Carolyn’s Critique Constest

If you happen to be working on a novel, or a short story for that matter, and would like some feedback, then this is the contest for you. I will critique your first chapter up to 15 pages for three winners.

Please Note: I am detail oriented, therefore I do pretty detailed critiques. I can’t help myself. I will not tell you your work is wonderful if I think it isn’t. What I will tell you is what I liked and what didn’t work for me and what I think you might need to work on. If your stuff rocks, I’ll tell you that, too. Please, do not enter this contest if you only want to hear good things or are thin skinned. DO enter this contest if you’re interested in my opinion. I’m not mean, but I will tell you what I think. Promise.

Also note that I read everything, therefore you needn’t think you shouldn’t enter if your work isn’t, say, a Romance. I have an MA in English, I am conversant with the classics. About the only thing I might have trouble critiquing is something written in the present tense. (Are you seeing what I mean about detail?)

Enter this contest by leaving a comment in this post with your name and maybe a good joke, anecdote or just the words Enter me in your Critique Contest (or something like that). It might be fun if you mentioned the genre of what you would like critiqued. I’m open to anything.

This contest will close end of February 28, 2009, Pacific Time. Three winners will be chosen at random.

I’ll contact the winners privately.

Ready, Set Go!



32 Responses to “Carolyn’s Critique Constest”

  1. Tarot By Arwen says:

    Enter me in your critique contest, please.

    It’s an urban fantasy.

    Anecdote: Make a paste of Adolf’s meat tenderizer and water for bee stings.

    Oh wait. You didn’t say antidote.

    Dang it.

  2. Elyssa Papa says:

    Oh, I definitely love to enter the contest.

    I have a Single Title Contemporary Romance and has a rock star hero.

    Joke (it’s a long one and perhaps only funny to me):

    A man is walking along in his travels when he comes across a bar that has a contest to win a million dollars. Intrigued, the man enters, heads into the bar, and asks the bartender how he can win the prize money.

    The bartender looks at him, then points over the man’s shoulder. “See that horse there? Well, you have to make him laugh.”

    The man turns around, squares his shoulders, and walks toward the horse. Whispers something into the horse’s ear, which causes the horse to erupt in gales of laughter.

    The man collects his prize and heads out.

    A year passes. The same man enters the bar, where yet again they’re having a contest. However, this time to win the prize, he has to make the horse cry.

    “No problem,” says the man as he walks over to the horse. He turns his back, and the horse starts crying.

    As he’s collecting the money, the bartender leans over. “Hey, I’ve just got to know . . . How exactly did you win that money both times?”

    The man hesitates. “Well, the first time, I told him that my cock was bigger than his. The second time, I showed him.”

  3. Claudia Brooke says:

    Claudia Brooke
    Enter me in your Critique Contest, Please and Thank You…

    Its a younger adult novel.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hi, Carolyn. I’m one of your Twitter followers. Could you please enter me in your critique contest? The work I’d submit is a paranormal romance. I’d love some advice about whether the beginning works.


  5. Hope "Danielle" Moore says:

    Could you enter me in your Critique Contest, please?

    …Thank you!

    The chapter I would submit could fit into different genres; Historical Fiction, Romance, Action/Adventure, or Pirates.

    Thanks again,

  6. Keira Soleore says:

    Carolyn, please enter me in your Critique Contest. Thanks!

  7. Molly says:

    Please enter me! Thanks. 🙂

  8. Anna says:

    Scandal looks wonderful! I’ll be tearing into that soon, and I’d love to be entered in your critique contest.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I have a teen fantasy novel. It’s my first book.. I keep rewriting it and so I think your contest might really help me.

    Here’s a joke for ya…

    A linguistics professor was lecturing to his English class one day. “In English,” he said, “a double negative forms a positive. In some languages, though, such as Russian, a double negative is still a negative. However, there is no language wherein a double positive can form a negative.”

    A voice from the back of the room piped up, “Yeah, right.”

    Kari Hall

  10. annewriter says:


    Your agent said so many wonderful things about your latest book, I linked over to see what you’ve written 🙂

    I’d love to enter your contest for my first historical, sixth book.


