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

Monday, June 4, 2012

Beta Match - Are you looking for a critique partner or beta reader? (June 4, 2012)

By Rachael Harrie (@RachaelHarrie)

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, on Twitter, 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*).

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 in taking part, there are two options:


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)



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 :)

So comment away, and wishing you the best of luck finding someone!


Brooke R. Busse said...

Name: Brooke R. Busse
Email: brookerbusse
My current WIP: THINKING OF YOU - upper YA/NA light sci-fi (summary here: http://brookerbusse.blogspot.com/p/projects.html)
I'm looking for: A long-term critique partner.
Some info about me: My best area is line editing. Even if we're focusing on bigger issues in your WIP, I will still most likely point out line mistakes just because they will itch at me unless I do. I also think voice is very important in our writing and try hard not to step on it.

Brooke R. Busse said...

Oops! My email is brookerbusse@yahoo.com. I forgot to type the whole thing!

Randy said...

Name: Randy Lindsay

Email: Randsay1@gmail.com

Current WIP: Exit Stage Left - is a murder/comedy. I have a private detective and his partner who solve mysteries in Hollywood.

Looking For: Critique Partners. My local group is breaking up and I am having difficulty finding another in my area. I would also like some Beta Readers too.

I am not offended by people pointing out errors in my writing. That's what critique partners are supposed to do. I tend to be strong with dialogue and plotting, weak with grammar and romance. My goal is to find a long-term partnership with a couple of people so that we can help each other get published and then continue to get published.

Nemo said...

Name: Nemo

Email: nemoswriting@gmail.com

My current WIP: Manuscripts for children's picture books

I'm looking for: A critique partner and/or a beta reader. Having read 100s of picture books to my kid, I have written some of mine( about 10 ) which I felt a kid would enjoy. But I have just quit or taken a break :) and am looking to start and zoom ahead. Need critique partners or readers for the same. I work best when I work together and right now I am looking for company.

Nick Wilford said...

Name: Nick Wilford

Email: mcwilfo(at)gmail(dot)com

My current WIP: Psychological thriller, about a woman who runs a man over causing him to suffer amnesia, then tries to pass herself off as his wife.

I'm looking for: a long-term critique partner. I'm finishing up my first draft and will be looking to swap work from the end of June.

Some info about me: I trained in editing and proofreading at college so I consider spotting spelling, grammar and punctuation problems one of my strong points. I will also endeavour to point out what could be improved in plotting. Most of all I'm looking for honesty in a CP.

L. M. Reynolds said...

Name: Latedra Gladney
Email: tedragladney@gmail.com
My current WIP: urban fantasy about Norse mythology
I'm looking for: My goal is to be finised with my first draft by July 1st, so I'll need beta readers early next year. I'm looking for a long term critique partner who will be brutally honest with me on the flow of my pov's, plot, characters, world building and so on. Just expect me to be the same.
Some info about me: I love characters more than anything, so thats usually my focus. I love reading about myths and special kinds of magic(there's so many). Not a big epic fantasy person though, but I am getting into horror novels now, so don't be afraid to ask me to be a beta reader as well.

Angela Brown said...

Thanks for doing this Rach!

Name: Angela Brown
Email: tomewriter@gmail.com
My current WIP: NEVERLOVE, a YA paranormal romance born out of my A to Z blog opera from this April. Here's the gist: A suicide survivor (girl) turned agent for heaven and a boy who accidentally makes a deal with a devil cross paths. Being together is far from allowed yet it's all they desire. Will their forbidden love have a chance or will they remain among those who will never love?
I'm looking for: both a critique partner and beta reader. I have multiple chapters of NEVERLOVE drafted and would like to work with someone willing to be honest. I think it's helpful to find the things that didn't work but just as helpful to point out the gems because learning from what works can help fix the things that just don't click. I'd like a CP/Beta reader to build a long-term partnership with.
Some info about me: I can crit most anything, except horror. My preferences would be fantasy/sci-fi and the subgenres, however, there are some craft related things that span all genres so if I can be of help, I'd like to be. Also, because I maintain a full time gig along with writing, flexibility with each other would be helpful...though if someone is working with a deadline, I can make it happen, too.

