I am now offering manuscript critiques for #writers, specializing in #kidlit and #YAlit novels

I now offer manuscript critiques for writers, specializing in YA and middle grade novels, as well as adult suspense and thrillers.

I think it’s important to receive honest feedback and real encouragement about your writing. I know that I’ve needed to hear the positives about my own writing before I’ve heard what isn’t working. I will point out things that I like and that are working in your manuscript, as well as things that I think need more work, and why (in my opinion), as well as what may be missing. I believe that getting honest feedback from other, experienced writers helps improve your work and get it closer to a publishable level faster.

I am a multi-published YA author, with five books traditionally published and one self-published; I have an editing certificate from George Brown College in Toronto; and I have critiqued manuscripts for my writing peers for more than 14 years.

If you want feedback to make your work better, check out what I can offer and my fees.

Strong Positive-Message T-Shirts, Hoodies, Notebooks, and more now available. #Survivors are strong. #MeToo #TimesUp

I’m happy to announce that my t-shirts and hoodies are now available available for sale with no minimum at Threadless.

The three designs:

  • You Are Stronger Than You Know;
  • Sometimes You Have To Be Your Own Hero; and
  • You Don’t Deserve To Be Hurt, Not By Anyone – Not Even Yourself
are available with or without the added hashtags #MeToo #TimesUp on many products with no minimum order at Threadless, including notebooks, water bottles, pencil cases, and more, and of course T-shirts and hoodies.

If you’ve read my books or seen me on social media you’ll know that I write about strong-girl (and emotionally strong boy) characters, and that I draw deeply on my own trauma and healing. I had to save myself over and over again until I was finally safe, and I had to draw on my own strength to survive. I believe we are often much stronger than we think we are, and sometimes we don’t know just how strong we are until we’re faced with painful situations where we have to draw on our own strength to cope. I also believe that sometimes we just have to tell the right person, and keep on telling until we are heard, in order to get help.

You ARE strong. Remind yourself or let someone you love know you believe in them.

Think teens should be able to read #LGBTQ fiction? Please support this #YA queer anthology

I think it’s SO important to get #LGBTQ fiction into teens’ hands, to help queer teens see reflections of themselves and know that they are not alone, and they are okay just as they are.

If you agree, PLEASE consider pledging your support to a #LGBTQ fantasy/magic YA anthology on Kickstarter that I have a piece in. You can pledge as little as $1 to show your support. 10 out of the 12 stories have queer main characters.

This project needs to be fully funded in order to become a reality, and it is only half funded!

If you pledge $10 you get an ebook copy when the anthology comes out, pledge $25 and you get the ebook and physical copy of the book.

My short story “Protection” has a lesbian with magical powers who faces a bully.You can read an excerpt.

Kirkus’ review of Jennifer Mathieu’s MOXIE makes me want to buy it all the more.

We need books that support and *believe* rape survivors, and that fight back against misogyny and rape culture. And teen characters taking things into their own hands is part of what #YAlit books are supposed to do – have main characters who take their own actions. YA fiction is FICTION – and MOXIE sounds empowering. As a rape and torture survivor, as a feminist, as a woman who stands up against rape culture and misogyny, I can’t wait to read it!

Read the review for yourself and see. MOXIE is on my to-buy list.

If you want to reserve a copy of MOXIE, too, find it on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble in the US, and Amazon.ca and Indigo in Canada. And don’t forget about your local indie bookstore who will order it in for you!

Help get #LGBTQ fiction into teens’ hands! Support this queer anthology on Kickstarter.

Help get #LGBTQ fiction into teens’ hands! Support this kickstarter and for a $10 pledge you will get an ebook copy when the anthology comes out, a $25 pledge will get you an ebook and physical copy of the book when it comes out. You can pledge as little as $1 just to show your support, or a bigger donation if you like. 10 of the 12 stories have queer main characters, including the lesbian with magical powers in my short story “Protection.” You can read an excerpt from my short story here. We only have 22 days to reach our goal and we need your help!

Happy Pride!

Thanks to everyone who signed the petition, pro-rape Rep Fisher resigned! A step forward against misogyny, rape, and hatred.

Such wonderful, wonderful news! UltraViolet and each of you who signed the petition to remove pro-rape Rep Robert Fisher from office helped make it happen! Rep Robert Fisher was caught secretly running a pro-rape online forum from office. Yesterday he resigned amidst pressure from UltraViolet, their allies, and everyone who signed the petition.

UltraViolet does incredible work to fight against misogyny, sexism, rape, and hatred, so if you’d like to support them and can donate a little, please do.

Here’s what UltraViolet did to stop rape promoter Rep. Fisher:

Over 42,000 UltraViolet members and supporters signed a petition calling on the New Hampshire Legislature to reject the promotion of violence against women and to expel Rep. Fisher.
We put in calls to the chair of the key House committee to pressure him to oust Rep. Fisher.

UltraViolet members in New Hampshire joined Action Together NH, Granite State Progress, and Rep. Debra Altschiller for a rally yesterday morning to demand Rep. Fisher get kicked out of the legislature.

