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

Sunday, September 18, 2011

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

It can be hard 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 I’ve seen people commenting that they don’t know where to look. So I thought I’d help out (*grins*).

I'm running a Beta Match (and don't let the name fool you, it's for critique partners too!). Here's an awesome post from agent Mary Kole that describes the differences between CPs and beta readers.

If you’re interested in taking part in my Beta Match, 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)
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 this post to see if someone who’ll suit your needs has commented. Then contact them directly.

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 :)


PK HREZO said...

What an awesome thing to do, Rach! :)

Joanna said...

Rach, great idea, just need to think about what I want to write. Might it be valuable to briefly describe the difference between a Beta Reader and Critique Partner?

Rachael Harrie said...

Thanks so much PK :)

Hi Joanna, great idea. I've now included a link above to a great post on beta readers and critique partners for everyone's information.



MorningAJ said...

Great idea. I think I'm in - but I need to think about what I actually want from it. (A good kick up the pants to get me writing again, probably). I'll be back...

MISH said...

I'm definitely in ! I need to give it some thought and then get back to you ! Would probably need somebody who's in for the long haul though ...

Tracey Joseph said...

I'm in as well. I've been looking for a few beta readers.

Rachael Harrie said...

Guys, if you're in and want to find someone, don't forget to leave your details :)



blankenship.louise said...

Name: L. Blankenship when online

Email: Blankenship.louise at gmail dot com

WIP: Currently writing hard fantasy but I also have two hard sci fi novels on tap for revision.

Looking for: Crit partner, ultimately, but willing to just beta if that is what you want. If you are looking for someone to check scientific plausibility, my bachelors was in molecular genetics and I have boned up on physics for my hard sf :) I have a thick skin when it comes to crits and I can be a tough reader.

Anonymous said...

Name: Rebekah Loper
Email: rebekah (dot) loper (at) gmail (dot) com
My current WIP: Rough draft of a dark-ish fantasy that's in the 1st round of edits, will have one or two more rough drafts of other stories in the next 6 months.
I'm looking for: critique partners right now, maybe a beta reader or two that's willing to be waiting for a while! I do want long-term partners, I have one already, but would like a couple more.
Some info about me: I'm a Christian, and it will come across in my writing, and sometimes it will be intentional, other times not. I don't want someone who's going to edit any of that out, unless there's an actual reason for it (such as it really doesn't work the way I put it in). That being said, I also tend to write some pretty graphic stuff, most of my writing is not child-friendly. Any critique partners and betas will have to be able to handle both extremes of that. Also, my weak points are commas (my current critique partner laughs at my rough drafts), the fine points of grammar, and dialogue. Someone who has those strengths would be awesome :)

Trisha said...

It's a great idea, and I want a beta reader!! :P Not quite yet though... I hope it's okay to fish around for one and make them wait till I'm done with my current paper edit ;)

Name: Trisha
Email: tay [dot] sedai [at] gmail [dot] com
My current WIP: The WIP I'm working on is a contemporary romance about rock stars.
I'm looking for: I've got some great CPs already so I'm looking for a beta reader or two (or fifteen) who are interested in giving me some honest feedback (and yes, I can take 'brutally honest' feedback, if that's how the beta feels they must critique!). I want fresh eyes on my work - gosh knows my own eyes are missing heaps by this point. Currently I'm working on a paper edit and have about 80 pages to go...then I have to implement the changes from that...I'm estimating I'll be another month at least before I'm ready, so I'm looking for a long-term 'arrangement'. P.S. I'm also happy to take a look at any work in return, but right now I don't have heaps of time to spend on that. I'll do chapter by chapter though.
Some info about me: There's nothing you really must know, I don't think, except that I write across heaps of genres so I'm not confined to just contemp romance. Oh, and my characters tend to use bad language. If potential betas really can't stand that, they may not be the ones for me and my MS!

Yvie Gonya said...

Name: Yvie Gonya
Email: yviegonya@yahoo.com

My current WIP: I'm currently working on two Young Adult projects.
1. A trilogy that takes place in a sort of dystopian future, but focuses more on the characters and their emotional growth in that world. Sort of a spy novel. Book 1 is completed, queried, have a full manuscript request out. About to start second book.

2. A YA contemporary. 5,000 words in. Some themes are friendship, trust, and overcoming fears. Warning: there's an abusive character in this book.

I'm looking for: For Book 1, I guess I'm looking for a beta reader, just to read the book and give me opinions/point out any gaping holes I missed.

For Book 2, I'd love a critique partner that I could exchange chapters with as they're written. I've never been a critique partner before but I want to learn.

