Critique Group Member Wanted

Are you an experienced writer looking for a critique group? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Rumored Romantics has an opening, and we’ll fill that spot by hosting a contest starting TODAY! Isn’t this exciting?

About Rumored Romantics:

Rumored Romantics is a three-person critique group. We have a selection process, which takes time and effort, but it’s worth it. Past members have gone on to not only acquire agents but sell with the big NY publishers. I, on the other hand, had decided to focus on my editorial business (Labelle’s Writing on the Wall: Editorial Services) rather than pursue publishing at that time. That’s changed. I’m continuing with my business, but I’m also chasing my dream of getting published. I ran this contest last year and found two amazing critique partners. Right around that time, one of the gals signed with Harlequin. We’re so proud. Unfortunately, she no longer has time to critique, so I’m running the contest again.

What we write: romantic suspense with demented killers and their POVs, women’s fiction, and contemporary romance

The group’s personality: Members of this group won’t sugarcoat critiques, because praise alone won’t help anyone improve as a writer. Instead, we’ll offer honest feedback delivered with love and respect.

Why should you trust us to crit your work? Check out our bios.

Lynnette Labelle, the editor: Lynnette Labelle is a freelance editor, developmental/content editor, and copy editor with over thirteen years of experience. She’s the owner of Labelle’s Writing on the Wall, an editing and coaching service for writers.

Lynnette specializes in substantive or big picture editing for romance (romantic suspense, paranormal romance, romantic thriller, contemporary romance, and romantic comedy), mystery, thriller, suspense, horror, crime, paranormal/supernatural, fantasy, urban fantasy, NA, and YA. She also helps writers create hooky query letters and strong synopses, and she teaches several writing classes.

Lynnette has a bachelor of education degree from the University of Manitoba, where she specialized in English and French. She excelled in Advanced Creative Writing in university and studied writing for children and teens through the Institute of Children’s Literature. She’s a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association, Romance Writers of America, and Savvy Authors.

Lynnette’s clients range from new writers to best-selling authors like Roni Loren and Rebecca Hamilton. Lynnette works with writers seeking traditional publishing and indie authors.

Lynnette Labelle, the writer: Lynnette Labelle is a romantic suspense author who injects a dark edge into romance. Her novel DEADLY CONTRACT won first place in the romantic suspense category of the 2014 Winter Rose Contest offered through the Yellow Rose RWA chapter. Lynnette is a member of Romance Writers of America, RWA PRO, Savvy Authors, and Editorial Freelancers Association.

She lives in Minnesota with her husband, twin daughters, and pets. Despite her love for fictional blood and gore, she gets weak at the sight of real blood. And spiders give her the creeps!


Pamela Kopfler, women’s fiction/contemporary romance writer: Pamela Kopfler was born a Texan and tumbled through twelve schools all over the USA before she finished high school, but she’s a Southerner – through and through. Now, she calls South Louisiana her home and writing her passion. Her evolution to the writing life took the scenic route, just like her early romp through the country. She’s a certified teacher but traded in that profession for writing, hosting, and reporting for local TV and telling stories on local Public Radio. Then the unthinkable happened. Her prince finally arrived with a catch. Love always has a catch. She had to relocate and leave her career behind. The writing and the romance survived the move. Now, she’s determined to conquer the novel. In addition to her Golden Heart and Golden Pen finals, she’s won or placed in thirty-two contests, including the overall Daphne du Maurier, Sandy Star, Emily, and Dixie Kane. Pamela is active in her local RWA chapter (SOLA) and serves as program director. She loves to meet and help other writers.



• This contest is only for writers of young adult and adult fiction who are seeking a long-term critique group. Sorry, no children or middle grade entries will be accepted. Here’s a list of the genres we feel comfortable critiquing: contemporary romance, romantic suspense, romantic comedy, romantic thriller, paranormal romance, erotic romance (not erotica), women’s fiction, supernatural, YA, NA, fantasy, urban fantasy, mystery, suspense, and thriller.

• All contestants must be 18 years or older.

• Entries should be 2-3 pages from an unpublished manuscript, double-spaced, 12 pt. font, Times New Roman. Anything beyond 3 pages will NOT be read.

