#CPPitch—a Critique Partner Mixer


Have you written (or are you writing) an adult or new adult novel?*

Do you want a critique partner to work with and improve BOTH of your novels?

Is your novel between 60,000–120,000 words?**

*For the case of this mixer, any novel with a main character 18 or older, or a novel with a young protagonist but adult themes (like The Ocean at the End of the Lane) in the genres listed below will be eligible. A “New Adult” novel has a protagonist between 18-25 and concerns itself with the transition into adult life: starting a new career, navigating college, or engaging in a serious relationship.

Young adult, middle grade, or other children’s books are not included in this mixer. However, if you decide to organize your own, I will link to your information!

**If your novel is not yet finished, you can still participate if you have written at least 60,000 words in this novel. You will need to critique your partner’s work first, and he/she should not critique yours until you are finished and have edited it yourself. If you have written more than 120,000 words, you can’t expect your CP to read more than that. My advice? Cut the fat, then have your CP read your novel. Otherwise find a CP with a longer word count also.


Since I’m running this shebang, I’m picking my own genres to include. If you write straight-up romance or mystery, you can easily find critique groups online. If you wrote erotica, please organize your own CP mixer! 

Is your novel one of the following genres?

  • Fantasy
  • Fantasy + Romance
  • Historical Fiction (also Historical Romance)
  • Romantic Comedy Crime Solving / Crime Fighting (Yes, I am that specific. Think Stephanie Plum novels, The Thin Man, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, or the TV shows Castle and Veronica Mars)
  • Other (Other genres like mystery, thriller, contemporary, or literary MUST include a generous helping of either comedy or romance. Erotica is not accepted.)
  • Time Travel (I can include this under Historical Fiction or Fantasy—whichever you think will be the best fit. For Science Fiction that is not time travel, it must include either romance or comedy, and it will be listed in the “other” category.)

These are how I’ll arrange your pitches. If you wrote a time travel novel, for example, decide which category has the most family resemblance. If you wrote a funny mystery or a romantic thriller, those would go in the “other” category.

I’m going to pick one pitch from each category and give that person a free line-edit of their first ten pages!

What I will not accept

Do not enter this mixer if:

  • …your pitch/query/first 250 has words in it that will trigger my safe search or result in my getting spam emails for penile enhancement
  • …your novel is erotica, a novel about a person’s sexual journey. If the O is more important than the connection made during a sex scene, then it’s too erotic for this mixer.
  • …the romance contains infidelity
  • …the film version of your novel would garner a NC-17 rating, either for gore or sex

This mixer is for fantasy, Historical fiction, and genre fiction with romance. One or two sex scenes is fine! Rated-R sexiness is fine! If you wrote a different genre but your novel is funny, enter it into the “other” category.

Again, if you organize a mixer for other genres, let me know in the comments and I will link to your information. 

How to enter

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Your name
  • Your Twitter username (if you want people to connect with you)
  • Your email (this is how I will communicate with you. It will NOT be released to anyone else without your permission)
  • Your novel’s title
  • Age category
  • Genre (see above)
  • Word count
  • A one-sentence pitch (If your protagonist is in college or is younger, include that in your pitch)
  • Your query letter (Just the main pitch, not your bio or any salutations)
  • The first 250 words of your novel (250 words MAX. Stop mid-sentence or go under.)

You have until August 31st at 11:59 pm EST to enter. 

I will post your name, Twitter handle, word count, age category, genre, and one-sentence pitch in a new post on September 2nd. Entrants will be organized by genre, not age category.

See the current list here! Check back September 1st to see the final list.

If you write several one-sentence pitches and don’t know which one to enter, tweet them with hashtag #CPPitch, ask your friends to vote, and see which has the most favorites.

Add other authors and follow them on Twitter!

September 1st and 2nd

Pick 5 stories you think you’d like to read, at least 2 from your category. (That’s right! If you wrote a fantasy, that doesn’t mean you can’t pick a funny mystery to read!) I will publish a form on the 1st which you will use to submit your list to me.

September 3rd and 4th

I will mark any entrants that got chosen to be #PitchWars mentees. Congrats to them! But they can’t participate in #CPPitch. Then I’ll email each of you the query and first 250 words from each of your top 5.

(If there are more than 100 entrants, I am NOT going to email everyone. See disclaimer below.)

September 5th and 6th

Narrow down your top 5 to just 3. Email me back with your choice by 11:59 on September 6th.

September 7th

Wait patiently while I play matchmaker. Do not email me on any other subject, please. If you have questions, ask on Twitter. I will not respond to other emails at this time.

September 8th

Continue to wait patiently until you receive an email from me with the name of your critique partner(s).


I have no idea how the turnout for this mixer will be. I will sort up to 100 entrants, starting with Fantasy and working my way down. If more than 100 enter, then I’ll still list the entrants and pitches for the remaining categories, but y’all will have to choose CPs amongst yourselves.

Final words:

Of course, you can ask other members if they will critique your work, but no one is obligated to work with anyone else. Besides, you want a CP that will enjoy your story, right?

I recommend exchanging one to three chapters at a time. If it turns out one of your CPs isn’t contributing, you don’t have to give them feedback. Then you don’t critique 50 pages for someone that only critiques 2 for you in return.

Remember, be cordial to each other. Be professional. Set reasonable deadlines, but be understanding if something comes up. And be honest if something comes up for you that will keep you from contributing.

Above all, be an easy person to work with.

Submissions are now closed. Thank you to everyone who participated!

(Do you see an ad below? If so, it’s a WordPress ad. I receive nothing from those sponsors. If you log into WordPress, you will not see ads.)

21 thoughts on “#CPPitch—a Critique Partner Mixer

  1. Alexandrina Brant says:

    This is great! I’m glad that we get to pick 5 stories of varied genres, since I read (and write) so many genres. You’ve got a good system here.

  2. kerihanson says:

    Wish that I actually had words down. I have a novel that keeps knocking on my door every day. It begs, “Write!” And everyday I say, “Not now, come back later.” Hope you do this again in a year. Hope I can find time & space to write!

    • Lara Willard says:

      Do it before E starts walking around! I had to get out of the house to write, otherwise I’d be too distracted. The motherly instinct can be stronger than the writing one, because your story can be neglected more than family.

    • Lara Willard says:

      It is, just under the “other” category.
      I separated the genres into ones I’m most experienced with because one entry from each category will get an edit from me. But I wanted to let others enter too! I just added the “it must have romance or comedy” to limit the range of entries, so I can match CPs more easily and not be overwhelmed by all genres.
      Contemporary romance definitely fits in the “other” category, so long as it’s Adult or NA.
      Hope that clarifies a bit!

  3. rattify says:

    I’m looking at the “message sent” and it shows no line breaks – just a wall of text. My entry had skipped lines between paragraphs, but they’re not showing up. Did I do something wrong?

    Unrelated: Like a fool, I accidentally typed “Urban Fantasy” as the genre before remembering that subgenres for fantasy weren’t being asked for. Will this mess up your organization? Should I resubmit as just “Fantasy”?

    Thank you for doing this! Sorry for being so flaky.

  4. Debbie LaFleiche says:

    Hello. Have you reached the 100 cap yet? I wanted to check to see if there were still spots open for take advantage of this kind service you offered to do for those of us who submitted to Pitch Wars. Thanks.

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