*Drum roll* And the winners of the critiques are...at the bottom of this post. :)
First, I wanted to talk about judging writing contests. This year I decided to not only enter RWA's Golden Heart, but to volunteer as a preliminary judge. The way it works is you are able to judge in any category except the one you entered in. They send you six fifty-page partials and the accompanying synopses, which you are responsible for reading and judging.
That first line and paragraph are like a little snapshot of what to expect in the book. If it was overwritten and tell-y, the rest of the pages tended to be the same way. If it was confusing, the story was often convoluted. On the entries that had first pages that hooked me, the rest of the story was really good too. So had I been an agent reading these, there are a few I would have put aside pretty darn fast. (However, for the contest, you're required to read all of the pages, so I went ahead and did that.)
- Julie Dao - WINNER!
- Aubrie - WINNER!