Editing Giveaway for #ToAppomattox

In order to generate more awareness for the To Appomattox Kickstarter Campaign, which ends May 16th, I’m doing a giveaway of my editing services. You can win a line edit of your first ten pages, a critique of your entire manuscript, or a full edit of up to 120,000 words! Please, SHARE this contest with your friends. The more response this generates, the more I will be giving away! 


  1. What is To Appomattox?
  2. Editing Giveaway Eligibility and Terms
  3. Trivia Questions—First 10 Pages
  4. Retweet Sweepstakes—First 10 Pages
  5. Creativity Contest—Manuscript Critique
  6. Pledge Drive—First 10,000 Words or ENTIRE MANUSCRIPT


1. What is To Appomattox?

To Appomattox is a historical drama miniseries created by Michael Frost Beckner. Beckner has been trying to get this series produced for many years. I think I first heard about the project in 2010 or 2011 and have been interested ever since. It’s been presented to all the major studios, who have all liked the script and the cast but have rejected it, claiming that American audiences want reality TV, not historical dramas.

I disagree. With the success of Band of Brothers, The Pacific, Tudors, Mad Men, Downton Abbey, etc., I think that a high-quality Civil War miniseries would be very successful.

The project has been on hiatus for so long, Beckner wants to get started with the pilot episodes, which is basically a 2-hour film. Once studios see the pilot, and once they see that Americans DO want a show like this, they are more likely to produce the remaining episodes. Beckner’s raised half the cost of the first two episodes and has gone to Kickstarter to crowdfund the rest.

This is huge, and it’s never been done before to this scale. The Veronica Mars movie was crowdfunded, yes, but remember that series had a longstanding, very devoted fan base. This is for a series that hasn’t begun filming yet.

As rewards for pledging, YOU, the audience, get to watch the film take shape and even shape it yourself. Have you ever wondered how movies are made from beginning to end? Donate $2 and you’ll have access to the production blog from start to release day. Donate $10 and you’ll get the production blog access plus the shooting script for both episodes. (EVERYONE can read the second episode! Just visit the Kickstarter page to read the script. You don’t even have to pledge! Think of it as a free sample). There are TONS of rewards available. Scripts, shirts, DVDs, the soundtrack. If this project gets funded, my husband and I are attending a screening and Q&A in Chicago to meet the creators and give our notes on the film. Awesome? Totally.

See the website for the cast and more information. Robert E. Lee had to be recast, but the casting isn’t public yet. I unofficially heard who is in negotiations for the part, and I am REALLY EXCITED about it. I’m also excited to see Damian Lewis (Life, Homeland, Band of Brothers), Noah Wyle (The Librarian movies, ER, Donnie Darko), and Neal McDonough (Captain America, Red 2, Minority Report, Flags of our Fathers). If you’re a fan of Jason O’Mara (One for the Money, The Good Wife), Rascal Flatts, or Trace Adkins, then you really need to check it out.

Editing Giveaway Eligibility and Terms

  • To be eligible for the contests, you must make a pledge of at least $2 to the Kickstarter Event. This is on the honor system, but if you won and I see that you had not made a pledge before entering in the contest, then you will be disqualified. When you make your pledge, you are promising to pay that amount if the Kickstarter is 100% funded. No money will leave your account if the Kickstarter is not 100% funded.
  • Do not email me your Kickstarter receipt unless you have pledged more than $150 or I have already contacted for winning.
  • The first four contests require a Twitter account. The last requires a Kickstarter pledge of $150 or more.
  • If you aren’t writing a novel, I’ll edit short stories or poems also. In fact, I have more experience with short fiction and poetry editing than novel editing. See the word count maximums I list below in parentheses.

Trivia Questions—First 10 Pages

For the first editing giveaway, I’ll be asking trivia questions on my Twitter account (@larathelark). You have 24 hours until May 12 to tweet me the correct answer. One entry per person, per trivia question. I’ll use Random.org to choose a random winner from the correct answers. Winners get 10 pages (up to 2,500 words) edited by a professional editor and writing coach (me!).

Hint: Retweet the trivia question. The more answers I get per question, the more questions I’ll ask each day! If I don’t get much of a response, I might only ask one or two trivia questions.

Retweet Sweepstakes—First 10 Pages

For the second editing giveaway, I’ll post a tweet on my Twitter account (@larathelark) and choose a random winner from those who retweet it. Winner gets 10 pages (up to 2,500 words) edited by a professional editor and writing coach (me!). I will choose one winner per tweet. Retweet each day’s for better chances of winning!

Here’s the current Tweet to RT:

Creativity Contest—Manuscript Critique

This contest goes from May 5th–May 12th, with the winner chosen and announced Tuesday the 13th.

Why do we need To Appomattox to be funded? Use the hashtags #WeNeed #ToAppomattox and my handle @larathelark in your answer to be considered for the contest. My favorite tweet will win the choice of either a manuscript critique of an entire novel (up to 120,000 words) or a substantial line edit of the first 30 pages (up to 7,500 words).

Pledge Drive—First 10,000 Words  or ENTIRE MANUSCRIPT

Contest closes May 15th.

First 5 backers to pledge more than $150 to the To Appomattox Kickstarter will get a professional, line edit of their first 10,000 words, plus writing coaching, valued at $600. If the Kickstarter event is not fully funded, then you can still get 10,000 words edited for $150, payable to me instead. I’ll contact you May 16th to give you that option.

First backer to pledge more than $500 to the To Appomattox Kickstarter will get a professional, line edit and writing coaching for their entire manuscript, up to 120,000 words! This is valued at $8,000.*


Email your pledge receipt to lara willard <at> icloud <.> com (remove spaces and brackets).

Follow me on Twitter for the remainder of the contest to see if any more giveaways will be announced. Now SHARE, PLEDGE, and ENTER!

Have any questions? Ask them in the comments below.