Some time ago, I was fortunate to receive a patient, thoughtful, and helpful critique on a very long essay, from a writer/editor I admired. I wasn't enrolled in a course and I hadn't hired her. Instead, I "won" a bid for her services in an auction set up to raise funds for a charity.
At the time, I would not have been able to afford her services; in fact at the time, I wasn't even actively looking for help with that particular writing project. But when I saw the listing, I put in a bid and was so glad I did.
That's why I decided to join with Publishing Gives Back, a grassroots auction effort, set up by BookEnds, a New Jersey literary agency. They've corralled more than three dozen agents, publishing house editors, freelance editors, and others to offer services to the highest bidder, to raise funds that will help restore the state after Hurricane Sandy's damage.
Most of the offerings -- full and partial critiques of query letters, synopses, chapters, and manuscripts -- are for works of fiction, in many different genres. But mine is for the nonfiction writer: a critique of a query letter, synopsis and the first 25 pages of a nonfiction manuscript, and an in-person coffee date (if the winning bidder is local; otherwise it's a phone call).
Traffic is picking up on the site, but there are plenty of services that are still relative "steals". Beyond the manuscript critiques, on the block are a consultation on cover design, editorial phone consults, and in-person meetings at upcoming writing conferences.
Would love it if you'd pass this along - to anyone, but especially to other Garden State writers!
Update: The auction is now closed 12/11). Thanks to those who bid on all the items. Looking forward to working with the writer who won my offering.