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Win a First-Thirty Edit—Launch Week Festivities*

March 14, 2016 by Fiction Editor Beth Hill
last modified March 15, 2016


The Magic of Fiction



Need to polish the opening chapters of your novel before you submit it to agents and publishers?

Want to know if your story’s on the right track, if the opening works for the genre, if the first pages do what they need to do?

This is your chance to win an edit of the first thirty pages of a manuscript, an edit that will help you strengthen those pages and answer some of these questions for you.

A single winner will be chosen at random from those who submit entries in the comments of this article. You can enter only once per manuscript title, but you can enter as many different titles as you have manuscripts. So if you have only one book manuscript, you will have one entry. If you want to enter three different manuscripts, you’ll have three entries. (Each title must be entered in a separate comment.)


The Particulars

**Entries will be accepted for 24 hours before a winner is chosen at random. Entries will be accepted beginning at 11:59 p.m. (EDT) Monday night (March 14, 2016) and through 11:59 p.m. (EDT) Tuesday, March 15, 2016.

This article is now open for entries and comments.


~  the title you enter must be your own work

~  include the working title, your name, and the genre as your entry (you can include actual comments in your comment, but this is the info I’m looking for so that I know you’ve entered the giveaway)

~  you can enter a work of fiction or nonfiction

~  make sure the e-mail address you connect to your comment is one where you can be reached

~  only one entry per title (each manuscript gets only one chance to be picked)

~  yes, you can enter multiple titles; enter each in a different comment

~  enter no later than 11:59 p.m. EDT Tuesday (March 15, 2016)

First Thirty Pages

~  your first thirty pages must be ready to be edited no later than June 1, 2016 (they can be ready earlier)

~  maximum word count is 7,500 words

~  you will be sending me a Word doc—12 pt. Times New Roman, double-spaced, in English

Choosing the Winner

I’ll use a random number generator to choose the winner after midnight (EDT) on Tuesday night. I’ll post the winner’s name and book title in the comments.

The Edit

The edit will include suggestions and comments on both writing issues and the fiction elements—anything that strikes me as needing a second look or further attention.

I’ll use TrackChanges in Word and will mark the text itself and include comments and questions in the comment column.

Although I will likely make specific suggestions for rewording some sentences—to give you an idea about options—I won’t be rewriting your story.  I reserve the right to request that the winner revise the thirty pages if they’re not ready for an edit—i.e., notes or what amounts to an outline isn’t ready for an edit.


Join us all week—March 13 through March 17—for excerpts and other Launch Week festivities to celebrate the release of The Magic of Fiction, now available.

* Comments in this article are eligible for the Prize Pack Giveaway. The single prize winner will be chosen randomly from comments made on eligible Launch Week articles. (#8)



Tags:     Posted in: Announcements, Contests, Launch Week

84 Responses to “Win a First-Thirty Edit—Launch Week Festivities*”

  1. The Poison Tree of Souls By Scott McClelland
    Genre: Fiction

  2. The Blight by Scott McClelland
    Genre: Fiction

  3. The Rampaging Sons of the Widow James by Scott McClelland
    Genre: Fiction

    Thanks for this opportunity, Beth. I hope you receive a lot of entries. Yesterday was a blast. /Scott

  4. Destiny’s Bond by Brandy Miller

    Genre: Dark Fantasy

    As Scott said, thanks for this opportunity, Beth! Yesterday was really fun and I got a lot of valuable feedback :)

    • Kat says:

      Apologies if this alerts you – I’m not Beth!
      I wanted to say that I like the name of your WIP. It would make me pick it up, that’s for sure. Is there a place I can find out more about it? I’m a sucker for dark fantasy.

      • Hi, Kat :)

        The first fifteen chapters of Destiny’s Bond are available to read on the manuscript workshopping site: Scribophile. It’s where I’m currently workshopping my WIP. Joining is free.

        And thanks for taking interest :)

  5. The Nam Legacy

    General Fiction

    Thanks so much for the chance!

  6. Winning Ace

    Genre – Contempirary Romance

  7. Losing Game

    Genre – contemporary Romance

  8. Loving this week, Beth. Hope it’s going well. Book ordered 😀

  9. S.W. says:

    Subway | Palliatopia

    Genre – Young Adult

  10. S.W. says:

    The Missing Link

    Genre – Middle Grade Fiction

  11. Ashley says:

    Lost Rooms by Ashley Clark
    Genre: Middle Grade Adventure (fiction)

  12. Judy L Mohr says:

    Beacon of Hope by Judy L Mohr
    Genre: Adult High Fantasy

    As so many have said before me, such a great opportunity. Thanks.

  13. Path of Poison Ann Bell Feinstein Genre:Thriller Adult

  14. Trisha Smith says:

    Fragments of a Memory -Patricia A Smith
    Genre : Fiction

  15. Kat says:

    My own WIP is nowhere near ready for this but good luck to all those participating. What a fantastic opportunity!

  16. Cairnaerie
    Genre: historical fiction

  17. Blue as the Sky
    Genre: historical fiction

  18. Dirt and Silver
    Genre: Southern fiction

  19. Matt Randles says:

    The Night Sun
    Genre: Speculative Fiction

    Thanks for this great opportunity!

