Mount Hermon Critique Day

Day 2 at Mount Hermon means one thing–you find out exactly what’s wrong with what you’ve written. Not only are the pre-conference submissions returned, but the walk in critiques open.

Mount Hermon offers each registrant two free pre-conference submissions. You can either request a manuscript critique by a freelancer or an editorial review by an agent or editor who will then tell you whether or not they want to represent/buy your work. If you submit for an editorial review, you receive a little slip telling you if they’re not interested or if they want to meet with you to learn more. Some lucky folks get a handwritten note. 

If you’ve watched our video, you know that we submitted three copies of our current novel for editorial review.

So what happened? Well, we’re not going to tell you–yet. In part because we’re not quite sure ourselves yet. Before you jump to conclusions (we know how the rumor mill can run), we didn’t get offered a contract. We’re writers after all, and what kind of a story would this be if there was no conflict. You’ll have to stay tuned to find out what all these enigmas mean.

This afternoon, both Lisa and Marcy also took advantage of the walk-in critiques. From 4 pm to 6 pm each afternoon, you can wait in line to have a professional freelancer offer suggestions on your work. James Scott Bell, Randy Ingermanson, Gayle Roper, Joseph Bentz, Mona Hodgson, Karen O’Connor, and Christine Tangvald made up this year’s critique team representing expertise in everything from article writing, novels, childrens and YA, and poetry.

The biggest benefit of this service is that you get a professionals’ first gut reaction to your work. And because they’re there to help, part of their job is to be honest. We’ll admit, it’s a touch intimidating sitting across from them and trying to guess from their facial expressions what they think. They laughed! Does that mean I’m funny? Or really, really ridiculous?

A couple areas that we saw for improvement is that it’d be helpful if the critiquers jotted down their thoughts on the manuscript or made a few notations. It’d also help to have signs in front of each critiquer listing their areas of expertise (and we’re not a fan of the waiting in lines – signing up for a time slot would be preferable in our opinions).

Tune in with us on Day 3 for more blow by blows, another hint about the results of our pitching efforts, some insider advice from Vicki Crumpton, executive editor of Revell/Baker publishing house, and more.


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