Some info about me: I'm looking for a CP who writes YA. As a teenager, I can read YA books as the target audience and give an opinion as a reader as well as a writer. I'm okay with brutal honesty--I want to make my books better. I can take it, I promise :). After these two projects, my next two planned books are YA fantasy.

Nicole Zoltack said...

Name: Nicole Zoltack

Email: Nicole.Zoltack@gmail.com

My current WIP: A MG fantasy about a young girl whose magical pen allows whatever she writes to come true. Think The Neverending Story meets Graceling. This is my first time attempting MG.

I'm looking for: both a critique partner and a beta reader. I especially would love to work with someone who has more experience in MG than I do. I have work ready to be looked at now, and would love to find a long-term partner if it works out for us both.

Some info about me: I write for all ages - from PBs up through adults. My other novel is a magical realism adult novel. Besides being an author, I am also an editor for three publishers.

Tracey Joseph said...

Name: Tracey Joseph

Email: tracey_joseph (at) msn (dot) com

My current WIP: My current YA novel, Summer Spell, is about friendships, love, and family issues.

It is now complete.

I'm looking for: I’m looking for a beta reader or three, namely someone who enjoys reading contemporary and/or historical YA fiction. I’m looking for feedback on voice, plot, character development, and any spelling or grammar errors that may or may not pop up.

I’m not very picky, so I will take feedback of any kind.

Some info about me: I also enjoy writing flash fiction, and I will read almost anything. So if anyone wants to swap, please feel free to email me.

Isis Rushdan said...

What a fantastic idea!! Thanks for doing this.

Anonymous said...

(Pen) Name: Carrie-Anne Brownian

E-mail: CarrieAnne79 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Three projects you can choose from:

My superlong Russian historical novel (somewhat shorter than Anna Karenina), which I'm doing one final sweep-through of after extensively editing, revising, rewriting, and polishing it after taking it out of the obsolete file formats it'd been held hostage on for 10 years. Part I is set in Russia from 1917 to 1921, and Part II is in America from 1921 to 1924.

My even longer contemporary historical women's fiction book (which could cross over into YA because of the age of the characters), set from 1959 to 1974. It's my imagined telling of the growing-up story and eventual happy ending of a little girl who could've been the one who inspired the famous Four Seasons' song "Rag Doll." (This one is around the length of The Brothers Karamazov, but I can break it up into Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IV for anyone interested.)

My much-shorter historical fiction YA Atlantic City books. The ones in the opening serial, set from 1938 to 1941, are extremely short, and the first book in one of the other series featuring these characters is set during the summer of 1941 and around 60,000 words. (These books originally started as a spoof and satire on modern preteens and teens, so there's somewhat of an air of deliberate, knowing, sometimes over the top unreality about this fictional world, not to be mistaken for historical inaccuracy.)

About me: I do have very liberal and natural-minded views (within reason), and those views often come across in my books and my characters' viewpoints as part of the stories. But don't worry, I'm not one of those crunchier than thou zealots who beats people over the head with one-sided propaganda!

Annalise Green said...

Name: Annalise Green

Email: greenannalise@gmail.com

My current WIP: Here are summaries for my two major WIP:

Teenage slacker Casey only wants to smoke his remaining days of high school away in a pot-fueled haze, but first the lights flicker and then most of the people disappear and finally gigantic, spider-like aliens appear on the horizon of his hometown. Televisions broadcast a strange message: Welcome to the Mock Universe. If you want to leave, kill the last one. The problem? Casey was the last to arrive, or rather the last one, and now he’s trying to survive in a bizarre alternate dimension full of menacing aliens and shell-shocked young adults who want very badly to go home. And he’s trying to protect younger brothers Cameron and Evan while he’s at it.

Beyond the dark forest, before the ogre lands, there lies a haunted valley, where every twenty years the human villagers must sacrifice a young girl to a murderous demon known only as the Scarlet Lady. Spider is the latest in a long history of such sacrifices, but the Lady does not want her, as she only eats maidens who are happy, beautiful and clever. Spider is apathetic, ugly and illiterate, so the hungry Lady embarks on a plot to adopt and better her. Spider has two choices: remain unhappy, or fall prey to a strange demon who is at once ghost, witch, dragon and the haunted valley itself.

If you're interested in a snapshot of some of my other ideas, check out my projects page here: http://annalisegreen.com/?page_id=807

I'm looking for: Critique partner - someone in for the long haul, who can be patient with me when my stories suck. ;)

Some info about me: I think that writers should be thick-skinned but also that critique partners should be respectful. I strive for respect and manners in my critiques, and I expect the same in my partners.

1000th.monkey said...

Since I have done a ton of beta-reading over the years, something I have found helpful is to exchange the first scene or two of your story with a potential CP/Beta-reader to see if you can *click* with the story/writing style.

