Paid Critiques Helpful to Many
ACFW does something unique. The conference offers Paid Critiques—the opportunity to submit a manuscript to a working writer before the conference for a very nominal charge and get face-to-face feedback. Some of the critiquers commented on what they saw.
Lena Nelson Dooley (right) said a couple of her pre-published authors were much closer to publication quality than she’d seen before.
She also said paid critiques are a wonderful way for an experienced author to be able to connect with other authors who live in places where they may not have as much help or connections. The chance to encourage someone with so much potential is a high point of Lena’s conference experience.
Roxanne Rustand (right) was blown away by the quality of the work she critiqued and said meeting with those writers at ACFW was delightful. She felt each was open to comments and suggestions. “That positive attitude will be extremely helpful to them when they sell and are working with their editors,” she said.
Jenny B. Jones mentioned she saw some manuscripts that were ready to pitch, as well as some that still needed tweaking.
Jones (right) suggested preparing for a critique by reading Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and David King. She also suggested those receiving critique have questions prepared in case there’s extra time. Fifteen minutes may seem short, but most critiquers are prepared and can run through their comments quickly. “Since you paid for the time,” Jones said, “use it to the fullest.”
“Be open minded,” she added. “Remember, this is just one person’s opinion about your work, so take it or leave it. But if that person has much experience with the market, editors, and/or agents, I’d tune in.”
I did paid critiques as well. My critiques shared that they received comments similar to mine from the editors and agents they talked with. Since they’d already heard my feedback, they were more prepared to talk turkey with the editors. As a result, several got a qualified “send it to me if…” request.
More proof that it can be quite beneficial to show your work to someone with industry experience—someone who’s sold books knows what editors and agents are looking for.
God bless you and the work of your hands.