I write stuff for kids...and muse on writing, children's books, and the publishing industry in general

Monday, June 6, 2011

Beta Match - Are you looking for a critique partner or a beta reader?

It can be hard (and I mean H.A.R.D) to find a critique partner or beta reader (and even harder to find a great one!). Some of you have found critique partners and beta readers through those you know in person, while others have found them in bloggers you met online, through online conferences such as WriteOnCon, through forums such as Verla Kay's Blueboards, Absolute Write, and in other ways. But time and again recently I’ve seen people commenting that they don’t know where to look. So I thought I’d help out (*grins*).

Today I'm running a Beta Match (and don't let the name fool you, it's for critique partners too!). If you’re interested, there are two options:
OPTION ONE: Put your details and what you’re looking for in the comments below, using the following template:
Name: (your name, pen name, or blogging handle)
Email: (your email address OR write "address with Rach" - this option is only if you don't share your email address online. If you want me to pass your email address on to anyone who is interested in becoming your CP or beta reader, you'll also need to send me an email to let me know)
My current WIP: (give a few details)
I'm looking for: (a critique partner or beta reader or both. Plus give info about the critiquing style/focus/etc that you want from a CP/beta reader, and whether you have work ready to be looked at now or are looking for a long-term partnership)
Some info about me: (anything you think a potential CP or beta reader will need to know)
OPTION TWO: Read through other comments in the post to see if someone who’ll suit your needs has commented. Then contact them directly. (If their comment says "address with Rach", email me to ask for their details - please include their original comment in your email so I can work out who you're talking about. If you've left a comment as well, please include that too)
Depending on interest, I might make Beta Match a regular feature of Rach Writes…, so let me know if it has been helpful for you.

Please note: Beta Match isn't only for those who have a piece of work ready to be critiqued right now. It's intended to be a way for people to find critique partners who can help them with their writing/revisions/etc over the long-term. Even if you're after a beta reader, you can still connect with someone now and swap work at a later date :)


Raquel Byrnes said...

Name: Raquel Byrnes

Email: raquel.byrnes@gmail.com

My current WIP: I'm writing a Gothic romance, inspirational fiction.

I'm looking for: A Beta Reader, to focus on flow, pace, believability of characters and story. I don't want a crit partner...I have one. I want a reader of romance to give me input.

Some info about me: I write romantic suspense, traditionally published with a three book series. Looking to start a new series with darker elements so I need a reader to give honest feedback.

Miriam Drori said...

Name: Miriam Drori

Email: miriam_drori@yahoo.co.uk (I'll give out my normal one offline.)

My current WIP: A novel about two women who meet by chance and change their lives.

I'm looking for: a critique partner.

Some info about me: I've just had my first short story published in an anthology. I'm still looking for the best way to write about social anxiety. I was born and raised in London and now live in Jerusalem.

Many thanks to Rach for doing this :)

AimeeLSalter said...


Name: Aimee L. Salter

Email: aimeelsalter@gmail.com

My current WIP: “If the truth could kill you, would you want to know?”

Dani's been bundled her off to an exclusive boarding school so her father can avoid dealing with her mental illness. But she soon learns her schizophrenia is actually second sight.

She’s the Seer -- anticipated since Creation by warring superhuman armies – and the guy of her dreams might choose to save the world, or dominate it.

Only Dani can stop the supernatural war about to step out of the shadows of human history… But which side holds the truth? And which will kill her for telling it?

I'm looking for: Beta Readers who regularly purchase or take YA books out of the library.

I need feedback on how compelling the stories are, whether the reader would buy it, and any suggestions for improvement.

I'd love to form ongoing partnerships with readers, but one offs are fine too.

Some info about me: I have an agent, am working hard for a traditional publishing contract and LOVE taking feedback from readers.

blankenship.louise said...

Name: L. Blankenship

Email: blankenship.louise at gmail dot com

My WIP: Hard SF/thriller, follow-up to same. Won't be ready for beta for a while, but more feedback on the previous volume would be good. Got some short stories kicking around too.

Looking for: Kinda flexible, here. Beta, crit partner, willing to be an idea sounding board/writing buddy (or give it a try anyhow.) Long-time fan of hard and soft SF, high/traditional fantasy. Explicit violence and/or sex is OK and horror isn't a problem though I wouldn't say I'm a fan. I can be picky when it comes to facts and realism, though.

