Have entered the first two chapters of my novel in ‘The Next Big Author’ competition through the website www.youwriteon.com – it’s a great idea, where your work is given a chart position based on peer review. My chapters [working title: ‘My Better Half’] are currently at 18 in the chart (a two place improvement from yesterday). The prize for the top three is an indepth critique from Random House or Orion – which would be amazing. The remaining seven in the top ten get a mini review from the same.
Whilst I don’t expect to make it to the top ten (the competition only runs until the end of the month), getting so many anonymous reviews is really rewarding in itself. All comments are useful. The negatives help you to see what needs to be improved in the next draft. The positives help to give you a bit of a confidence boost. Plus reviewing other people’s work helps you pick up flaws which may be prevalent in your own writing.
It’s a great idea and I’d definitely like the repeat the exercise with other first chapters in the future.