|With my beta-reader Maya at Boothbay Harbor, Maine|
|My daughter Gemma|
Family members may be the easiest to enlist for help, but it's also important to use readers who aren't related to you. For my Maine YA novel, I needed a reader who grew up in a small harbor town. My daughter had attended Chewonki Semester School with Maya from Boothbay Harbor (in top photo with me). After Maya read my manuscript, I took her out for lunch there to discuss things like accents, the offseason environment and small town details. My home town in Maine is larger than hers and not as reliant on tourism and lobster fishing.
|Brittany from Vermont|
|Bowdoin College alumna Janki|
|With my friend Marika Josephson|
I spent more time revising than writing my novel. I didn't query literary agents until draft eight. It was well worth the effort. My new agent wants only minor changes. When I receive her editorial notes, I will revise once again. Then the polished manuscript will be submitted to editors at publishing houses. If they make an offer, there will be several more rounds of revision. Most of writing is rewriting. You need to embrace revision to get published.
Finding Free Critique Groups: If you're writing for kids or teens and want to join a free critique group in your region, become a member of the Society of Children's Writers and Illustrators. In my state the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance helps writers of all genres organize into critique groups. These nonprofit organizations also offer writing workshops and paid critiques from professionals. I'm a member of both SCBWI and MWPA but found my crit partners and beta readers on my own. Good luck revising!