Info: My background's in biology and graphic design and I'm something of an infovore. I write nightly and post my word counts on Twitter (LBlankenship_sf). Unpublished as yet. I can confidently say I've written my first million words -- no guarantee of quality, of course, but I'm in this for the long haul. :)

PK HREZO said...

So great that you're doing this. I get this question quite a bit too. I shall tweet about your efforts post haste. ;)

dare2believe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zad said...

Oh, thank you so much for doing this! It's what I've been looking for for a long time. :)

Name: Zad

Email: dare.2.believe@hotmail.com

My current WIP: I need help trying to insert this into a genre. Can I say quirky? It's about a messed up teen girl living halfway between fantasy and reality, and her search for self-acceptance.

Looking for: a critique partner, though I'm open to anything.

About me: I am a writer.
Ha, is that too granted? Yet it is all I am.

Colene Murphy said...

What an awesome thing you're doing here!! I bet you're going to help so many people out!!

Alynza Smith said...

Name: Alynza Smith

Email: Alynza@gmail.com

My current WIP: YA Fiction

She has to believe the unbelievable as ancient Greek myths of Gods come alive and intertwine with biblical beliefs held since the beginning of man. As she unravels the disgraceful secrets of her past, the fragility of her memories are pieced back together by an enemy she has no choice but to trust. It's either trust him or risk losing what sanity she has left along with the souls of many.

I'm looking for: A critique partner or beta reader or both for YA fantasy/fiction/romance/paranormal. I'm open to both short & long term partnerships.

Some info about me: I'm a freelance writer. As far as novel writing, I'm unpublished and have been working on a YA manuscript as well as children's picture books.

E. Arroyo said...

Name: Elizabeth Arroyo, blog: ChandaraWrites at chandarawrites.blogspot.com

Email: elizabeth.arroyo5@gmail.com

My current WIP: I have a few I'm working on. From YA Contemporary to YA Dystopian. I'll send a brief synopsis if interested.

I'm looking for: I'm looking for a partner in crime. Someone to provide honest feedback with all the grace of a friend. I'm looking for feedback on craft: plot, characterization etc, as well as line edits: punctuation and grammar. Though it doesn't have to come from the same person.

Some info about me: I am not married to a specific genre. My heart gravitates to dark fantasy, but I've learned to appreciate stories in general. I am a fan of Simone Elkeles, Michael Scott, Suzanne Collins, Sherillyn Kenyon and others. You can find what I've read on my blog. I can provide feedback on characterization, plot, voice, etc. I have one of my manuscripts out on sub.


Laura said...

Name: Laura

Looking for: Chick Lit Authors

Why: because I'm an avid chick-lit reader and basically guzzle the genre, so I'd love to put my 'experience' as a reader to good use

WIP: I am on my very first novel. It's going to be a while before I'm at the stage to send out, but will get there in a couple of months I hope

email: l dot bambrey at gmail dot com

great idea Rach!

Writing Writerly things said...

Name: Lyn_Almodovar
Email: marilynjeulin@yahoo.fr
My current WIP: Ein Drache

YA Fantasy, about two sisters who discover that dragons are real and that they belong to an ancient Phoenix Royal Family

I'm looking for: CP and Beta Reader
I would like to find someone like minded who loves YA, Paranormal, Fantasy and Dystopian as these are the types of stories that I write and would like to read in exchange.

Some info about me: I'm a Gemini don't let that scare you. I am honest, though I would never disrespect a fellow writer. I am a mom, I have an 11 year old and 6 months old baby. This means that though I will beta and critique my partner's work, I will probably be slow doing so. So please bear with me.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Great idea Rach...

You are always so sweet and helpful!

Denise Covey said...

Just popped by for a cuppa. Howzit going? This is a great idea and I might come back, but I'm going away for a month so timing is off.

Thanks for helping as per usual...


Lisa Potts said...

Wonderful idea, Rach. I'll have my eyes open.

Anonymous said...

The Capillary

rupturedcapillary [at] gmail [dot] com

My current WIP is a YA novel about a high school student swamped with a series of urban fantasy events.

I would be open to anything, a critique partner or beta-reader. Just a second set of eyes, really.
I have a lot of unfinished works, and it takes me a long time to finish anything, so if you're not able to be a beta/CP now and would like to in a few months, I would be cool with that.

I write in a lot of different genres, mostly because I like to try new things. I have a fulltime day job that keeps me occupied a lot, so when I write is usually on my days off. I also tend to be travelling a lot (<3 road trips), hence why I'm slow.

Abby Minard said...

Oh, this is so great for those newbs out there! Hope they can find a good match! I'm cheering all of you on!

