I’ve been struggling lately, Project Mayhem readers. My last post was about how I haven’t been feeling like I have much to contribute as a middle grade blogger. The team graciously gave me a couple months off to focus on the play I had in production, and I took it.
As the production closed and my next post has drawn nearer, I’ve been grappling with how to proceed. When I found out my next post date would be April 1, I realized that today is also the date of an online auction in which I’m donating a full manuscript critique (MG or YA). So first of all, I want to draw attention to that. I’m one of forty-five donors (many of them amazing agents and published authors) donating query critiques, manuscripts critiques, and more.
The Writers for Hope auction rules are here and a list of the auction items are here. I encourage you to check it out. It’s raising money to support RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) and it’s a reminder that this kid lit community is more giving and supportive than any other community I’ve ever been a part of.
I love my theater people—they are giving in completely different ways—but kid lit people drop everything and show up IN FORCE to support other writers and important causes. I’ve seen it in my own life with my critique partners who have become my closest friends, and on a bigger scale with things like the We Need Diverse Books campaign. RAINN is a cause close to my heart and I’m so heartened to see so many wonderful community members giving of their time to support it—and provide critiques that might push newer members of the community to the next level.
But I know that when I was querying, auction items like these were usually out of my financial reach, as much as I would have liked to support the causes. Because of that, I’d like to offer a query critique to one commenter here at PM, who I’ll choose at random. If you’d like another set of eyes on your MG query, just mention it in the comments and make sure I have a way to contact you. I may do more than one, and I may do this periodically. Maybe sometimes I’ll offer more than a query critique.
Behind the scenes at Project Mayhem, we have been talking about the most useful ways for the middle grade writing community to support one another. What do you feel is lacking? What could you use more of, or what do you wish you'd had access to at an earlier stage? More query support? Critique partner match-ups? Opportunities to be mentored? To mentor?
What would serve you? How could you serve?