An Open Letter to My Critique Partners by Laura Lavoie

Dear Critique Partners,

I’ve decided to write this as an open letter for a couple reasons.

#1- I’m in too many crit groups, and there are a lot of you.

More importantly, #2- I hope that by making this an open letter, others will be encouraged to thank their own CPs, because let’s be real, where would we all be without each other?

Thanksgiving is coming up, but I’m not much of a turkey person. Instead, I’d rather focus on the things I’m thankful for, and of course, I’m thankful for all of you.

Those of you who’ve been working with me for a while know that big emotions are, um, ahem! not my strong suit. So, bear with me as I attempt to do this heartfelt stuff. (I promise to do my best to keep the bad puns to a minimum.)

I am so very thankful for all of you, whether we’ve worked together for years or for a few short months. Your work inspires me. It makes me laugh. Sometimes, it makes me laugh so hard that I snort, and startle my husband. Thank you for making me snort! Occasionally, your writing makes me cry (and you know I’ll let you know when that happens, and tell you to get that bad boy off to your agent lickety-split!)

Your joys are my joys, and your victories my victories. Seriously, I’ve been running around the office yelling, “Lauren Kerstein’s book made it to the Goodreads Choice Awards Semifinals!” as if anyone knows what the heck I’m talking about.

You’ve been there with words of encouragement in my low moments, cheered me on in the times of transition, and celebrated the big victories (typically via awesome GIFs). Jen Broedel, I’ll never forget how you drove over an hour to bring me flowers when I signed with my agent. Seriously, sweetest thing ever (and I still have your card tacked to my corkboard).

You’ve given me honest feedback that has transformed my writing. Without some of those pushes, I’d be leaps behind as a writer. And, to some of my earliest CPs, thanks for your patience back when I was just a little baby writer who had no clue what I was doing. You’ve been fabulous mentors.

Speaking of mentors, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a shoutout to my Writing with the Stars mentor, Jason June, who is such a talented author and all-around amazing human. Cough, cough PORCUPINE CUPID comes out in December 2020!

To all of you, new and old, I’m so very grateful to have the privilege of reading your work. Thanks for being on this journey with me. And, thanks for making me look so cool to my kids. Mommy knows so many authors!



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