Happy Six-Month Release Anniversary…to Me! And a Contest for You!

Six months ago, my book, The Writing & Critique Group Survival Guide, officially hit the shelves. It was one of those days of excitement and nerves and a lot of disbelief. I did the launch day thing, and a few weeks later, had my party. It was all MORE than good, and the last six months have been quite a ride. A wonderful ride. Busy, busy, busy!

But not to busy to celebrate some more. I’m a big believer in marking milestones, and I didn’t want this one to just slip by quietly, without paying it a bit of attention. Or without saying thank you to everybody who has supported me, cheered me on, read this blog, spread the word, and just made me happy to be out here talking with you all.

Sounds like a contest to me!

Here are the details. All you haveΒ to do to enter is leave a comment here, at this post, between now and next Wednesday night, July 21. If you’d like to leave a happy critique story along with your basic entry, that will be the frosting. (On the cake. The anniversary cake. Get it?) I’ll pull the name of the winner and announce it on Thursday, the 22nd. PLEASE come back and check if you won! I’ll inflate some virtual balloons for you and toss imaginary confetti in your hair.

You probably want more than that, though. And I don’t blame you! Well, here’s what I’ll be handing you, on that big, gold, sparkly platter (okay, in the mail), when you win.

  • A signed copy of The Writing & Critique Group Survival Guide
  • A set of the critique goodies I put into my raffle bags, which does, indeed, include chocolate
  • A first-chapter critique of your manuscript. (If you’re a picture book writer, I’ll totally count that as a chapter.)
  • One other writing-craft book, still-to-be-decided-and-you-won’t-know-what-it-is-until-your-prize-arrives-because-it’s-a-surprise!

What do you think?

Drop into that comments section and leave your name. If things go crazy and I get GOBS of entries, I may have to put together more than one prize. Just to keep you all happy.

And to celebrate!

Oh, for pete’s sake, what am I going to do in another six months?

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83 thoughts on “Happy Six-Month Release Anniversary…to Me! And a Contest for You!

    • beckylevine says:

      Tom, I’m so glad you like the book! And, yes, ice cream for sure. I’ll eat your share so it doesn’t melt, okay? πŸ™‚

      Like

  1. Connie Myres says:

    Wow, a contest with wonderful prizes! You can certainly enter my name. I don’t have a ‘happy critique story’ but I do have a book length manuscript that could certainly use a chapter 1 critique. Thanks, Connie Myres

    Like

  2. Well, you know how much I love your book, so I’m definitely up for celebrating!

    My happy critique story is surviving my first face-to-face critique, thanks to your tips and suggestions.

    Congrats on six months, Becky!

    Like

  3. Count me in. I have a critique group of three other members: no drama, compatible, easy-going, I couldn’t ask for more … except for new eyes to critique my first chapter, and maybe a book on how to make us better at it, and maybe some chocolate, but other than that…

    Congratulations

    Like

    • beckylevine says:

      Congrats no your group, Tricia–that’s a wonderful gift to have. And maybe you’ll even share the chocolate with them. πŸ™‚

      Like

  4. Becky, I am so happy for you and proud of you too.

    My happy critique story is that I have a much stronger manuscript now that you critiqued it. But honestly, did you have to make me work so hard?

    Girl you are good at what you do.

    Like

    • beckylevine says:

      Oh, Joyce, I’ve always wanted to have a reason to say this (instead of having it said to me!)– No pain, no gain!!! πŸ™‚

      Thanks so much!

      Like

  5. Woohoo! I have that book and it’s awesome!!

    My latest and greatest moment of critique warm fuzzies was giving my brother the first chapter of my latest WIP. I’ve worked over the first chapter a lot because I’m going to a convention where we will be work-shopping a first chapter – a first chapter that had to be turned in in JULY! This morning I got a text from my non-reading brother telling me:

    I can’t believe you wrote this. It’s so good! It makes me want to read. I knew what the characters were feeling and I got Aaron.

    This seriously gave me all sorts of warm fuzzies that my little brother, the non-reader, was impressed and interested. He’s not a reader – he’s a video game, construction working man’s man, and now we’ve had an hour long conversation about books and that I write stuff he thinks is interesting. Brother: “I didn’t know there were books like that… I thought there were just movies.”

