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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Great Places to Read and Get Feedback on Queries

                         Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech.

So your manuscript is completed, critiqued, and polished. Now you want a venue to do the same with your query, your introduction to the hazardous world of publishing.

With all the resources in the blogosphere, the hardest part is choosing where to go and how much to put out there.

Like-minded writers populate forums looking for help. It's a ‘scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’ world that works for everyone involved. By posting your query, you get feedback and your writing improves when you critique. It is a win-win situation for everyone.

Consider these sites. They are free to anyone willing to give of their time to return the favor and crit:

·       Orson Scott Card. This fabulous author of Ender’s Game holds forums for writers.
·       Nathan Bransford. A former literary agent and now author of Jacob Wonderbar and Cosmic Space Kapow.
·       Absolute Write. This vast site has everything you need to put together a query.
·       Query Tracker. An all-purpose stopping place with forums to hone your query and research agents.
·       Query Shark. Enter at your own risk! Janet Reid of FinePrint Literary runs a site chock-full of advice. But watch out for the chum.
·       The Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment. Run by master blogger Matthew MacNish, this site takes aim on submitted queries with a critical eye that sees all. And I love his avatar.
·       Miss Snark’s First Victim. Authoress remains incognito, still won’t reveal her name or photo. Very mysterious.
·       YALITCHAT. Where they live and breathe YA.
·       Writers.net. A site dedicated to writers.
·       And of course, Unicorn Bell, the home of writers.

These are mostly free sites with some asking for donations or premium memberships. If you are interested in paying for services by professionals, research the sites like Writers Digest.

In truth, finding help is the easy part. It’s throwing that beloved query or manuscript into the icy cold world of critique and wondering if it – or you – will survive. Suck in a deep breath and take the plunge. 

It can only get better.

Have we missed your favorite writing forum? Please share it with us in the comments.

Additions from the comments section:
Adam Heine critiques queries, jacket copy, and first pages on Wednesdays.
Evil Editor
The Public Query Slushpile
Ask Daphne! About My Query


Matthew MacNish said...

I'm honored to be mentioned in a list with such great resources. Here are a couple other things to Google (I'm in a hurry, or I'd create hyperlinks for you guys):

Evil Editor
The Public Query Slushpile
Ask Daphne! About My Query

Matthew MacNish said...

Oh, and my friend Adam Heine will critique queries, jacket copy or first pages on Wednesdays. He's brilliant. You can find out more here:


Charity Bradford said...

Thanks for the links and new sites to check out. I've added them to the post.

Lara Schiffbauer said...

Yay for resources! I have to say, just thinking about all this makes me tired, but it's great to have lots of options and information to get the query the best it can be. Thanks for this week. I just wait for each new post!

Charity Bradford said...

Aw, sorry it makes you tired, but glad you are enjoying the week.

Ink in the Book said...

That's exactly how I feel! I can't wait to read each post, soak up the info and then try and apply what I learned. It's already been a great week for me. I can only imagine what next week and the week after will be like:)

Charity Bradford said...

Yay! I know all this information could be overwhelming, but next week we get practical. We'll be working on YOUR queries. I'm excited too. It feels good to be able to help others after so many people helped me. I know all of us here at UB feel the same about that.

Angela Brown said...

So glad we've got multiple options to choose from. Because each resource has a different way doing things, it allows for people to find a place that is best suited for their needs. Thanks for the links!