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Monday, July 25, 2016

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) Cold Read

typewriterCalling all authors!

After the fun and frenzy of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November, budding authors have had the winter months to review and tweak their novel drafts. Now comes the fun part--the annual NaNo Cold Read!

The Cold Read will be held at the Homosassa Branch on Saturday, March 31 from 1:30--4:30pm.

What is a Cold Read?

Cold reads are an opportunity for you to hear multi-published award winning authors' reactions to your submission just as if it hit an agent's or editor's desk and you were the fly on the wall. While not a critique service, cold reads are a valuable opportunity to hear, first hand, how editors and agents might read your work and to find out just what grabs their interest--or generates a rejection.

How to Submit:

Drop off five copies of your typed first page of your Chapter One manuscript to any library branch by end of day on March 19, 2012.

All submissions must be received by March 19, 2012 in order to be considered for the Cold Read.

Format your submission using 1" margins, Times New Roman font, and size 12. In the top left corner, type the story title and genre. You may begin your manuscript at the top of the page, and you may single space; however, double space between paragraphs. 

During the Critique:

  • Expect anonymity. It is suggested that you do not put your name on your submission. Even if you do put your name on your submission, your name won't be read out loud.
  • Submit a fresh and new story. Continuously reworking and resubmitting the same entry often creates a stale story.
  • Listen carefully to the comments about other submissions. These comments are a valuable insight into what causes an agent or editor to "slush-pile," or reject, a submission.
  • Listen, take notes, and refrain from asking questions or making comments to that all submissions may be read and commented on.
  • Remember that the story you might be making fun of to the person sitting next to you may be their work.
  • Understand that authors will be honest in their comments about what they are reading. Sometimes it can be hard to hear criticisms, but good authors also have thick skins.
  • Pick up your submission at the end of the Cold Read. A comment sheet will be attached to each submission.


  • Don't expect empty praise. This session is designed to give you the raw reaction from an agent/editor's POV.
  • Don't get discouraged if your manuscript doesn't get the reaction you expected. Learn what struck the authors as needing improvement and work to make the suggested changes.
  • Don't despair if your entry isn't read. You can learn a lot from listening to the reactions to others' work.
  • Don't submit pages that the authors have read and commented on at previous Cold Reads.

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