• This contest has three parts. Part One, a short writing sample (2-3 pages, double-spaced), is open to all contestants. Semi-finalists will be selected to move on to Part Two. During this stage, the semi-finalists will be asked to supply a longer writing sample and critique a short piece, which we’ll provide. A select few will continue on. In Part Three, the remaining finalists will fill out a bio/questionnaire and critique a longer sample. Sound like a lot of work? It is. Sorry about that. All of the above is necessary in order for us to see that our writing and critiquing styles are compatible with yours. Plus, as a freelance editor, I’m looking for intermediate to advanced writers, not beginners, to ensure we have a give and take partnership.

• Entries will be judged on the quality of the writing and critiquing, but we’re not expecting perfection. Please send us your best work without external help. We want to see how well YOU write and critique, not your critique partner, beta reader, or professional editor.

• All entries for Part One of the contest are due by noon (Central Standard Time), Monday, December 22. Early entries are accepted, but once you submit, that’s the entry we’ll read. Please don’t send multiple entries with corrections. We’ll only look at your first entry.

• One entry per person, unpublished work only (unless you’re self-published, in which case we’d like to see a piece that hasn’t been edited by a freelance editor). To be clear, published authors are encouraged to enter this contest. We’re just trying to get a grasp on your writing without the aid of an agent or editor. However, if you only have polished samples, we’ll work with you. Writing ability is only part of the contest. You have to be able to critique, too.

• Send your entry in the body of an e-mail (I will NOT open anything with an attachment, unless I’ve asked for you to send an attachment) to: lynnette_labelle (at) hotmail (dot) com.

•In your e-mail, tell me what genre the entry is and what genre you typically write. (This isn’t always the same.)

• You should expect an e-mail from me confirming I received your entry. If you haven’t gotten one within 24 hours, check the e-mail address. Note: My name is spelled with two n’s. LyNNette. If you don’t spell it correctly in my e-mail address, I won’t get your sample.

• The first round of finalists will be announced on my blog and notified by e-mail by Monday, January 5, 2015.



• Membership for one lucky writer to a small, online critique group* (The group will have no more than three members total.)

• Note: Rumored Romantics is looking for someone who is willing AND able to critique 20 pages per member a week. That’s 40 pages weekly. Of course, members may not always post 20 pages, but you need to be prepared if/when they do. And, you’ll be expected to post something for us to critique at least once a month. We want to help you, too. ☺

The critique group discussions and crit exchanges are done through our private Yahoo Group.
If you have any questions about the contest or Rumored Romantics, ask away.

*We reserve the right to not choose anyone if we don’t find a good fit for the critique group.

Check out the following hints to help you get an edge on those who haven’t read this far down.

Hint #1:
For the purpose of this contest, we don’t want to read the sex scenes or romance scenes in your story. You’ll have better results if you show us a piece that represents how different your work is from everyone else’s. Get it?

Hint #2:
When you submit your entry, it doesn’t have to be a complete scene. Don’t stress yourself out trying to find a short scene (2-3 pages, double-spaced) in your manuscript and don’t cut important parts of a scene to make it fit. However, if your sample isn’t a complete scene, please let us know. For example, if you choose to include the middle and end of a scene because you want us to see how you can hook a reader, then add a sentence or two at the beginning to situate us. If you decide to show us how you can set up a scene but can’t include the ending without going over three pages, let us know that as well.

Hint #3:
Here’s how we’ll read the entries. We’ll copy and paste from the e-mail into Microsoft Word. If the font isn’t Times New Roman, size 12, we’ll change it to that. If it’s not double-spaced, we’ll modify it. Once the entry is formatted correctly, anything beyond three pages will NOT be read. Preference may go to those who format his/her entry correctly. ☺

Hint #4:
Okay, this isn’t really a hint, but it’s something you should know. Be honest with yourself. Do you have time to critique 40 pages a week and still write? Our goal is to write and have critiqued two 80-90K manuscripts a year. If you can’t keep up, we won’t be able to meet our goals. Not awesomesauce.

Good luck!

Lynnette Labelle

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