Query & Submission Packet Evaluation

Critique and revision guidance on your query letter, synopsis, and first 50 manuscript pages

Frustrated by a lack of positive response to your query letter? Want to make sure your submission materials are in the best shape possible before submitting your manuscript to agents and publishers? Puzzled by form rejections that don’t give you any indication of why people are passing on your manuscript?

Many editors on our staff have or do still work as agents or acquisitions editors and bring an insider’s perspective to their review and evaluation of author submission materials.

Consideration from a literary agent or publisher almost always involves a query letter, and in many cases they’ll want to see a synopsis and sample pages before requesting a full manuscript. The Editorial Department’s query and submissions packet evaluation provides expert critical analysis of the three components of a typical submission (query, synopsis, and first 50 manuscript pages), all based on the insights and knowledge gleaned from 35 years of success in placing our clients’ best manuscripts with literary agents. We’ll provide a candid critique of your materials and clear recommendations to improve your pitch, so you can make the best impression possible.

Although we can’t anticipate every reviewer’s subjective tastes and preferences, we can help you avoid many of the mistakes writers often make with their submission materials, by advising on any issues that should be addressed before you begin or continue the submissions process.

The evaluation includes a critique and analysis of the three most important components of an introductory submission to most literary agents and publishers. We’ll evaluate your sample’s readiness for the marketplace, with attention to content, style, commercial appeal, and overall presentation, and also provide suggestions as to what will give your submission the best odds of a positive reception.

Jocelyn Bailey
Ross Browne
Karinya Funsett-Topping
John Marlow
Sean Fletcher

The query and submission packet evaluation costs $250, which covers review of sample material of up to 12,500 words, a synopsis of up to 1,250 words, and a typical 1-page query letter. Also, up to a half-hour of followup via phone or email is included in the cost.

Looking for feedback for materials of a different length? Custom packages are available on request. Please contact the Tucson office for more information.

Turnaround time for a query and submission packet evaluation is typically less than 3 weeks.

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