I offer respectful and thorough review for poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, and I’m happy to respond to smaller projects, like a chapter, a group of poems, or a query letter. If you have a finished first draft, you might do well to engage me for the opening pages–an opportunity to try on the shoes before you walk out of the shop in them.
I’ve worked with professionals as well as new writers. Currently, most of my work is prepping post grad MFA projects for agent submissions (fiction, non-fiction,) and national contests (poetry). Authors with whom I’ve collaborated, both poets and prose writers, have sold their manuscripts and won prizes. Longer journalistic pieces have been subsequently published in the L A Times and Boston Globe.
My initial evaluation is free, and after that I charge $60 per hour.
The following discussion is included to give you a general idea of how many hours your project might require.
An average length novel, say 80,000 words, will minimally take 10-12 hours to read and assess, and another several hours to formulate a detailed summary letter, which would include comments on plot, characters, setting, point of view, narrative architecture, pacing, and a project’s strengths and problems. A closer reading of the same text, almost always advisable, including margin comments and line editing as well as a detailed summary letter, could require 25-35 hours. A densely worded literary novel will take more time; a young adult novel could take less. The range is broad. Projects can take more than 60 hours, or require more than one round.
An average length poetry manuscript, about 65 pages of average accessibility, might need 10-12 hours to review closely. My response would be likely to include comments on word choice, line order, line breaks, the balance of transparency and mystery, syntactical and grammatical choices, order of information, poem titles and how they impact the poem. Again, the time will depend on the amount of commentary elicited.
The state of a manuscript will direct which level of response is most appropriate. A fiction manuscript with grammatical problems might benefit from a detailed line edit of the first 5-20 pages, giving the author a chance to work on the rest before enlisting a longer evaluation. A half-finished manuscript, a common dilemma, often profits from a quick read, with responses defining its merits and weaknesses, and a conversation about how to continue, including questions and ideas to help the work to its next phase. Since this varies, what best suits the circumstance will be discussed in the initial conversation.
I can help, whether you’re struggling with narrative arc or looking to notch up the sophistication of your poetry. Send me an email about yourself and your work. Include a writing sample of any length. I’d love to hear from you. firstname.lastname@example.org