When I decided I wanted to write for children, I was a raw beginner with only two strengths: determination and enthusiasm. The road to publication was long and filled with potholes, but I eventually found my way. I now know that my time on that "wannabe" road could have been shortened considerably had I subjected my first stories to a professional critique before submitting them to publishers. But there was that enthusiasm thing....
Whether you've written your first story for children and have no idea whether or not it's publishable or you've written many stories and are simply tired of receiving rejection letters, I'd like to help you get closer to publication. Here's what previous clients have had to say:
"Your edits explained both why and how my writing could be better. Thank you, especially, for taking the time to write out that new opening, showing me the way to do it right."
"You had so much insight on ways to strengthen my story, especially the information about point of view, which I never quite understood before. Thank you!"
"Thanks for your help in cutting my story. I do tend to ramble on. You gave me enough warm fuzzies that the criticisms were practically painless."
"I appreciated your candor. Your notes were very helpful to me, especially your comments on dialogue and the information on showing versus telling."
"When I received your letter, I felt like jumping for joy. Finally, I feel like I'm making progress."
My qualifications? Over the years I've taught many classes on writing for children at the Midwest Writing Center, as well as the annual Mississippi Valley Writer's Conference. I'm an instructor for the Institute of Children's Literature and at the University of Iowa's Summer Writing Festival. In addition, I've sold seven picture books to major New York publishers.
When you send me your picture book story, I will:
* Give you a comprehensive manuscript critique. I'll make marginal comments on the manuscript itself, noting problem areas and suggesting solutions.
* Write you a detailed letter. I'll talk about your story's strengths and weaknesses and give you practical information to help you improve those less-than-stellar areas. Depending on the story, I might talk about strong beginnings, characterization, dialogue, didacticism, point of view, structure, tense, voice, etc.
* Give your manuscript prompt attention and, to the best of my ability, an honest evaluation. I strive to finish a critique within two weeks of its arrival at my home. I'll e-mail you to let you know when your package arrives and when it goes back into the mail.
Fee: $100 to $300 per manuscript
Manuscripts should be under 1000 words, typed and double-spaced.
Please contact me by e-mail for further information.