  11. Myretta says:

    Here’s my name because Megan says you give amazing critiques and because I can use a good kick in the pants. As my offering, here’s a picture of the cutest animal in the universe:


  12. Jameyanne says:

    Hi Carolyn.
    I would absolutely love to be entered into your cratique contest. (Did I spell that right? I really don’t know. Thank goodness for spell check). I am currently working on–as in what I believe is the final stages of editing–a fantasy/mystery novel. It’s called And Then To Dream and I would love to get some feedback for it. I’ve actually made the decision to take this book and try to get it published. I’ve written lots of books, but I’ve never been so sure of any of them. I gave a copy to my mom and she loves it (but she’s my mom). She also says that my beginning could be stronger–maybe less redundant. I would love some feedback/cratique from someone who has actually been through the publishing maze and knows what they expect. Now I’m rambling and i haven’t even told you my joke.
    A blind man walks into a bar.
    I can say that because I am blind. I love humor.
    Okay, done now. Wow that was a long comment
    Thanks so much.

  13. natasha says:

    OH yes! I would love to be entered in you Critique Contest, please.

    I have a YA that I am working on.

    This joke is not one of mine, but is my son’s.

    Knock knock.
    Who’s there?
    Orange who?
    Orange you glad I didn’t say a tickle monster?! (Here he goes off into peals of laughter at his own wit. I love this joke just to hear him laugh.)


  14. Gayle says:

    Please enter me in your critique contest. Thank you for the opportunity.

    It’s a young adult fantasy novel.

  15. Elizabeth Stegenga says:

    Please enter me in your critique contest.

    Historical romance, 17th c. London. Swords, action, adventure. Snark.

  16. MF says:

    Are you going to critique the joke, too? It’s too much pressure! How’s this one (keeping in mind that I’m into stats and math and the husband’s an engineer):

    A team of engineers were required to measure the height of a flag pole. They only had a measuring tape, and were getting quite frustrated trying to keep the tape along the pole because it kept falling down. A mathematician comes along, finds out their problem, and proceeds to remove the pole from the ground and measure it easily. When she leaves, one engineer says to the other: “Just like a mathematician! We need to know the height, and she gives us the length!”

  17. J.M. Sabel says:

    Please enter me in your contest. Single title, historical fantasy.

    Knock Knock.

    Who’s there?


    Zebra who?

    Ze- bra is killing me. LOL!

  18. Elizabeth K. says:

    Hi! Please enter me in your critique contest! I just started a horror novel a few weeks ago and I’ve never written in the genre before and I would love your input.

    Erm… A joke… Here’s one based on a true story- My brother.

    One day, my mother and aunt had just finished washing and drying the dinner dishes. My aunt tossed her hand towel to my brother and asked him to throw it down in the basement to be washed. He quickly jumped to the task.

    Moments later, we heard loud noises that went something like this:

    BOOM-BA-BOOM-BA-BOOM! …. “Ow!”

    Running to the basement door, we gazed down to the bottom of the stairs where my brother lie sprawled across the landing, still clutching the towel.

    “What happened?” my aunt asked.

    He replied, “… I forgot to let go…”

  19. Louisa Cornell says:

    Hey, Carolyn! LOVED Scandal, by the way. Now I have to go back and get your others. Loved your call story(s) too.

    Please enter me in your critique contest. I write Regency historicals. The one I am just finishing the polish of revisions on is a Gothic Regency historical with a touch of the paranormal. I have started my third book, which is currently known as the “Manwhore” book among my friends. Hmm. Tough to decide which one I would want you to critique!

    A little joke for you as told by my late husband’s Cajun psychiatrist buddy.

    A Cajun couple had a son and they were so proud. The only problem was as the child grew he refused to talk. Not one word for the first ten years of the child’s life.

    It was sad, but they learned to live with it.

    One day, the little ten year old boy sat down to breakfast took one look at his plate and said “This toast is burnt.”

    His parents gasped. They fell to their knees and praised the Lord and cried.

