MS Critiques for MS

March 2, 2015

Everybody sing with me:

Happy birthday to Fuse. Happy birthday to Fuse. Happy birthday, Fuse Literary. Happy birthday to Fuse! 

March marks two years since Laurie and I set out to build the literary agency of the future, and I’m happy to report that 2015 is shaping up to be our best year yet (by far, I mean, holy wow). Since day one, we’ve made it a point to make this a socially responsible venture. Our virtual setup gets the job done more efficiently and with fewer natural resources used, and we often seek out opportunities to give what we can to those in need.

Last year, I proudly headed up the creation of our multimedia poetry anthology, The Burden of Light. With contributions from 90 poets (out of the thousands of submissions), we assembled a digital work of art that featured not only written poems of various styles, but audio and video readings by the poets, photography, visual art, short lectures, and even an original song–all in a single file that we continue to offer as pay-what-you-want with 100% of the proceeds going to the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance. The response has been so heartwarming, and let me tell you, it feels good to write $1,000 checks to charity based on the kindness of our readers.

And while we continue to pass on donations to the NCCRA through the purchase of the anthology (sometimes at $100 a pop), this year, we thought we’d try something different. We’re also in the business of helping writers improve their craft, which is one reason why we do so many conferences and workshops. This year, our own Emily Keyes had the wonderful idea of each of our agents auctioning off partial manuscript critiques and donating 100% of the proceeds to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. March is, after all National MS Awareness Month. We immediately and unanimously agreed, and thus, MS Critiques for MS was born.

It really is quite simple, so let me give you a brief run-through while offering some tips:

  1. I highly recommend first checking out our agents and seeing who is best fit to critique your manuscript. For example, if you’re writing adult SF/F, although I could assess the piece on its literary merits, establishment of tension, structure, character sympathy, and so on, I’m really not the best choice for that. We have a brilliant agent named Connor Goldsmith who also brings to the table thorough knowledge of the genre and what it takes to sell SF/F in today’s market. So check us all out, and choose wisely. I also recommend ranking us so you can move on to your next choice if your first choice gets bid up past your budget.
  2. Next, visit our MS Critiques for MS auction page. Here you’ll find our agents participating in the promotion, details about what we’re offering, and how to bid. We chose an online auction system that’s specifically set up for charitable donations, and thus far, we’re thrilled with how user-friendly it is.
  3. Once you’ve placed your bid, check back often! See how it’s progressing and strategize. Or of you’d prefer something a bit less involved, you can also place a max bid and let the system increasingly bid for you as the auction progresses. Auto-bidding! Welcome to the future.
  4. Let us know! We’d love to hear from you, so after you bid, feel free to tweet @FuseLiterary with the hashtag #MS4MS.

This auction is open to writers of adult and kid lit, fiction and nonfiction. I’m taking bids, for example, for either your first 3 chapters and synopsis (for fiction) or your entire book proposal and sample chapter (for nonfiction). There will be one winner per agent, and the top bidder overall will also get a query critique and a 15-minute consultation call with me. And again, 100% of our proceeds go to the National MS Society.

Happy bidding! We’re looking forward to reading your work.