    Like

    • beckylevine says:

      Oh, this is so incredible! Thanks for sharing. Now you have to find more books like yours and drop them subtly where he can come casually across them! πŸ™‚

      Like

  6. Happy Anniversary!! And I see you are on the roster for the East of Eden Conf. I will be attending Saturday(yay!)

    Critiques can be oh-so-scary and one of the best ways to improve. I am so fortunate to have a group of 5, all writing in the same genre (YA/Middle Grade)and all giving/taking in the most mutally satisfying way. There are always those moments when my nails are down to the nub, but for the most part, I take their advice as loving gifts aimed at lifting my manuscript to its full potential. So, thank you, Becky, for hosting this contest, and reminding us all how great critiques can be!

    Like

    • beckylevine says:

      Christina, so glad you’re coming to the conference. Find me and say “hi.”

      Sounds to me like you have a great group and a perfect attitude!

      Like

  7. Happy anniversary!

    I hope this giveaway is open to international entries because winning the prize on my birthday would be just about the awesomest thing! πŸ˜‰

    I have your book on my to-buy Amazon list and will be ordering it shortly. I’ve heard so many good things about it, I’m really looking forward to reading it.

    Also, I don’t comment much on your blog, but I read it regularly and it’s always been a source of great advice to me. I just wanted to thank you for that. πŸ™‚

    Like

    • beckylevine says:

      What the heck, Brigita, why not? Maybe it just won’t come the fastest speed. πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for letting me know you read my blog-I’m glad you like it.

      Like

  8. Shirley Dianne Nail says:

    Happy 6 months anniversary. I show this on Joyce Moyer Hostetter and the books sounds so good, that I would love to win this wonderful book.

    Like

  9. Your critique package sounds exciting. I’ve been in a few online critique groups but have a lot to learn. It has often been disappointing, but sometimes I find gems there. PB critique groups seem to be the hardest to develop.

    Like

  10. Lua says:

    Congratulations on the 6 months anniversary Becky- this must have been some ride for you πŸ™‚ And what a great idea, count me in for the contest!

    Like

  11. Congratulations! I could really use your book for our critque group! Hopefully I’ll win one, but it looks like a must have if I do not. How exciting for you, can’t wait till I can offer a goody bag and free book for one of my reads. All the best to you. Very nice to cyber-meet.

    Like

  12. beckylevine says:

    From Carol Baldwin (commented at other post)- Hey Becky-
    I’m new to your blog but got your email about the contest and so yes, now I’m hooked. I’m writing the first draft of my first novel and it is soooo hard to gush it out know that it may all be cut some day. But, as I have told Joyce many times, I know I have to write it in order to fix it later!
    Please enter me in your contest and happy unbirthday (that’s what we called 6 month celebrations in college- many moons ago. Apparently it began with ALice in Wonderland though. Just looked it up!

    Like

  13. Having been in at least 5 critique groups, some in person, some in cyberspace, I think I could totally use your book, Becky. My original group met weekly for at least 5 years till we all started moving away -and we still keep in touch. The others, not such success stories. But I won’t go there.
    =)

    Happy anniversary! And I’m with you, anything that calls for cake and candles is worth celebrating.

    Like

    • beckylevine says:

      I’m glad you all still keep in touch. I just finished an article on online critiquing–could you guys make it work that way? πŸ™‚

      Thanks for the anniversary wishes!

      Like

  14. Hi Becky,
    Christina (from the comment above, and my critique group) put your contest on her blog, and I said, “I know Becky! She did that helpful query critique for me at the East of Eden conference a few years back.”

    You also did an article in the SCBWI Acorn on critique groups, and I have an article in the current issue on our critique group experience. It’s on page 4 http://www.scbwi.org/Resources/Documents/AcornJune2010_V3.pdf

    Critique groups are so valuable, but you do have to communicate what you want from one, or you may not get it!

    Like

    • beckylevine says:

      Angelica, your article looks great–congratulations! And I’m glad the query critique helped. πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by.

      Like

  15. Greg Fields says:

    Congratulations on achieving this milestone. I believe we tend to focus too much life’s major milestones and not enough on the the minor (but equally important) milestones. Life should be celebrated.

    This month I celebrated my first year as a civilian after twenty two years in the Air Force. Upon my retirement last year, I gave myself the gift of writing a novel. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the process of crafting the intial manuscript and now look forward to taking the next step and join a critique group.

    Surprisingly, I’ve found the process of writing similar to planning a military campaign. And I think what German Field Marshall Helmuth von Moltke said about military plans holds true for manuscripts, “No plan survives contact with the enemy.” I’m not suggesting critique groups are the enemy, rather like the enemy they illuminate the weaknesses of a manuscript and make it stronger.

