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We’re upgrading the servers! Makeover in process, expect delays.

Ladies Who Critique is getting a makeover! We’re aiming to have the site faster, more secure and more reliable by the end of the week so I apologize in advance for any trouble that this may cause in the meantime. Email me at laura AT ladieswhocritique with any questions or concerns. – Laura

P.s. Our new hosting is with WPEngine – awesomely fast and fab customer service. I’m using them for the 30 Day Books site and wholeheartedly recommend them. Check ’em out!

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Ladies Who Critique – New logo reveal!

Ladies Who Critique – New logo reveal!

Back in August 2011 when I was putting Ladies Who Critique together, it was just me and the hubby working on the site with no budget. We pooled together our strengths, but one thing neither of us had was graphic design! We did what we could though, and I came up with the concept for the LWC logo, and he made it happen:



You’ve been kind to me, little LWC lady.

Now that LWC is almost 9 months old though, it’s time for her to grow up! I didn’t want to stray too far from the original concept, one that reflects our tagline: “Take your writing to the next level”. But I did want the logo to be more polished and a ‘lil more sophisticated. After some trial and error (some of which took place on the LWC facebook page! – join us if you can~), and lots of feedback from members, friends and family, I’m very happy to reveal to you our new logo…


I really think it pops, don’t you? 

Thank you so much to everyone who had a say in its creation, especially those who pointed out that some of the draft logos looked like she was holding a stack of pancakes! Hungry are we? 🙂


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SPAM: Blog posts comments that make me laugh out loud

SPAM: Blog posts comments that make me laugh out loud

Every once in a while I check my spam comments to check that no genuine comments have slipped through to the dark side. There is often a comment or two that gets me giggling. I mean these spam bots churn out the most hilarious things. 

Image courtesy of ezinedesigner.com

 Phrases that only my Gran would use, atrocious spelling mistakes, horrendously over-the-top showers of praise. Dear LWC members, I could not NOT share them with you, that would be rude! So here they are, my top 10 favorite Ladies Who Critique spam comments of all time.


10. I cannot believe your web site could well be so mind blowing and epistemlogically significant

9. You actually deserve a round of applause for one’s post and more specifically, your web page generally.

8. i want the role of Anthony Hopkins from the movie Silence in the Lambs. he is merely amazing.

7. well, i do think in astrology and horoscope often is the first an area of the magazine we make sure.

6. Jay-Z is the best rapper alive! PERIOD! lol

5. Brilliance for free; your parents must be a sweetheart and a cetirfied genius.

4. Thank God! Somoene with brains speaks!

3. I might be beating a dead horse, but thank you for potsing this!

2. A rolling stone is worth two in the bush, thanks to this article


&, drum-roll, my number 1 spam comment of all time:


1. I like to party, not look articles up online. You made it happen.


Thanks Mr. Spammer! I like to party too!


I can always count on the spam comments to make me laugh out loud. Next time you’re in a bad mood, I recommend browsing your spambox for a bit of light comedy relief. And do let us know in the comments what you find!


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October Time Suck, Heading “Home” to England, Culture Shock & What’s In a Name? A Life Update from Yours Truly

October Time Suck, Heading “Home” to England, Culture Shock & What’s In a Name? A Life Update from Yours Truly



Image Courtesy of ghostcreativesnyc.com

Time is flying.


The Japanese saying is time is flying like an arrow which I feel is much more visual and appropriate. Yes, time is flying like an arrow. I can hardly believe that it is mid October.


That means that the holidays will soon be upon us, and we all know what THAT means; the bizarre time suck that we all enter into and basically get plopped out of the other side of in early January.


My own holidays are beginning early this year; today I’ll be heading “home” to England to surprise my Mama for her birthday (in case of course she reads this before I land. . .) 10 days of English weather should certainly prepare me for my next big adventure – our move to Seattle in November. I should probably start taking my vitamin D supplements anytime now!


