We’re bringing our popular critique group workshop to RWA in Orlando and giving you a chance to win a spot in one of three groups!

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This is an opportunity for authors to solicit professional and peer feedback on their manuscript, in real time, in a helpful, constructive and kind environment. We’ll discuss overall story arcs, the all-important “hook,” pacing, characterization and tension (among many other important topics). Attendees are given marked-up manuscript pages to take with them when they go.

CHANCE TO WIN the opportunity to join Carina Press Editorial Director Angela James, Senior Editor Kerri Buckley, or Assistant Editor Stephanie Doig and a small group of your fellow authors, and get feedback from both the editors and your peers on your work-in-progress.

Three critique groups will be held on Saturday, July 29th, 2017 in one-hour blocks from 9am-12pm at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort. Four winners will be selected for each group.

At the event, each author will be allotted up to 15 minutes in which they will receive feedback from a Carina Press editor and the other author participants. Participants are asked and expected to read and comment on all chapters prior to the event and not just attend to receive comments on their own work. All critiques will be expected to be helpful, constructive, and framed kindly. These types of groups are most successful with a variety of feedback and discussion! Participants are encouraged to print out the pages and comment directly on them, so they can be handed directly to the authors after the critique session.

To enter: 

  • Visit https://carinapress.submittable.com/submit/86738/rwa-2017-critique-group-contest and follow the onscreen instructions to submit title, genre, target market and 150-word summary of the story you would like to have critiqued at the Critique Group.
  • You will be given an opportunity to express your preferred timeslot (example: 9am-10am group, 10am-11am group, or the 11am-12pm group).
  • We will select twelve winners via random selection from qualifying entries on July 5, 2017. Winners will be notified by email and we will do our best to accommodate your timing preferences.
  • Winners must confirm their participation and submit material by July 10th, 2017 or another winner will be selected.
  • Click here for Official Rules.


  • Manuscripts must be for unpublished work but authors who want to participate may be at any stage of their writing career.
  • Manuscripts for the critique groups must fall within these adult fiction genres: Romance (all genres/subgenres & heat levels), and mystery. As we do not publish young adult or younger, we are unable to offer feedback on these genres/manuscripts in these critique groups, entries for these genres/manuscripts will not be considered eligible.
  • Participants do not need to attend RWA Nationals to be eligible to win and participate. However, all winners are responsible for their own transportation and accommodations necessary to participate on the assigned date and location.

If Selected:

  • Winners must confirm their attendance and upload the following (via link provided in notification email) by July 10, 2017.
  •  2 chapters, in 12 pt Times New Roman, black font, double-spaced, not to exceed 5000 words.
  • A longer synopsis (no more than 2-3 pages, 12 pt Times New Roman, black font, double-spaced) recommended, if desired, to be included at the end of the chapters (only one total file will be accepted via upload).
  • Please remove all identifying name/address/phone number information from your pages.
  • At the top of your manuscript pages, in the header information, please include specific genre, anticipated total word count when complete, and target audience (are you writing to submit to agents, self-pub, target certain publishers, etc)
  • In the footer of your manuscript pages, please include page numbers.
  • Chapters will be forwarded to all critique group participants for blind commentary prior to arrival at the critique group.

Additional Information: 

Those entering must be able to attend one critique group on July 29, 2017 in person. Potential winners may not attend via any other means, including conference call or video chat. No date/time substitutions will be offered and feedback will not be given at any other time. Winners are responsible for any transportation/accommodations necessary to attend on July 29th, 2017 at the Walt Disney Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Florida. Participants must be aware that their manuscript chapters will be shared with the other group participants in order to provide commentary and critique. Winning authors may not transfer their place in the group to another author. In the event that someone cannot attend, a new participant will be selected. All authors must confirm their attendance no later than July 10th, 2017. If attendance is not confirmed by that time, a new participant will be chosen.

Entries and/or submissions are not considered to be submissions to either Carina Press or Harlequin and all non-winning entries will be deleted.

Note: Authors should consider this an opportunity to solicit professional and peer feedback on their manuscript, not as an opportunity to pitch their project to each editor.  Authors who participate in these sessions are welcome to submit to Carina/Harlequin following official submission guidelines, but chapters for this session will be used only for the purpose of critique and will not be considered submitted for potential publication.

Please email editor@carinapress.com with questions.

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