INSULTING! “Can you send me a free critique of my short story/article/poem/book manuscript?”

INSULTING! “Can you send me a free critique of my short story/article/poem/book manuscript?”

THE FALL, 2021 24-HOUR SHORT STORY CONTEST IS THIS WEEKEND!! Our fall contest is the most popular one each year. Only 500 participants permitted so DON’T DELAY IF YOU WANT TO PLAY!!

I often received unsolicited articles, short stories, poems, marketing materials, website text, back cover text (for books), and even entire book manuscripts that aren’t being submitted to us for publication. They are sent by writers who are looking for someone to critique their work…FOR FREE.

While it would be awesome if I had infinite hours to give people free services like that, I simply do NOT. I’m too busy running a business, homeschooling our youngest child, and living the rest of my life (laundry, cooking, appointments, church work, gardening, etc.).

I admit I get a bit miffed that so many people assume that I will drop everything, and spend several minutes to several hours reading their work, and giving them a list of things that are good and not good, and details about how they can improve their writing. Some of them are downright rude. They don’t ask. They TELL me to read their work, and send them feedback. They act like they’re doing me a favor by asking me to work for them for free.

That would be like me taking my overflowing laundry basket to my neighbor, dropping it on her porch, ringing the doorbell, and demanding she do it for me. Pretty insulting and ridiculous, right?

When I received these requests, I tell them they should join a writing group online. There are countless ones available. And, writers can often find a local group online as well.

Some people respond, telling me they don’t want amateur writers reading their work. They claim dumb things like that they won’t get a good critique, that someone in the writing group might steal their idea or their work, etc. Some respond by demanding that I do what they originally asked. And, that’s when I stop responding to them.

If you want an honest review of your writing:

1. Do NOT ask your mother!

2. Do NOT ask any other close friend or relative!

3. Join a local writing group (you can Google “writing group” or “writer’s group” and your town or county).


4. Join a writing group online. There are TONS of them with their own websites and there are even more congregating on Facebook and other social media sites.

If you do that, don’t step right in, and demand people critique your work. First, contribute to the group through posts, and by critiquing other writers’ work. Only after you’ve been around awhile, and have proven your commitment to the group, should you ask them for help.

If you don’t want to do that:

5. Pay someone to critique and/or edit your work.


Read More "Ask The Expert" Articles

90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book's Daily Marketing Plan by Angela Hoy and Richard Hoy

Promoting your book online should be considered at least a part-time job. Highly successful authors spend more time promoting a book than they do writing it - a lot more.

We know what you're thinking. You're an author, not a marketer. Not to worry! We have more than a decade of successful online book selling experience under our belts and we're going to teach you how to promote your book effectively online...and almost all of our techniques are FREE!

Online book promotion is not only simple but, if you have a step-by-step, day-to-day marketing plan (this book!), it can also be a very artistic endeavor, which makes it fun for creative folks like you!

Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90...and beyond!

Writing FAST: How to Write Anything with Lightning Speed

A systematic approach to writing that generates better quality quickly!

Chock full of ideas, tips, techniques and inspiration, this down-to-earth book is easy to read, and even easier to apply. Let author Jeff Bollow take you through a process that brings your ideas to the page faster, more powerfully and easier than ever before.

Read more here:

The Art and Craft of Writing and Editing

Writing is a constant dialogue between author and reader.

The craft of writing involves an interchange of emotions between an author and a reader. An author creates a story line, conflict, and characters, gives his characters words to speak, and then hands off these materials to a reader. This process results in a constant dialogue between the mental imagery produced by a reader and that proposed by the author.

Read more here: