Special Guest Crit: Sarah J Maas

Sarah J Maas, author of the upcoming YA fantasy Queen of Glass, is offering a 50 page critique via AUCTION of any YA (though especially paranormal or fantasy) and adult fantasy or sci-fi.


The rocktastic-ness of Sarah.

About Sarah: Sarah J. Maas lives in Los Angeles, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much coffee, and watches absolutely rubbish TV shows. When she’s not busy writing YA fantasy novels, she can be found exploring the coastline of Southern California.

Her debut novel, QUEEN OF GLASS, a YA fantasy retelling of Cinderella, will be published by Bloomsbury in 2012.


  1. Comment on THIS BLOG POST with your bid. Bidding starts at US$1.
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  5. Donate your winning bid to the mycharitywater campaign page by June 25.
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  7. Once the donation is made, email me the file.

More about Sarah’s critiquing style after the jump, and/or read about her thoughts on critting at Not an Editor.

Describe your critting style.
I’m definitely a very honest CP, and like to be thorough when it comes to reading/editing someone’s work. Basically, I give overall/general comments, but I also will do line edits (but only if my CP says it’s okay to do so). I explain myself in detail, with examples from the text to back up why I’m feeling a certain way (if a section is weak or needs improvement). Even though I’m honest, I try not to be harsh–I know how hard it can be to receive (negative) feedback, so when I’m giving a critique, I try to imagine what it’d be like for ME to receive that critique.

How has critting helped you grow as an author?
I honestly don’t know where I’d be without my CPs. They’ve found gaping plotholes, inconsistencies, mortifying typos–you name it, and they’ve probably found it. Because of their all-around honesty, I also know when an idea is great, or when a project is on the right track. In addition to that, reading and critiquing other people’s work has helped me to discover weaknesses in my own writing–I might notice flaws in someone’s work, only to then find them in my own. It’s a constant learning process.

What’s the best thing you learned from a critter or critting?
Be open-minded. Be flexible. Sometimes my initial reaction to a critique is way different than my reaction a few hours (or days) later, so learning to avoid that knee-jerk reaction of “YOU’RE WRONG!” has been one of the hardest–and most rewarding–things I’ve gone through so far. On the opposite end of that, learning to trust my own instinct (that is, if I’ve let a CP’s critique sink in, and I still disagree) has been really valuable. Most of the time, my CPs are right, though!

And the worst advice you’ve ever received?
I had a horrible high school creative writing teacher that pretty much told me (in front of our entire class) that writing fantasy (especially YA) wasn’t “real” writing. Thankfully, I ignored her.

Who would make a better critter, Ami Mizuno or Rei Hino? Or other?
Definitely Ami! Rei is so stubborn and willful that she’d fight every point I make, and I’d probably wind up throttling her! Ami’s really smart, and kind, so she’d be able to figure out the weaknesses in a ms while delivering her criticism in a considerate way. AND she’d be really patient, so she’d probably be willing to read the ms multiple times! It’s always a plus when a CP is willing to read the same ms two or three times.

Got a question? Stick it in the comments, pop me an email (kat @ katbrauer.com), or follow me on twitter.