That way you both know what you're getting into before you commit to the partnership.

Anonymous said...

Name: East Bay Writer
Email: aneastbaywriter@gmail.com
My current WIP: I have done a huge brain dump of lots of notes/stories about my life. I’m now sorting through it to determine where the real stories are, and plan to focus on essays, then longer term, a memoir.
I'm looking for: I’m interested in both beta readers and critique partners, ideally for the long term. I have little experience with either, but am well read, and believe I can offer a lot as a partner to another writer. I am not afraid of criticism, so think I would pair well with someone who is direct. What’s most important to me is to hear from others what works, what doesn’t, etc.
Some info about me: My writing interests at the moment lean towards memoir and other creative nonfiction. I am also beginning to consider freelance article writing, so would love to connect with people comfortable with either. I’m starting a new job next week, and may be a bit buried as I settle in, but I am committed to writing on a regular basis. I’m 38, live in the Bay Area with my partner and her soon-to-be 7-year old. I work in technology and I suppose like most of us out here, I am determined to find a way to make writing my career, though I imagine that may take some time. I write anonymously online as I work through some of the family issues related to my writing topics, but will share my personal information with partners.

prerna pickett said...

Name: Prerna Pickett
E-mail: prernapickett at yahoo dot com
Current WIP: The Circle of Elements, YA paranormal romance about two teens who learn about a secret organization that protects the world from otherworldly beings, and of their secret powers.
I'm looking for both beta readers and critique partners. I want someone who can be brutally honest but can give constructive criticism that will make me a better writer. This current story is on the long side, so I'm looking for places that I can make cuts without compromising the story. I read a lot of YA, whether it's contemporary, urban fantasy, dystopian, etc. I am familiar with all those sub genres and love to read them all, although I tend to enjoy them more if there's some kind of romance. I'm currently working on the sequel to the Circle of Elements and another story about witches. I'm also looking for a more longterm relationship with critique partners.

Callie Leuck said...

Callie Leuck


My current WIPs:
A fantasy in which a girl who is the last of a warrior family descended from a prophet-warrior is captured by the powerful lord who swore to destroy her family. Also, he is trying to take over the world and there is an ancient prophecy about his potential downfall
A fantasy involving (1)a girl who became servant to an ancient being in exchange for the being taking away her ability to feel emotions and (2) the runaway younger brother of the king and (3) an invasion of impossible creatures that threaten to destroy the kingdom.

I'm looking for:
Critique partner(s) who would be willing to do chapter-by-chapter critiques. I have some material ready but most of this would be a month or a few months down the road. I have recently realized the value of critiques, and definitely am open to anything that a critique partner points out as needing work.

Some info about me:
I have a full-time job and also attend classes two nights of the week. I am not going to come out with a fresh chapter every week. I'm definitely on the month-to-month schedule with my WIPs.

Unknown said...

What an awesome idea! Here's my info:

(pen)Name: Daina Rustin

Email: daina(at)mystictreehouse.com

My current WIP: My main genre is sword and sorcery and epic fantasy. I have short and not so short stories like this: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/87915 (or for a shorter sample, dig up my First Campaigner Challenge) - some finished, some in the process of writing.
I also have one 100k words unfinished novel that turned into YA somehow, and I'm not really good with YA ^__^; It's about a 14-year-old prince and his little sister that are running from their enemies across an unfamiliar country, forced to ask help from the natives that might be just as dangerous for them as the people chasing them.

I'm looking for: I'd be happiest if I could find two or three long term critique partners/beta readers/writer buddies to make a small writing group where we could help each other write and edit. Two heads see better than one, but three see even better :D But I'll take anything I can get :)

Some info about me: I write fantasy, but I would be also interested in beta reading/critiquing sci-fi, horror, and similar genres. I don't have much time for writing, so that means you won't get swamped with material to read. Unfortunately, it also means you might have to wait a bit until I get to your writing, but I will try damn hard for you to not have to wait too long. In my critiques I try to be honest but sensitive, and point to both good things and bad things in your writing. I'm thick-skinned, so I can take even the hardest critique, anything to fix my writing. I'm not an exceptional writer, but I think I'm not a total beginner either. I believe I'm somewhere in the middle, trying to get better.

Christine Rains said...

Fabulous idea! Thank you, Rachael. :)

Name: Christine Rains

Email: christinerains.writer [at] gmail.com

My current WIP: Paranormal romance. Adult. This one rates high on the erotica scale, but not all my novels are as such.

I'm looking for: Beta readers. I would like readers who have experience reading and/or writing paranormal romance for adults. I would love someone to help focus on the story and characterization. I'd like readers who are open and honest, and in it for the long haul. I want to know if you don't like something or if it's not working. I have thick skin!

