Elizabeth Buege is a Midwestern girl with a lifelong love of words. She graduated from the University of Northwestern—St. Paul with a B.A. in English writing and internship experience in nonprofit writing and book editing. She now teaches secondary writing classes for homeschool students through a local co-op, where her job is to help teens fall in love with words and learn to express critical thought clearly. Elizabeth also loves helping authors become better writers, so she offers book critiques and editing services at, where she blogs writing tips and related topics to help authors grow in their craft. When she’s not editing books or grading research papers, she’s probably reading, writing, or enjoying the world around her.

What kind of entries are you looking for in this contest?

  • I’m open to MG, YA, and Adult entries.
  • Some of my favorite stories are speculative fiction—think fantasy, science fiction, and magic realism—but I’m pretty picky. It’s not the descriptions of your world-building or complex premises that draws me in—it’s a main character who feels like a real person with a compelling struggle.
  • I’m open to faith-based fiction of all genres (except the ones listed below) this spring. No cliches, though—if your story is overly allegorical or based off overused tropes, I’m happy to talk through it with you at some point but probably won’t pick it in this contest. I’d love to see authors writing characters who deal with faith issues in an honest, well-written way.
  • NO horror, erotica, or paranormal (zombies, demons, vampires and their friends are all out) for me in this contest.
  • It’s all about character! If I can’t tell from your query & pages who your character is as a person and what they need/want, I probably won’t pick your entry.

What is your background in editing?

My B.A. in English Writing involved intensive training in advanced grammar and syntax, writing style, and fiction critiquing as well as internship experience in book editing. I’ve spent the last five years as a freelance editor, helping writers grow their stories through critiquing and editing manuscripts. I’m a three-time Pitch to Publication contest editor and a two-time #pg70pit judge, too—I love giving what I can to the writing community and forming relationships with great up-and-coming authors.

What can writers expect from working with you during the contest?

I will work with my chosen author through two in-depth critique passes tailored to their manuscript’s specific needs and what the author hopes to strengthen. You can expect plenty of email back and forth as you implement my feedback and as we polish your query letter and opening pages. Most importantly, though, you can expect me to love your story and devote myself to it as if it were my own.

What do you expect from writers during the contest revision process?

I expect my chosen author to be able to make the time to revise their manuscript based on my primary feedback on a very short turnaround—in just a week or two. This will leave us time to complete the second critique and the query/page revisions. Be available to answer email communication quickly, and be ready to show me why you love your story/what you want from it. I want to stay on the same page as you and help you achieve your goals and vision.

What hobbies do you have outside of writing and editing?

Reading! I also enjoy cooking, gardening, exploring Minnesota’s lovely state parks, borrowing my other people’s cats and dogs, and getting together to play games with friends.

What three books would you save in a dystopian future where libraries are banned?

This is hard! Am I saving fiction, nonfiction, poetry? To be honest, I’d probably cheat and create an anthology of my favorites in all three categories, because the world would be a sad place without them.

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