    Like

    • beckylevine says:

      Greg, sounds like the gift you’ve given yourself is wonderful–best of look finding a group that’s a great fit for you and your book!

      Like

  16. Lani Longshore says:

    Congratulations! And in another six months, have us come up with a contest for you. My happy critique story is that my group – which doesn’t write my genre but reads my stuff all the same – read a short story that I thought was done and said, no, not yet. So I expanded it, thought it was done, and they said, no, not yet. This went on for another couple of rounds, until they convinced me to pursue it as a novel. How’s that for support!

    Like

  17. I’m meeting with my critique group tonight and could use a few tips to liven things up – read: keep things from going straight to laughter and gossip before any real work is done. Wouldn’t mind winning that critique either!

    Like

  18. Kathleen Trail says:

    As a newbie just dipping the proverbial toe into the waters, I’ve so enjoyed your site and would love to put my name in the running!

    Like

  19. Arleene says:

    A first-chapter critique with chocolate frosting? What a great idea for your celebration! Please include me in this contest.
    Your book has helped me with revisions since day one back in January, but my biggest kick was showing it to prospective group-mates at my initial meeting last week. I believe the book made a huge difference in my ability to comment on their writing. Three people wanted to read, borrow, or buy a copy by the end of our session, and only four members were there!
    Becky, thank you so much for your generous and delightful work. Hope to see you at the East of Eden Conference in September.

    Like

    • beckylevine says:

      Arlene, you’re included. Thanks so much for the wonderful words about my book–so great to hear! And, yes, see you at E of E. πŸ™‚

      Like

  20. Becky,
    Esther Hershenhorn reviewed your book on our TeachingAuthors.com blog today, giving it an enthusiastic “thumbs up.” I’d love to have a copy to use with the students in my “craft and critique” workshop.
    Congratulations on your anniversary!
    Carmela
    TeachingAuthors

    Like

    • beckylevine says:

      Carmela, thanks so much for letting me know about the review–and for posting the link on Facebook! Glad you made it over today. πŸ™‚

      Like

  21. John Levine says:

    I recently participated in my first critique group session. Sounds like your book will be perfect for me. I look forward to reading it! Congrats on your 6-month anniversary!

    Like

  22. Mita Bordoloi says:

    I just read a wonderful review of your book. My constructive critique group is amazingly helpful, so much that 3/4 members have recently broken into the publishing world. I just wish I win your book and learn to be as helpful as the rest of our group members.

    Like

  23. claudine says:

    Happy Anniversary!

    I know this is juat a “post and draw” contest, but since I thought it was a writing challenge contest, I offer this little sucking-up-to-the-excellent-author poem:

    The Writing & Critique Group Survival Guide

    How to find a critique group,
    And size up a scene.
    How to do it in kindness,
    And never be mean.

    Three cheers for the author!
    You know who I mean:
    The only, the legendary,
    Becky Levine.

    Please put my name in the drawing. πŸ™‚

    Like

  24. Karen Meade says:

    Well, it sounds like your book is exactly what I need. I don’t think I’ll wait to find out if I win though. I’m heading to Borders today to pick up a copy. I’ve been saving a gift card for just the right book!

    However, if I do win, I’ll send the book to my daughter who is at Sarah Lawrence working on her MFA in writing. (I’ll keep the rest of the goodies for myself)!

    Like

  25. Barbara Schneider says:

    Your book sounds like it covers all the hot topics we need to know. I haven’t been in a critique group in years, but am just starting with one. Sure missed the commaradity and knowledge.

    Like

  26. Happy Anniversary! I’v so happy for your success!
    I have a critique buddy who’s been with me since the early 1980’s! Karen and I have been together in good groups and not so good groups. We’ve got a great bunch now, who are all dedicated and also now, great friends.

    Like

  27. Tina Athaide says:

    I have a great online critique group and just recently started a face-to-face group. Your book is perfect for setting the structure for our group! And we definitely need some guidelines…

    My online group includes a fantastic group of writers and we share a space that includes space for critiquing, moral support, and friendships.

    Happy Anniversary!

    Like

  28. Mary Clark says:

    Amazing! Tomorrow three women are coming over to talk about setting up a writing critique group. We’ve all put if off for much too long. Whether I win or not, we’ll be getting your book!

    Happy anniversary!

    Mary

    Like

    • beckylevine says:

      Hey, Mary–I’m sorry you missed the draw date! I do hope you enjoy the book, though. And best of luck with the new group–you’ve just opened a marvelous door on your writing path!

      Like

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