Some info about me: I have several short stories published from various genres, but all my novels are paranormal romance. I'm a stay-at-home mom with four degrees. I'm a member of RWA and S.C.I.F.I. I can be both a critique partner and a beta reader. I'm honest but respectful. I'll tell you what's working and what isn't, and try to help you work through it.

Devin Bond said...

This is a great idea! If only I was a few chapters closer to finishing my WIP. That's a good sign that I should go write till my fingers go numb!

Doreen said...

This is amazing Rach...

I would love to find a long term critique partner or 2 as I write the 2nd drafts of 2 WIP's. Both are geared towards YA and are non-fiction. You can read about them under books at: http://www.doreenmcgettigan.com

I would love to beta or critique...I have no favorite genre.

Thank you!!

Joanna said...

Hope I can find someone as I don't see many in my genre.

Name: Joanna Marple

Email: jdmarpleATgmailDOTcom

Looking for critique partner (and beta) for realistic fiction chapter book and picture books. Just started writing this year so much to learn... feeling I have a bit of a handle on picture books but a bit weak in my chapter book plot... In giving and receiving critique I actually prefer the word feedback! Lots of positives first then honest questioning where things may need some revision.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I found all three of my critique partners online after posting a desperate call for help on my blog.

Claire Hennessy said...

Rachael, you are so generous and informative with your blog posts. I just want to thank you for this fantastic Campaign, the masses amount of time I am sure it must take to orchestrate something like this and for bringing all us writers together :)

Name: Claire Hennessy

Email: claire(dot)hennessy11(at)gmail(dot)com

My current WIP: I am writing a humorous memoir about how I reunited with my childhood sweetheart (who I met at boarding school in England when I was 13) after a 30 year absence, only to find he was living on the opposite side of the world.
I am three-quarters way through, but have edited the first half a few times and would love some honest feedback. Friends/family have read/loved/commented but looking for more unbiased advice!

I'm looking for: A critique partner/s. I would love to work long-term with someone (or possibly a small group) who is committed to work regularly. It doesn't have to be more than once/twice a month but I have tried to work with others before and then their lives get too busy and they dropped out. I really want to get my book finished and
into a best-seller (lol) and am really happy to read and critique in return. I am reasonably thick-skinned, appreciate directness and am willing to take constructive criticism. I will be honest, but kind with my comments. I am not an English Major, but I used to proof-read in a past life and my spelling is pretty good.

I would also love some Beta readers as soon as I've finished the final quarter.

Some info about me: I am a new'ish writer but have been an avid reader all my life from an early age (Enid Blyton and up). I have a good sense of humor and enjoy all genres of writing. At the moment I have a reasonable amount of time to commit to a critique partner or being a Beta reader.

J E Fritz said...

Thanks Rach, this is a great help :)

Name: J E Fritz
Email: jefritz4@gmail.com
My current WIP: Glitch, YA/Dystopian with a sci-fi bent. It's still in rough draft form but early input is always helpful.
I'm looking for: Both critique partners and beta readers. I'd like someone who knows what works and what doesn't, and also doesn't mind explaining a bit.
Some info about me: I'm always happy to reciprocate. I also like to know why something doesn't work so I have a better idea how to fix it.

Aimée Jodoin said...

This is such an amazing opportunity, but unfortunately I won't be in need of a beta reader until January, perhaps, plus I don't think I would have much time to be a beta reader until January... I hope other people find the right match though!

Dawn M. Hamsher said...

Name: Dawn M. Hamsher

Email: dramadawn[at]embarqmail[dot]com
The Write Soil

My current WIP: The Library Chronicles - The Guardians is a MG Fantasy Adventure where a librarian and her friends become unwitting guardians of a powerful secret. They get thrust into another world and only they can save it.

I'm looking for: Beta Reader.

Beta Reader: My rough draft is ready to be looked at. Here are the questions I need answered.
Overall impression of book?
Is the story interesting?
Did I develop the characters enough?
Did I develop the setting enough?
Are there places that stop the action/hinder the story?
Do I have a good balance and rhythm to the story?
How is the opening, climax, and ending for the reader?
What is the major problem with my story?
Any other suggestions or comments are appreciated! I need guidance on what to revise first!

Some info about me: I am a Christian. This book is secular, but it was inspired by scripture and has Biblical truths as its foundation.

This is my first book. I am overwhelmed by the thought of revision, so I really need someone to help me focus on where to begin.

I can reciprocate as a Beta Reader!

Carol Riggs said...

Great set up, Rach! I have plenty of CPs at the moment, but this is a cool idea! ;o)

Anonymous said...

