Irene Goodman’s

critiques for charity

Renowned agent Irene Goodman does critiques of partial manuscripts, with all proceeds going to charity. This is your chance to get professional feedback from an agent who has built many bestselling careers. It is also a wonderful opportunity to present the budding writer in your life with the perfect gift.

Critique of the First Fifty Pages, or first 15,000 words
Genres: Women's fiction, thrillers, romance, mysteries, historical fiction, middle grade, and young adult fiction
Critique response time: 1 month at the most


Charity Critique FAQ

Q:  Really? You will do the critiques yourself?
A:  Yes, really. I like doing critiques and I am good at it. I read every word personally. See some of the feedback I have received below.

Q:  When do the auctions take place?
A:  They are held every few weeks. They are done through Charity Buzz, which likes to launch them on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, so check the web site to see when the next one starts. You can also tune in toward the end, when the bids start to escalate.

Q:  How soon can the winners expect to hear from you?
A:  About a month. Often less. Sometimes more.

Q:  How long will each critique be?
A:  1-3 pages, single-spaced. I can pack a lot of feedback into a page, let alone two or three.

Q:  What kinds of manuscripts are you looking for?
A:  All kinds of fiction for adults, middle grade, and young adult. I've critiqued just about everything and have sold books in all genres. I can also critique a non-fiction proposal or chapters.

Q:  What are the critiques like?
A:  They pack a lot of punch. I am direct, honest, and encouraging when I can be. Along with the editorial side, I always include an agent's-eye view of how marketable the work would be. Gratuitous comments from friends don't really help you. When you are hungry for information that will really make a difference, not waste your time, and respect your goals, you need a real industry professional.
If you can accept well-meant, respectful feedback from someone who has built a lot of best-selling careers, then this is for you.

Q:  All the money goes to charity? Every penny?
A:  Yes, except for the 20% that goes to Charity Buzz. This is a strictly non-profit venture for me. All proceeds go to the Foundation Fighting Blindness, the Hearing Health Foundation, or Hope for Vision. We occasionally add other causes as well, such as Doctors Without Borders and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

Q:  Why these causes?
A:  Foundation Fighting Blindness, Hope for Vision, and the Hearing Health Foundation are of crucial importance to me because my son, Rob, has Usher Syndrome. That's a genetic condition that causes progressive loss of both vision and hearing. The research in this area is tremendous and there is great hope on the horizon. We can expect that there will be an effective treatment for blindness in his lifetime. The Hearing Health Foundation has assembled a 'dream team' of scientists all over the country who are working aggressively on a cure for hearing loss. Doctors Without Borders provides medical care to people all over the globe regardless of nationality or religion, and St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital cares for children with life-threatening illnesses free of charge.

What previous winners have to say...

"Your review was nothing less than a life-changer on many levels." -- Mary O.

"Your review far exceeded my expectations." -- Alan Chaput

"What a great review! I have a clear sense of the many opportunities to improve my craft and story." -- Mike S.

"The way you deliver feedback is truly amazing. It was honest, tactful, and insightful. You really packed a lot into your critique. It was an invaluable experience." -- Kourtney Heintz

"This rare peek into the thoughts of an accomplished agent energized my own enthusiasm to make my story even better." -- Gary W.


Irene Goodman has been agenting for 40 years and has grown the careers of a number of NY Times bestselling authors. Her agency has six marvelous agents, two foreign rights agents, and a movie agent, representing over 200 authors. Her career began as an editorial assistant for a publisher, where she realized she wanted to be an agent when she bypassed the red tape and broke the rules by walking a check request for a desperate author through the company. She then went to work for the agent who represented Stephen King, establishing her own agency two years later. She has keynoted at several major conferences, and contributes to major publications for writers. She has done over 100 critiques and finds it very gratifying to give back to the business she loves. "Every blockbuster author was once knocking on the door, trying to get in," she says. "There are hidden gems just waiting to be discovered."