Paid Critiques

Do you offer phone consultations?

Why, as a matter of fact, I do.  If you would like to learn more about rates and submission instructions, sign-up here for the details.  Read more about Cynthea’s credentials and how others feel about her critiques.

What can I expect to receive from a phone consultation?

Most critiques offered professionally provide this type of assessment of a manuscript:

  • An overall evaluation of the manuscript’s positives and negatives
  • Comments on elements such as plot, character, dialogue, setting, and theme.
  • Comments on grammar, mechanics, spelling, or style
  • Comments on the strength of the premise in the overall marketplace.


What are free-tiques?

First, please note free-tiques are only offered when a round is open. Read on for more details.

Free-tiques are free critiques I give to writers who want to go through the C Liu Wringer, a phrase coined by my critique buddy Tammi Sauer. The C LIU Wringer is a hard look at your manuscript.

Because the free-tique is free, you are not obligated to look at my work in exchange or pay me. If you find my critique valuable, tell me what you thought. I LOVE PRAISE! It’s the reactions of you writers that keep me going!

I announce free-tique rounds here on my website about once a quarter, sometimes more frequently, sometimes less, depending on our work schedule. A free-tique round could open at anytime.

Sign-up here to receive notices about free-tiques and other important announcements by email.

When a round is open, always check my website BEFORE you send me anything to see if the “the doors” are still open. Also check the rules for that particular free-tique round. When a “special” free-tique round is held, the rules will be unique and you need to pay close attention to participate.

Doors close pretty quickly in most cases,  so you have to get moving when a round begins!  You can not hold a spot.  Also, whenever you send anything to us, you swear to the solumn critiquee oath.

The Solemn Critiquee Oath

  • I shall not shed a single tear upon reading the results of my free-tique
  • I shall remember I am asking for only one opinion. That is all.
  • I shall not take any comments personally. This is about the work, not you.
  • I shall allow the the pooches and the fish (The Crew) the opportunity to consume the ms if they so wish.

Your critique manuscripts are private. Your works will not be shared with anyone but myself and the fauna.

More about Special Free-tique rounds

Sometimes I will offer special free-tique rounds. They might be…

  • Free-tique Friday Free for All on Facebook – Rules pending. Watch this website for updates and/or friend Cynthea on Facebook. 
  • Traffic Cop – I look at your first page only (this is HALF a double-spaced page, like it would be in a manuscript). While I read that page, Snoop studies my face and then gives you one of three colors: red, yellow, or green. The signals indicate whether or not I found the first page compelling enough to want to read page two. Traffic Cop is a lightning round; judgments are made quickly–just like a slush-pile editor might when it’s Friday night, the gang is meeting up in ten minutes in a chic Manhattan bar, and there are still 5,000 more manuscripts to review.
  • Reserved Slot – these require more work than just emailing me your ms. So READ any instructions for reserved slot rounds CAREFULLY.
  • Red Light, Green Light (RLGL)– Kissy lets competitors race to the finish line by submitting pages sequentially in rounds. Players who fail to keep Kissy engaged at each round, go back to the start line to try again with another work. First players to cross the finish line (based on number of pages) win reserved slots.
  • Firedrill – Your house is on fire. So is your laptop. But fortunately a hard-copy of your manuscript is right beside it. Oh, no–it’s ablaze. You stamp it out, then clutch what remains of your book as you flee the building. Now what scene do you hope survived the catastrophe? What scene do you never want to write again (six pages maximum)? Think again. Winners of this round will receive a free-tique on their very best scene.
  • Office Hours – Kissy puts on his white coat and stethoscope, steps into his office, and answers questions from his patients. You may ask any question about your writing or the children’s fiction writing world. His hours are limited so you have to move fast.
  • Whatever else we make up.

Who can participate in free-tiques?

Some rounds are only open to “new” tiquees (people I’ve never worked with before) and some rounds have slots for re-tiquees, too. Re-tiquees are writers who have participated in a three-chapter or full PB free-tique. We have critiqued works of newbie writers and well-published authors. We’ve looked at every kind of thing you could possibly submit to an editor including synopses and query letters. We DO NOT however critique NON-FICTION works or works written by anyone below the age of eighteen. Nor do we critique works that are currently being reviewed by agents or editors. Sorry guys, but rules are rules! Now get your work together and get ready for the next free-tique round. Happy revising!

I’ve won a reserved slot. How do I get my free-tique?

Redeem your free-tique slot before it expires.

If possible, dig up the email or paste in the evidence that indicates you won a free-tique reserved slot. Provide that to me along with A) Your ATTACHED first ten pages (2500 words max) and a synopsis (the synopsis doesn’t have to be formal – just tell me what happens). Or B) Your ATTACHED full PB. MICROSOFT WORD or WORKS only please (2500 words max, but really your PB should be a lot shorter than that).

Then ask me nicely if Kissy and Cynthea have the time to help. If you have any specific things you want evaluated include that as well. Let me know when you hope to get the free-tique returned to you. You’ll receive an email back with my answer and an approximation of when I can get back to you. I will do everything I can to fit you in quickly.

What is a quick-crit?

A quick-crit is a short critique that usually only gives the biggest impressions Cynthea and Kissy had about your work. They are often offered during RLGL rounds to all participants. These critiques are usually a couple of lines to a couple of paragraphs long, depending on the work.