Rach, you're at it again. Awesome.

Name: Andrea from wordyliving.wordpress.com
Email: andrea.s [at] o2email [.] co [.] uk
My current WIP: You can choose from any of the following
1. Short stories: they're rather dark and dirty
2. A fantasy trilogy, My inca mother, that takes place in a parallel universe, where Hitler was not defeated
3. ‘Here’s my heart, you’re never gonna have it‘ is a story of four friends who struggle with grown-up relationships
4. The puzzle family, which is a TV-series taking place in the half-fictional, darker and more mystical side of Northern Ireland
I'm looking for: a critic partner who could help me with insights when I'm stuck, provide me with a deadline when I'm being lazy and who's patient enough because those wips (apart from the short stories of course) are not finished yet. I also would prefer someone for a mutual relationship, I'm more of a giver than a taker.
Some info about me: I'd like honesty but I'm not very thick-skinned yet. I'm learning but I'd prefer somebody who is gentle enough in their honesty.

Denise Covey said...

Rach, great start to the beta/CP finder campaign. I read through everyone's post but none in my genre, least not so far. I write contemporary women's fiction. Have a CP but will still stalk here in case another pops up.

Good luck to everyone!


Zan Marie said...

I wasn't thinking about doing either CP or Beta, but someone's description just hooked me. ; ) I'm off to email them.

Thanks, Rach!

J.L. Murphey said...

Hi Rach et al,
Name: Jo Murphey AKA J.L. Murphey/Jolee Morriss/ Grandma Jam
Email: jomurphey@yahoo.com

My current WIP: (I currently have 4 WIPs)
The Mayan Serpent (espionage/suspense)CIA operative is kidnapped by a Mayan to be sacrificed to their god of rain, Surviving Hank (southern fiction/suspense)Divorced mother of one in small GA town who become suspect #1 in her ex-husband's murder, Zombie Apocalypse: Travelers (suspense/horror) sequel to Zombie Apocalypse:Redemption eco ship os survivors whose ship becomes disabled off Hawaii and the islands are loaded with zombies, and my Sweet Haven children series ( I need no help with these).

I am willing to be a critique partner/editor/beta reader for anything other than romance (expect paranormal romance)...I know it cuts a lot of people out of the loop with this statement. I rarely read romances so I do not feel qualified in critiquing on what works and what doesn't. Although I do know tight, well written stories. I do full service editing everything from typos to grammar, to continutity and sequencing.

I'm looking for: I'm actually looking for beta readers. I also occaisonally need a fresh pair of eyes on text.

Some info about me: I've been an author for 30 years with standard and self-publishing credits. I've edited 257 titles for other authors...so I guess you could say I'm experienced in this area. I am offering my services as a critique partner and beta reader. I love to read as much as I love to write.

My critique style is basically this...it is YOUR novel. My suggestions are just that, suggestions. My questions are rhetorical. If I, as a reader, have a question, then it might be something you want to look at again. I'm always honest so you need to grow a thick skin. Take a look at my blog about "editing again" ( http://jomurphey.blogspot.com ) I usually critique a chapter at a time and work with either final version manuscripts or beginning WIP's. I will consider others. If you are willing to work hard so am I.

I work on four manuscripts at a time with nonfiction work thrown into the mix. I also help, on average, twelve other authors at a time. I know I'm crazy. I'm a semi-retired old Christian minister with time on her hands.

Anonymous said...

Name Clar Bowman-Jahn
Email CbowmanjahnAT yahoo dot com

wip --picture book and memoir

looking for cp and beta reader. will email from comment above but want more than one. would like several.
I like feedback on all parts of the writing craft. Am interested in making my writing better.

Anonymous said...

Name: Len Berry
Email: lentberry@gmail.com
My current WIP: Mind & Machine is the first book in a modern scifi/action series. In this book, a telepath is forced to choose between unrequited love and fighting a conspiracy.
I'm looking for: I could use beta readers just as much as I could use critique partners. Just to be open about it, I'm very open about feedback, so I can go on a small scale with ideas or I can report back on story content and character progression. I can share work now, so there won't be any waiting on my end, though I only give blocks of chapters at once, just to make sure I get some feedback.
Some info about me: I love anime and drawing. I watch movies and I rarely read the same writer or genre twice in a row. I typically write out of order, but put everything back in place once I'm finished.

Anonymous said...

Name: Bridget
Email: seasidesmores@gmail.com
Looking for: A beta reader to give feedback on a contemporary novel about a wife and mother struggling to come to terms with the choices she has made in life. Told through journal entries, it is both humorous and emotional.If you want to get a sample of it before comitting you can go to the book excerpts section on my blog. This novel is Searching For My Wand
Info about me: I am in the process of deciding what to do with this novel, self publish or hold out for a traditional publisher.

kelly said...