Sherry said...

I'm working on my fifth romantic suspense and I am down a critique partner due to her having a newborn. I would love another set of eyes for my work and would love to find someone wanting to trade chapters.

WordWeaver @ kc.rr.com

Suze said...

Zad, I like what you've written. Your voice leapt off the page.

Zas said...

Aw, thank you Suze! That's so sweet of you!

*dances around rejoicing*

Zad said...

Aw, thank you Suze! That's so sweet of you!

*dances around rejoicing*

Zad said...

Aw, thank you Suze! That's so sweet of you!

*dances around rejoicing*

Zan Marie said...

I really can't at the moment, but I did tag you at my blog. I owe all my platform building skills to you. Thanks, Lady!

Lissa said...

Thanks very much for doing this, Rach. It's a wonderful idea.

Cally Jackson said...

Name: Cally Jackson

Email: callyjackson at gmail dot com

My current WIP: YA contemporary.

The story follows the intertwined lives of Ceara and Seb, two country teenagers, as they struggle to adapt to uni life, frustrating flatmates, romantic rejection and a mountain of unexpected challenges.

I'm currently about halfway through my first edit and will be looking for critique partners and beta readers in September (approx) to let me know what works for them and what doesn't. Plus any ideas on how they think the story can be improved. And if they spot any typos, I'd like to know about those too! :-)

Crystal Collier said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Crystal Collier said...

Name: Crystal Collier (compulsive cheese connoisseur) http://crystalcollier.blogspot.com

Email: crystal (at) immortalthemusical (dot) com

Current WIP: Faux Paw, YA Urban Fantasy

Socially inept Faux only wanted a boyfriend, until she burst into flame and initiated the apocalypse. Now all she wants is to go home.

Looking for: a critique partner. All my old ones grew up and took on "day job" careers. *sigh* Looking for keeps--someone whose style, experience, and quirkiness mesh with my own.

Some info about me: I've completed several novels and at one point had a literary agent, but declined going forward until my family is older. Still experimenting and discovering where I most love to write, and have branched out from MG fantasy to YA and Adult historical fantasy, thriller, dark comedy, and romance. Samples can be found on my "readers" blog link.

Daniel R. Marvello said...

Name: Daniel R. Marvello

Email: daniel [dot] marvello [at] gmail [dot] com

My current WIP: Former guard captain Jaylan Forester helps a secretive sorceress named Sulana on her mission to recover a stolen magical ring, and discovers something about himself that he wishes he didn't know.

I'm looking for: A critique partner and/or beta readers. I'd love to find other writers who are interested in trading critiques. I'm not looking for free editing work here, I just need feedback on the strong and weak points of my stories, such as continuity problems, confusing passages, or glaringly unanswered questions. A long-term partnership would be great, but hey, I understand that life happens.

Some info about me: I'm a structure junkie, and I'm sure I'd work best with someone who is like-minded, or perhaps a pantser who *wants* help with structure. I'm also very new at fiction writing. I just started this year, although I've been writing non-fiction (including co-authoring 3 self-published books) for many years. My technical skills are solid, but I'm at the beginning of my journey to learn about the craft of writing fiction.

You can learn more about me and my WIP from my blog: www.DanielRMarvello.com.

Daniel R. Marvello said...

Oops. Forgot to include genre info. You can probably tell from the description of my WIP, but I'm writing Swords and Sorcery Fantasy.

However, I happily *read* mysteries, thrillers, science fiction, and urban fantasy as well.

Akoss said...

Name: Akoss
Email: ank272(at)live(dot)com

My current WIP: YA Paranormal (I think): Seventeen-year-old Fredeline didn’t want to move with her family to the island in the middle of nowhere, crowded with people who didn’t speak her language. However, she was given little to no choice.
A few days after Fredeline and her family moved into their new home, an earthquake hit the island, shortly followed by a Tsunami. It all happens while she is enjoying herself at a birthday party and the rest of her family is on a trip to the capital city.
Fredeline survives both natural disasters and set off to the capital city to find the whereabouts of her family. She plans to get there as quick as possible – no matter what –but it is without running into a mysterious pyromaniac boy, and a handsome killer with no memory of his past.
The first thing Fredeline wants is for her family to be safe and sound, the last thing she wants is to be delayed, but her heart and conscience will have none of the later.

I'm looking for: a Critique Partner. General feedback to line edit and picky critiquing is welcome as long as it comes with honesty and a dash of though love. I’m looking for someone open minded about multiculturalism and also who reads and write MG.

