Friday, April 29, 2016

Query Lab #1 - WCNV Edition: May Giveaway Closed

Query Lab #1 Submission Open Now
image: holdentrils
In case you missed it, The Query Lab is a new monthly feature on my blog! Each month, I'll open up a submissions window for those interested in receiving a Query & 1st 10 page critique from me. When the sub window closes, I'll randomly select winners and a runner up!

3 Winners will receive a private Query & 1st 10 page critique/consultation from me.

1 Runner-Up will receive a Query-only Critique from me that will be publicly posted on this blog.

I'm most experienced with YA and MG, as that's what I write. However, I can definitely help with other age categories as well. The only thing I wouldn't be a good fit for is erotica (sorry!!)

{ For more info, please see the original information post here!
   And check out my Calendar of other opportunities for query critiques.}


The Query Lab WCNV Edition

Query + 1st 10 Page Critique Giveaway


Winners: Sierra Elmore, Natasha Hanova, & Kelly Cain!!!
The random number generator has also chosen a runner-up
Please check back in a couple weeks when the runner-up's
public query critique will be posted!


Also! Note that next month's theme will be #SFFPit manuscripts,
check back here in the last week of May for that
announcement and entry window!



How to Enter:

  • Meet the Monthly Focus Criteria:  
    Each month, I will focus on a particular type of submission. This will limit the types of authors and/or manuscripts that are eligible to enter each month. I decided to do this so that my query critiques will be of maximum help to writers preparing for upcoming contests that have a particular genre or focus!

    May Focus: #WCNV

    (Writers of Color and Native Voices)



    Not sure if this applies to you?
    Please check the WCNV Website for guidelines
    (and to read more about their upcoming contest!)



  • Comment on this Post

    Please leave a comment on this post with the following:
    • "Enter Me!"
    •  A way for me to contact you if you win
       (If you aren't signed in with your Google ID, maybe leave a Twitter handle or blog address, or check back here when the contest closes to see if you've won)
    •  Note if you are willing to be a Runner-Up
       (Runners-Up will receive a PUBLIC query critique posted on this blog)

Want to know more about The Query Lab, or the upcoming submission theme/focus schedule? Check out the original post here.

Got a question? Feel free to drop me a line on Twitter!  ( @carissaataylor )


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Introducing *The Query Lab* -- A Monthly Query Critique Giveaway!

The Query Lab: Monthly Query Critiques
image: holdentrils
So I'm starting a new feature on this blog that I think some of you will like!
Once a month I'm going to open up ...


The Query Lab

Query + 1st 10 Page Critique Giveaway!


{ note: this is not the giveaway entry post }

{ CHECK HERE }
{ for latest giveaway opening }

Maybe you feel like your query equation just isn't quite right. Maybe you need a little help injecting some more chemistry into your query. Either way, once a month, I'm here to help! At the beginning of each month, I'll open a one-week entry window, at the end of which I'll randomly select winners and critique their queries and the 1st 10 pages of their manuscripts!

So fun, right?! Or at least somewhat painful, yet kinda helpful?! ... That's what I thought too!


Here's how it will work:

  • Entry Window
    I'll announce a theme (see below) and a one week entry window each month. Typically the one-week window will end on the First Friday of each month. For now (until I can figure out Rafflecopter) entries will be made via blog comment.

  • I will pick 1-3 winners (as my time allows) and 1 runner-up

  • Winners will receive a Query & 1st 10 Page critique from me.
    (Feedback received privately via email, Google Docs, or the platform of their choice)

  • Runners-Up will receive a publicly posted Query-only Critique from me on the blog.
    Runners-up will only be selected from those who previously agreed to a public critique. Though "public" the author may opt to have their entry posted anonymously, with their name and any other personal information removed.

  • My Critique Style
    Know that this will be a critique of your work. I give constructive feeeback, but I don't tend to overly sugar-coat things. Okay maybe a little more than the Query Shark ;o) I usually have a lot of comments, and for some, the amount of commentary might feel a bit overwhelming. But also hopefully helpful! I want to help you improve your query!


    Check out my previous public critiques:  #1 - YA Urban Fantasy || #2 - MG Fantasy
  • Genres Accepted
    I'm most experienced with YA and MG Contemporary, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy (and a bit of Historical & Thriller). I also read some Adult in those genres as well. If you write outside those genres, I'd still be happy to give feedback on how well your query is working for me as a query. Just be aware that I may not be well read enough in your genre to point out any issues in the query related to genre conventions and tropes.