Name: Kelly
Email: kbeanz AT yahoo DOT com

My current WIP: picture book about a whale who learns a lesson about not letting criticism stop him from doing what he loves.

I'm looking for: a beta reader right now. The book is too long for a picture book, and I'd like someone to just give me feedback primarily on what parts you think could get cut. Once I've cut it down to size, I may want a critique partner, but that won't be for a few months. I can reciprocate something of similar length, see below.

Some info about me: I really won't have time to do any serious work until December, so ideally you'd be OK with waiting. If you want to read it now and send one-time feedback I'd be fine with that too. I can beta or critique something of similar length (i.e. short), but again, it has to wait til at least December. I'm up to my eyeballs in stress through Thanksgiving.

Louisa said...

This is a truly fantastic idea, Rachel and it comes at just the perfect time! Thank so much. hehe I feel like i'm being set up on a literary date ;-)

Name: Louisa
Email: lc7ultraviolet (at) gmail (dot) com
My current WIP: Mg Fantasy Adventure, The Silver Strand. Outline: Twelve year old, Isabelle grows a magical, silver strand of hair, but she is embarrassed by it and wishes it gone. The hair starts to die, draining her magic and life with it. So she has to do 3 tests to save it, including surviving being turned into a toad and dodging her father’s garden spade, challenging a grumpy dragon threatening to roast her on a spit and shooting a feather into a dartboard using her mind. But then things go awry and Isabelle is fighting for more than her life.
I'm looking for: Either crtique partner or beta reader. I'm looking for someone who can give me prompt feedback on voice, point of view, characters, plot, structure and suitability for target audience. This is the first book of a trilogy, so ideally someone in it for the long haul would be awesome!
Some info about me: I'm working part time right now to focus on my writing. I've been a member of Writing.com's Young Adult Novel Workshop for 2 years so I've experience at reviewing. And I can give feedback ASAP if needed.

Deana said...

I will be needing beta readers in a couple months so I'm in!
I am also looking for a face to face crit group if anyone is in the US KY area. Okay, here is my info:

Name:Deana Barnhart
My current WIP:YA time travel dystopian
I'm looking for:betas and sface-to-face crit group in US KY area. I will be ready for betas most likely by the end of November and long term would be awesome!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post, Rachael.

Name: Nellie

Email: solimond(at)gmail(dot)com

My current WIP: I have a steampunk story that I want to fix up.
Short Stories
Fantasy and other Urban Fantasy

I'm looking for: I'm looking for a crit partner/beta reader because I know that I'm bad with switching tenses and still miss getting them.

Some info about me: I tend to write a mix of fantasy, horror, sci fi and urban. Usually not a lot of romance in except for occasional bits.

Karen deBlieck said...

This is great!
Name: Karen deBlieck

Email: karen(dot)deblieck(at)gmail(dot)com

My current WIP:Working title is Rosalyn but I'm leaning towards naming it "Parched" It is a YA light fantasy novel.

Rosalyn has nothing; no home, no family, no friends. Yet demon wolves hunt her, the king fears her, and the fallen angel Satariel wants her destroyed; all for the sake of a book with no words. Forced to flee, she takes refuge in the secret city of Haven. But will she be able to trust her new friends and the myths of old? Or will an ancient darkness destroy both the world and her soul?

I'm looking for: both a critique partner and beta reader. I am a quarter the way through editing it and I am looking for a long-term partnership with someone who also writes for YA (not necessarily fantasy as that is just my current work in progress).

Some info about me: I am a Christian but do not read or write specifically christian pieces (no bashing people over the head with my views) although there are some christian themes in my wip (think C.S. Lewis' Narnia series).

Karen deBlieck said...

oops I meant to add to please email me to exchange the first few chapters to see if we would be a good match. Hope you'll drop me a line. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post Rachael!

Name: Lissa

Email: quidam87@gmail.com

My current WIP: YA urban fantasy novel due to be started in November. (Yes, for Nano.) It has, however, been in the works on many layers for the past 10 years with lots of background work and false starts. It will probably be early next year before I need someone to help with it.
I do a lot of work on dark lit short stories throughout the year too.

I'm looking for: A CP who is definitely willing to be long-term. I have one already, but the more eyes the better!

Some info about me: I write in many styles and would like to find someone open to most of them. I understand one CP may not be able to address everything. I do some poetry (variable subjects), short stories (usually dark literature), and novels (both YA and adult fantasy).

I would love to find someone who is great with character voice and little details. I tend to need help sharpening both.

