CPiversary! (Or: A Thank You Letter to Susan Dennard)

Dear Susan,

Last year, I was stuck. I had just broken up with someone I loved. I was miserable. And previously, I had always been able to turn to my writing as a place of comfort but last February, I hadn't written anything but fanfiction for months. Don't get me wrong. I love fanfiction and still write it. Fandom's near and dear to my heart. But it doesn't feel like going home the way writing something of my own does.

I restarted this blog. I made a Twitter and a Tumblr. I said, this year was going to be my year. And on Twitter, I discovered your #BAMFWordBattle hashtag and word sprints. And through them, I've found some of the most important people in my life. Christina, Leigh, KrystalBecka, and Bekah have been my critique partners for one year today.

My critique partners have helped me fix plot holes and played twenty questions about queries and pitch contests and agents and genre decisions. They’ve read a dozen projects I’ve shelved, and four I’ve finished. They’ve helped me become a stronger writer, and a better reader from my experience as a critique partner for them.

But more than that, today is the one year anniversary of finding five women who are strong, smart, talented, stubborn, beautiful, and lovely, and my friends. They have been the holder of feels, the giver of tissues, and the inbox waiting to listen to real life and fictional drama. They’ve been the cheerleaders for characters, and the champions of me, as a person as much as a writer.

Since becoming critique partners through your #BAMFWordBattle, we wrote 1,398,371 words of fiction total between the six of us. Nearly 1.4 million new, amazing, fantastic words came out of this partnership. Three of us are querying. One of us finished writing a book for the first time in her life because of this group. One of us is finally calling herself a writer without shame.

So thank you for bringing us together. And here’s to millions of new words in the years to come.

All my gratitude,