Fiction critique (up to 10,000 words)

Item Name & Description: Critique of up to 10,000 words of story. This can either be a single shorter work, or the first chunk of a novel. In the latter case, please note that I am not a novelist and do not claim particular expertise in novels, but I’m willing if you are.

I’m best with sf/f. You may want to inquire first about other genres. For instance, I am unlikely to be any good to you if you’re writing conventional romance. (There’s nothing wrong with romance, but I don’t read or write it, so.)

If you have particular areas of concern, I’m happy to discuss those with you.

My short story collection Conservation of Shadows came out in 2013; I’ve had stories in, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Clarkesworld Magazine, Lightspeed Magazine, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies. Examples of my work that you can read for free online: “Ghostweight” [Clarkesworld], “The Knight of Chains, the Deuce of Stars” [Lightspeed], “Effigy Nights” [Clarkesworld].

Starting Bid: $20.00

Notes: You’re welcome to cash in the critique at any point before April 1, 2014. I can read .doc or RTF files, and would rather work via email than physical manuscripts.

Edit: I’m also willing to discuss your story over Skype, assuming we can schedule a mutually agreeable time (I’m in Louisiana, so Central Time USAn) and you don’t mind talking to a disembodied voice (I don’t have a video camera).

Bidding will open Monday, February 10, 2014 at 12:01 a.m. Eastern (GMT -5); it closes Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. More Information.


  1. Having read some of Yoon Ha Lee’s fiction and poetry, i can say that it’s a crime no one has bid on this so far.



  2. $100

  3. Crap. Looks like I missed. Sorry for the extra comment.

  4. Jude, if you’re willing to still make a donation of $100 to Con or Bust, I’m happy to do you a critique under the same terms (be sure, if you choose to do so, to mark it as a payment for this item in the notes). Your choice, though! :-)

  5. –that’s an additional critique; Melanie’s was the original winning bid at $95.

  6. …I swear I will stop posting until I have some food in me. Jude, make that $85 (for being second-highest at time of auction close), not $100, if you’re interested, if I am reading Kate’s guidelines for additional wins correctly, since the $100 came in 9 minutes late. Mea maxima culpa.

  7. I’ll take that extremely generous offer, thank you so much!

  8. Whoops, we posted simultaneously, and I just sent the $100 payment. That’s okay, no biggie.

  9. I’ve been following this conversation just because I email subscribed when I bid earlier. So I’m still getting emails.

    You’ve both made me smile by setting up this post-auction donation for a critique. Keep up the good work folks.

  10. Jude, I would have to check with Kate about how refunds are handled, although I think they’re possible; if CoB can’t handle it, I can mail you a check or Paypal for the $15 difference directly, whichever is more convenient, in the interest of fairness; I mean, it was my error.

    (Please check my math! $100 – $85 = $15? I have the proverbial math major’s inability to do arithmetic.)

  11. Don’t sweat it. Extra for Carl Brandon, right? It’s my birthday present to myself, and I set a $100 limit on it, so I’m fine with sharing the wealth, as it were. :)

  12. Thank you! But yes, we can do refunds, no problem, if you want.

  13. Hey, awesome! Thanks! And thank you for your incredibly generous offer of helping Jude, too. More happy people, more money for CoB–excellent :)

    I have sent payment, please let me know if I did it wrong. As someone who works in e-commerce, I have a boundless respect for both the customer (me this time) and PayPal’s joint ability to make mistakes.

This is an archive view of Con or Bust's 2013-2016 auctions and posts. For the 2017 auction, to request assistance, and other current information, please see Con or Bust's main site.