Need some help polishing a manuscript? Not sure if that query letter will snag an editor’s or agent’s attention? Maybe a professional critique will help.
I critique board book and picture book manuscripts and query letters.
Do you write in rhyme? Great! I can critique that. But if you’re a beginning writer, first take a look at:
- Renee LaTulippe’s Lyrical Language Lab YouTube channel, which is packed with mini poetry lessons
- Josh Funk’s books and website specifically Lesson #8 and Lesson #9
- Jane Yolen’s poetic books, especially the “How Do Dinosaurs…” books. By the way, many of her picture books are free verse poems. Type out the text and see!
- Matt Forrest Esenwine’s books
- Julie Fogliano’s books
My critique of your work is based on my knowledge of the craft and industry and my 25+ years of writing experience. When I first became interested in writing for kids in the 1990s, I joined a monthly critique group and attended religiously, even though, because of other life demands, I had only occasional opportunities for kidlit writing until 2012. I learned so much about craft by listening to critiques from Jane Yolen, who led the group for many years, and my critique partners, many of whom are now acclaimed authors. I’m currently a co-leader of that group.
I also lead a weekly critique group of writers of all genres, am a member of an online picture book critique group, and serve as moderator of Query Corner (as well as other sections) on Julie Hedlund’s online forum for 12×12 Picture Book Challenge members.
My critiques are tough, but fair. I’ll let you know what, in my opinion, works and doesn’t work. I provide positive feedback, of course, but I don’t hold back on constructive criticism, because I don’t want to waste your time or mine. I assume, if you’re serious about your work, neither do you.
I use the Track Changes feature of MSWord to critique your manuscript—from the point of view of reader as well as writer. I also include my overall thoughts. I may recommend resources for you or books to read as mentor texts. If I know of a book with a story/plotline/idea similar to yours, I’ll let you know.
If you don’t understand a comment I’ve made, simply email me for clarification.
Before sending anything for critique
Contact me to:
- check my availability,
- provide me with a brief description—what you’re requesting, the genre and word count, a brief story overview, and what about your manuscript, if anything, makes you snarly,
- provide any details you think I may need to know so I can determine if the project is right for me and if my help would benefit you, and
- ask me any questions you may have.
Please read these guidelines thoroughly before submitting.
After your request for critique has been approved, submit your manuscript in standard manuscript format (as you would submit to an editor or agent).
Submit your manuscript or query letter via email (using the address I’ll give you when you check my availability) as an MSWord document attachment.
For query letter critiques, please also attach your manuscript as an MSWord document or PDF file. I won’t know if your pitch is spot on unless I know your story.
Picture books: $
125 * SALE! Save $15!
Regular price now thru 6/21/23: $110.
Client discounted price now thru 6/21/23: $95.
Pay by 6/21/23. Submit manuscript by 8/21/23.
Query letters: $85
*Client Discount! Picture book critiques are only $110 each after you’ve paid full price for two.
Payment is by PayPal and payable in full with your submission.
Critiques are usually completed within two weeks after payment and manuscript/letter have been received, depending on my workload and/or other circumstances.