Query Critique Contest Plus My Favorite Books on Writing for You!

When I sit down to blog I usually try to put something useful up. Sometimes I just bitch and moan though, I know that. But rather than complain, you, my awesome blog followers, commiserate with me. Great word, by the way! Commiserate!

Prefix of the word is COM = with, suffix is ATE = together, root of the thing = MISERY resulting in: with misery together! Love that.

Ahem! But, as I was saying… I usually try to put something useful up. I so appreciate when people comment, too. Even if I don’t respond to your comment, it’s very rewarding to know folks are actively engaged in this conversation about writing and getting published.

So in appreciation for being my lovelies, for reading and following and commenting and coming back again and again, I have a little gifty for three of you! I have three favorite books about writing and I’m giving away one of each. But that’s not all! If you order now you also get this Ginsu knife! I’m just kidding, no Ginsu. But, each winner will also get a query critique from me. That means you will send me your query, I will read it, and I will give you feedback about what is working and what is not working. Private feedback, for your eyes only. This is the only catch: you have to be following my blog to be eligible for any of this!

Here’s what you need to do: In the comments section after this post just tell me why you write (in less than 20 words). I will pick three lucky people. As long as you’re following my blog I’ll be able to e-mail you to let you know you’ve won. You can then e-mail me your query to critique and I’ll snail-mail you your book and the query critique! Easy peasy.

So, go! Make sure you’re following the blog and tell me why you write! (Remember, in under 20 words…)

This contest is open from 12:01am EST Saturday, February 18th to 11:59pm EST Sunday, February 19th. Winners will be posted Monday morning at around 9am.


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60 responses to “Query Critique Contest Plus My Favorite Books on Writing for You!

  1. It keeps me (mostly) sane. It’s the only thing I have for myself that’s not about my family or work.
    Thanks for the opportunity!

  2. Jerry

    I write because, as Jessica Rabbit said, I was drawn that way.

  3. I write to find out how the story ends. I re-write to find out where it begins.

  4. I write to get what needs to come out, out.

  5. Jerry Manas

    I write because I have a passion for well told stories; and to transport myself, bringing readers along with me.
    Great blog! I’m an avid reader of books on writing, so I’m surprised I’ve only read On Writing out of the three. I liked Donald Maass’s book, as well as Al Zuckerman’s Writing the Blockbuster Novel, Chris Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey, Blake Snyder’s books, John Truby’s, and many others.

  6. I write because I don’t seem to have much choice in the matter.

    Sometimes I think it would be much, much easier if I did ; )

    Great contest – thanks!

  7. I write non-fiction to communicate about the world.

    I write fiction because one world is not enough.

  8. I write because this way I don’t have to see people taking peeks at their watches.

  9. I write to silence the voices in my head. No, really! These stories have to get out somehow.

  10. Rachel León

    Because with enough hard work, I can turn my crappy drafts into something special and that transformation is immensely gratifying.

  11. I write to explore the visions in my mind.

  12. To capture feelings I don’t want to lose and sap the power from fears that might otherwise haunt me.

  13. Adrianne

    Because when my eleven year old self complained about not having enough books, my mother said, “Write your own stories.”

  14. Tif Johnson

    I write to give notice to the songs in my head, and to those lessons I’ve learned in my life.
    Thanks for the opportunity!

  15. I write because I love it: the characters, the plot, helping them fall in love. This is my dream job.

  16. There are epic adventures. Heartbreaking moments. I don’t get to live them all. I write them so other people can.

  17. I write because I read. It’s an attempt to give back.

  18. Elisabeth Anton

    I feel so alive when I write; so connected, energized. It lights me up! I tremble with hope, excitement, and gratitude.

    I posted this yesterday, fearing I wouldn’t have access to the internet this weekend. Oh me of little faith. I’m in a remote part of Brazil, editing my first novel! Thanks for your blog. It helps keep me sane.

  19. Olivia Ghafoerkhan

    I write to keep the crazies away. I’m married with three kids and a dog. Writing is cheaper than Meds!

  20. I want someone to see inside me. To help me remember. And to tell me it’s okay. That I’m okay.

    **That’s actually a partial quote from one of my characters of a novel I’m working on, but I think it sums it up for me! 🙂

  21. Thanks again so very much for the contest and until today didn’t know about Stephen King’s other book. Fabulous!

  22. Linda thank you so much for this great contest.
    I write because I love bringing life to the people and places that over-crowd my head.

  23. I write because occasionally you get the opportunity to win a Ginsu knife. (wink)

  24. Why do I write? Because there are a million what-ifs in the world and some of them belong to me.

    I’m not playing for the prizes, just for fun. Stephen King’s On Writing is my favorite word-craft bible. I’m sure you find that a surprise, Linda. 😉

  25. I weave words into magic because my father, a master storyteller, read enchanting tales to me as a child.

  26. I write to express the part of myself that doesn’t show on the outside.

  27. Rhen Wilson

    I love experiencing the emotions and conflicts of my characters. I also love connecting with readers and sharing my tales.