  20. Linda Noyes says:

    The Guardian’s Charge
    Genre: Fiction/Futuristic

  21. Barb Bittel says:


    Genre: Historical Fiction

  22. Lee Herbst says:

    The Void War:Invasion by Lee Herbst – Science Fiction

  23. The Making of Marnie Jones

    Contemporary Romance

  24. The Redemption of Remy St. Claire

    Contemporary Romance

  25. Colton’s Spring

    Contemporary Romance

  26. The Professor’s Defender

    Contemporary Romance

  27. Gabbi Grey says:

    The Woman with the Amber Eyes

    Erotic BDSM Romance

  28. Gabbi Grey says:

    The Man with the Beautiful Eyes

    Erotic BDSM Romance

  29. Gabbi Grey says:

    The Girl with the Innocent Eyes

    Erotic BDSM Romance

  30. Linda S says:

    Title: Stellar Fate
    Name: Linda S.
    Genre: Fantasy / Romance

  31. I don’t want to comment too much here in the middle of the contest, but I wish you all luck. And I’m glad you’ve entered. As several of you have said, the first paragraph critiques were great fun.

    And remember that each comment on launch festivities articles this week is eligible for the prize pack. I’ll randomly draw the winner of the prize pack sometime after midnight my time Thursday night.

    And The Magic of Fiction is officially released! It’s a great day at The Editor’s Blog.

  32. This launch is so fun for writers, but also for those, like me, who are watching how you’ve cultivated an audience and used it to generate sales. Well done. THAT should be your next book—The Clever Marketeer.

    • No books on marketing for me—strictly writing and editing. (Yeah, I say that now.)

      Most authors do a lot of launch day/week activities on social media sites, but since the blog is my platform, I’ve focused here. In May I’ll begin my seventh year at The Editor’s Blog—a long-term investment in writers and other editors.

      I truly love what I do.

  33. Genre: Paranormal Romance

    Title: Impure Magic

  34. Flora’s Last Chance for Magic by Rachel Barnard

    Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

  35. Aster & Tilde (A Coffeehouse Romance)

    Genre: New Adult Romance

  36. Donuts in an Empty Field (For the Love of Donuts Book 1)

    Genre: Young Adult

  37. BAR NONE by Kimberly Reiner
    Genre: Fiction

  38. Annika says:

    Title: Shadow of the past • a ‘trilogy’
    Genre: Scifi-mystery/romance

  39. Annika says:

    Title: Obeah Gal
    By: Annika L-Morgan
    Genre: Jamaican fiction

  40. Where can I submit my first thirty pages?
    I have tried several links but none take me to a place to submit.
    I appreciate your assistance.

    • Toni, you don’t submit your 30 pages—you enter your name, the book’s working title, and the genre in a comment on this article. After midnight my time tonight, I’ll randomly select a single winner from all the entries.

  41. Dang…How do I delete it now.

  42. Alabama Blue

    Southern Gothic Memoir

    by: Toni K. Pacini

  43. ELF says:

    Congrats on the new book release, it looks like it is chock full of your fantastic advice! Kudos to you for offering this wonderful opportunity and I look forward to reading the entries.

  44. North of North, Jill Winfield,
    Urban Fantasy

  45. Laurie says:

    Tinsel in a Tangle
    YA Fantasy

    by Laurie Germaine

    Thanks for the opportunity.

  46. The Florin by Diana Dinverno
    Historical Fiction

    Congratulations on the book!

  47. KateS says:

    Obscura by Kate Saterfiel
    Dark Fantasy

  48. Reema Patel says:

    Practically Neighbours

    General Fiction

  49. Cillian says:

    Slaves of Fiction by Cillian Flood


  50. Nina says:

    From Where We Stand
    Genre: Fiction, historical

  51. Letters from Nowhere
    By A.J McCarthy
    Genre: Romantic suspense thriller

  52. By the Book
    By A.J. McCarthy
    Genre: Romantic suspense thriller

  53. Around the Block
    By A.J. McCarthy
    Genre: romantic suspense

  54. Romantic suspense/murder mystery

    (Romantic suspense/ murder mystery

  56. Title: THE WATCHER

  57. I’ll be taking entries for three more hours. If you have friends who could use an edit, let them know.

  58. Janet says:

    Title: Feed The Wolf
    Genre: Psychological Thriller

  59. Darien says:

    “Don’t Tell Anyone”


    Congrats on your achievement with “The Magic of Fiction”!

  60. Your Daddy’s Son

    Contemporary Romance

  61. Barb says:

    Goodnight Texas!

    Lit. Fiction

  62. The Seduction of Sissy Smith

    Contemporary Romance

  63. Okay, the contest is officially closed—no more entries after this point.

    I’m going to temporarily remove all comments that don’t contain entries to get the true number of entries, and then I’ll go visit a random number generator site, and come back and post the winner’s name and book title.

    Thanks for all the entries. I wish you good luck.

  64. BM says:

    Historical Romance
    By E. Munro

  65. The winner of the first-thirty edit is Gabbi Grey—The Woman with the Amber Eyes. Congratulations, Gabbi. I’ll be contacting you tomorrow about the edit.

    Thanks to everyone for participating.

  66. Remember that all entries and comments on this article are eligible for the prize pack—you still have a chance to win this week. The prize pack includes:

    – a searchable PDF of The Magic of Fiction

    and winner’s choice of three (3) books from the following list:

    – Grammatically Correct (Stilman)

    – New Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors

    – New Hart’s Rules

    – Fowler’s Dictionary of Modern English Usage

    – The Oxford Dictionary of Current English

    – Webster’s New World College Dictionary (5th ed.)

    – The Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed.)—winner’s choice of print edition or one-year subscription to CMOS online

  67. Summer Ross says:

    I had already commented on this post as “Decadent Kane” my author name, hope that counts.