CRITIQUE SERVICE

Critique Service by Miranda Paul

This page supplies information about my fee-based, professional critique service for children's picture books, short stories, and non-fiction pieces.  For information about Rate Your Story, a free "first-step" in obtaining a professional opinion and comments on your manuscript, please visit the Rate Your Story website to get a free rating from a published writer.

About Me
It wasn't that long ago that I was on my quest to obtain an agent and sell my first manuscripts. But my hard work, research, respect for the craft, and positive outlook led me to getting published in magazines and newspapers, work-for-hire and digital markets, and ultimately landing a fantastic agent and making sales to traditional publishing houses despite today's crowded market.

In short, I knows what writers are going through because, well, I am a writer. If your writing is intended for children ages 16 and younger, I may be able to help you.

I've already helped many authors make their manuscripts stronger through classes, workshops, and critique services. I want to help new and/or established children's writers like you make your stories great.  (And, hopefully, more successful in the wonderful world of publishing.)

If you're unsure about the benefits of obtaining a critique, I invite you to read a longer article I wrote, entitled "Why Critique?" The article outlines a good portion of my personal story and why I believe strongly in studying the craft of writing and obtaining many good critiques before submitting your work to agents and/or editors.


How Much Does a Critique Cost?

If you've made it down this far on the page, you're probably serious about your writing and about getting published.  While I can't guarantee anything I critique for you will ever be published, I can offer insight on how to make it a better piece of writing based on what I know from years of teaching, studying the craft, and writing books for kids.

Please note: The following rates for critiques apply only to stories, articles, or picture books up to 1,500 words; Poems or rhyming stories (yes, I love rhyme!) up to 900 words.  All must be geared for children, middle grade, or young adult audiences.

CURRENT CRITIQUE SCHEDULE: Miranda is OPEN again for critique requests beginning February 1, 2017.

Basic Critique...$75
I read the story, and send a two-page letter with thoughts on the work, its strengths and weaknesses, and possible market insights.

Critique with Some Line-Editing ...$125
I read the story, make comments and questions in the text (using track changes), proofread and offer specific suggestions or word swaps to consider, and also include a two-to three-page letter with thoughts on the work, overall strengths and weaknesses, and possible market insights.

"Second Round" Critique...$50
If you have already received a critique or line edit from me, and since revised the same story, I will give you a discounted rate for my critique services working with the new version/draft of that story.  You are also eligible for this rate if you've previously submitted the same work to Rate Your Story and I served as your volunteer judge. Please note I will not read/critique the same story more than two times. Consider this carefully before requesting a critique.

MG/YA Novel Critiques...estimated $.01/word or $2.50/page (double-spaced)
While I love critiquing novels, please note that I take a very limited number of full-novel critique assignments each year.  I am most drawn to dystopian, fantasy, and multicultural novels that have strong characters and take me to faraway places that somehow feel familiar. Please send a cover letter with the word count, genre, and short synopsis (3 paragraphs or less) of the book, and I will get back to you regarding my availability and a more exact quote. If you'd like help with your cover letter or synopsis as well, please indicate that as well so that I may give you a more accurate quote.

PAYMENT
Please note that I only accept check or Paypal as payment.  I require the full balance and/or check to clear before completing the critique.  You will receive payment instructions when you email me your critique request (instructions below).

REQUESTING A CRITIQUE (INSTRUCTIONS)
To request a critique, please email me at mirandapaulbooks [at] gmail [dot] com with the words CRITIQUE REQUEST in the subject line.  Let me know the word count and genre of your story, article or picture book.  I will respond with payment instructions and my current schedule of how soon after payment clears that you can expect your returned manuscript with my critiques and edits.  Typically, I will complete these in two weeks or less.  I complete novel critiques within six to eight weeks.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to let new authors know that while I appreciate the credit you'd like to give me on your book's copyright page or in the author/editor listing of your self- or independently-published book, it is often unnecessary and, at times, wholly inappropriate to do so. 

What I offer through my critique, editing, and ghostwriting services, while cited by my clients as very helpful, does not equate to the same role as an editor at a publishing house. Often, writers hire me at a very early stage in their manuscript's development, or for a particular purpose such as copyediting or character development. When the task is complete, an author may not communicate with me until their self-published book is released, and the book has taken a completely different course or many suggestions were not incorporated.

An editor, named within your book or given credit on the Amazon author page, is someone who 1) chose to work with your book on a long-term basis; 2) has been involved in many or all aspects of the book's development from revision to illustration to design and marketing; and 3) was previously aware and had agreed to the use and/or mention of his/her name.

When I edit your work I offer suggestions, give guidance, and do my best to steer your work in a direction that will make it more publishable. Ultimately, however, you are the author and your vision is your vision. As a freelance editor, I often have very little say in what you decide to submit or publish (and where/how you publish it) weeks, months, or years after I've consulted you on the manuscript. Own your work, and please respect mine by asking before publishing my name as the editor of your work.


How to Get a Free Critique

If you're not able to hire me to critique your work, there are ways to get feedback on your stories or picture books for free.

If you haven't already, I invite you to join SCBWI and find a local or online critique group. SCBWI.org has a wealth of free resources and the ability to use the blueboard forum as well. (You do get more if you join as a member, and I think it's worth it.)

Also, visit Rate Your Story, where a professional writer will read and rate your story for free.


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