Corona Critique Donors REVEALED

Updated: May 15, 2020

I am so crazy excited for today!! Today I get to reveal the incredibly generous donors who are making this #CoronaCritiqueGiveaway possible! I can't believe that I'm going to be able to give away 45 critiques thanks to each of these 38 donors. Editors, agents, and authors came together to shine a little light in what could be a very difficult time. I hope you'll show them each some love and follow them, subscribe to their sites, even buy their books! Let's show them how grateful we are. Because I seriously can't thank them enough!

If you missed yesterday's post about choosing hope, make sure you catch it here.

The giveaway goes live on Thursday, March 26th on Twitter.

And now, without further delay... our amazing donors! I hope you'll take the time to read each of the donor bios and follow them on social media. I know life is crazy right now, so I've also included a quick list reference, but don't forget to come back and show these donors some love when you have a moment.

Donor Bios


James McGowan: Query Critique

Since interning at BookEnds as an undergrad in the summer of 2015, James has (basically) never left. He's just continuously level-up-ed inside of BookEnds. Now he is the Literary Assistant and Social Media Manager for the team.

James is a Staten Island native, and holds a Master's Degree in English from the College of Staten Island. He’s been a reader since his mom gave him the first A Series of Unfortunate Events book, and ordered the sequels regularly through Scholastic book orders. He only recently learned he could be a writer... now, his debut picture book, GOOD NIGHT, OPPY, publishes in Fall 2021 from Boyds Mills Kane Press. When James is not reading/working/writing, he can usually be found watching an unhealthy amount of sitcoms. Follow him on twitter at or instagram at

Clelia Gore- Query Critique

Clelia Gore is Vice President of the Seattle-based agency, Martin Literary & Media Management. She represents authors of books for children and teens including Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes, authors of the New York Times-bestselling and award-winning picture book, RESCUE & JESSICA: A LIFE-CHANGING FRIENDSHIP. She tweets as @MadmoiselleClel and you can read more about her and her agency at

Lynnette Novak: PB Critique

Prior to joining The Seymour Agency, Lynnette spent seventeen years freelance editing. She worked with new writers, advanced writers, as well as New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors. Lynnette earned a bachelor of education degree from the University of Manitoba, where she specialized in English and French. She excelled in Advanced Creative Writing in university and studied writing for children and teens through the Institute of Children’s Literature. She was a Pitch Wars mentor in 2015 and 2016. Both her mentees acquired an agent.

Although Lynnette was born and raised in Manitoba, Canada, she now lives in Minnesota with her husband, twin girls, and many pets. Her personal interests include reading, writing, exercising at the gym (okay, that’s a love/hate relationship), working on an assortmentof crafts, all things having to do with animals (if she could own a farm, zoo, and animal shelter, she would), and enjoying time with family and friends.

In adult fiction: thrillers, psychological suspense, horror, contemporary romance, romantic comedy, and mysteries (traditional, amateur sleuth, and cozy).

In young adult fiction: thrillers, psychological suspense, horror, mysteries, sci-fi, fantasy, and contemporary.

In middle grade fiction: fantasy, sci-fi, action/adventure, mystery, contemporary, horror, and humor.

In children’s fiction: picture books (non-rhyming preferred).

Find Lynnette on twitter: @Lynnette_Novak

Kaitlyn Sanchez: Choice of PB, Dummy, or Query Critique

Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez is a mom, wife, high school math teacher, picture book author, co-creator and co-host of the Spring Fling Kidlit Contest, creator of the Kidlit Fall Writing Frenzy Contest,  and is learning to become a literary agent by interning at Olswanger Literary, and she had just signed her first clients. In her free time, she loves to play soccer, binge-watch shows on Hulu and Prime, and, of course, read. Her favorites are historical fiction, short stories, dramas, fantasies, mysteries, and of course picture books! She especially loves it when her husband, daughter, and her all cozy up and read together.

Find Kaitlyn online: 




Tina P. Schwartz: 3-Query Critiques

AgentTina P. Schwartz admits to being a reluctant reader as a child. In fact, she says she is still very picky when it comes to  choosing a book, and isn't afraid to judge one (at first) by its cover!

          Ask her kids, and they won't believe you!  They'll tell you her nose is constantly in a book, or staring at her Kindle Fire, her iPad mini, or even reading mss on her phone! When not reading manuscripts, marketing website, social media, or  industry blogs, you can find Schwartz on her laptop enjoying her own writing  time.

          Schwartz is an active member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI).  Tina says, "I'm thrilled to have founded The Purcell Agency, LLC and look  forward to reading many wonderful submissions from  talent all over the world!"

​         You can follow Agent Tina on Twitter @tinaPschwartz or The Purcell Agency at @TPurcellAgency

Bonnie Swanson: 3-Query Critiques

Bonnie Swanson is a twenty plus year elementary teacher. She shares her love of literature with her students and even tests out her own books on them. (And everyone thinks agents are tough!) Using her experience as a teacher, she has been a mentor for many authors through the WriteMentor program started by author Stuart White. Some of her mentees have gone on to publishing and best-selling success with their titles.

            A short sample of her favorite authors are Dean Koontz, J.K. Rowling, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, S.A. Stovall, Suzanne Collins, Jen Mann, Danielle Paige, Christopher Paolini, Neal Schusterman, and Ally Condi. She’ll try just about anything, but romance is her true jam and the HEA (happily ever after) is a must! 

            She is an active member of SCBWI and a co-rep for her local chapter. When she’s not teaching, reading, or spending time with her three kids & husband, she’s busy creating her own stories. You can also find her covered in fur and playing with her three cats Milo, Winter and, Mira—when they tell her to.

