Manuscript Critique

Craft-focused critiques for complete manuscripts, short stories, and unfinished works-in-progress

The first goal of our manuscript critique services is to provide candid, constructive, and thorough feedback on your manuscript’s condition and its literary and commercial potential. The idea isn’t to callously judge a work or its writer but to give you a professional book editor’s perspective on what works, what doesn’t work or could work better, and what you might consider doing to give your manuscript the best chance of marketplace success. This feedback helps inform your revision process and bring clarity to specific goals and objectives intended to improve the quality of your story and its writing.

The second goal of these services is to assess your manuscript’s editorial needs and what kind of further help, if any, would be most beneficial after you’ve revised with your editor’s feedback in mind. Once we’ve read your manuscript, provided written feedback, and discussed that with you by phone or email, you’ll have a much better sense of where your work stands in relation to relevant industry standards, what you need to work on, and what editorial course may be appropriate.

Looking for a critique of a screenplay, adaptation, or treatment? Please click visit our screenplay and adaptation services portal.

Our most popular manuscript critique services include:

Written assessment of your manuscript’s first 10 pages, addressing craft, market, and overall effectiveness. Includes follow-up consultation with your editor by phone or email.

$75 for first 2,500 words

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Editorial memo assessing commercial and literary potential, overall condition of your manuscript, and areas for improvement. Includes follow-up consultation with your editor by phone or email.

$.01 per word for most manuscripts

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A hybrid of manuscript critique, developmental editing, and revision guidance via editorial memorandum and margin comments in manuscript text.

$.014 per word for most manuscripts

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“A query letter is really a sales letter without the hype.” It should show that you have our market in mind, indicate the kind of color and life you can bring to your subject, and represent your best writing efforts.”

Lisel Eisenhemer, Editor