The Hugh Holton Critique Program, created in 2010 by the MWA Midwest chapter, was established to help aspiring mystery writers* develop and improve a manuscript related to crime fiction. Writers will be paired with MWA Midwest authors (published authors of crime fiction) who will provide critique and insights on a specific work-in-progress (up to 25 pages). Through their participation in the program, authors requesting a critique will:
- Receive constructive and written feedback related to their manuscript
- Be encouraged to reflect critically on their own writing, focusing on areas to improve and develop
- Be eligible for the annual MWA Midwest writing competition for unpublished writers at no additional cost
To request a critique, interested authors must submit:
- A completed cover letter (see details below)
- 25 typed manuscript pages, adhering to style guidelines (see details)
- Payment ($25.00 MWA Midwest members; $50.00 non-members)
Requests for critiques will be processed and authors will be matched as quickly as possible. We are taking submissions from April 1 to July 15. Cover letter and manuscript must be submitted to Susanna Calkins by email to s.calkins.nu (at) gmail (dot) com. with the subject header: Holton Critique Program/your last name.
Payment may be made via Pay Pal to mwamidwest (at) gmail (dot) com or by check made payable to MWA Midwest (email the address above for the mailing address). Please note: Requests will only be processed upon receipt of payment.
Payments AND manuscripts must be submitted by July 15, 2016.
*Depending on availability, published authors may submit a manuscript they wish to be critiqued, but are not eligible for the Hugh Holton Award later this summer (details at thee end of this post). Unpublished authors will be prioritized over published authors.
Body of Email
Please include your contact information and manuscript title (please something other than “working title”). Let us know, too, (1) whether you would prefer your manuscript to remain anonymous to the critiquing author, and (2) how you have rendered your payment (paypal or check).
Hugh Holton Cover Letter
- What is the title of this work-in-progress?
- How would you characterize the sub-genre(s) of your manuscript? (e.g. cozy, thriller, noir, historical, traditional, young adult, paranormal etc).
- Please provide a one- or two-paragraph description of your story, offering some information about the major story arc and the point-of-view characters. This will help situate your reader.
- Do you have any specific questions for the author critiquing your manuscript?
- Manuscript formatting checklist:
____ Typed, Double-Spaced in 12 point Times New Roman
____ Page numbers in top right-hand corner
____ Proof-read for minor typos, spell-checked
Hugh Holton Award for Unpublished Writers
Unpublished authors who have participated in the Critique Program will have the opportunity to submit their revised manuscript to our annual writing competition in October. Two winners will be announced in December: one MWA Midwest member and one nonmember. The winner of the member category will be awarded a $250 prize. The winner of the non-member category will receive a one-year paid membership in MWA (worth $115).
Manuscripts for the Award portion of this program must be unpublished. Only unpublished writers can win the awards.
For additional questions, contact mwamidwest (at) gmail (dot) com.