Partners in Crime is the Boise Chapter of Sisters in Crime. In 2002, Partners in Crime developed Criminal Pursuits, a critiquing service for authors, to help writers write better books as well as to raise funds for the organization. The service is particularly valuable to those who don’t have a critique group or who want an objective opinion from people who know mysteries but don’t necessarily know the writer.
A writer submits twenty-five manuscript pages and a synopsis along with a $25 check or money order. At the next Partners in Crime meeting, four members will volunteer to read the full submission and provide feedback. An evaluation form developed by members of Partners in Crime aids the submission evaluator in providing helpful feedback. The evaluators are not editors or agents, so the reaction you get is that of mystery lovers, a combination of writers and/or readers. In order to encourage evaluators to feel comfortable giving feedback, they have the option of not revealing their names. If the submitter provides a SASE large enough to return the full manuscript, evaluators will provide feedback directly on the manuscript and synopsis.
By including the synopsis in the Criminal Pursuits evaluation, Partners in Crime seeks to help writers not only write better mysteries but to approach agents and editors with more confidence.
Want to check it out yourself? I think it could be $25 well spent.