20-pg Critique Giveaway from DearEditor.com

Deborah Halverson of DearEditor.com (formerly of Harcourt Children’s Books) is celebrating the launch of her book Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies with a critique giveaway. Your novel can be MG, YA, or adult. Deborah is an insightful and gifted editor who has helped many authors with their projects--including me! I cannot recommend her highly enough. You can expect very helpful feedback if you get a critique from her.

For the rules and a link to the contest entry page, go here:

Wishing you all good luck in the contest!

Rachel McClellan's Summer Writing Contest

Summer is here and so are some wonderful writing contests.
Rachel McClellan's Summer Writing Contest will be judged by Lauren Ruth. Hurry and enter--it's only open until Aug 11th!

UPDATE - I'm delighted to announce that I won this contest judged by Lauren Ruth of BookEnds Agency. Thank you, Rachel, for holding such a great activity!

Excerpt: Romantic Scene

For Gabriela's Love All Year Long contest, judged by Weronika Janczuk, I submitted an excerpt from my manuscript. Although the novel is action/adventure, there are a few romantic scenes between the heroine and the hero. I learned a lot and had a wonderful time participating.

Thank you to those who were kind enough to leave feedback
-- Melora

Love Scene Contest at Gabriela's blog!

Gabriela at An Aspiring Writer's World blog has enlisted the help of fab-agent Weronika Janczuk (of Lynne C. Franklin Agency) to read our love scene samples, decide on winners, and give great prizes! The participants will enter love-scene snippets on June 12. If you want to join the contest, go here for details and enter:

-- Melora

Shelley Watters & Awesomeness

Shelley Watters, romance writer extraordinaire, is having a contest for First 250 Words. It will be judged by Judith Engracia of Liza Dawson and Associates. For further information: Shelley Watters Made of Awesome Contest

My sincere thanks to those of you who took the time to comment on the opening. I really appreciated the feedback. I wish all the participants the very best of luck!
~ Melora

New Published Works

For those who haven't seen the new additions to my "Published Works" page, I thought I'd post it here, too.

Ben A. Bell –

On Smashwords:

"Le Collier Diabolique", on Smashwords for only $0.99.
Cover art by Dusktildawn Designs - http://dusktildawndesigns.yolasite.com/

Online Now:
"The Blue-eyed Boy"Niteblade, online link:  The Blue-eyed Boy
"Firstborn" poem, Sex and Murder Magazine, online link: Firstborn

Print Editions:

“Just Another Town”, buy at Rock & Roll is Dead, May 2011 (print)

"Biggun", buy at Pill Hill Press: Rotting Tales, Nov 2010. (print)

"Theodore R. Bear's Christmas Gift", buy at Whortleberry Press: Christmas Anthology, fall 2010. (print)

"Gnawing on Bones", buy at Pill Hill Press: Flash Fiction Anthology, publishing in Oct.  (print)

"The Goth Muse"Farspace 2, published in Dec 2010. (print)

"Marlene and Earl", buy at Literal Translations, published July 2010. (print)

"Mascaren", buy at Emerald Tales, Vol 2 No 1. Feb 2010. (print)

"The Happy Frog", Moon Drenched Fables, online Dec '09 - May '10.

Melora J. Bell (YA and children's writer)

"Afternoon at the Carnival", Beyond Centauri Issue 32, April 2011

“Afternoon at the Carnival”, Spaceports and Spidersilk, online Sept '10-Feb '11.

The Importance of Critique Groups

Although the idea of a writer tucked away in some cabin in the hills, tapping feverishly on an old typewriter, with only the birds and bears for company, is a romantic one -- it just isn't what today's writer is all about. If you want to be a published writer -- get thee to a critique group!

Getting feedback on your work is imperative. It doesn't mean you have to take all the advice you get, but if they're all saying the same thing, then you'd better do some serious thinking or re-thinking.

Why are critique groups important?
  • They catch errors that you have overlooked.
  • They bring their own experiences to the table.
  • They have an overview of the entire thing, whereas you have been revising so much, you may have lost sight of the 'big picture'.
  • They not only offer great suggestions, but support and commiseration during setbacks.
There are many great free critique groups on the net. I've linked to two of them in the right column. Avail yourself of the opportunity to interact with a community. If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a community to get an author published.
-- Ben