    The only genre I would ask you not to send is erotica. I have no experience with reading or writing that and likewise would not be able to post the entry on my blog in the event that you were a runner-up, since I don't have an 18 and over restriction on my blog. Sorry about that!!

  • Theme / Focus Schedule
    Each month, I will open to submissions based on a genre theme or other focus that is sometimes (though not always), tied to an upcoming contest which writers are preparing for. Check out the schedule below:



    • May 2016 -  #WCNV                 (Writers of Color and Native Voices)
    • June 2016 -  #SFFPit                 (Sci-Fi / Fantasy)
    • July 2016 -   #PitchAmerica      (Latinx Writers)
    • Aug 2016 -   no Query Lab
    • Sept 2016 -   TBD
    • Oct 2016 -    TBD
    • Nov 2016 -   no Query Lab
    • Dec 2016 -   TBD

  • That's it! Any questions, don't hesistate to ask!
    (you can catch me on Twitter at: @carissaataylor)



    (Note: Please do not comment on this post to enter the monthly giveaway, as I won't be monitoring it. I will post a separate entry post each month when the window has opened!)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Previously in April ...



"Previously..." is a Bloghop recapping the previous month's goals and accomplishments. It's hosted by the lovely Miss Cole on the last Wednesday of every month. For more details on how to participate visit the Previously page!

Previously in Writing

This month (and in March), spurned on by an amazing brainstorming Skype session with my agent, I ended up re-visiting my YA sci-fi WIP after a long hiatus and added two new threads to the story that I'm SUPER excited about. Squee! It's so nice to be excited about this project again after so long feeling a bit stuck with it. Now my agent's reading it and we shall see what he thinks. Eeep!

I sent out my my NaNoWriMo MG novel #IslandGirlWIP  in March to a second wave of readers to get more of my target audience's thoughts on the manuscript and am still waiting on that feedback.

In April I also participated in #CampNaNoWriMo -- like National Novel Writing Month, but where you set your own goals. I set a goal of 40K for my new WIP -- a YA Contemporary about a Teen Journalist (#TeenJournalistWIP) and *fingers crossed* I will meet that goal!! Right now I'm sitting at 32K  -- well, 54K total ... I had some written beforehand. Unfortunately, due to a new plot thread I just invented *whoops!* it looks like I won't technically "finish" the novel by the end of April. That's okay. I might actually just skip a few scenes and write the end ones I know and then go back and fill in the other ones in May. It is a SUPER research heavy MS. The most researchy I've ever attempted. May is going to be filled with non-fic books and journal articles to do some serious fact-checking and adding of technical details I glossed over!


Previously in Reading

This month, I did a LOT of critting for #DVPit entries so I haven't done quite as much novel reading as usual. Right now I am reading Sarah Jamila Stevenson's THE LATTE REBELLION ... which is super fun so far. It pairs well with #TeenJournalistWIP thematically, so that's good! I started I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN by Jandy Nelson, which was flat out gorgeous (as I expected) but alas the library stole it back from me before I had a chance to finish :oO I also started THE BLOSSOMING UNIVERSE OF VIOLET DIAMOND, which I was loving, but set it aside because I think it will pair better for me reading at a time when I'm working on my MG book again.

(I'm so matchy-matchy like that!)


Next Time in Goals

Next month, I hope to be finished with a round of additions and first-round edits on #TeenJournalistWIP and hopefully done outlining my next book, which is going to be an MG Steampunky-Victorianesque Fantasy ... it also needs a hashtag. Hmm ... she helps solve arson cases so ... #FiregirlWIP ? Right now I have two chapters and a very loose idea, but I need the key plot points. It's actually a story that's been in my head way back from the very beginning of time { aka five years ago when I realized I wanted to be an author ;o) }

In May I hope to read A LOT for #TeenJounalistWIP research. Like  A LOT A LOT. But maybe not fiction. Which makes me kind of sad. Except I guess I will actually be reading fiction too because I have a big beta backlog!!! Whee!!!

A Word of Advice

Moral of the story? There's no better motivator for getting work done than an impending 2nd child!!!  o.O

Is that advice? No, not really. Don't try this at home. Or do. But not because you want to get a lot of projects done. Although that aspect of it HAS worked in my favor.

... I'm just sayin'

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