Looking for beta-readers

It’s the first Wednesday of the month again, time for a post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

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OPTIONAL JUNE QUESTION: Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

MY ANSWER: Actually, no. I started writing late in life, when I finally discovered the joy of sharing my stories with the world – mainly my computer, but still, not just my head. Writing is where I ended up after decades of searching for my place in life. My stories are my refuge and my joy. I might stop writing them down one day but I don’t think I’ll ever quit making them up. It’s not up to me anyway, and my imagination doesn’t show any signs of quitting. The stories appear in my mind – or snatches of stories sometimes – no matter whether I write them down or not.
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But I quit something else related to my writing, and maybe I shouldn’t have. For a long time I looked for an online writing group in my genre of speculative fiction, or a couple beta readers for my new fantasy and sci-fi stories, but for one reason or another, I couldn’t find a permanent solution to this problem. A couple years ago, I quit trying, but we all know how useful a beta-reader’s critique could be. A few months back, I exchanged beta-reading with another writer (I read her story and she read mine), and her comments helped me tremendously to improve my story. I only hope my comments were equally helpful to her. Unfortunately, she doesn’t need my critique anymore, so I can’t ask her either.

Now, I’m looking for beta readers again for my new sci-fi short story. So I’m asking here. If I don’t ask, I will never know if anyone is willing, right? Maybe some of you, my wonderful IWSG friends, would be willing to beta-read my story or exchange critique with me. Tell me in the comments.

The story is roughly 7,500 words. It’s science fiction. It is also a retelling of the Greek myth of Arion and the dolphin.

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46 Responses to Looking for beta-readers

  1. That’s how I’ve found my critique partners – I just asked on my blog. You will find a good one!

  2. emaginette says:

    I’m willing and able. Send it on over thru emaginette at hotmail dot com 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  3. Loni Townsend says:

    I don’t think I’d be a good critique partner for Science Fiction. Fantasy, yes, but probably not Sci-Fi. It looks like you’ve got a taker already, though, so that’s good!

    I’ve had a few online critique partners over the years, some are more helpful than others. I started out at Ladies Who Critique, and I found my longest standing CP there. I still regularly communicate with a couple others I found there, though one is not writing at the moment and another one is in the brainstorming stage of her story. I also had a few misses, one of which sent me ranting to my blog five years ago.

    Anyways, I figured in the case you wanted additional suggestions, I’d throw that out there.

    Hope you find someone who works well with you!

  4. Hello, Olga. I’m not a sci-fi reader, but if you don’t get enough takers via this blog, you can send it to me at rsgilmour@outlook.com. I’ll do my best–good story is good story.

  5. Erika Beebe says:

    Hi Olga, when do you need someone? I will be moving next week but am free after that 🙂

    • Olga Godim says:

      Thanks, Erika. I want to send this story to a magazine which only accepts submissions for one week every 3 months, so probably not this time. But I’m working on another sci-fi story right now (for some reason sci-fi pours out of me at the moment). I might contact you later for that one. Thanks again.

  6. Always best to ask. I’ve gotten the best help through voicing a need. Wish I could help out, but well, my blog says it all right now. Cling to those beta readers, eh?

  7. If you don’t ask, if you don’t try, you’ll never know. Good luck with finding beta readers! The IWSG will be full of awesome ones. 🙂

  8. Juneta says:

    I would be willing to beta. Love sci-fi and mythology if you still need more. thejadedkat@gmail.com
    Enjoyed the post.
    Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit

  9. ChrysFey says:

    I’m glad writing is your joy. 🙂

    Beta readers are so helpful for the story process. Mine have always helped tremendously. I wish I could help, but with my editing it’s difficult to take on beta reading.

  10. mlouisebarbourfundyblue says:

    Good luck, Olga! I never even heard the term “Beta writer” until I joined the IWSG. I’m not ready to plunge in as a Beta-reader yet, but I’m hoping there are others out there who can!