You can follow Bonnie on Twitter:

Catherine Hedrick Armstrong: 5-Query Critiques

Catherine Hedrick Armstrong is a prolific reader of many genres. Among her favorite authors are Harper Lee, Rainbow Rowell, Nicola Yoon, S.E. Hinton, Judy Blume, Colleen Hoover, Jamie McGuire, Kate Morton, Victoria Laurie, Cathy Lamb, William Bernhardt, Patricia Cornwell, Rachel Van Dyken, Brighton Walsh, Julia Quinn, Lorna Landvik, and Diana Gabaldon.  

            Though her reading tastes are somewhat eclectic, Catherine is especially drawn to issue-driven Young Adult and New Adult fiction, ranging from the heart-wrenching stories of kids trying to navigate the difficult hallways of their high schools to the heartbreaking, yet empowering, stories of overcoming the odds when life throws you a curve ball.  Favorite Young Adult books include, To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Ask Alice, The Outsiders, Hopeless (by Colleen Hoover), and a lesser-known title by Ann Head she read in 7th grade entitled Mr. and Mrs. Bo Jo Jones. The story and themes in Head’s book still resonates with her today, some 35 years later.  In the New Adult category, she can’t get enough of Jamie McGuire’s “Maddox Brothers Series,” and anything written by Colleen Hoover or Rachel Van Dyken.

            When she’s not actively reading, Catherine is doing her own writing and editing; cheering for her beloved Oklahoma Sooners Football team; or catching up on her favorite television or Netflix dramas--The Crown, Outlander, andThe Walking Dead.

           Tweet to Catherine on Twitter at @CathieHedrick

Chrysa Keenon: PB Critique

ChrysaKeenonhas always loved stories—both reading and writing them. 

Her degree from Taylor University’s acclaimed Professional Writing 

program helped her learn a thing or two about the craft, and she set 

her sights on working in the publishing industry. She has published 

over 400 pieces of fiction (including poetry, short stories, and stage 

plays) and nonfiction (book reviews and journalism articles). She has 

multiple first-place awards for her writing, including 1st Place in 

Sci-Fi/Fantasy for the Blue Seal Award. Setting her sights on the 

industry, Chrysa kick started her career in publishing by interning 

with GenZ Publishing and The Seymour Agency. By day, she works in 

editorial for a prominent bridal magazine. By night, she is an agent 

at the Cyle Young Literary Elite agency, helping writers achieve their 

publishing dreams, one query at a time.

Learn more about her at

Follow her on Twitter: @Chrysa_Keenon

Alayne Kay Christian, Blue Whale Press: 1st Impressions PB Critique

Alayne Kay Christian is the content and developmental editor for Blue Whale Press and an award-winning children’s book author. She is the creator and teacher of a picture book writing course, Art of Arc. She shares more of her knowledge and tips for writers through Writing for Children Webinars and Courses. She has been a professional picture book and chapter book critique writer since 2014, and she worked as a

12 X 12 critique ninja for three years. Alayne is a graduate of the Institute for Children’s Literature. In addition, she has spent the last eleven years studying under some of the top names in children’s literature. Alayne’s focus at Blue Whale Press is content editing, creative direction, and working with authors and illustrators to coordinate the path to quality books. ​

Follow her on Twitter: @alayne_kay


Tara Lazar

Tara loves children’s books. Her goal is to create books that children love.

She writes picture books and middle grade novels.

Some of her books include:

How To Trap A Leprechaun (Harper Collins, January 2020)

The Upper Case (Disney*Hyperion/Little, Brown, October 2019)

Your First Day Of Circus School (Tundra/Penguin Random House Canada

June 4, 2019)

In November 2009, Tara created PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) as the picture book writer’s answer to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). In 2017, PiBoIdMo’s name was changed to Storystorm and it’s now held on her blog every January…with nearly 2,000 participants from around the world.

Find Tara Online:

Alastair Heim: PB Critique

Alastair Heim is the author of the picture books LOVE YOU, TOO (Little Bee Books – 2016), NO TOOTING AT TEA (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Clarion – 2017), THE GREAT PUPPY INVASION (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Clarion – 2017) which won the 2019 Oklahoma Redbud Read-Aloud Award, HELLO, DOOR (Little Bee Books – 2018) which was chosen as one of The New York Public Library’s Best Books of 2018 and listed on The 2019 Best Books for Family Literacy by The Pennsylvania Center for the Book, the upcoming QUIET DOWN, LOUD TOWN! (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Clarion – 2020) and IF I HAD YOUR VOTE – BY THE CAT IN THE HAT (Random House/Dr. Seuss Enterprises – 2020).  He lives in Kansas City and is represented by Kelly Sonnack of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

Find Alastair online:




Diana Murray: PB Critique (specialty in rhyming verse)

Diana Murray is the author of over a dozen books for children, including GOODNIGHT VEGGIES (HMH, March 2020), a Jr. Library Guild Selection; FIVE FUZZY CHICKS (Imprint/Macmillan, February 2020), an Amazon Book of the Month; and UNICORN DAY (Sourcebooks, 2019), a National Indiebound Bestseller. Her poems have appeared in magazines such as Highlights, High Five and Spider, as well as anthologies like THANKU: POEMS OF GRATITUDE (Millbrook, 2019), an ALA Notable Book. Diana grew up in NYC and still lives nearby with her firefighter husband, two children, and a smarty-pants cockatiel named Bean.

Find her Online:

Bea Birdsong: PB Critique