I wish I could take people up on their offers. Because, as I’ve said, I love feedback.

That sentence should read, “But I just can’t feel good about handing out copies of book two to strangers.”

This, my friends, is why I do a lot of revisions. One misused pronoun and the entire emphasis of a piece of writing gets fucked up.

Just wanted to clarify.

Love,

pat

Posted in book two, the business of writing, the craft of writing | By Pat116 Responses
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