  11. cleemckenzie says:

    There’s nothing better than finding joy in something you do. And it doesn’t matter when you come to it, it’s the coming to it that’s important. I’m not the best sci-fi beta reader, but if you want to share other things with me, I’m very open to giving stories a read.

  12. Denise Covey says:

    I love that you feel so much joy in writing. So do I. I can’t imagine not doing it. I’d help with the beta reading, but I suck at sci-fi. Looks like you have some good responses from valued writers. Having other readers makes all the difference, as we keep making the same mistakes over and over if no one points that out to us.

  13. I can help, if you need another beta reader. Just e-mail me at tyreantigger (at) gmail (dot) com.

  14. Sounds like asking is what worked! Good luck and congratulations!

  15. nellirees says:

    I can (to a degree) help, if you’d like me to. 🙂

  16. Widdershins says:

    Looks like you’ve got a good haul, so put me on your ‘if needed’ list. 🙂

  17. Pat Hatt says:

    Keeping that imagination alive is sure a win!

  18. Some great responses to your beta request! 🙂
    I love reading across genres, but have to confess that I’m not really into the sci-fi and fantasy stories.

  19. spunkonastick says:

    I think it’s more of a challenge to find beta readers and critique partners online because we haven’t met them face to face. We don’t know what they are really like,.

  20. Misha says:

    Hey Olga,
    I’ll be looking for CPs for my epic fantasy novel, so if you’re looking for a long term partnership, I’m game. 🙂

    • Olga Godim says:

      I’m not sure I’m ready for a novel yet – both as a beta-reader or a writer – but I’ll keep your offer in mind. Thanks. Last time you critiqued my story, it was very useful.

  21. Lee says:

    I’m writing mystery/suspense right now, but love sci-fy/fantasy and would be delighted to be a beta reader. I’m at clues@leelowery.com.

  22. Olga Godim says:

    I have an overwhelming positive response rate to this post, much more than I ever expected. So many people offered to help. Thank you, friends.

  23. Beth Camp says:

    You can add my name to your “if needed” list if you like. I read just about everything but write historical fiction — and flash science fiction once in a while. That positive response from so many is heartwarming. Persevere! My e-mail = bluebethley at yahoo dot com

  24. Donna L Hole says:

    Well, I was going to say you could send it to me and I’d crit for a future favor. You have had tremendous response. Awesome. So either send it for a beta read, or send it for a review when its all ready. You are an awesome writer Olga, your worlds are amazing and well developed and very intriguing.

    Its so hard to keep writing. The genre’s change, the readers are happy one read, and not the next. Its so hard to keep up. But I think you make it work.

  25. Ellen says:

    Hi Olga – not sure what your time frames are. I can’t help out while we’re out cruising, but could possibly help later this summer once we’re back in the States. If that will work, let me know. Cheers – Ellen

  26. yvettecarol says:

    Hi Olga I write fantasy for upper middle grade level. Once I’ve put out my second book, which I’m doing now, I’ll be looking for new critique partners. If interested, contact me at yvettecarol@hotmail.com

  27. Yvonne V says:

    Glad you found the joy in writing! And it never hurts to ask…

  28. Looks like you found some readers, so good for you! A good beta-reader is gold.

  29. jmh says:

    Glad to see you found some great potential betas, Olga! I hope it works out.

    And thanks for the tip about the cover contest. I entered as soon as I read your comment.

  30. cheriereich says:

    I don’t know what I’d do without the critique partners I have. Good luck finding some beta readers!

  31. Hi, Olga,

    SO HAPPY to see such a great response for your story…. Critique partners are so important. I’ve been extremely fortunate in most of my partners and feel relieved to know when I have a new project, I know they’ll be there for me.

    Just wish I had the inspiration to write again. Been in a huge slump for a while, but I’m thinking about it…

    ALL the best with your story!

  32. Nick Wilford says:

    You’ve had an awesome response here – IWSG is the place to be if you need critiques! I’ve just moved house and started a new job, and have existing critiques too, so my hands are full at the moment, but you can add me to your list of standbys for any future stories. I agree with you on quitting, BTW – I couldn’t even if I wanted to!

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