Each time I travel or move to a new place I make a completely uncensored list of “culture shocks”, things that strike me as odd or unusual compared to whichever environment I have been living in for a while. This happens a lot, even when I land in London the reverse culture shock I feel can be the most striking of all. The feeling that what should be comfortable and familiar no longer is, is a strange one. I’ll be sure to jot down my findings this time around and share them with you next month. Since I’ve been living in SoCal for nearly 2 years now I have grown quite accustomed to the lifestyle.


Last week Juliette Wade of Talk to You Universe asked me to write about my observations for the reverse scenario (how does a Brit see the US (California) for the first time?) for her ‘Culture Share’ series on her blog. I thought back to early 2010 and dug out the notes I made then in my travel journal. Here are some of them (raw and unedited) that you might enjoy!:


– Clean, cute streets and houses, perfect lawns, streets on a grid system

– Everything is bigger!! 1 gallon milk, fridge, washing machine

– I saw a lady holding a soda that was bigger than her head. She needed to hold it with 2 hands

– Told B [my husband] he made a mistake b/cos we parked in the “compact car” space. Apparently our car is a compact car?? (It looks big to me…)

– Lots of people where clothes that are too big for them

– Lots of donut shops. Eat these for breakfast?

– Basketball hoops everywhere, no football (soccer) fields

– Mountains are beautiful!!

– Post boxes are at the end of the driveway! How convenient for Mr. Postman

– Nobody talks about the weather here (I mention it every morning to blank faces…)

– Don’t sit down to drink coffee, walk around with it

– Great, cheap fruit everywhere

– Lots of churches

– Lots of flags

– Everyone is super friendly – “have a nice day!”


Though I didn’t really know where to begin for my guest post, I ended up writing a post called “What’s in a name & other US/UK language differences.” You can read that post here.


How about you? Have you ever experienced culture shock (or reverse culture shock) and did you write about it? I’d love to hear about it! I’m handing the blog over to some very talented guest posters while I’m away being “shocked”, so see you in November, folks!

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Friday Round Up | Site Update: LWC (& Me) Are Going Places!

Friday Round Up | Site Update: LWC (& Me) Are Going Places!

Hello hello!

Since we just celebrated our one month anniversary (doesn’t time fly!) I want to give you a brief update of the improvements happening behind the scenes at Ladies Who Critique!

1. Site Development:

After a long period searching for the right developer, we have found just who we need in the form of Sophia Viklund of Backcode Development. I can’t tell you how excited I was to meet Sophia and knew from the get go that she shared our excitement and vision for the site. Sophia will be working on improving the existing site, her priorities being the organization of the forum and optimizing the search function.

We are hoping that with Sophia’s help we can be out of the beta stages by the end of 2011!



2. Professional Services:

While a good critique partner is worth her weight in gold, if you are serious about getting published you might at some point wish to enlist the help of a ‘been there done that’ published author and manuscript critique professional. While there is no shortage of authors offering their services around the web, I have handpicked my favorites and can ensure you these women are experienced, enthusiastic and professional. You can find our professional manuscript critique listings here.


3. 500 Member Giveaway on the Horizon:

When I started LWC I had no idea we would reach 300 members in the first month! It looks like reaching 500 members is just around the corner, and in order to celebrate this I am planning a big giveaway contest when we hit the big 5 0 0 (October? November?). If you are a member of an organization, company or service and would like to sponsor the giveaway, no matter how small, please get in touch!

laura {at} ladieswhocritique {dot} com


4. Finally… I’m moving to Seattle!

My last piece of news for the week is that come November I will be heading up the West Coast and moving from California to Seattle, WA! While I’ve never been to Seattle it’s an excellent opportunity for both my husband and I to live somewhere new and make new connections in both the book and game industry. Plus I’m super excited about the following:













Bookstores! Coffee! Good public transport!!


If you’re a Ladies Who Critique member in the Seattle area, please holler and tell me what else the Emerald city has to offer! I’ll be looking to join a book club and writer’s group, and just to meet other like-minded women writers in general. Drop me an email!

And there you have the round up for this week. Share your news as always, & happy critiquing y’all!








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Meet the Ladies Who Critique Ambassadors & Forum Moderators!

