I was so excited to see the newest Lindsey video, filmed in Kenya, remaking "We Found Love". It is a beautiful film and cool version of such an already cool song. But this was more interesting to me, because several of the writers and agents I follow in the publishing world are a part of the 2012 Crits for Water program.
Crits (Critiques) for Water is a charity that goes crazy for three months of the year (April May June). Right now, authors, editors, agents and others in the book publishing world offer auctions of their skills in the forms of critiques to the generous writer hopefuls. These can be anything from 250 words (a couple of paragraphs) to query letters to synopses to 3 chapters or even the first 50 pages. Some folks, like Jodi Meadows (author of Incarnate) is offering up four different critiques throughout the three months. Some of my other favorite authors, Janice Hardy and Shannon Messenger are joining in during the YA/MG (young adult/middle grade level books) month of JUNE.
Some of these are offered up auction style (may the highest bid win) over the course of 72 hours and some are raffle style ( I am crossing my fingers that Josh Getzler-agent extraordinaire- picks my name out of the random.bot tomorrow) for as little as $10 a shot. And all the donations/pledges go to help build wells in Africa, South America and South East Asia.
I just think that this is really nifty. I know my church has well building programs, and they are awesome (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints- Humanitarian Services). But I love seeing a for-profit group of people (even if writing doesn't make THAT much money) working as a group to help people far less fortunate than ourselves. In 2009, Crits for Water raised $2500. In 2011 it raised $6808. The goal for this year is $10,000.
If any of you have a dusty little pile of papers on a shelf or maybe saved in the computer or stashed in a notebook, now might be the time to donate a few bucks and get a few pages critiqued by somebody in the business. The gal who runs the charity (Kat Brauer) is a YA author and if you don't want to plunk down the cash for a famous writer/agent to look over your stuff, she will critique whatever you send in at a rate of $1 per 250 words. Thats a pretty good deal, now isn't it? And you'll have done something to make the world a little better place and not quite so hopeless.