Critique Options

Add $69 — for an in-depth, personal critique of your one-page query letter from Chuck Sambuchino, a former longtime Writer’s Digest Books editor and one of the workshop’s former instructors. (This rate is a special event value for Minnesota Writing Workshop attendees only.) Registrants are encouraged to take advantage of the specially-priced critique, so they can send out their query letter with confidence following the workshop. Also, if you are meeting with an agent at the event, you’re essentially speaking your query letter aloud to them. Wouldn’t it be wise to give that query letter (i.e., your pitch) one great edit before that meeting?

Add $89 — for an in-depth personal critique of the first 10 pages of your novel. Spaces with faculty for these critiques are very limited, and participating attendees will either 1) get an in-person meeting at the workshop, if the faculty member is attending the live event, or 2) get a 10-minute phone call with the faculty member, and have notes passed along via email, if the critiquer is not attending the live event. Options:

  • Adult romance and young adult romance, both contemporary or paranormal (in-person critiques): Faculty member Anne Greenwood Brown, an author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you for 15 minutes in person at the 2023 MWW to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting.
  • Middle grade and children’s picture books (virtual critiques): faculty member Denise McConduit, an author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime around the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting. If you are submitting a picture book, make the submission 1,000 words or fewer, and it can or cannot include illustrations.
  • Thriller, suspense, mystery, science fiction, fantasy, spiritual writing (virtual critiques): Faculty member James Rubart, an author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss his thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting. 
  • Psychological thrillers, horror, mysteries, suspense, general contemporary adult fiction; and lastly some romance and women’s fiction (virtual critiques): Faculty member S.Z. Estavillo, a writing coach and former literary agent, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting. 
  • Young adult fiction, middle grade fiction, children’s picture books (virtual critiques): Faculty member Shelli Johannes, an author and freelance editor, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting. If submitting a picture book, make the submission 1000 words maximum, and it can include illustrations (optional).
  • Romance, women’s fiction, domestic suspense, and young adult fiction (virtual critiques): Faculty member Swati Hegde, an author and freelance editor, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting. 
  • More critique options possibly forthcoming.

How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Brian Klems via email: WritingDayWorkshops@gmail.com, and he will provide specific instructions for payment and registration to get you a reserved seat at the event. Payment is by either PayPal or check. Because Brian plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Minnesota workshop specifically.