Dear Readers…

I always urge writers to celebrate when they complete a draft because that’s a really big deal, and today I’m taking my own advice: I just sent the manuscript for Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies to my editor and I’m celebrating with everyone by giving away a free Substantive Edit* of one Young Adult or Middle Grade fiction manuscript. Here are the rules:

1. Your manuscript must be YOUNG ADULT OR MIDDLE GRADE FICTION.

2. Your manuscript must be COMPLETE.

3. Your manuscript SHALL NOT EXCEED 80,000 WORDS.

4. Manuscripts that do not meet these requirements will be disqualified.

5. Deadline: MIDNIGHT, JANUARY 31, 2011, PST.

6. Winner will be randomly selected and announced on February 1, 2011.


One entry –  SEND EMAIL to using the “Write to The Editor” button at the top of this blog. Type “YA Dummies Celebration Giveaway” in the subject line. In the body of the email, include TITLE of manuscript, YA or MG, WORD COUNT, and YOUR FULL NAME.

Bonus entry – SUBSCRIBE. subscribers get a bonus entry by sending a second email with “Subscriber’s Bonus Giveaway Entry” in the subject line and your title, YA or MG, word count, and full name in the body. (Note: the Editor will verify!) Not a subscriber yet? Then subscribe now by clicking on the “Subscribe” button at the top of this blog and then email your second entry.

Extra bonus entries – SPREAD THE WORD. Blog, tweet, or otherwise electronically tell others about this giveaway to get additional entries. Send an email to with “I Spread the Word!” in the subject line, and in the body include a link to your blog post or your Twitter address or your Facebook wall or whatever social media you used to spread the word. Don’t send screen-shots; attachments won’t be accepted. Include your title, YA or MG, word count, and full name in the body. Spread the word more than once? Then send an “I Spread the Word!” email for each one!

Anyone who doesn’t follow these rules will be disqualified, at the Editor’s discretion.

*In a “Substantive Edit,” the author receives general feedback about the manuscript’s overall pacing, organization, narrative voice, plot development/narrative arc, characterization, point of view, setting, delivery of background information, adult sensibility (children’s books only), and the synchronicity of age-appropriate subject matter with target audience, as the Editor determines appropriate and necessary after reviewing the entire manuscript. It is not a word-by-word, line-by-line “Line Edit.”

So how’s that for a celebration? Well, that and a big order of something chocolate. See’s Candies, here I come. Par-TAY!

Happy writing!

The Editor


  1. Huge congrats on completing your manuscript! And since my fave word, in all languages, is “chocolate,” I’m with ya on the See’s Candy celebration!!! 🙂

  2. Congratulations, and thanks for the edit opportunity–whoever wins! What a fantastic giveaway. I’m off to enter–and to tell others about it 🙂

  3. Congrats, dear girl, on meeting your January deadline.
    We can’t wait to let folks know about the giveaway AND the book. Please, when will said book be out?
    Sending Hershey’s Kisses,

  4. I’d like to offer a “manly thanks” as well as my vote for the chocolate … and I will look forward to your book. As a beginner in non-technical writing I appreciate your blog.

  5. Congratulations, Dear Editor! Must feel great to have sent your manuscript in. This is cause to celebrate. Rather kind of you to celebrate by giving us, your fans, a chance at something. All the more reason we should support your latest endeavor. I’ve already told a friend to send in her manuscript. Alas, my newest won’t be ready until the summer. Come to think of it, I’ll be editing my manuscript with a copy of “Young Adult Fiction for Dummies” by my side. Very fortunate.

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