Savannah Chase said...

I just wanted to stop in and say thank you for doing this. You have connected me with some amazing people..

cleemckenzie said...

This is a wonderful thing you're doing, Rach. Good luck to everyone who signs up. I'm really lucky to have a stable and long-term group of readers/"critiquers" and I know how valuable they are.

There's a small thank you on my blog for you today.

Tracy MacDonald said...

Name: Tracy Bermeo/ A2ZMommy (in the blogosphere)
Email: tracybermeo@gmail.com
Current WIP: Several Picture Books that are outlined, some written.
Looking for: anyone to bounce ideas off of and read to.
Info about me: I regularly write for an online news site so it's very editorial/journalistic. I've recently (thanks to Rach) tried my hand at flash fiction and short stories. I'd love to be able to work with others who also write across a couple of genres, even if it's mostly for practice.

Thanks Rach for doing this- I really need it!
A2Z Mommy and What’s In Between

Carrie-Anne said...

Pen Name: Carrie-Anne

E-mail: CarrieAnne79 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Current WIPs: I have two going at the moment, a 1980s historical that's the third book in a contemporary historical family saga and a somewhat modern retelling of Margaret Sidney's Phronsie Pepper, and a postwar 1940s historical about the challenges faced by Shoah survivors as they navigate American life and encounter many culture clashes.

Carrie-Anne said...

Sorry, forgot to add my details of what I'm looking for in a partner. I want someone who focuses on the big picture instead of being nit-picky and pedantic. I want someone who understands that my writing style leans towards the literary and can be a bit slower-paced and more about growth, change, and development over a longer period, not so plot-centric as many modern books are. The most important things I want critiqued are character development, plot trajectory, and believability, not criticisms of my personal writing style. I'm fully well aware of the fact that parts of my personal voice are considered a bit old-fashioned or slower-paced nowadays. That doesn't make it wrong, just different.

Esther Jones said...

Name: Esther Spurrill Jones
Email: estherspurrilljones@gmail.com
My current WIP: A tale of death, pain, revenge, and love. With vampires.
I'm looking for: Beta readers and/or critique partner(s) for the long term.
Some info about me: I am a spelling and grammar Nazi so I can catch your errors. I can also help with plot and characterization.

Sue Ann Bowling said...

Name: Sue Ann Bowling
Email: sbowling@mosquitonet.com
Current WIP: A science fiction trilogy based on various aspects of disputes between two human-settled planets and the Confederation which was designed to prevent such disputes. One of the two planets, Rakal, left the Confederation several years earlier and was immediately taken over by a parasitic species. The other, Horizon, is the main focus. A peculiarity in Confederation law allowed the Confederation to collect taxes due from Horizon in slaves.
The protagonist is Roi, slave-born and the unwilling leader of the Confederation, and the slaving was approved behind his back—but he is unable to get the votes to reverse it. The first book, working title Rescue Operation, deals with his efforts to reverse the slaving, though all he can manage to do is rescue some of those enslaved. The second, working title Horizon War, deals with Roi on Horizon. The third, working title War’s End, deals with the mess left after the war is nominally over. The first and second books end with open problems (a real cliff-hanger between the first and second) so they really should be read together.
Although nominally science fiction, the books are heavily focused on the characters and on not-so-subtle comments about society today. Bits of the first and (currently) the third book have been shared on Six Sentence Sunday, and can be accessed via the index on my blog, http://homecomingbook.wordpress.com Some of the background of the universe I write in is in a Friday series, Jarn’s Journal, on the same blog.
What are you looking for? I’m looking for a beta reader (though I’d be happy to have a critique partner.) Preferably someone who can at least tolerate science fiction! The work is in what I would call polished draft stage, and all three books are written except an epilogue on the last to tie up some loose ends.
As these are long books I don't expect immediate feedback on them.
Some info about me: I’ve spent most of my life as a scientific researcher in atmospheric science, so I have a good background in physics, astronomy and how planets work. My writing explores the societies that may result from particular circumstances of environment. I have two self-published books out, both award winners. Homecoming took second place in Science Fiction in the 2011 Reader Views contest; the sequel, Tourist Trap, won Best Fiction Book of 2012 in the same contest. Both deal with Roi as a child and adolescent. I’ve been figuring my stuff works for those roughly of high school age and up but is questionable for those of younger ages.

