Manuscript Critiques

Are you interested in a manuscript critique? Wonderful! Seeking specific feedback and support from a trained writing coach is one of the best ways to expedite the learning process from idea to publication.

My response to manuscripts draws upon extensive experience as a writer of award-winning books, a teacher of writing, and a writing consultant/editor for many organizations. Here are just some of the critique experiences that have reinforced my love for helping writers to understand their strengths and their needs, and to determine next steps:

  • First reader for editor Melanie Kroupa (then at Orchard books)

  • Editor of the Seal Island series for Macmillan books

  • Instructor for Writing Novels for Young People at Vermont College

  • Instructor for Whole Novel Workshop at Highlights Foundation

  • Instructor at Whispering Pines (SCBWI New England)

What you can expect

I will read your story twice. The first time, I’ll read from that place in me that’s still a child.  I will fling myself into the story wholeheartedly and enjoy the ride. The second time, I will read to ensure that your intentions meet execution.   I will analyze your character development, plot, tension, and voice. 

My written response (typically around five pages for a full novel, two pages for a partial – as well as marginal notes within the manuscript) will pinpoint specific areas for revision, and provide concrete suggestions. My recommendations are intended to not only serve the novel at hand, but all of your future work as well. (Think of the critique as a course designed just for you.)

"Jennifer provided a full manuscript critique for my novel-in-progress and it completely invigorated me. She pointed out the strengths and honed in on problem areas. Then she offered spot-on suggestions on how to fix them. Jennifer has keen insight and a gentle manner. I’m astounded and incredibly pleased with the results – she helped me dig deeper to the truth, to the core of my story in a way I might have never been able to without her guidance and wisdom. I highly recommend her services to anyone who wants to truly get to a deeper and better place in their manuscript."

Debbi Michiko Florence, author of Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen and Jasmine Toguchi, Super Sleuth (FSG/July 11, 2017)

I first met Jennifer at Highlights Whole Novel Workshop. During that retreat, she helped me so much with revision of one of my novels that I later used her critique service for a second and then a third novel. I knew there were problems with my novels, but I couldn't figure out what wasn't working. Jennifer was able to shine a light on the problem areas and suggest fixes. I recently signed with an agent for one of those novels. 

Shelley Jones Clark represented by Erzi Deak at Hen and Ink

Jennifer is someone to trust. I knew my novel was missing something but I couldn’t identify it. With skilled feedback on the overall picture as well as small line edits, my book began to fly after her critique. I can’t recommend her services enough. She can help you wherever you are in your process.

Cate Berry author of Penguin and Tiny Shrimp Don’t Do Bedtime! and the upcoming Chicken Break.


Whole Novel Critique: This critique provides a thorough examination of your novel — what’s working and what’s not — and a plan for the next draft.   I encourage a follow-up call or email exchange (your choice) for further clarity and support.  I’m also happy to read up to ten new pages to see if you’re on the right track. Price: $1,000 for the first 65,000 words, $200.00 for every 5,000 words after. (Critiques for chapter books or beginning readers under 20,000 words are $500 – $750.)

Partial Critique: If you’re starting a new novel and want to make sure you’re heading in the right direction, I recommend this critique.  We will test your story idea and explore your plan for execution.  A partial critique can save a writer years of writing and revision. Price: $250 for a full synopsis and first twenty pages (industry standard).

Global Critique: Perhaps you’ve written a draft (good for you!) and are ready to plunge into revision, but can’t afford a whole novel critique.  That’s okay.  By reading your synopsis, your first two chapters and your last two chapters, I can provide a good deal of guidance on story structure, voice, and characterization.  Price: $500.

Let’s Meet Critique: Not sure if we’re a good match?  Feel free to submit your first 10 pages to test the waters. Price: $50. (The cost will be applied to a longer critique.)

Mentorship: I am happy to work with you as you write. $350 for each submission of up to 20,000 words.  (Minimum of three sessions required.)

Don’t see the critique that works for you? Tell me what you need.  I’m happy to customize.

If interested in a critique, please contact me.