Happy April, Passionate Inkers! Let’s talk about critique and how to respond to it.

I was a screenwriter before transitioning to novels. For years, I uploaded my screenplays to a peer-review website called Triggerstreet, which was like Goodreads for unsold scripts. Since anyone could upload and most screenwriters are male, 95% of the users didn’t want to read romance. My rom-com scripts garnered brutally honest to scathing reviews.

When I was starting out, whenever I received negative feedback, my knee-jerk reaction was to write it off. I ignored notes about how my main character was stupid and unlikable. Because my MC was a woman, and the site was basically all-male, I believed the problem couldn’t be my writing—it was the sexist reviewers. 

There were some bad apples for sure, but it wasn’t until one of the best reviewers grabbed my script that I finally learned to listen. The average review was 300 words. Bob’s review was well over 5,000. He pointed out that—surprise!—my main character was stupid and unlikable, and showed me why. He pointed to scenes where the MC whined repeatedly. Asked if the MC made smart decisions when faced with choices. (Spoiler: she didn’t)

With new eyes and my ego in check, I reread the reviews . . . and it was a game changer. After many rounds of critique and rewrites, I had two rom-coms not only final in their contest—both went on to win.

Today, when I receive notes from my beta readers, I read through them and take a day to digest and think before reviewing a second time. I’m far more receptive on the second read-through, because I know what’s coming and I’ve had time to evaluate how to respond. 

I ask myself why I don’t like a note. Is it because it requires a lot of work and my lazy instinct is fighting back? Or perhaps a beta reader got something wrong? I try not to ignore that. I look to see where I could make that information clearer, so it doesn’t trip up another reader.

I’ve come a long way on taking feedback, but it’s something I still have to work on and improve. Of course, I don’t take every note. I trust my instincts when I’m not sure of something. No one knows my story better than I do—but I’d much rather hear about issues from my betas than in my reviews.

How about you? Do you have a critique partner or beta readers? Any tips for how you handle critique? Drop them in the Facebook group or tweet them at @PassionateInk!

Nikki Sloane
President, PIWAR

In This Issue:

  • 2019 Passionate Plume Update

  • 2019 Member Registration — We're Operational Again!!

  • Member New Releases

  • 10 Questions: Author Interviews

  • Member Resources

The 14th Annual
for Published Works of Erotic Romance

Finalists Coming Soon!

Watch for the finalists announcement on  May 15 on the Passionate Ink FB page and website. Winners will be announced on Monday, July 1.

Learn more about the Passionate Plume Contest here.

2019 Member Registration & Renewals
Important Information!

Passionate Ink has been granted a waiver to handle dues charges until they are able to fix their system.

NEXT STEPS - New Members

New members have been able to register starting March 16, 2019, at the reduced rate of $25 by going to our website - Memberships will be active through December 31, 2019.

**It’s important to note that this is a two-step process.**

  • One - you have to pay your dues through PayPal.
  • Two - you have to submit the membership form so we can register you properly across our member services.

NEXT STEPS - Existing Members

If you signed up in 2018, your membership will extend until December 31, 2019. You will get a reminder email to renew from RWA around December 1, 2019 prompting you to renew for 2020 at the normal rate.

  • Unlike prior years, we are moving into a calendar year format where memberships run from January to December.
  • January 2020 all dues will be $35.
Thank you again for your continued support and patience while we work diligently with RWA to get this process sorted out as soon as possible!

Member New Releases

Want to see your new release here? Send your title, release date, cover image (300 x 450 pixels, .JPG), a description of up to 100 words, and your author website URL to

Congratulations to the following Passionate Ink authors on their new releases!


Who Wants Forever

By Dena Garson
Release Date: April 30, 2019


A castle-turned-hotel rich in Irish history…And things that go bump in the night
After centuries of searching for his heartmate Amarande Maniaci signs up for the Bachelor Trials being held at Tullamore Castle by the Vampire Council of Lords in hopes that he’ll find a satisfactory mate. On the first night of the competition he spots a woman who sparks life in his long dead heart. No matter how much he tries to remain focused on his goal, he cannot fight his attraction to Reaghan. It is a shame she is human...or so he thinks…
When Reaghan’s cousin, the fae queen, asked her to travel to the human realm and find the daughter of one of the First Families, she hoped she could make it through the vampire clan meetings undetected and unscathed. She didn't count on being distracted by Amarande, the lethal, yet oh so sexy vampire enforcer. If only he wasn’t a vampire…
But the threat of another vampire-war war looms. If Reaghan doesn’t return in time with the information the queen needs, the three hundred year old peace treaty between the races could fail. But a fae disguised as a human, looking for a missing fae, without the use of her powers is a lot harder that it seems. Especially when someone doesn’t want news of the girl making its way back to the queen.
Reaghan and Amarande’s new found love may be the only thing standing between the real villain and a world on fire.


Runaway Love Story

By Sadira Stone
Release Date: June 24, 2019

Fierce passion or long-cherished dreams...she can't hang onto both.

Chasing a big-city art job, Laurel detours to Eugene, Oregon to help her spitfire great aunt into assisted living. While on a run, a tall, broad-shouldered hottie rescues her from harassers by pretending to be her boyfriend--with a kiss that makes her wish it were true. But she's only passing through.

Their fierce chemistry burns up the sheets—and the couch, the shower, the park. But Laurel can't stay in Eugene, and Doug can't leave. His only hope is to convince her those big-city lights have nothing on her inner sparkle


Her Desert Horseman

By Marie Tuhart
Release Date: April 15, 2019

Bobbie Anderson accepts a position in a Middle Eastern kingdom to help a troubled child. She finds  herself attracted to the prince on a perilous mission, Bobbie puts her trust in his hands, knowing her heart is in danger.

Rafi Al-Hakim takes matters into his own hands when internal forces threaten his family.  Falling for Bobbie, he's placed her in the greatest danger of all. 

Can Rafi save the woman he loves? Can Bobbie relinquish enough of herself to trust a man, and a life, which require her to give everything, heart and soul?

10 Questions: Author Interviews

It could be you!

Welcome to 10 Questions! Each month, we’re going to talk to a different member of Passionate Ink and ask them 10 questions about their writing and interests. And it could be you! We’re assembling the roster for the rest of the year, so...

If you’d like to participate in 10 Questions, please email



Member Resources

PI is only as strong as its members, so please make the most of your Chapter. Here are a few ways to get involved.

Network with published authors in your genre

Take advantage of a special PI, members-only benefit and join us on the Passionate Ink Forum. Share your news, meet with the movers and shakers of the genre, pitch your work directly to editors and agents, view special chats with experts in the field, and help us keep our community vibrant. 

Join our Facebook group

Join PI's members-only Facebook group, Passionate Inkers. Hang out and chat with us, share your successes, frustrations, tips, and tricks, and get to know your chapter!

Volunteer for our chapter!

There are several ways to volunteer, whether assisting with the Passionate Plume contest or helping us out at the PI Party at RWA’s annual conference. Please email to learn how you can help.
Copyright © 2019 Passionate Ink / RWA Chapter, All rights reserved.

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