Kaylie Austen said...

Name: Kaylie Austen
Email: kaylieeausten@yahoo.com
WIP: complete 60,000 word YA Sci-Fi re-telling of Romeo & Juliet in the vein of Battlestar Galactica
I’m looking for a long term critique partner or beta reader to focus on plot, voice, style, etc.

Aldrea Alien said...

Name: Aldrea Alien
Email: tandora(at)farmside(dot)co(dot)nz
My current WIP: 70,000 word adult fantasy about a young dragon who has spent her whole thinking she is human.
I'm looking for: Someone who’ll read the whole story and give me some feedback that goes beyond “this is good or this doesn’t work”.

Libby said...

Don't need a beta match right now but what a terrific concept!

Donna B. McNicol said...

First, thank you for doing this! Here goes....

Name: Donna B. McNicol
Email: donnmcnicol@gmail.com
Web: http://donnamcnicol.com

My current WIP: I'm working on my first novel, a romance set in Montana. Hoping for a touch of humor, a dash of mystery and not a lot of sex scenes. I'm hoping to finish the first draft by the end of July.

I'm looking for: I'd love to have a critique partner but admit that my critique skills will tend towards grammar and awkward phrasing, the overall feel of the story and typos since I'm new to the fiction writing business. Would be great to form a CP/Beta partner or two for the long term. My second novel is a mystery set in rural PA and I hope to do the first draft during August Camp NaNoWriMo.

Some info about me: I'm a late in life writer, not hoping to make a lot of money, just write something others will enjoy reading. I ride a Harley and live/travel full-time in an RV with hubby and pup. I plan three books (related characters) in the romance series and several in the PA mystery series.

Leslie S. Rose said...

Generous gesture. Best of luck for everyone to find great matches. I'd be lost without my crit. partners.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

This looks like an interesting idea! If scary. :)

Name: Siscia Miles
Email: SisciaM@gmail.com
Looking for: Either! :)

Things to note about writing:
I like to dabble in the less conventional thought
processes and, of course, explore many different
styles of writing on a whim. Sometimes I explore less
conventional (Non-M/F) romances, as well.

It's a rule of mine that I try to avoid overused words,
such as 'said'. This makes it very difficult to read to
other people through voice, but there is a reason for
it: I've been told (And really, I know!) my stories
aren't very skim-friendly. Skip a sentence and you
may have already missed something. Reducing the
usage of overused words also reduces the need to
skim, in my opinion.

Things to note about editing:
I try not to be too critical (Though I can be!), so it
really depends on what you're wanting me to look
for. Knowing your goals will help me throw critique
your way.

Since I tend to re-read everything at least a couple
of times before giving opinions (The first time to
know what it says, and the second to really dig into
the mechanics of how everything works together, or
doesn't), there isn't too much I can't find. Especially
since I let things turn around in my mind. If it isn't
immediate, it'll probably come to me!

Current WIP #1:
Currently: 7.5K words
Alissa: Discovering the Art (Fantasy) is a
story about a young woman separated from her
parents by their choice during chaotic times,
proclaimed a means of keeping her safe.

However, without work or anything to her name
outside a crush likely to lead nowhere, her reliance
on the people in town gets the best of her and
begins to diminish her confidence.

A week has passed when she's offered a job and a
place to stay by someone she isn't entirely sure she
can trust. However, she finds herself convinced that
anything would be better than relying on
other people to survive.