My critique style is big on grammar though I tend to overlook it until you're getting toward the final drafts (unless you ask me to address it earlier). The first things I usually pull out when critiquing are things that sound awkward or places where I feel like, as a reader, parts of the story have been skipped so I don't understand. If there is something specific you want me to address in a critique, I will do so to the best of my ability if you just ask! I like to be thorough when critiquing and would love the same in return. =)

Michael D. Young said...

Name: Michael D Young
Email: thecanticlekingdom (at) gmail (dot) come
My current WIP: Many, mostly in Fantasy and Sci Fi, mostly YA and MG.
I'm looking for: A beta reader that is interested in reading my manuscripts as they come out over the long term. I love you to catch typos/grammar problems, but also to catch any moments when you are confused or bored as a reader.

Some info about me: I've already been published a few times and write very quickly. You can read about me and my work at http://www.writermike.com.

Anonymous said...

Callie Kingston
calliekingston (at) gmail (dot) com

My current WIP: Contemporary YA
I'm looking for: beta reader who enjoys contemporary YA to give feedback about voice, pace, character interest level, and general enjoyment of completed manuscripts

Willing to exchange same, as well as more in-depth critique if desired.

Bonnie said...

Name: Bonnie Rae
Email: bwilyat@gmail[dot]come

My current WIP: YA Sci/fi where androids are trying to replace humans entirely. This will be a series and I am currently half way through writing the first book.

I'm looking for: CP or Beta Reader. I really need a good, honest CP who can commit, same as the beta reader.

For the CP: I need them to be super honest on all things/categories of novel writing.

For Beta Reader: Flow, minor grammar mistakes and to let me know if area's seem to boring or tend to go on to long.

Some info about me: I haven't been published yet but I am hoping to get this current WIP online as an e-book by early next year. I have been writing since I was a kid, and novels since I was a teen. I enjoy reading all types of genres!

Alex Villasante said...

OK, what kind of witchcraft are you weaving? I was just moaning to my husband that I need a beta reader (not a crit partner, I have two of those) who is not related to me. THANK YOU for coming up with this great idea, Rachael!

Name: Alex Villasante
Email: anvillasante@gmail.com

My current WIP: YA Fantasy - BookEnd
Here's a bit from my query letter:
Finial Smith lives in a world where discarded book characters, called Quasi-Reals, come to be recycled or pressed into servitude. The Smiths are the last natural-born family living in a village of QRs. Their Farm is renowned for the fine quality of QR workers they produce. But being the only real boy for miles is getting on this sixteen year old’s nerves. Fin’s missing his dead mother, bored at school and tired of hearing his Da tell him about Nobless Oblige – the duty all natural-borns have to care and defend the dependent and weaker QR creatures.

When Fin meets Anne, a QR who breaks away from the herd, he finds a girl who is more alive and real than anyone he's ever met. A revolution is brewing in BookEnd with QRs determined to fight for the same rights as natural-borns. Fin has to decide whether to stand with his family and let Anne be destroyed, or to endanger the world he knows to save her.

I'm looking for: a beta reader. I've written/revised and re-revised this thing until I think it's ready. But I want someone to read it the way a 'reader' would, for the whole experience. My crit partners are great but they have been looking at it for a long time and have been getting it in chunks, which doesn't allow them to get into the flow.

Specifically I want to know: any areas that stopped your suspension of disbelief; anywhere that was slow, boring or too confusing; anywhere where you'd like to have MORE detail. (it's a comment I get a lot - expand, expand, expand)

Some info about me: I blog about writing (magpiewrites.blogspot.com) in an effort to understand what the hell I'm even doing. By attending conferences (one local, one writeoncon) I've gotten requests for partials from three agents. One was my first rejection (stabbed through the heart, much?) another I haven't heard back from and the last, who I have a girl-crush on, I haven't sent a full to yet. I've suddenly gotten cold feet.

Sharon Bayliss said...

Name: Sharon Bayliss
Email: sharonebayliss(at)yahoo(dot)com
My current WIP: STORMLAND is an 80,000 word contemporary fantasy set in an alternate timeline where Texas never became a state and is an independent country ruled by a royal family. Please read my excerpt at http://sharonbayliss.blogspot.com/p/stormland.html to see if you enjoy my style.
I'm looking for: A beta reader for a one time read of Stormland. But I'm very open to staying in contact and helping each other with projects in the future too.
Some info about me: Check out my blog at sharonbayliss.blogspot.com. This is my third draft of STORMLAND to be read by beta readers, but I've made major changes in this draft so I'd love to get an opinion from fresh eyes. I'd love to read your work too!

Sarah Tokeley said...

