///Introductory Critique
Introductory Critique 2018-03-09T16:18:22+00:00

Introductory Critique

Written assessment of your manuscript’s first 10 pages, addressing craft, market, and overall effectiveness

The Editorial Department’s introductory critique provides a fast, affordable means for writers to get vital feedback on the pages that matter most: your opening. Our experienced fiction and nonfiction editors know what agents and publishers want and will provide a detailed, written critique of your opening, a candid assessment of whether or not your work is ready for the marketplace, and specific suggestions to make your opening more captivating. Included in the price is a brief follow-up consultation by phone or email, so you can ask questions, discuss ideas, and plan next steps.

Please note that this service is available for novels, novellas, and narrative nonfiction only, with a projected final word count over 15,000. Authors interested in critiques of shorter works, such as stories, essays, and flash fiction, should contact the Tucson office.

The written component of the introductory critique is an editorial memo, from an editor experienced in your genre, which usually ranges between 2–3 pages in length and breaks down the following:

  • what works
  • what doesn’t work or could work better
  • specific suggestions to improve the pages
  • ideas for next steps, if you’d like further help with more of the manuscript
  • your editor’s overall impression of the condition of your opening and where it stands relative to the genre’s expectations and conventions

This memo will be delivered to you as a Microsoft Word document, with an invitation for you to follow up with your editor by phone or email, so you can discuss the comments, ask questions, plan next steps, and so on. This follow-up consultation is included in the price.

Jonathan Balcombe
Favorite genres include science, nature, history, memoir, social sciences, travel, and narrative nonfiction
Renni Browne
Favorite genres include memoir, southern fiction, mystery/suspense, and character driven literary or mainstream fiction
Marcia Ford
Favorite genres include memoir, multi cultural fiction, literary fiction, thrillers, and thoughtful works on religion and spirituality
Karinya Funsett-Topping
Favorite genres include literary fiction, romance, short stories, essays, and stories involving animals or magic realism
Peter Gelfan
Favorite genres include memoir, literary fiction, mainstream fiction, humor and satire, thrillers, science, and philosophy
Lindsay Guzzardo
Favorite genres include contemporary women's fiction, romance, literary fiction, mainstream fiction, and historical fiction
John Robert Marlow
Favorite genres include thrillers, mystery/suspense, action/adventure, middle grade and YA fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and true crime
Julie Miller
Favorite genres include memoir, literary fiction, thrillers, and books involving ecology, nature, animals, and the environment
Brian Preston
Favorite genres include humor and satire, memoir, travel, and historical fiction and nonfiction
Shannon Roberts
Favorite genres include science fiction, fantasy, middle grade and YA fiction, mystery/suspense, LGBTQ, and social science
Betsy Tice White
Favorite genres include crime, literary fiction, mainstream fiction, mystery/suspense, thrillers, and true crime

An introductory critique is $75 for up to 2,500 words. Pricing for longer samples of any length available on request.

Turnaround time for introductory critiques is usually less than 1 week.

To request a quote, make a submission, or request more information 

Please visit our online welcome center, email us at admin@editorialdepartment.com, or call us at (520) 546-9992.

What happens next?

All inquiries to The Editorial Department will be personally fielded by author services director Ross Browne, who will do the following:

  • confirm receipt of your materials
  • gather any further information needed
  • do a no-cost/no-obligation preliminary review, to get a feel for which editor(s) and service(s) best fit your project’s needs
  • provide a written quote with price and turnaround time for any recommended services
  • answer any questions about recommended options or possible alternatives
  • schedule your project with the assigned editor, if you decide to move forward
  • explain and finalize the appropriate billing arrangements
  • provide a firm delivery date and keep you updated on our progress, as appropriate
  • deliver your feedback or editing to you once it’s ready
  • arrange for follow up with your editor by phone or email, once you have reviewed your feedback and/or editing
  • advise on next steps, and schedule reviews of new drafts if requested

Privacy & Confidentiality

We have utmost respect for our clients’ privacy concerns and will never sell, share, or disseminate your contact information. We will treat all materials supplied to us as confidential.

Formal nondisclosure agreements are not required but are available on request. More info is available here.

“The mystique and the false glamour of the writing profession grow partly out of a mistaken belief that people who can express profound ideas and emotions have ideas and emotions more profound than the rest of us. It isn’t so. The ability to express is a special gift with a special craft to support it and is spread fairly equally among the profound, the shallow, and the mediocre.”

Janet Burroway