This decision costs her more than she's prepared to
surrender, potentially including her sanity, though
she quickly finds she has little choice in the matter.

Current WIP #2:
Currently: 2K words
Double Life: Erin's Vision (Fiction) portrays a
young, wildly successful indie author faced with the
greatest enemy anyone might have to face. Their
own paranoia after fame.

Pressure mounted for months after the release of
the ninth book of the best-selling series Erin wrote,
which concluded with a cliffhanger - something Erin
had never done. This created a large question
around what may or may not happen with the tenth.

A week ago, the release of the tenth book was
advertised, and tonight was the night. The past week
couldn't have been better in the form of sales, but
the mountain of sales and publicity were all signs of
people either rooting, or expecting Erin to mess up.

The pressure was suffocating the mind of Erin, who
decided to go out for the first time in nearly eight
years. After, of course, covering a majority of the
potential threats that might occur from such a
decision. Unfortunately, Erin missed one.

Current WIP #3:
Currently: 67.5K words
Selena: Lady Fate's Game (Sci-Fantasy(?))
focuses on Selena Renli, a young girl with trust
issues, an intriguing secret and an ability to get out
of just about any line of questioning without a
complete lie.

Same-age prodigy Trenton Viekane takes a sudden
interest in Selena and unravels a secret about her
during a would-be date gone horribly wrong.

Selena and Trenton try to unravel the other's
hidden secrets in a seemingly never-ending game of
mind versus mind. Eventually, she goes too far,
forcing Trenton to choose between his father's - and
his - company, and her.

When she's backed into a corner and finds herself
with very few she can rely on and trust to get her out
of trouble, is he among them?

Unknown said...

Oops! Missed a section! Honestly I wouldn't have had room for it anyway. o.o

I'm mostly looking for someone to see if the stories are even readable, and point out any weaknesses or problems that might be blatantly obvious, or maybe not so obvious. I can't seem to re-read them myself, but the people I've handed them to seem to like them (But these people are biased!), so I'm wanting to find an unbiased critic!

Oh, and because my stories tend to have very different elements (And styles!), I don't expect the same person to read all of them. If you want to, you're welcome to! But if you don't, I understand!

Aldrea Alien said...

If anyone's feeling game enough to have a crack, I wouldn't mind someone else having a look over my 186k Science Fantasy that's about one man's struggle against the god who damned him, the destiny given to him and the search for his lost love.

Cause you know, after fifteen years, I'm way too attached to these characters for my own good. ^_~

Since it covers around thirty years, all I really wanna know is if the story flows okay. You can go to town on it any other way.

Doreen said...

Name: Doreen McGettigan
E-Mail: doreenb8@verizon.net

My current wip's are a non-fiction on teen suicide, a non-fiction YA, a non-fiction on a homeless woman and a children's picture book. The first 2 are slated for publication in 2013. I am looking for Beta readers.
Some info about me: My first book BRISTOL bOYZ STOMP was published November 2011. I have had trouble balancing the marketing, finding time to write and working full time in a stressful job.

Tobi Summers said...

Name: Tobi Summers
Email: tobisummers@writeme.com
My current WIP: Adult urban fantasy about a werewolf returning to her pack after five years.
I'm looking for: I'm looking for a beta reader specifically for this story, but I could also use another CP for another project (or five) that I'm working on, so if anyone is looking for a long-term CP relationship, I'm game!
Some info about me: I'm hoping to start querying agents for this book by the end of summer (maybe late July-August, depending on how things go), so I'm looking for someone who could dive into this within the next few weeks.


Unknown said...

Name: Carolyn Brown
Email: c.m.brown.books@gmail.com

My current WIP:
He Came For Mine, Book Two in The Protector Series

This series is aimed at a New Adult audience aged from 17 to 25 years and is a paranormal romance involving vampires and dimensional worlds.

I'm looking for both a critique partner or beta reader to become a long term partner. At the moment I am intending to publish my current WIP in early October and would like finished critiques in by the end of August.