Every time we get a rape promoter to leave office or get a sexual predator fired, we are changing our culture for the better. We are setting an example for other powerful men that they won’t get away with demeaning and violating women without consequences.

Fighting against hatred with petitions and positive action really do make a difference!

Thank you for helping make the world kinder and safer, and helping fight against misogyny, hatred, sexism, and rape.

Need some uplifting sweetness? Check out this video

If you need some uplifting sweetness and good feeling, check out this beautiful photo compilation of two dogs who love their baby brother. It made me smile; I hope it does you, too.

If you’re feeling afraid, sad, or overwhelmed since Trump was elected, here are some things you can do to help

I received an email from a reader who is lesbian and who used to self-harm (so may also be a survivor) telling me how terrified she was since Trump got elected, and hearing how his vice president wants to attack the rights of the LGBTQ community, and asking for help in getting through. That reader is not alone in her fear and pain. I’ve seen it in so many of my friends, online and in person, and I’ve felt it myself. As a lesbian feminist who is also a rape, incest, and torture survivor whose parents were part of cults, so many of the things Trump said and stands for hit me hard. SO I thought I’d share my letter to her, suggestions on how to combat our fear and devastation and actually make a positive difference – not only for ourselves but for others:


Hi (name removed for privacy) (smiling at you),

First, I am so proud of you for not self-harming in two years! That is a huge accomplishment, something that takes strength and courage. Please keep yourself safe, and don’t hurt yourself if you can. You do not deserve to be hurt, not ever, not even be yourself. If you need to, read my Reasons Not To Hurt Yourself, Alternatives to Self-Harm , How To Stop Self-Harming , or What To Do When You Feel Like Hurting Yourself.

I am glad you’re out and proud! I know it’s not always easy, especially when there’s a lot of homophobia around, but I think that’s important – for ourselves, to be healthy and happy and truly live, and for the people around us, both queer and straight, to see that we are here, and also especially for the young LGBTQ community so they know that they’re not alone.

I think it’s so important to keep surrounding yourself with other people in the LGBTQ community and our allies, so that you get support and know you’re not alone. You can do that in person, and also online.

I’m so sorry you’re having a rough time since Trump’s been elected. I really understand it. Trump has so much hate and bigotry and discriminates against so many people, including the LGBTQ community. Just know that you are not alone in feeling terrified and sad. I’ve seen SO many people respond this way. And even though I’m in Canada, I felt devastated and so very afraid on hearing the news. But I also think there’s a lot we can do to fight back AND to feel better.

Keep filling yourself up with positive stories, and also with stories that let you know that you’re not alone, and that you are healthy and good the way you are – such as LGBTQ books or books with queer characters in them, as well as TV shows, movies, songs, and news stories – and share your favorites with others.

It helps to know you’re not in this alone, and to talk to others. I am so glad to hear you have a supportive family and community; that can help a lot.

I also think it’s really important to feel and express our emotions, so you did something great in getting it out and writing about it!

And I think it’s good to not stay in the fear, or at least to reduce it, if you can. So here are a few suggestions:

For immediate reduction of fear and stress, it can help to:

  • Use Positive Distraction: watch a movie or show you love; read a favorite book or a new one; color in an adult coloring book; watch funny or cute animal videos on YouTube; dance or sing to feel-good music; draw or doodle. It’s okay to escape for a little while;
  • Do Something That Makes You Feel Good or Comforted: have a bubble bath; hug a friend; pat your dog or cat; indulge in a comfort food; eat something healthy; listen to feel-good or happy music; curl up under a cozy blanket and read a book or comic; inhale some calming or uplifting essential oils (lavender is good for calming, citrus oils are good for uplifting the mood);

  • Release Your Emotion Safely: talk to someone you trust; draw or paint or make some art; do something active such as going for a run or playing a sport; scream into your pillow (it can be very cathartic and no one can hear you); punch a pillow;

  • Ground Yourself In the Present: talk a walk in nature or outside and notice the beauty around you; plant your feet firmly on the ground and feel the ground beneath you; notice something from each of your senses.

For long term, it can help to do something positive to help combat Trump’s (and all bigots’ and hate-filled people’s) effect, such as:

  • sign the Change.org petition to ask the electoral college to make Hilary Clinton president on December 19th. It already has more than 3 million signatures;
  • volunteer at an organization already doing good for the LGBTQ community, immigrants or Muslims; rape and sexual abuse survivors; people of color; women’s rights; homeless people; poor people; mental health; or whatever feels best;

  • donate to one or many of those organizations if you can. Some suggestions are the Trevor Project (support for in crisis or suicidal LGBTQ youth); Planned Parrenthood (women’s health and rights); RAINN (support and advocacy for rape and sexual assault survivors); UltraViolet (fight for all oppressed people’s rights with a focus on women, and against Trump’s actions ); ACLU (fights for the rights of every person in the US (so, against Trump’s discrimination); Black Lives Matter (fighting against violence and systemic racism); Human Rights Commission (fight for LGBTQ rights); Trans Lifeline (a crisis and support line for trans people); Women’s Refugee Commission (helping refugee women and children); Showing Up for Racial Justice; National Coalition Against Domestic Violence; your local rape crisis center or LGBTQ community center; etc.
    There’s also a list of great organizations that help with sexual assault here, and many, many more fantastic organizations for support and advocacy for all people who need it here and here.
  • Sign petitions against Trump’s hate-filled or damaging actions, or any person or company’s hate-filled or damaging actions, such as at UltraViolet and Care2Causes. I believe petitions can make a positive difference. I’ve seen results reported on many. It can also help to share those petitions online or with others.
  • safetypin-myhand-900

