Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Bartles' GoFundMe Auction Item #7: Full Manuscript + Submission Package Critique By Dakota Shain Byrd

About this item: A critique of a full, complete, and polished novel up to 75,000 words, synopsis, and query letter.

Donated by...
Dakota Shain Byrd
Twitter @shainbyrd

A believer in the magic of words and the change they can create, Dakota Shain Byrd's passion for writing bloomed when in the first grade he had to write a story about a little yellow chick that had lost it's mother--that little yellow chick ended up becoming a space knight and rescued his mom from a world eating dragon. From then on it was down the Rabbit Hole at full speed. A fierce lover of all things epic, stunning, and awe-inspiring, Dakota has often said, "My favorite films and TV shows are all space operas or scifi, my favorite novels are usually grounded in magic, and I love for both to have some form of romance to them, even if it's a side character's romance instead of the protagonist's." In line with that mentality, Dakota loves diversity and is totally LGBTQ* friendly--he's threatre student, a member of RWA and NTRWA, has written for and interned with The Dallas Voice, is a graduated Fellow of the Lambda Literary Writing Retreat for Emerging LGBT Voices, was mentored by author Malinda Lo at the aforementioned retreat in the YA/Genre workshop, is blessed to be working with Rebecca Yarros on his manuscript, and is a card carrying member of #TeamFabulous! He's working on placing his first novel, a YA urban fantasy about a young man who's journey to become a mage is complicated by his best friend's disappearance, accusations of treason, and whispers that he killed her for her magic.

NOTE ABOUT MY PREFERENCES : While I read everything, my "expertise" if you will, is YA speculative fiction. So I can help you best if you've written a scifi, fantasy, or paranormal. I'm open to all subgenres, but I'm not the guy for horror because I just don't understand the construction of those stories well enough to help. Please only bid if your work features a protagonist who is a minority of some sort. Don't make your character a minority if they aren't already one because it will come off as fake and none of us want that. ;-) Also, to help you "get" me better, my favorite film is The Fifth Element (yes, I DO own the old PS1 video game) and my favorite novel is The Will of the Empress by Tamora Pierce. If you think you can make me laugh, tug at my tear ducts, or swoon, then I'm your guy. Also, if you have a YA or NA set around a theatre that's a behind the scenes kind of thing, SOOO bid. Or contact me directly and I may just mentor you on that premise alone because as a stagehand, that's something I'd love to see, and it CAN be Contemporary. When it comes to theatre, I make exceptions because everybody loves a dramatic train-wreck.

PLEASE NOTE: While I am offering a huge amount of help here with the critique of a full manuscript, query letter, and synopsis, please only bid on it if your project is complete, polished, and beyond draft number three. Thanks!

Starting Bid $10  

TURN AROUND TIME: Please allow two weeks for query critiques + 1st chapters, four weeks for partials, and six weeks for full critiques. Donors will discuss turnaround times with winners. All winning bids are guaranteed. Should some unforeseen event happen, money will be returned to winner or the winner may choose to have Emily Moore provide the critique. 


  1. So just to confirm - if I have a polished fantasy manuscript but it's 118,000 words, I shouldn't bid on this because it's over the word limit?

    1. Hi there! Dakota said you can still bid, he will just critique the first 70k words. He feels that his thorough edts in those pages will help you edit the rest. Thanks for your question!

    2. Yeah! As the above says, up to 75K words will be critiqued. I'm very thorough in my critiques, use Word's Track Changes and comment bubble tools, and have had friends have an initial freak out when they got critiques back from me just dripping red. So if you bid, you're in good hands, and will know how to fix all your trouble spots by the time we're done.

      Do note that I do critiques on a chapter by chapter basis, however. That is more efficient and it gives you time to cull through your manuscript looking for the issues that are highlighted in chapter one.

  2. Wooottt!! I have a theater manuscript!


  3. I'm posting for Donald Burge, who's bidding $150 on this item.

  4. Replies
    1. I'm sorry but the bidding closed at noon today. Thank you for being willing to participate!

  5. The winner is: Donald Burge with a bid of $150.00. Please pay for your auction item by entering it on the GoFundMe campaign here: After you make your donation, send your email address to When we’ve verified your donation, we will send you information on how to claim your item. You have 24 hours to place your donation or the item will be given to the next highest bidder. Thank you!