2020 Annual Contest Editor ✓
2019 Annual Contest Editor ✓
Mini-Event Editor ✓
Elizabeth Buege is a Midwestern girl with a lifelong love of words. She could write her name when she was two, taught herself to read when she was four, and found by high school that people refused to play word games with her because she always won. After graduating with a B.A. in English writing and internship experience in book editing, she started her own editing business. She picked up some part-time teaching experience along the way, with three years teaching Spanish at a private school and four years teaching secondary writing classes for a local homeschool co-op. Elizabeth loves editing because it combines two of her favorite things: getting lost in books and helping people. When she’s not working, you can find her learning languages, gaming with friends, drinking tea, and making tasty messes in the kitchen.
Read carefully! My taste in books is wide and eclectic, but I’m a little quirky with my #RevPit requests. If you’re not sure whether your book fits my wish list, ask!
I want your book if ANY of the following are true:
- It’s magic realism (READ THIS FIRST!), historical fiction, or a faith-based story. These stories can be MG, YA, or A.
- It’s a story I begged to see more of after a mini event OR shortlisted in a previous contest (I highly recommend revising first). Genre/age category don’t matter here.
- It’s a character-driven story written for adults. I tend to favor fantasy, science fiction, contemporary, and the genres mentioned above, but I’ll consider other genres as long as (a) the MC has compelling internal and external struggles/journeys, (b) you know and use your genre well, and (c) you don’t send me the auto-no stories below.
- BONUS POINTS: Your story fits one of the above categories AND one of the following themes: strong friendships, family bonds (especially siblings), characters dealing with the aftermath of loss/tragedy, and retellings of fairy tales and other classic stories.
- I will also consider MG and YA stories that meet at least two of the four bonus points.
What I’m NOT taking:
- Horror, straight-up paranormal (some elements okay in other genres), zombies, demons as main characters, or anything overly disturbing (Let’s just say season 3 of Stranger Things crossed my grossness line).
- Romance as a sole genre (but I DO enjoy romance as an element in other genres).
- YA and MG that doesn’t fit one of the first two bullet points above OR multiple bonus points (I love books for younger readers, but so do several other editors in this contest!)
How can a manuscript’s first five pages make you sit up and take notice?
The biggest factor is the hardest to quantify: it’s the author’s voice. I get really excited when I read a story where the author writes in a way that feels natural, engaging, and well-developed in terms of style, sentence structure, and basic scene pacing. I also feel most drawn into stories where the opening pages give me a good sense of who the main character is and what they want out of life.
What can writers expect from working with you during #RevPit, including communication?
My first pass through your book will involve a full edit letter (the same one I do for critiques) as well as developmental comments throughout the manuscript. After you make revisions, I’ll make another full pass through the manuscript, focusing feedback on whatever your story still needs. I’ll also block out time near the end of the process for multiple passes through your query letter and opening pages. I’ll be available by email throughout the entire process and always ready to bounce ideas back and forth.
What do you expect from writers during the #RevPit revision process, including communication?
Be ready and able to make major revisions in short windows of time. If I pick your story, it means it’s a good story and that I love it, but that love is going to look like tough love. I’ll be challenging you to deepen characterization and clarify plot elements in situations where there’s not always a “right” way to do so, so you should be ready to think through solutions. The more revisions you make after my first pass, the more constructive the second pass will be. Likewise, the sooner you can get back to me with query/page updates, the more time we’ll have for multiple passes on those materials.
What hobbies do you have outside of writing and editing?
In no particular order, here are some of my loves: I love photography, state parks, and combining the two. I love making huge messes in the kitchen as I experiment with new recipes, with bonus points if the ingredients came from my friends at the local farmer’s market. I love dancing and singing to my favorite songs when nobody is around. I love games, whether tabletop or video games. My nerdiest obsession remains Minecraft, which has been an insanely abundant fountain of creativity and community for me.
What is your favorite book to reread, and why?
I have a long list of children’s books that fit this question! I’ll pick two novels instead. The two novels I’ve reread the most are Robin McKinley’s Spindle’s End and Matthew Stover’s novelization of Revenge of the Sith. Spindle’s End is a Sleeping Beauty retelling that I read five times within a week of bringing it home as a kid, and I still love the living, breathing characters and long, flowing sentences that help me live in the magic of that world. Revenge of the Sith fills in all the plot holes of the movie and paints a picture of a struggle between good and evil, light and dark that’s full of politics, what-ifs, and broken characters facing impossible decisions. Both of these books transport me to other times and places and have become a part of who I am as a reader and a person.