Posted by: Kathy Temean | November 9, 2012

Free Fall Friday – Guest Critiquer

It is my great pleasure to announce that KAREN CHAPLIN, Editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books will be our Guest Critiquer for November.

Karen Chaplin began her publishing career at Scholastic. She was most recently an editor at Puffin Books/Penguin Young Readers Group, where sheedited Zombie Queen of Newbury High and Fairy Bad Day by Amanda Ashby, Paris Pan Takes the Dare by Cynthea Liu, and Exclusively Chloe by J. A. Yang, among others. Currently, she is an Editor atHarperCollins Children’s Books, where she acquires middle-grade and YA fiction. A few recent projects she’s worked on includeSomething Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard, Starling by Lesley Livingston, andDon’t Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon. You can follow Karen on Twitter @CapChapReads.

Fundamentally, Karen loves a good story with strong characters that leap off the page and stay with her long after she’s finished reading. A short sampling of what she is looking for include contemporary realistic fiction (e.g., contemporary romance), anything for middle-grade boys, techie/spy/action thrillers, middle-grade mystery, YA psychological thriller/horror, and reality-based sci-fi/fantasy (i.e., the story needs to take place on earth or in a place that is recognizable and accessible).

In order to narrow the submissions down, I have come up with the following:

1. If you choose to follow me or are already following me, you will get your name put into the basket.

2. If you put a link up on your blog or website, you will get your name put in the basket. If you have both, you can choose to put a link on both and get your name in twice.

3. Do two Tweets about a post on my blog and get your name in the basket. This can be repeated three additional times for a total of four times in the basket. Tweets must be done on separate dates.

4. Post something on Facebook and get your name in the basket.

5. Do it all and you will have your name in the basket eight times. On November 24th I will put all the names in the basket and I will pull out ten names and read the first pages that go with the name. Out of those ten, I will pick 4 to send to our quest critiquer for November.

Here is what you need to do:

WRITERS: Please attach your double spaced, 12 point font, 23 line first page to an e-mail and send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Also cut and paste it into the body of the e-mail. Put “November First Page Critique” in the subject line. Make sure you have your name on the submission, a title, and indicate the genre. Also let me know which steps you took, so I will know how many times to put your name in the basket. If you end up doing more things to get additional entries, then e-mail me by November 24th with the updated number you have completed. Please let me know what you have done and when, so I can check it out.

Published Picture Book Writers: You can also participate by doing one or more of the five above steps to get your name in the picture book hat. If your name is drawn, I will do a post featuring your book, an interview, bio, and pictures of the cover and interior art. Author Susan Hood was the winner for October.  Here’s the link:

Please put “November Picture Book Promo” in the subject area and let me know the steps you took, so I can put the correct amount of slips in the basket. Please send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com.

ILLUSTRATORS: If you are an illustrator, you can participate and choose to get featured on Illustrator Saturday or get your new book featured by following the five steps for the writers. Please put “November Illustrator Feature” in the subject area. I will need to know what steps you completed to get into the basket and I will need a few illustrations or if you want to promote your book, then send the name and cover along. Also include a promtional blurb.  Please send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com.

Call for illustrations for November. I’m looking for illustrations that reflect the feel of Fall, the election, and Thanksgiving. You do not have to wait, I will post the illustrations as they come in.  I would like to have them no later than November 25th, since it is hard to find the right place for your work, instead of squeezing it in at the end of the month. I would love to have something to go with the election on Tuesday. Please make sure the illustration is at least 500 pixels wide and include a blurb about yourself and a link to see more of your work. Please send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com and put “November Illustration” in the subject box.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. My WIP is YA sci fi, boy-centric. Can/should I enter? Thanks!


    • Eric,

      Why not? You will get feedback on what you wrote that might help you.



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