"Laura Atkins is a superb editor! She not only has a knack for discovering the underlying flaws in a story, but is extremely helpful in creating plausible remedies to fix those flaws..." [more]
—Sandra Padmanabhan, Ph.D.
"Laura's feedback has been invaluable. Her comments are thoughtful and concise, and I have been able to move forward with my story with a renewed sense of excitement..." [more]
—Rachael Errington, Artist Insite website developer
"Since meeting Laura I've taken not only my novel more seriously, but my overall craft..." [more]
—Andy Dickenson, Production Journalist, ITV Meridian
Do you have a children's book manuscript and need advice about how to improve it? I have seven years experience in editorial departments at children's publishers, and I taught Creative Writing as part of the MA in children's literature at Roehampton University. Based on this experience, I offer a children's book manuscript critiquing service. (For more about my background, please see the About Me section of this website).
From my time in editorial departments, I know that those who had their stories critiqued by others often stood out from the enormous number of unsolicited manuscripts. Whether you are trying to send your story to publishers, or to find an agent, it is always helpful to get advice and feedback from those with experience in the field.
I will review manuscripts for picture books or novels for middle grade or young adult readers, and give you my thoughts on how I see your manuscript working in terms of plot, narrative voice, character, pacing, and anything else I note. I know how important it is for creative people to get positive feedback, so while being honest, I will be careful to highlight what I think is working as well as where I would suggest development. You will receive a general editorial email highlighting larger points, as well as your document with tracked changes and comments that focus more on the details.
I charge $150 for a picture book manuscript of up to 2,000 words, and $6 per page after that (double spaced, 12 pt font, one inch margins).
To read more details about my picture book critiques, you can read this blog post on the subject.
For a detailed critique of middle grade or young adult fiction, I charge based on word count as follows:
|over 80,000 words (per 1,000 words)
It is possible to pay by wire transfer or check in US dollars or I can issue an invoice using Paypal (with a small extra charge to cover their fees) which allows payment in any currency.
I prefer that a manuscript be delivered via email, and will give feedback within six weeks. Please email or call me for more information (details are available in the Contact Me section).
In some cases I offer one-on-one mentoring to aspiring and published authors. This can be arranged at a rate of $75 per hour, and we can work together to decide on the best strategy. In some cases I read drafts and revisions, and meet in person to discuss the work. In others I read the work in progress, commenting as the book comes together. I can work with people locally and meet in person, but am also happy to work remotely with people who are further afield. Skype can be a helpful way to talk in person, as I think the more informal discussion can be crucial for this sort of creative work.