  28. I’m addicted to words: writing lets me play with them… and readers’ minds. What’s more fun than that?


  29. I write because I have so many story ideas in my head that I need to get them down somewhere. 🙂

    Thank you.

  30. Ann Noser

    Why do I write? Because my friend killed himself and I did nothing to stop it.

  31. Jennie

    Hi Linda!

    I write because it’s more socially appropriate than talking to myself. I believe the grocery store clerks would agree.

    Thanks for offering up the books and a critique! Awesome!

  32. Writing to me is as obligatory as breathing (required peace of mind) and I follow to learn.

  33. I write to quiet my mind.


    PS I started that website.

  34. Megan

    Woops! I missed the part where it said “under 20 words.”

    Oh well — I write so that I can write as many words as I want! Ha 😀 These are all GREAT writing books — especially Bird by Bird.

  35. Anything can inspire me. Stories form in my head with characters I fall in love with. I must write.

  36. Megan

    I write because building characters builds my character, because finding the magnificent in the mundane leads to a more fulfilling life, because it’s the on-button for my five senses. I write so that I can experience the world with my body rather than with my analytical mind. I write because I like to create worlds instead of assimilating to the ones around me, because I want to have a profound effect on my environment (not vice versa). I write because the power of story is far greater than the power of fact. And, I write because when I’m writing, and I get into what Robert Olen Butler calls “the dreamspace,” I feel weightless.

  37. Fiona

    I started writing after my mother died. She had always wanted to write a book, and so had I.

  38. I write because of the magic in creating something that didn’t exist before. Sometimes challenging, but transporting when it works.

    So glad I discovered your blog through Literary Rambles. I hope to send you my query anyway, but how great would it be to have you critique it first! 😉 Thanks for the opportunity.

  39. I write because my heart floods with words if I don’t empty them to paper and make room for more.

  40. I write because it’s the only thing I want to do every day (even if it doesn’t always happen).

  41. The contest is open and my words are ready 🙂

    I write because I need to give voice to the characters taking up residence inside my head.

  42. Annie

    To live out a million lives. To fall in love, not just once, but a million times. That’s why.

    19 words. I started following your blog during the last pitch contest you offered and I’ve really enjoyed it. BTW, Stephen King’s On Writing is one of my favorites. I even have it on audio which, if you haven’t heard it, is wonderful. Stephen King reads it himself. I haven’t read the other two though–here’s hoping my reason for writing is not just a grammatical mess.

  43. I am a good write…guy…and people like…me to be…using words. Is that twenty? Do I win yet?

  44. Hi Linda, I just found your blog through Lit. Rambles and I’m really enjoying it!
    I started writing as a teen to legitimize my daydreaming habit and it became something I just do. So, I suppose somewhere along the line writing became the habit, and the daydreaming…well, that would be research 🙂

    • Sarah

      Anne Lamott and I went to the same high school in San Francisco, she was my older sister’s friend. When I feel overwhelmed I remind myself, “bird by bird…”

      I read Stephen King’s book — awesome. I don’t enjoy his genre, but he’s wise and interesting, and On Writing is a definite “must read.” I would also add Self-Editing for Fiction Writers (Renni Browne and Dave King) and Save The Cat (Blake Snyder). I’m using the Save The Cat beat sheet to outline my next novel.

    • Oh dear. That was more than 20 words. How’s this:

      I write because I love bringing the worlds and characters out of my head and onto paper.

  45. For many years now, I’ve had an index card that says “shitty first draft” and “short assignments” pinned to the bulletin board over my desk.

  46. I love Bird by Bird. I even repeat a couple of lines to myself, mantra-style. But how do I get the Ginsu knife? I want the one you can cut a tin can with and then slice a tomato, in case I want to share a soda and a BLT with a friend while waiting for my really sh***y rough draft to magically morph into a true lovely.

  47. This is an awesome contest. I’ve only read Stephen King’s On Writing which I devoured, and always hear great things about the other two.

  48. Linda-

    I write because I have always enjoyed good stories and that telling them is as much fun as reading them.

    That said, I do enjoy reading your blog.

  49. Rachel

    I’m a follower via email… does that count? Or does it have to be a Twitter follower? (I’m not on Twitter)

  50. I love Bird by Bird and One writing; haven’t read the other one so I’ll have to look it up. I write because: Writing allows me to walk in someone else’s footsteps and see the world from another point of view.

  51. Here is another good one – Writing with Style, Conversations on the Art of Writing by John R. Trimble. Excellent tips and the bonus – he’s funny!

  52. I’ll throw in my faves: Noah Lukeman’s First Five Pages and Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass. Btw, I love how you call your readers ‘lovelies!’ 🙂

  53. Hello Linda,

    Uncloaking from lurkdom finally. Not playing for the prizes because you’ve already seen my query :D. I just wanted to say that Bird by Bird and On Writing helped open my eyes to a lot of aspects of writing. The other two books that made an impact on me are The Writer’s Guide to Crafting Stores for Children by Nancy Lamb and Ray Branbury’s Zen in The Art of Writing. Without all these books I’ll still be banging on walls trying to figure a lot of things out.