Friday, April 23, 2010

The Critique Group Contest Is Now Open!

Are you a romance writer looking for a critique group? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Rumored Romantics has an opening and we’re going to fill it by hosting a contest starting TODAY! Isn’t this exciting?

Note: Regardless of whether or not you’ve entered one of my critique group contests before, read the information below as some things have changed.

About us:

There are three members at the moment: Roni Griffin, Gwen Mitchell, and me. We’d like to return to four (five max.). Gwen joined in July 2009 and Roni in August. Both were winners of this very contest. In case you were wondering, this method does work and is worth the time and effort for all involved.

What we write: Sexy Contemporary, Paranormal Romance, and Romantic Suspense.

The group's personality: We don’t sugarcoat our critiques because praise alone isn’t going to help anyone improve as a writer. Instead, we offer honest feedback delivered with love and respect (see Roni’s Beta Club days for examples of her critting). Our members are supportive, helping each other get through the difficult moments in this industry. We’re not only crit partners, but friends. Our goal is to stay together through the good and bad times on our publishing journey.

Why should you trust us to crit your work? Both Gwen and Roni have recently placed in RWA contests. See their websites/blogs for a list of their wins. Gwen is an RWA PRO and Roni could be if she’d fill out the forms. In fact, Roni’s latest manuscript is with Harlequin Blaze right now. I’m a certified copy editor and proofreader in the process of starting up my own online manuscript editing/writing coach business, as well as writing, taking care of the twins, fixing the meals, etc… LOL Somehow, I manage to make it work.

The details:

• This contest is only for romance writers of adult fiction who are seeking a critique group.

• All entrants must be 18 years or older.

• Entries should be 2-3 pages from an unpublished manuscript, double spaced, 12 pt. font, Times New Roman. Anything beyond 3 pages will NOT be read.

• This is a three part contest. Part One, a 2-3 page writing sample, is open to all contestants. Finalists are selected to move on to Part Two. During this stage, the finalists will be asked to supply a longer writing sample and critique a short piece, which we’ll provide. A select few will continue on. In Part Three, the remaining finalists will critique a longer sample and fill out a bio/questionnaire. Sound like a lot of work? It is. Sorry about that. All of the above is necessary in order for us to see that our writing and critiquing styles are compatible with yours.

• Entries will be judged on the quality of the writing and critiquing, but we aren’t expecting perfection. Please send us your best work without external help. We want to see how well YOU write and critique, not your critique partner or professional editor.

• All entries for Part One of the contest are due by midnight Wednesday, April 28, 2010.

• One entry per person, unpublished work only.

• Send your entry in the body of an e-mail (I will NOT open anything with an attachment) to:

• You should expect an e-mail from me confirming I received your entry. If you haven't gotten one within 24 hours, check the e-mail address. Note: my name is spelled with two n's. LyNNette. If you don't spell it correctly in my e-mail address, I won't get the message.

• The first round of finalists will be announced on my blog and notified by e-mail some time during the week of May 2.


• Membership for one lucky writer to a small, online, romance critique group*

• Note: Rumored Romantics is looking for someone who is willing to critique at least ONE chapter a week. Chapters are no longer than 20 pages double spaced. So, the most your minimum required critique would be is 20 pages. To be clear, you’d only have to critique one chapter a week, not one per member. However, everyone is encouraged to participate as much as they can.

If you have any questions about the contest or Rumored Romantics, ask away.

*We reserve the right to not choose anyone if we don't find a good fit for our critique group.

Hint #1:
You must write adult romance, BUT we don’t actually want to read the sex scenes or romance scenes in your story (at least, not for the contest). You’ll have better results if you show us a piece that represents how different your work is from everyone else’s. Get it?

Hint #2:
When you submit your entry, it doesn’t have to be a complete scene. Don’t stress yourself out trying to find a 2-3 page scene in your manuscript and don’t cut important parts of a scene to make it fit. In fact, if you cut the end of the scene, I might be intrigued enough to want to read more. Hook me and you’ll have a great chance of winning.

Hint #3:
Here’s how I’m going to read the entries. I’ll copy and paste from the e-mail into Microsoft Word. If the font isn’t Times New Roman, 12 pt, I’ll change it to that. If it’s not double spaced, I’ll modify it. Once the entry is formatted correctly, anything beyond three pages will NOT be read.

Good luck!


  1. Hi Lynnette. This is great! I'd love some more info about Rumored Romantics, or a link to more info if you've got it on your blog. Stuff like how many people are in the group, what subgenres of romance you write, whether you're published/agented/PROs, how long you've been together... your basic first-date info.

    Good luck, everyone!

  2. Good luck to everyone who enters. This is such a cool idea to find a new member.

  3. Can you send me the same info you send Katrina? I'd be interested to know the subgenres your group writes, number of members, published or agented...same stuff.

    Looking forward to participating!

  4. Lynnette, I'm going to post a copy of this on my blog. Can't wait to find our new member!

  5. Katrina: Great questions. I'm in a rush at the moment, trying to get the kids to school, so I'll have to answer most of your questions later. There are three of us in the group at the moment, Gwen Mitchell, Roni Griffin, and myself. Check out their blogs here: and

    Lynnette Labelle

  6. Great, thanks! I just looked at Roni's website and it could've charted my life year-for-year, up until the having kids part (but you would need to substitute Jordan Knight for Joey Mac).

    I'll have a look at Gwen's now, too.

  7. Katrina, Embee, and others: I've added a section at the beginning of this post that will hopefully answer your questions about the group.

    Lynnette Labelle

  8. I write dark action thrillers. I do have special scenes that I feel are romatic. I wouldn't mind sending in a couple of those, if that falls into your quere.

  9. Anon: If your novels aren't romance, then they must at least have romantic elements (not just a love/sex scene thrown in here and there). Also, you still must understand and know the romance genre because that's what we write and you'd be expected to crit our work. Make sense? You're welcome to send in an entry if you feel there might be a fit.

    Lynnette Labelle

  10. Do you need any other writing information from us besides those 2-3 pages? How long we've been writing, awards, that sort of thing?


  11. Never mind! I somehow missed the bio/ questionnaire part in my 50 readings of this page! LOL. Sorry!