Meet the Ladies Who Critique Ambassadors & Forum Moderators!

I am so so so grateful for the support of all of our Ladies Who Critique members, simply put I couldn’t do it alone. When we launched 3 weeks ago I shouted out for ‘ambassadors‘ to help me to run the site and help with run the forums which play an important part in the community. Today I’d like to introduce some lovely ladies who are helping me to do just that.


Miranda (@miranda)

Moderating: Sci-Fi/ Fantasy and Romance groups.

Miranda is a web and graphic designer in New York City, where she lives with two mentally disturbed cats and an alarming number of dresses. She wrote stories as a child (mostly about aliens abducting her from her crazy family), and later rediscovered her love for writing while recovering from an injury that ended her dance career. She’s been writing Adult and YA Urban Fantasy ever since. She loves tea, monsters, belting showtunes at inappropriate times, and chatting it up with other fancy ladies. You can reach her at miranda [at] fancyterrible [dot] com, where she is happy to provide writerly support or cat pictures.




Jean (@jeanlauzier)

Moderating: Short Stories, and Crime & Mystery

Jean Lauzier is a stay-at-home mom and writer who balances her time between home schooling, writing, and laundry.  She writes mystery as a way to take out her frustrations, romance, because the world needs more and fantasy cause sometimes, we just need to escape and explore new worlds.  Jean also enjoys most critters (not itty bitty spiders though), outdoors stuff and playing in the dirt. Her goal of having a novel published sits right up next to keeping a bonsai tree alive for more than 6 months.





Celeste (@xaenyth)

Moderating: Sci-Fi/ Fantasy and Coffee Shop groups.

Celeste Souza is an aspiring author and marshmallow-holic.
She’s fallen in love with this crazy cool writing thing and is on a mission to get published in the next few years. She lives at home with her five children and her extremely calm husband, who is the pefect balance to her insanity. She loves punk rock music and spending so much time on the computer, her fingers cramp.
She will be buried with a life-size picture of Henry Rollins
and her arms wrapped tightly around her copy of The Sims 3.



Karen (@karencampion)

Moderating: Chick Lit

Karen Campion is a writer living in Chicago with her husband, two young sons and stepson. Karen’s self-published chick lit novel, Chasing Avenues, sold over 3,500 copies. She is currently seeking representation for her follow-up manuscript, a chick lit suspense thriller, Disguised Reflection, and her children’s series, Bed Bugs Bedtime Adventures. Concurrently, she is writing a suspense thriller with the working title One More Moment. She started her career in radio, but quickly moved into media and advertising, ultimately working on media promotions with Cirque du Soleil North America. She spends her free time writing, running, playing with her family and enjoying good wine.




In addition to the ambassadors, we have some fabulous volunteer moderators:

Lit fiction: Tori







Historical: Heidi






These groups are still in need of moderators!


 – Young Adult


– Non-fiction


  – Memoir


 – Action-adventure


– Children’s Lit


– Short Stories


  – Poetry


 – Erotica


– Self Help/ How to



If you think you’ve got what it takes to keep an eye on the forum daily and keep conversation from going wayward, please get in touch about becoming a moderator for one of these groups!

It would be so, so great to have you on board 🙂

Have a great weekend all!

– Laura

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Have you Entered our Monthly Contest Yet?

Have you Entered our Monthly Contest Yet?

Want to win a 25 page critique with little old me? (Ok ok it’s not a great prize. I’m working on it, okay?!)

It’s as easy as 1,2,3.


1. Print out this file: ContestSheetLWC



2. Find some interesting/ unique/ beautiful stairs/ steps:

3. Take a picture holding the contest sheet and show us you are taking your writing to the next level!


Email your entries to laura {at} ladieswhocritique {dot} com

Find out more here!

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Friday Round Up | Week 2

Friday Round Up | Week 2

Today is week 2 of Ladies Who Critique and a lot of things have been going on around here.

