Free Query Critique

Hello all!

As I continue to gear up for the A to Z Challenge, I'd like to give you an amazing opportunity to have you query letter placed on my blog and critiqued by the infamous "Kimmy" of Query Tracker fame. If you are on query tracker and/or have ever visited their forum, you know she is a pro. She writes YA, but can do amazing wonders with any query.

I got my first requests for partials and fulls after Kimmy's help. So if you'd like your query spit polished by someone amazing, email me at and I'll get it to Kimmy. If I get enough takers, we will do query critique on every Tuesday for the month of April.

C'mon - what do you have to lose?

Gearing Up for April!

Wow - I'm really getting excited to gear up for this blog challenge in April - blogging every day except Sundays. Here's my tentative schedule:

Mondays: interviews
Tuesdays: pharmacy news and tidbits
Wednesday: my thoughts for the week - you'll get to know my personality, quirks and all
Thursday: Drug of the week - I'll pick a drug and go over how it works/side effects/drug interactions
Friday: I'll update you on my week in writing
Saturdays: funny video (likely a lot of SNL, haha)

Whew - I can do it!!

Interview with Joe Fraser:WisRWA Fab 5 Coordinator

1. Today I'm interviewing Joe Fraser. Joe is the coordinator of the annual Fab 5 contest for the Wisconsin Romance Writer's of America. Tell us a little more about the contest.

The FabFive contest provides detailed critiques to emerging writers and an opportunity for the best of them to have their work reviewed by industry professionals. Our contest is open to unpublished Romance writers. We evaluate the opening 2,500 words of each contestant’s novel in process. A contestant can enter more than one project and choose among seven categories: Historical, Paranormal, Romantic Suspense, Series Contemporary (long and short), Single Title, Women’s Fiction, and Young Adult.

Each entry is scored in the opening round by three trained judges. The top five entries then go to an industry professional (either a literary agent or an acquisition editor of a major publishing house) to determine the winner and final rankings. These professionals often request either partial or full manuscripts from the highest-ranked contestants.

Our contest accepts entries from January 1 through March 1 each year. Finalists are announced in April, and the winners are announced in the Wisconsin Romance Writers Write Touch Conference in May or June. Additional contest details are provided in our website:

2. Why should writers enter contests? Most already have critique partners, so what is gained by putting your work on display or other writers, some of whom are unpublished.

A writer can never get enough critiques. I work with multiple critique partners, and I’ve never received anything back that didn’t have at least one thing the other partners missed. In addition, contest judges critique anonymously and may be more honest than partners who know you. Finally, while many of our contest judges are unpublished, they’re all well-trained, and we strive to assign at least one published writer to each entry.

In addition to the value of preliminary round critiques, The FabFive presents an opportunity for a writer to obtain an evaluation (and perhaps a request!) from an industry professional. Our finalists learn from an expert the improvements their projects need to become publishable.

3. If a contestant finals or wins their category, then what? Is that something an agent or editor would be interested in the manuscript is being queried?

If a contestant finishes in the top five of a category, the final round agent or editor might ask for more material. Many writers enter RWA chapter contests, including FabFive, to avoid query slush piles and fast track their work to an industry professional’s desk.

In addition to this opportunity, we’ll publish the names of all finalists and the titles of their projects in a late-summer or fall issue of RWR.

4. What have you learned about writers by coordinating this contest?

I’ve learned that many talented writers have easily-correctible flaws in specific areas such as style, characterization, hooks, and plotting. Our FabFive judges take pride in the ability to identify these weaknesses. We’ve had contestants perform poorly in a contest one year and come back the next year writing like rock stars. Some have become published as a result of the improvements they’ve made.

On a personal level, I’ve learned that writers are wonderful people. I’ve made many friends whom I met online in my role as a contest coordinator.

5. We hear there are a record number of submissions in each category this year. What does that mean for emerging writers besides more competition?

The fact we’re enjoying record numbers while some other chapter contests have struggled should tell emerging writers we’re the contest to enter for the best critiques and most attractive final round judges. We’ve also kept our fees low, and we’re one of the most affordable contests in the RWA.

6. The 2011 contest is closed to entries now. What’s in store for next year?

We’re considering the possibility of adding an eighth category – Erotic Romance. Also, we may make our category entry count ceilings more flexible (currently set at thirty) so late entrants to a popular category won’t be turned away.

7. Will you have enough judges for that?

While we have an adequate pool of judges even for expansion of our contest, we’re always looking for more. If anyone has an interest in serving as a judge for one of the best RWA chapter contests, contact me at

Brian Regan makes me laugh :)

OMG - this guy kills me. I have an eye appointment coming up and had to watch this again - for anyone with bad vision - enjoy!!