Manuscript Critique Service

Heather Testimonial

Do you have…

  • A complete manuscript that you want reviewed before submitting it to agents and editors?
  • An incomplete work-in-progress, and you aren’t sure how to move forward?
  • A picture book, screenplay, or short story that seems to be missing that special something?

Let me help you make the next steps in your writing journey!

With my background in novel writing, screenwriting, film and illustration, I have a 360-degree view of the storytelling craft. I will address big-picture concerns of character, plot, and structure, to the small details of word choice, image systems, or scene construction. A manuscript critique from me is a thoughtful, in-depth analysis, designed to give you the confidence to achieve your writing goals.

My objectives are to:

  • Inspire you to think deeply about your story and how it interacts with your audience.
  • Help cultivate your vision and intent.
  • Empower you with the tools to achieve and refine your vision.
  • Nurture your individual storytelling voice.
  • Assist you in facing the vulnerability and hard work it takes to write an honest and powerful story.

Brian Testimonial


Writing is an intimate and fragile process. Trust is vital. It takes bravery to have your work critiqued, and I do not take that lightly. I care about every project I work on.

I am a content and story-development editor, not a proofreader. If you’re looking for someone to check your grammar, I’m not the editor for you. I approach your work with a trained eye, focusing on over-arching issues of story craft (plot, theme, etc.), and the smaller line-by-line effect of the language (emotional effect, use of imagery, etc.).

I ask a lot of questions designed to help you think deeply about the work and your intent. I identify larger issues that need attention, and discuss strategies for overcoming these challenges. If you are in the development stages, I brainstorm ideas and story direction with careful consideration of your vision. In addition, I like to discuss your writing process, so we can identify potential road blocks, then navigate a path to ensure your success.

John Quote


An Editorial Letter

This is a detailed letter that discusses the major components of your novel: character, dramatic arc, structure, narrative drive, world building, plot, theme, tension, etc. I will outline the successes in the piece, areas that need attention, and strategies for development. For longer manuscripts (100+ pages), this letter is often 10+ pages in length.

An Annotated Page-by-Page Critique

I examine your project on a page-by-page level, using Microsoft Word’s “comments” feature. Annotations are comments in the margins regarding word choice, flow of language, emotional effect, scene construction, use of dialog, character motivation, image systems, and more. This will connect the big-picture comments in the editorial letter with specifics in the manuscript, helping you to target your revision.

Supplemental Materials

With your project in mind, I custom-design supplemental materials intended to further your knowledge; refine your intent; and develop the characters, world, and plot of your story. Supplemental materials may include:

  • a suggested-reading list
  • custom-designed writing exercises
  • writing craft handouts

A Follow-Up Letter

After you review my feedback, I’ll be happy to answer any follow-up questions you have with an email.

Shelley Testimonial


My young adult novel All We Left Behind will be published in 2015 with Simon Pulse.

I hold two MFA’s in creative writing.

The first is from the Vermont College of Fine Arts program in Writing for Children and Young Adults, where I studied with distinguished faculty members A.M. Jenkins (Repossessed, Damage), Laura McGee Kvasnosky (Zelda and Ivy Series), Mary Quattlebaum (Pirate vs. Pirate), and Shelley Tanaka (Groundwood Books Editor).

My second MFA is in screenwriting from the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University. I worked closely with TV writer Ross Brown (The Cosby Show), writer/producer Patricia K. Meyer (The Women of Brewster Place), and interned with screenwriter James Manos, Jr. (Sopranos, Dexter).

I have provided written critiques on complete and in-progress manuscripts to writers ranging from beginners to the graduate student level. I also have 6 years of group critiquing experience, both peer-led and groups led by prominent authors such as Matt De La Peña (I Will Save You, Ball Don’t Lie) and Franny Billingsley (Chime, The Folk Keeper).

The Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators awarded my young adult novel a runner-up Work-in-Progress Grant in 2010. My television spec scripts won a Dodge College Cecil Award in 2004, and placed in the top 5% of the Warner Brothers’ TV Writing Fellowship in 2008. My feature-length and short screenplays have received several festival awards, including a Screen Gems honorable mention.

In addition to my background in writing, I have a BFA in illustration from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. I worked as a college-level art instructor for five years, and my artwork has been published in children’s magazines, online, and in books.

Steve Testimonial


I specialize in writing for children and young adults, but I would be happy to take a look at any project in the following categories:

  • Novels (young adult, middle grade, or adult)
  • Novels in Verse
  • Picture Books (text only)
  • Picture Book Dummies (text and illustrations)
  • Feature-Length Screenplays (any genre)
  • Television Scripts
  • Short Stories
  • Uncompleted Manuscripts or Works-in-Progress

Jen Quote


Please contact me at: for current 2015 rates!

Ingrid's Notes LogoLET’S DO THIS!

If you’re ready for a critique or want more information, please contact me at:



“I was at a weird place with my contemporary YA novel. I loved it passionately, but it had no plot or clear direction. I was having a major crisis of confidence…until Ingrid stepped in. 

She read the first half of my work in progress and offered an incredibly insightful critique, pointing out both the strengths and weaknesses in my manuscript. She asked me questions which challenged the motivations of my characters (and not just the main character  Ingrid delved deep into every character on the page) and helped me find the heart of my story. She challenged me to discover when I was being true to my characters, and when I was simply writing the story the way I thought it should be written.

Most of all, Ingrid was a constant cheerleader for my work, reminding me every step of the way to be honest, and asking me to come up with the answers instead of providing her own version of my story. Her insight allowed me to move forward with my novel with the confidence and excitement I thought I’d lost completely. She gave me the best critique I have ever received. I would be honored to have Ingrid read and critique my work any day.” – Heather

* * *

“Ingrid helped me a great deal.  I submitted the first few chapters of my novel-in-progress to her as I felt something wasn’t quite working.  Not only did she tap into the key issues with the pages, she provided an extremely thorough, well thought-out, positive and constructive critique that has put me on a much more insightful and determined path toward finishing my first novel.”   Brian

7 thoughts on “Manuscript Critique Service

  1. Hi, I’m writing a novel and I’m hoping to send it to you for publishing but I’m not sure how you like your manuscript laid out and how many pages im meant to write, what font or wether to write in times new roman or courier new so I was hoping for a little insight on what I need to do before sending it in 🙂 thanks

    • Jeleah,

      I’m not a publisher, but I do offer manuscript critique services. I like manuscripts to be submitted in Microsoft word, with Times New Roman font, 12 point font size, double spaced, and with one inch margins.

  2. I’d love to hear your opinion on editing across genres. How does your love of YA stories influence your editing of non-YA work. On the one hand we all know that “good writing transcends genre,” but that doesn’t cover the whole picture, I think.

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