Some info about me: I recommend to check my blog and then decide if I could be the one you’re looking for. I want to grow as a writer and hopefully make a friend along the way.

Thank you for reading. :)

Nancy Thompson said...

Name: Nancy S. Thompson

Email: acadia1997@msn.com

My current WIP: THE MISTAKEN, an adult thriller (90,000 words - contains violence and graphic sexual situations)

The story of Skylar Karras, a man who, after devastating personal tragedy, loses his moral compass to vengeance and alcoholism. In a drunken haze, he misidentifies the wrong woman and object of his revenge during an unspeakable act of violence. With his eyes made clear by the stark reality of his mistake, Sky battles the forces he has unleashed in order to protect and restore her life while somehow finding redemption for his own.
(Complete synopsis available)

I'm looking for: either a beta or crit partner. In the past, I've traded chapters with partners via email. We would critique on content, structure, style and grammar all the way down to line editing, but general feedback is welcome, as well. It would be nice to have someone to work with now, but I'm always looking for those I can have a long-term partnership with, though that is not necessary.

About me: I am a new writer, but proficient. I've worked with 7 partners and have whipped my ms into pretty good shape. I've been busy reading all the blogs and books on honing my craft and feel reasonably well about my progress, but I know my writing can and will only get better with the use of writing partners.

KM Nalle said...

Name: Kari Marie

Email: karimariewhite@gmail.com

My current WIP: Adult urban fantasy (with romance) A Fallen Angel. The story is changing so much right now that it's hard to pin it down, but I can give you this. Raithe is a Fallen Angel who stumbles upon a conspiracy by demons to overtake heaven. He enlists the help of a few gifted humans and his former love (an angel) to stop the attack.

I'm looking for: I'm looking for a crit partner for a long term relationship (this sounds like a singles ad). Seeking someone who likes red ink and can spot a dangling participle a mile away. Really, I just want someone to be honest with me, tell me what works and what doesn't. I welcome help with all aspects of my writing. I do not have work ready to be critiqued yet.

Some Info about Me: I'm revising my first novel (but it's not ready to be read yet). I'd love to start reading and critiqueing others work though. I will admit I'm also a virgin crit partner, but I'm not a shrinking violet. If it's bad I want to hear about it and I'll try to be fair and honest in my critiques as well. Would love to develop a great working relationship.

Anonymous said...

I think this is an awesome idea and I was going to sign up for it, but yesterday I found a Critique Partner, so thanks for the oportunity Rach. :O)

Daniel Audet said...

Daniel Audet


WIP: A paranormal short story and a full length action thriller.

Looking for: A crit partner to help with feedback on my writing. I have work ready to be looked at, both the short and the novel.

Info about me: I'm a long time blogger, song writer with a large following. I'm working hard to polish my fiction and can offer promo help to a more advanced writer for help with my writing and revisions. I'm revising the short story and 25K into my novel. Contact me anytime for info on my FB, Twitter and blog pages.

Erica Pike said...

I'll throw in a new genre. Maybe I won't find a person to critique, since you guys are mostly YA writers/readers, but what the hey ;)

Name: Erica Pike

Email: eripike@gmail.com

My current WIP: Gay romance (contains erotica, so language and images is not for the light-hearted) about Adam who falls in love with his adorable and hot roommate Jesse. Sparks fly between the two and Jesse has to decide if he wants to do what is expected of him and marry a girl after college or have a future with Adam.

I call my books "Gay flicks" as in "Chick flicks" because of the lightness and language I use. My stories always have a happy ending even if there's some drama in the middle and nearing the end (it's gay lit for goodness sake! There has to be some drama).

I'm looking for: A critique partner would be fantastic - one who writes gay literature since I'm most invested in that category at the moment. Beta reader would also be great (if you don't write gay lit).

Info about me: Not much to say. I'm female who's been writing gay lit for a few months, but YA for a few years. I'm yet unpublished, but things are looking great with my gay lit since I already have several contacts among publishers and established authors.

Sylvia said...

I know I am late but I thought I'd jump in anyway :D

Name: Sylvia van Bruggen
Email: svb@bouncr.com
My current WIP: high fantasy, could turn out to be YA, for now I think it's not :)
I'm looking for: both. I need a beta for some short stories ready to go out, and a critique partner for my WiP. Would love to do a novel exchange!
Some info about me: I read a lot of genres, so would love to have a CP who writes in a different genre. Am also an avid blogger, and would love to exchange comments on blogs :)

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