Special Guest Crit: Jessica Lei

Jessica Lei, author and agent intern, is offering a critique of your first chapter via RANDOM DRAWING of a young adult manuscript. Entries will be accepted from now, April 8th 9:00am EST to April 10th at 9:00am EST.

This is Jess. HI JESS.

About Jessica: Jessica is a 22-year-old intern for the amazing agent Elana Roth at the Johnson Literary Agency and writer of YA fantasy looking for a miracle (aka an agent).


  1. Go to the mycharitywater Crits for Water campaign page.
  2. Donate $5. (This is a friggin’ DEAL guys. Jess is FABULOUS.)
  3. Donating more than $5 will not get you more entries, but it will make you more awesome. Seriously. It’s been proven.
  4. In the comments section when you donate, write two things: a) “Jessica Lei crit”, and b) Some way to contact you (email! twitter! a blog! Maybe not your phone number or address, tho XD),
  5. If you don’t feel comfortable putting your email on the mycharitywater page, comment on THIS blog post once you donate. Your email won’t show up to anyone but me. Make sure you use the same name that you used when you donated.
  6. Wait.
  7. I will announce the winner on April 10th.
  8. If you don’t win and you want a Kat-Crit anyway, pop me an email at katharine_brauer @ yahoo.com. (Er, remove the spaces, yeah?)

Any questions or love can go in the comments, to my email same as above, or to twitter.

Learn about her super rocking self after the jump.

Describe your critting style.

My critting style is all about “what works” versus “what doesn’t work.” I try to suggest another way to phrase a sentence if it’s not working for me, or perhaps just another word. I spend time wondering if the scene or chapter could be tweaked in a small or big way in order to really touch on the best way to world build, characterize, and drive the plot forward.

How has critting helped you grow as an author?

I don’t think I’d be a writer if it wasn’t for critiques. I started writing early, but the best part was always receiving feedback–good or bad. I feel like everytime I critique, I gain a new skill or a new perspective on my own writing 🙂

What’s the best thing you learned from a critter or critting?

I’ve learned a lot from what doesn’t work in other people’s manuscripts to help inform what might work in my own manuscript, and other people’s writing. If I couldn’t identify what wasn’t working, or if I didn’t have such great critters who were honest about what works and doesn’t work for them, then I’d never have a finished book.

And the worst advice you’ve ever received?

The worst advice I’ve ever received was probably to write in short and choppy sentences. At the time, I had a penchant for purple prose, but the solution wasn’t to chop my sentences down to 5- or 6-word sentences! Description is integral to writing a book that lives and breathes! The solution was to just cut down and intentionally pick what to describe.

Does the word “crit” ever make you giggle?

Only because I know you so well.

BAHAHAH “crit”.

…anyway. Go forth and enter this drawing, folks!