Friday, June 4

Do I Hear $200?

Most of you have heard about Brenda Novak’s auction for juvenile diabetes.  I first found out about it last year, when I started writing and thought, someday, when I’m further along in my craft, I’m going to bid on one of those.

Well, this was the year.

I started off bidding on two different auctions, one by Kristan Higgins and one by Christie Ridgeway. Both of whom write in a style I love, and both offered a three chapter critique.

Starting off at $20 was a piece of cake. Even when I muscled it up to $100 (each!) I hadn’t broken a sweat. But suddenly, I was at $180. Each. It was time to pick one.

I went with Christie Ridgeway. Why? Not only because I admire her writing, but because I can also see how far she’s come since I first starting reading her. She’s learned a LOT in the last couple years. I further admire Kristan Higgins more than I probably should (even though I’m not on her stalker list – yet!) but I just really worried the bidding was going to jump on her at the last moment.

I sat at $180 for two weeks. Walk in the park. Piece of cake. No stress management needed.

Until five minutes before closing.

Despite my best intentions (and everyone at an auction has best intentions right?) when someone outbid me, I immediately slammed in a counter bid. NO ONE IS TAKING CHRISTIE AWAY FROM ME!

I laugh at myself now, I laughed at myself then. And actually had the presence of mind to wait another minute or two before topping the bid. And giggled semi-hysterically as I refreshed about every 15 seconds, until…finally….it was over.

And I had won.

I was frantically emailing my friend Jen at the same time, and panicking that I would get it, that I wouldn’t get it. It was like pulling off daisy petals….he loves me, he loves me not. I won the bid, I spent $205.

Now some of you are going to snort. Yeah, go ahead, get it out of your system. *Waiting patiently*

Some are going to tell me it’s a waste of money *waiting…..waiting*

And some of you are going to rebuke me for trying to cheat my way to being published *hate being rebuked, but go ahead…I’ll take it….*

But – here’s my side of the bidding story.

For the past 13 months, I’ve taken writing classes. Lots of them. I’ve read tons of books, I’ve studied craft books. I read blogs daily in an attempt to learn more.

And I have. I still argue with where the darn little comma goes, but I’ve learned a lot.

But not about writing humor. Oh sure, I’ve taken two classes on how to write humor/romance. And almost every single story or short story I’ve written has an element of humor in it, except that one vampire story. But that’s for another time. =)

But imagine being taught, critiqued, analyzed by someone who writes rom com for a living? What can I learn? The possibilities stagger the mind. A well published author, who is willing to critique my work, and possibly, hopefully, offer advice on how to make it coalesce into the book I want it to be.

To me, it’s worth it. Every single hard-earned cent.

Look out Christie – here I come!




  1. Congrats on the 'win', Carrie! I was stalking a couple of author/critique/mentorship auctions over there, too, but sadly they went a little too high for me. I was good up until the $300 mark and after that, just a little tooooooooooo rich. I was stalking over there for the same reasons - I love my CPs, but the chance to have someone pubbed in the exact genre I want to be in read and critique and advise? Oh, sweet heaven!

  2. Last summer, Cynthia Liu held a similar auction to benefit the school library system in her town and most of the donors were children/ya lit authors and agents. And I bid on a couple for the exact same reason as you. I won a 5 page crit with Jennifer Brown who wrote the powerful "The Hate List". At the time I was writing the dystopian Journal Keeper, but had written like ten pages of Bix and had a good feeling about him. So, I sent the first five pages and she loved them. And asked to see more. I sent her all I had and kind of brainstormed with her. And honestly, it was her encouragement and advice that made me abandon the ice age for Bix. Not a bad $40 investment.

    May you have as good of luck as I did

  3. Carrie: I'll do my very best to make sure you're not disappointed! I'm a very "craft"-y kind of writer, meaning I love to analyze and talk craft, so I'm looking forward to this!

  4. Carrie...

    I'm happy you got what you wanted! You fared better than I did and hopefully you learned what not-to-do by watching me try to figure out what the ceiling on the proxy bid was on certain items. Whew...I had some tense moments!

    So hats off to you for your winning bid!

  5. Christie..there's no way I could be disappointed...I've been tickled pink about it all week long!

    Kristi...I be critted by someone of Christie's caliber? in my genre? suh-weet!

    Margie..since Bix is going so well, you must have learned a ton...good for you! for teaching me "what not to do" those kinds of lessons! next year, my friend, if you're not already published by then!


  6. Congrats! Go, Carrie!
    That auction is too much for my tiny little budget.
    I'd have to work an extra week during my workweek to buy anything!
    Wow, Christie Ridgway came by here?

  7. Last year I bid on three agent/editor critiques in Brenda Novak's auction. I got into a bid off at the very end and lost on one. But I got the other two. (Not cheap, but well worth it.) It's how I got my agent! Good luck!