By the way, I do realize that today is Saturday, despite the fact this is a Friday round up. My sister is in town from England and we have been driving around California trying to fit in as much sunshine as possible while she’s here (and shopping, and eating and she even dragged me to the beach. It’s a hard life!). So late last night I arrived back from San Diego to a gazillion emails and no time to post this.


(Side note: San Diego Zoo is WONDERFUL and even though I’m not a huge fan of zoos, this one is doing loads of conservation work and the animals have ample space and it’s just a pretty happy place all round. AND THERE ARE BABY PANDAS!!! I was so happy about this. If you ever have a chance to go, DO IT.)

(photo credit Washington Post)

Here is a quick recap of the cool things happening at LWC;


– We have added 2 new groups: Publishing Advice & Help (share your experience and learn more here), & the Writers Coffee Shop (discuss anything you like here and give yourself a break). I hope adding these will mean that the threads stay more on topic and also means we can share advice across genres and not just within one particular group.

– I am in the process of writing our first ever newsletter and am accepting shameless plugs from you all! If you have anything to brag about – no matter how big or small, let me know know. We are your biggest cheerleaders after all!

– We now have group moderators for several of the groups and I will be introducing these fantastic women to you soon. If you wish to apply there are still some spots left (and I would love you forever).

– I am in the process of hiring a site developer to make the forums more logical, make the site more user friendly, and fix any bugs we have right now. This will be an ongoing process but there will be improvements coming soon (yay!) I welcome all suggestions for improvement (how ironic – critiquing a critique website ;))

I think that’s all for now. I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend, and just in case you are not I’ll leave you with another panda picture sure to make you smile.

Photo credit: popfi.com


See you next week!

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Ladies Who Critique Members | Shameless Plug Opportunity!

Ladies Who Critique Members | Shameless Plug Opportunity!

Ladies, I would LOVE to hear about what you have been up to, and all of your accomplishments be they big or small. The Ladies Who Critique newsletter will be circling at the end of the month, and we would love to feature members’ stories.


This is too cute. Image courtesy of smilebhappy11297 via ratemydrawings.com


Whether you have won a poetry contest, finished a manuscript, self-published a book, landed a book deal, or had an article or short story published, let us know! And don’t be shy, I’ll be doing all the bragging on your behalf.

Send your latest accomplishment to laura {at} ladieswhocritique {dot} com by August 22nd with a little info, links and an image of yourself or your work and you might see yourself in our first ever newsletter. I look forward to sharing your good news!

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Champagne at the Ready, Writing Pens Steady, Go! | The Beta Launch is Here

Champagne at the Ready, Writing Pens Steady, Go! | The Beta Launch is Here

Wooooooooo Hoooooooooo!!!!!


Excuse me while I celebrate a little over here.



Delightful champagne courtesy of champagnesocials.com

This morning at 3.30am PST we opened our doors to you, our very first Ladies Who Critique members. After weeks of working on the site and seeing it all come together I feel simultaneously relieved, and silently overwhelmed. I have a clear idea of what I wish the site to be, and know that it will take several baby steps to get there. But I am SO happy to have you along for the ride!

I hope that you are able to take a look around the site and learn more about critiquing, meet some potential critique partners, and get involved. We will be continuously working on improving the site and welcome your suggestions on how to do so. There are also a number of other ways you can participate:


– Enter our monthly contest! One member will win a 25 page critique. The entry process is super fun too – check it out here.

– Become a Ladies Who Critique ambassador! Help spread the word, talk to members and shape the direction of the site.

– Write a guest post or short article about your writing or critiquing experience and we’ll try to feature you on the blog/


Finally, I wanted to re-iterate why I started Ladies Who Critique in the first place. If you have any experience with a good writing or critique group I don’t need to tell you how amazing the support of a positive critique partner or group can be. Not to mention how much your writing will improve. If you are yet to share your writing with anyone, I truly believe that having a supportive critique partner will be the single best thing you can do to take your writing to the next level and I hope that all writers will get a chance to experience the magic.

This is why I wanted to create the site, and it’s the philosophy behind our logo and branding: Take Your Writing to the Next Level.


Thanks once again for your support!


Laura Pepper Wu, Founder.

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