I also have a second WIP in progress which is also aimed at the New Adult Audience and is also focused on vampires.

I have only really officially critiqued one writer's piece of work, but in my day job I work in a High School working with Students with Learning Difficulties and edit and give advice on how they can complete their assignments on a daily basis.

I believe that my main strength would be in editing but I would also be able to assist with ensuring the writing flows well and is easily understood.

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

We had the same idea today! I'm not looking for a beta, but I am giving away a 5 page critique on my blog today. :)

Lissa Clouser said...

Name: Lissa Clouser

Email: lissa.clouser@gmail.com

My current WIP: A poetry chapbook and an anthology.

I'm looking for: Beta partner mostly, though a bit of crit involved would certainly not be turned away. I have some work prepared already while I am also constantly working on more. I would like this to be long-term.

Some info about me: I write a wide range of poetry, meaning both style and subject. I'm not full of airs about "proper" poetry by any means. I'm more interested in knowing how my work affects the reader and their experiences with reading the styles in which I write. Subjects can be anything from personal experiences, faith, everyday objects, and more.

MK McClintock said...

Great idea Rachel!

Angela said...

Name: Angela
Email: angelhett (at) gmail (dot) com
My current WIP: Cinderella's Glass Stiletto, YA Fantasy.
When nomad teenager Norah and her suicidal half-sister are sent to a boarding school in Germany, they’re shocked to learn that their classmates are characters from storybooks.

Think Once upon a Time meets Mean Girls

I'm looking for: a critique partner or beta reader. I finished one round of edits and revisions and need someone to give me feedback so I can do another round. I'm flexible on style.

Some info about me: I write YA, I sing, I act.Lover of God, theatre, caffeine, pink(color), Sister Hazel, Disney & Doxins.

My blog has an excerpt of my book: angelafrancis.wordpress.com

Kelvin said...

Name: Kelvin L. Reed

E-mail: kelvin@kelvinlreed.com

Current WIP: Once a Month, Contemporary Fiction
A heavily-in-debt married couple enter into an arrangement with the wife's wealthy but lonely best friend: The husband will sleep with the friend once a month for money. All three agree the arrangement won't change their relationship but...

I'm working on Chapter 11 of a 25 chapter novel (estimated). I'm looking for someone long-term to provide feedback primarily for clarity and flow, less so for content. I'd like the reader to review the work chapter by chapter. (Easier to repair the foundation before the house is built on top of it.) I would be willing to reciprocate.

Something about me: I write primarily for an African American audience although my books have been read and positively reviewed outside of that readership.


Shreyonti said...

Name: Shreyonti Chakraborty

Email: shreyonti@gmail.com

Current WIP: 'Unexplained Disaearances' is a 97000 word mystery/action novel about a girl, Aria Suri, who finds her life changed forever when her brother goes missing. After a year of dealing with the grief, she is finally yearning to move on, only to discover that her brother is still alive but not well. With four strangers who had their lives torn apart the way she did, Aria sets out to find her brother. The search takes her across the world- from the marshes of Bangladesh to teeming Beijing, war-torn Dimrael to beatific Greece. But as she inches closer to her brother, she is pulled deeper into an international conspiracy that took her brother away from her and is now set upon changing the world through gruesome war.

About Me: I am a student from India and have been writing for years. Looking mostly for a beta reader. Favorite books include Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, the Hunger Games Trilogy, Thirteen Reasons Why.

Unknown said...

Name: Stephanie
Email: steph_mayfield@yahoo.com
My current WIP: I have three that I am working on, one is book two of a series I started a couple of years agp, one is a romance based on two SWAT officers, and the other is a spin off of Robin Hood, all three are romances
I'm looking for: a critique partner or beta reader or both. I would like someone who will write with me as well as critique what I already have.
Some info about me: My first novel was erotica, and first person. I want to write from both of my lead characters points of view, but when I try everyone tells me I'm head hopping.

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