  • Wear a safety pin on your clothes to show that you will stand with and support any person or group being discriminated against or bullied, especially those that Trump has targeted and who might now be afraid, such as Muslim, LGBTQ, people of color, women, etc. This means you are a safe person, an ally, and if you see them being bullied or harassed you will help, or they can come talk to you. You can see many inspiring posts on social media by searching the hashtag #safetypin (and realize you’re not alone), and read more about it here. It was first started in the UK after the Brexit vote when immigrants and other minorities were being threatened and harassed.
  • Keep putting kindness, compassion, and goodness into the world in your own ways. Sometimes something as little as a smile or a bit of real praise, a listening ear, or a hug can make a huge difference in someone’s life. And posting on social media can reach many. I try to do all those things, and keep writing books that deal with oppression and overcoming that oppression with healing and support.

We have fought so long and hard for our rights, and we’re not done fighting.

Know that the entire world will be watching what Trump and the new vice president do, especially to the LGBTQ community, people of color, Muslims, women – all the groups he targets. If the Trump government tries to take away any rights, we will all be outraged and appalled. We will all speak out, and I believe we are stronger together. You are not alone.

I hope this helps!

Please take good care of yourself,
Hugs, Cheryl Rainfield

An important free downloadable kit on abusive relationships based on the #MaybeHeDoesntHitYou tweets

#Teachers, youth centres, and anyone working with teens or #domesticabuse survivors: You can download a free, print-ready kit on abusive relationships made from #MaybeHeDoesntHitYou. Artist Maya Drozdz collected the tweets and designed the kit to help spread awareness about unhealthy relationship dynamics. The kit that contains bookmarks, a poster and flier with tear-off slips containing different #MaybeHeDoesntHitYou tweets. The 11-by-17-inch poster lists statistics about domestic abuse and provides a website and phone number for the United States’ National Domestic Violence Hotline. It looks like an important resource on abusive relationships, and helping teens (and adults) recognize emotional abuse, manipulation, and control.

You can download the kit for free here


You can read more about it here

The Setting Thesaurus Books Are Here: Help Becca And Angela Celebrate With Rock The Vault!

I love Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi’s thesaurus books for writers. I think they help us when we’re stuck, remind us to use all our senses and find just the right descriptions, and prompt us to dig digger. So I was excited to hear that they have two new books out: The Urban Setting Thesaurus and The Rural Setting Thesaurus. And they’re celebrating with prizes! Read this guest post by Angela and Becca for more info. And if you haven’t already tried one of their books, I suggest you do. They are great tools for your writer’s toolkit.

There’s nothing better than becoming lost within the story world within minutes of starting a book. And as writers, this is what we’re striving to do: pull the reader in, pull them down deep into the words, make them feel like they are experiencing the story right alongside the hero or heroine.

A big part of achieving this is showing the character’s surroundings in a way that is textured and rich, delivering this description through a filter of emotion and mood. It means we have to be careful with each word we choose, and describe the setting in such a way that each sight, sound, taste, texture, and smell comes alive for readers. This is no easy task, especially since it is so easy to overdo it—killing the pace, slowing the action, and worst of all, boring the reader. So how can we create a true unique experience for readers and make them feel part of the action while avoiding descriptive missteps that will hurt the story?

writershelpingwriters_logo_300x300px_finalWell, there’s some good news on this front. Two new books have released this week that may change the description game for writers. The Urban Setting Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to City Spaces and The Rural Setting Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Personal and Natural Spaces look at the sights, smells, tastes, textures, and sounds that a character might experience within 225 different contemporary settings. And this is only the start of what these books offer writers.

In fact, swing by and check out this hidden entry from the Urban Setting Thesaurus:Antiques Shop.

And there’s one more thing you might want to know more about….

Rock_The_Vault_WHW1Becca and Angela, authors of The Emotion Thesaurus, are celebrating their double release with a fun event going on from June 13-20th called ROCK THE VAULT. At the heart of Writers Helping Writers is a tremendous vault, and these two ladies have been hoarding prizes of epic writerly proportions.

A safe full of prizes, ripe for the taking…if the writing community can work together to unlock it, of course.

Ready to do your part? Stop by Writers Helping Writers to find out more!

Love my books? Here's how to help!

Reasons Not To Hurt Yourself

Reasons Not To Kill Yourself. If You're Thinking of Suicide...

Tips On Dealing With Self-Harm

10 Ways To Improve Your Body Image And Feel Better About Your Body

Girls Are Strong (And Boys Are, Too). 17 Ways To Be Strong

Writing Technique Books I Recommend

Writing Technique Books & Online Courses I recommend by Holly Lisle

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