Share the Lubov Critique Giveaway

Funny story. I actually had this giveaway planned before I knew about my book deal. Then everything kind of exploded for about a week there, so I postponed for that reason. Then, I thought, hey, this will be a great way to celebrate after my announcement, so I postponed for that reason. Now the timing is perfect. (Oh, and don't worry, I know this giveaway is tailored to writers, but there will be many more celebrations and giveaways to come.):

Since I first started writing, I've wanted to use my writing to make a difference. Not just by entertaining or encouraging people with my stories, but a real and tangible difference.

How about bringing an orphan home?

For those of you who don't know, I have a huge heart for adoption. Before I  had the Pea, I was the regional director of a non-profit adoption agency. I had the amazing privilege of working with adoptive families and children and birthmothers. 

The other day, I got an e-mail from my dear friend Shelli. She and her husband are adopting from Bulgaria.'s the thing. International adoption is expensive. Dang expensive. And they are in a unique position, fundraising-wise. They actually live in Asia and work for a non-profit organization called The Starfish Project, which helps to empower exploited women. (Seriously, check out their jewelry line here. It goes to a great cause!) So Shelli and Justin are not only raising funds for their adoption, they also raise their own salary.

Anyway, I really love win-win situations. I thought about it and realized I had a total win-win right in front of me. How I could help Shelli raise funds for their adoption AND help another writer at the same time.

I give you the SHARE THE LUBOV Critique Giveaway (As Karen just found out As everyone knows, Lubov means Love in Bulgarian.)

Here's how it works.


To enter:
1.) You must fill in the form.
2.)You must share this contest in some way (tweet, blog, facebook, skywriting) and leave a link.
3.) You can also make a tax-deductible donation to Shelli & Justin's adoption fund for 20 EXTRA ENTRIES. (Note: You are *not* required to make a donation to participate, but...ummmm...20 EXTRA ENTRIES, people! Also. You're HELPING AN ORPHAN. There's no minimum donation amount, but every bit helps.)

Wait a minute.


So I have one of the coolest, nicest agents in the world. No, really. She's amazing-pants. And she has amazing insights. And she offered to up the ante a little. So not only will you win a full manuscript critique from me, you will win a FIRST THREE CHAPTERS CRITIQUE FROM VICTORIA MARINI

**Insert squealing because that is what you should be doing**

To make a donation, go to this link. When prompted, you need to designate "For the child to be adopted to Justin and Shelli Jones." (Note: This is a faith-based adoption fund. If that's problematic for you, just let me know, and we can arrange for a different donation option.)
Seriously. Do you need more cuteness incentive?

This contest will close 11:59 p.m. Friday June 1st, and I'll announce a winner the following Monday.

*As noted above, this contest is for MG/YA manuscripts only, up to 75K word count (but if yours is over 75K, still feel free to enter, I just may not be able to provide detailed comments over the 75K mark). This contest is open to all sub-genres except for high fantasy (because I'm just not the person to critique it...sorry), really scary horror with, like, demons or the occult (because I get nightmares), and erotica (because...y'know what? If you're writing MG or YA erotica, we need to have a little chat). This critique will be most helpful to you if your manuscript has already been revised and polished, NOT a first draft. You can take your time in getting it to me. :) I'm happy to answer any questions in the comments section.

Oh, and I have my Facebook Author page set up! You can go Like it here.


  1. Shoot! I was so game until you said no high fantasy :-( It sounds like to much fun though, I hope lots of people enter! Good luck to you and your friends!

  2. This is fantastic! What a great cause, I love people that use their life to help others. I'm going to have to enter!! ;)

  3. What an amazing thing you're doing for your friends! And a big congratulations on the book deal!!!

  4. I wish I could have donated but the site seems to be un-friendly to Aussie addresses/credit cards.

  5. Great combination of getting and giving help. I made a donation, do you need proof of that? I could send an email of the invoice. Again, wonderful idea and thanks for the opportunity!

  6. Awesome giveaway, Karen! So great that you're helping your friends in the process. Wish I could've donated more. And your little one is adorable! :)

  7. Mia--If you'd still like to donate and get extra entries, let me know. I'm open to alternate donation options if there are any Children Welfare funds in Australia that you'd like to give to. You can e-mail me at karen.d.akins (a) gmail (dot) com if you're interested.

    A.E.--Don't worry about it!

  8. I don't need this right now, but I'll spread the word!

  9. Great contest and Super Congrats on your book deal!!!!

  10. New follower here... Karen, found you via Elizabeth's blog. Such a neat thing you're doing here. I wasn't able to donate much (I've got a boy with cancer and finances are *tight* but I know every small amount helps) And the critique sounds like a dream come true... thank you for hosting and congrats on your success! :D

  11. Karen, fyi, i entered and will make my donation asap. My husband has the debit card at work. I'll do it before the contest closes!! :)

  12. ACK! That's terribly exciting :) I'm in for all the entries! Karen--you give us unpubs hope :)

  13. Oh BUMMER I can't believe I missed this contest! (just saw you featured on real-life friend Liz Briggs' blog) But I do want to ask if you'd like to participate in my Day in the Life series?