I might be too late here, but it's a great idea, thanks Rachael.

I'll be looking for beta readers and crit partners in about a month. My details:

Sarah Pearson
sarahpearson1705@ gmail .com
current wip is women's contemporary fiction.

Gail Shepherd said...

Looking for a beta reader for my second novel, in progress, middle grade historic magic realism. I had great beta readers for my first ms but would like to expand my circle.

Gail Shepherd said...

Actually, having just read this post, http://childrenspublishing.blogspot.com/2010/10/alpha-beta-reader-exchange.html, I think I'm looking for an Alpha reader. Please contact me at gailpaigeshepherd(at)gmail(dot)com or visit my blog. : )

Anonymous said...

Hi my name is Diane

email: dianestoy@ihug.co.nz

Looking for beta/critique reader, for picture book and YA. Need gentle postive feedback and direction. Hopefully a long term relationship in guiding and giving advice, rereads, critique etc....

Always have worked on my own,so this is a first for me.(bites nails as she signs off.)

F.E. Sewell said...

Name: F.E. Sewell

Email: sewell (dot) fe (at) gmail (dot) com

My current WIP: I have two WIPs. The first is YA Urban Fantasy and the other is YA Post Apocalyptic/Dystopian

I'm looking for: A long-term critique partner to go chapter by chapter. I’ll need beta readers down the road, too.

I'm looking for someone who writes YA fiction and/or understands the YA audience.

I’m okay with trading some pages first to see if we’re the right fit.

Some info about me: My major weaknesses are grammar and dialogue. If you’re someone with a critical eye for both of these things you’re probably already my best friend.

Debbie said...

Once again, great idea Rach. It's just what I need and my husband is continually on my back about it! :)

Name: Debbie Johansson

Email: dsjohansson (at) gmail (dot) com

My current WIP: A YA suspense/mystery/thriller. Samantha's best friend Kristy is the victim of a hit and run. Was it an accident, suicide or murder? As Samantha searches for answers, some of her other friends begin to die one by one. Could she be the next victim?

This novel is complete and I'm currently re-writing and editing.

I'm Looking for: Both critique partners and beta readers. I want others to focus on my characters and plot developments.

As I'm currently re-writing/editing, I have some short stories that can be looked at now. I would like some long-term partnerships.

Some info about me: I write suspense/thriller/mystery as well as horror and crime, mainly in the YA category. I also have two other finished manuscripts waiting for re-writes and edits.

Looking forward to a fresh pair of eyes and reading the work of others.

Balin Jones said...

Hey Rach, I think we're on the same page with this. For the past two weeks I've been working on designing a website just for critique partners to meet up. Maybe we can collaborate the effort. I've started building a site with a social networking platform and sent out a call today for opinions in what people might want to see to help track down the perfect partner. My blog is at www.balinjones.blogspot.com

Let me know. Doubled effort feels like a waste of energy. While combined effort could make things fly.

I've bought a domain name and have the software to build it. I am all about sharing!

Sher A. Hart said...

Sher A Hart needs a male for the manly POV only, thanks.
email Sherahart at gmail dot com.
I need a beta reader for my completed MG fantasy boy scout adventure on Erth One, the first earth.
Has puns and some poetry included, you can view at www.sherahart.com
I also need a long term crit partner for the second and future books, including a YA paranormal.

Sharon Bayliss said...


Thank you for your Beta Match posts and Writers' Platform Building Campaigns. I listed them as some of my "favorite things of 2011".


Winston said...

Name: Winston Roberts

Email: Winston a-t winston (no space) roberts dot net

My current WIP: An action rich fantasy

I'm looking for: A critique partner and/or beta reader. I am ready for a long term writing relationship. As of yet I am not sure of specifics but would like a general crit / reader.

Some info about me: Indie author who is getting ready to start selling work as soon as possible--as long as said work is of good enough quality.

Christine Scott said...

Name: Christine Scott

Email: chrissysc@comcast.net

My Current WIP: Visionaries is a 50,000 word young adult fantasy which takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where most inhabitants die at the age of twenty-one from a disease known as the sickening blight. The story is in rough draft form but complete. Currently I am working on my first major revision.

I'm looking for: Beta readers and one or two critique partners. I'm willing to exchange critique for critique, if that is what works for you. I'm ready for a long term partnership where we can learn from each other as well.

Some info about me: I love almost anything YA. I've also dabbled in MG. I like my reading material clean but edgy. If your work is lying around my house, I don't want to worry about my kids reading it. In terms of my writing career, I've submitted almost next to nothing and consider myself halfway through wannabe. I'm just leaning how much work is required to write a really good story. I have three failed manuscripts as proof.

aisyahputrisetiawan said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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