    Finally, the father hugged his son and said “My son, all these years you don’t talk. Why for you wait so long to speak?”

    His son said : “Up to now, everything been okay.”

  20. Jami G. says:

    She sat at the keyboard, her teeth clenched while trying to control her hyperventilating breath. Typing the words which would “out” her as a writer, she forced her fingers to peck out the letters: Yes, please enter me in your critique contest.

    Thanks! (I think…)

  21. Erin McClune says:

    This is very nice of you to offer! I write historical romance and please enter me in your contest. 🙂 Okay here is one of my favorite jokes…

    What did the fish say when he hit a wall?


    Thanks so much!! Erin 🙂

  22. Sarah Jensen says:

    Your site has already helped me edit my novel, but your advice would mean the world.
    Please enter me in your contest.

    My novel is Young Adult Urban Fantasy, but not another vampire story. 🙂

  23. Black and (a)Broad says:

    Hi Carolyn,

    would you please enter me in your critique contest? Will it help my chances if you know my name is Carolyn, too? Probably not. Anyway, I’m writing a memoir that is NOT in the present tense.


  24. April Snyder says:

    Hi Carolyn,
    Please enter me in your contest. I would love some experienced input. I’m working on my first young adult novel. Oh, here’s a joke (from my seven year old). Why don’t pirates use a safe deposit box? Because they put their valuables in Davey Jones’ locker.

  25. Nicole de Laplante says:


    HERE IS MY JOKE: (I have to be honest, I did not come up with them.)
    1.How many screenwriters does it take to screw in a light bulb?

    Why does it *have* to be changed?

    2.How many cover blurb writers does it take to screw in a light bulb?


    3.How many mystery writers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

    Two. One to screw it almost all the way in, and the other to give it a surprising twist at the end.

    It would be PERFECT if you could critique my first chapter, it’s only about 10 pages I think. I’m the 13 year old writer, well hopefully soon-to-be PUBLISHED author.

    By: Bye…

    P.S. My name is Nicole de Laplante from Ontario, Canada.

  26. Nicole de Laplante says:

    Badum-dum-dum… I meant to write this on my other comment, but forgot. It’s, you know, after someone says a joke and they go badum-dum-dum and no one laughs; cricket, cricket… ok ok

    By: Bye…

    Nicole de Laplante

  27. Jeanne St. James says:

    Please enter me in your critique contest. I write erotic romance. My current WIP is an interracial menage a trois.


  28. Hebe says:

    Enter me in the critique contest please.

    What do you get when 42 Rabbits take a step backwards?

    A receding hairline. {sorry,sorry}

    My novel is paranormal mystery with a nun the loves God, others and silk lingerie – only sometimes in that order;+)

    BTW Nice tweets!

  29. netknow says:

    Hi Carolyn,

    Beneath the city in Seattle’s Underground the Grim Reaper brews himself a spot of tea, puts up his bunny slipper clad feet, and issues a summons.

    Three people, whose only commonality is their cancer treatment, have been chosen to complete a series of challenges that will change their destiny forever. One will emerge the champion, but who will it be? Grace, a fortysomething soccer mom, Leo, a bookstore owner and Holocaust survivor, or Trevor, a gay teenager at odds with his family’s Microsoft money.

    I’d love to have you critique my comedic urban fantasy of cancer, friendship, and the necessity of chocolate. Please enter me in your contest.



  30. Patti Shenberger says:

    Carolyn, I would love to be entered in you Win A Critique From You! Thanks for the offer.

    My latest work is a women’s fiction novel.

    I’m not a very good joke teller, but here goes….
    Knock knock
    Who’s there
    How do you keep a fool in suspense?
    I don’t know, how do you?
    Knock, knock….
    and so on and so on and so on…..

  31. Anonymous says:

    Hi Carolyn! I would love to be entered in the contest too, that is such a cool idea. I’m working on a YA/ middle grade novel. Thanks! 🙂

  32. Evangeline says:

    Oh dear…please enter me in the contest. Am at low level regarding my writing. o.O