#YayYA Guidelines and Schedule

It's time for another #YayYA critique hop!! Yay!! 

What is a critique party?

A critique party is where writers submit a sample of their work and then critique each others' entries. This is a great opportunity to get ready for PitchWars!

Participants in our last #YayYA went on to be shortlisted for agent rounds in other contests, including #PitchWars, #pg70pit, #PitchtoPublication, and #PitchSlam. They've become critique partners and friends. After our last #YayYA, the majority of our participants went on to sign with agents! Yay! Agented alumni include Laura Weymouth, Lana Wood Johnson, Kit Grant, and Amelinda Berube! 

In this critique party, entrants will email us their submissions during the entry window. The first twenty subs will make it in. Once the submission window is closed, or the slots fill up, we will respond to you to confirm that you made it in! If you don't, we will offer you a critique from yours truly. Afterward, I will post entries on my blog, and you will get the opportunity to critique your fellow entrants and get feedback on your own work.

Here's what you need to enter:

1. 500 words from your upper MG or YA manuscript. Your MS can be finished. It can be unfinished.

2. Follow us on Twitter (@whatshewrote, @bethanypeep). This is where all conversation about the party will take place, with the hashtag #YayYA. You can still enter if you don't have Twitter, but we won't be able to contact you on updates.

3. Follow my blog. If the follow button doesn't work, then don't worry too much about this rule. You will still make it in if the follow button decides to reject you. It doesn't like me either and I'm working on fixing it :D 

Here's how to enter:

1. On FRIDAY,  June 23rd, the submission window will be open from 9AM to 6PM EST (or until the slots fill up)! Send entries to yayYAcontest@gmail.com

2. In the subject line, put YayYA: Genre/TITLE

3. In the body of the email, list your name (you can use a pen name for this), Twitter handle (if applicable),  genre, and title. Below, paste your 35-word pitch to give your fellow critters background, and your first 500 words (keep it at 500 words. If your last sentence makes it 505 or 529, cut that sentence and keep it under 500.) If you do not follow the guidelines, I'm afraid I'll have to delete your entry. You're welcome to re-sub as soon as you notify me, but if you miss the slot or the window, I won't be able to give it back, sorry.


Subject line: YayYA: Historical Fantasy/THE RED AND THE SCARLET

Body of email:

Name: Rachel Stevenson (@whatshewrote)

Genre: Historical Fantasy

Title: My Awesome Title!

35-word pitch: My awesome 35-word pitch that is 35 words or less, not 36 or 37 etc.

First 500 words: The awesome first 500 words from my manuscript, in which all swear words are canned and the last sentence is complete!


I have a large blog audience of great young readers in the MG age group. Because of this, I ask most respectfully that if there is any language in your first 500 words, please can it. Keep your entry PG, or I will have to either can your language for you or delete your entry without explanation. 


All entrants will be notified if they made it in. Those who make it in will be given their entry's number.

After the sub window closes, entries will be posted on my blog, and links to the entries will be posted at the bottom of this post on Monday morning, June 26th.

1. The first critique round will be open from Monday until 1pm, Saturday, June 30th. There will be a revision round afterward from Monday, July 3rd to Wednesday,  July 5th.

2. Entrants must critique the first five entries before and below their number. So, if you are entry #6, you will critique entries #1-5 and then #7-11. If you are entry #1, then critique #16-20 and #2-6, etc. Feel free to critique more! And if you are simply a spectator dropping by, feel free to leave your two cents! I already have some awesome tweeps who have offered to add their comments.

3. When you critique, always say something positive about the writer's work. No bashing, rude remarks, or "getting back" for hard criticism you might receive. Note: the comments will be unmoderated. Therefore, please do not use profanity, as I have a large MG-age blog audience. Foul comments will be deleted without exception.

If you have any questions about the rules, feel free to ask!

Can't wait to see your entries! :D


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. So between Saturday and Monday, do we post a revised version as a comment on our entry's page, and then people can respond to that? Or? Thanks!

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  4. Quick note - you state that the first critique round will end by 1 pm on Saturday, June 30. But June 30 is a Friday and Saturday is July 1. Which is it? Also, for the revision round, how do we resubmit? Via email? Thank you so much! Danielle

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