Testimonials And Reviews

Hear from writers–just like you–who’ve worked with our agents, editors, authors, and experts.

We’re here to support you every step of the way.

Very encouraging!

Eric Smith was very encouraging, he sent specific notes on my query ahead of time so he was able to answer questions during the consultation. It gave us time to talk about larger issues in the market. He also recommended several excellent authors to explore in my research for better comps.

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Shelly Drummond

Really helpful.

Really helpful. I felt connected to the world of authors and agents. I love learning and I really appreciate that you allow for some free learning opportunities.

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Sarah Lael

It was a gift to get so many answers.

My conversation with Rebecca Raskin was so helpful. That's two out of two for Manuscript Academy so far on exceeding expectations. What a fabulous opportunity to speak with an editor at Harper Collins. I can't think of any other way that could have happened for me. Rebecca went right to the point, deviated from the script if there even was one, and shared generously not only contacts in the field of publishing who might help me, but her own insights into what will happen to my book AFTER it reaches an editor's desk on the road to acquisition. That's exactly what I needed to know, and it was a gift to get so many answers. It didn't feel rushed; it just was intense. Perfect!!

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Polly Bart

I am sure every time Fiona Kenshole speaks, another writer gets published.

Like miracles and angels getting their wings, I am sure every time Fiona Kenshole speaks, another writer gets published. You can't help but level up your writing every time you listen to Fiona; expect to learn 10-12 things that will give you immediate knowledge for how to execute a new awesome plan taking you into your greatness as a writer.

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Alysha Dominico

Her advice was spot-on.

While my picture book manuscript has gone through several critiques, edits and rewrites, I had not done the same for my query letter. Jessica Sinsheimer pinpointed out my letters’ strong points along with areas where it needed improvement. Her advice was spot-on. I highly recommend a consolation with her. After all, you can have the perfect manuscript, but if your letter doesn’t grab an agent’s attention they may not bother with your book.

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Kathleen Kilpatrick

I plan to use this service again in the future! THANK YOU!!!!!

I've been encouraging all my writing buddies to check out this service. To get a critique AND fifteen minutes with an industry professional for such a reasonable price is like, unheard of. Out of all the other critique services I looked into before signing up, Manuscript Academy totally gives you the best bang for your buck. I of course was an awkward nervous wreck and talking a mile a minute, but Eric is amazing. He took my steam-rolling him with questions all in stride, and gave lots of down to earth, wonderful advice. He quickly helped me realize that most of my worries over the business side of publishing were unfounded. I also appreciated that he took the time to read my pages before our meeting, allowing me to pepper him with questions over email before we "met" over Skype. I left our meeting feeling far more confident and prepared to begin the querying process. If I am unable to get an agent with this MS, I plan to use this service again in the future! THANK YOU!!!!!

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Jesse Weiner

It is truly a gift to have had this experience.

It was amazing! I couldn't be happier with Kiana's feedback and energy. I got tips for improving my query AND additional resources. It is truly a gift to have had this experience. Thanks!

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Holly C.

Never expected to enjoy myself during such a potentially terrifying meeting!

Fiona is an amazingly experienced professional, but also so warm and friendly and funny. Never expected to enjoy myself during such a potentially terrifying meeting! Great insight, generously delivered.

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Claire Hatcher-Smith

It truly was one of the most -- maybe the most -- enjoyable webinar I've ever attended.

It truly was one of the most -- maybe the most -- enjoyable webinar I've ever attended. The time flew by. Fiona has a wonderful way of articulating writing concepts. "Feel don't Show" was a favorite. Her discussion of immediacy was another. And I loved the writing exercise -- looking for your phone. She is simply a delightful human!

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Judy Palermo

Just what I needed!

Melissa Warten did an excellent job of pinpointing what I needed to tweak on my first page to make it more appealing to editors or agents. She did it quickly and with a smile. It was very encouraging and just what I needed.

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Cynthia Reeg

My consultation with Ellen was terrific! Worth every penny to speak to an insider in the publishing biz and hear how my first ten pages stack up. I've been having an issue with my WIP since Day 1, and Ellen really talked me through it. Now, I feel more confident about putting my manuscript out there and reaching the right audience.

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Stacy Nockowitz

Worth every minute and every penny.

Kayla was an absolute delight! Professional from the very beginning, she gave insightful feedback on my query and a lot of encouragement. I received some very powerful validation for the work that I've put into my work, and coming from a pro in the industry, it was worth every minute and every penny I've spent in the Manuscript Academy! Thank you!!

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Todd Merrifield

Amazing Value

Julie & Jessica, I know you hear this all the time, but I am so grateful for these Manuscript Academy workshops. I learn so much. I would not have gotten this information anywhere else. I like that I don't have to log in at a specific time and can pop in and out of the class throughout the day. The biggest takeaway from this session was that the sample pages need to support what is promised in the query letter. I'm looking forward to more of these classes. Also, they are an amazing value!
Judy Hock

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Judy Hock

An excellent use of my time and money.

Stephanie was succinct and informative. I asked for some hard, honest answers about my project and she gave them. An excellent use of my time and money.

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Clare Golding

Her professional insights were super valuable

Jessica did an excellent job answering my questions. I wasn’t sure my first page was the best way to open my manuscript, and Jessica helped guide me. Her feedback was kind, collaborative, and helpful. I appreciated the conversation and her professional insights were super valuable. She also gave me great suggestions for comp titles. Thank you, Jessica!

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Jenn Marlis

I had what I needed to revise my pages

I had a 15 minute live meeting with Stephanie about my first 10 pages. She gave me very concise feedback on my writing, as well as information about how different agents think about these pages. We also discussed markets (literary, upmarket, historical, etc.), as my work sits between at least three. Leaving the meeting, I felt I had what I needed to revise my pages, as well as position my work in my query letter. I appreciate that Stephanie's critique included what was and wasn't working, and that she was very clear about why in both cases. Thank you.

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Jennifer Schuberth

It felt worthwhile enough that I've recommended to all the people in my Creative Writing Masters degree program. 

I'll admit, my heart ramped up in the few minutes before my meeting with Lane. I mean, c'mon, meeting with a pro who's going to tell you if the intent of your hard work, uh, works or not? It's a special sort of apprehension.

Lane helped ratchet down the angst pretty quickly. He was clearly comfortable in his role and the ease was infectious. Well, maybe a different adjective would be better during Covid era.

Transmittable?

Communicable?

Drat.

...he made me feel welcome in his world, how's that?

Lane was hospitable during the critique process. He was clear about his thoughts, praised what worked, pointed towards the mistakes I'd made that undercut my goals, and just generally made me feel good about using this service. It felt worthwhile enough that I've recommended to all the people in my Creative Writing Masters degree program.

Would I use it again? Well, quality industry feedback with fairly quick turnaround time? Yep. I'd give it another go.

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Jeremiah Glass

Would definitely recommend

Jessica was lovely! Very friendly and informal, but with some good quick insights into my general questions about ages for Upper MG vs young YA. Would definitely recommend.

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Claire Hatcher

I had a blast talking to Samantha Wekstein!

I had a blast talking to Samantha Wekstein! She is so fun and had great advice about improving my query. Where else would a budding writer like me have the ability to talk to such a stellar agent? Thank you Manuscript Academy!

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Bonnie Jo

I am so, so, grateful and delighted.

I was so excited to have a 10 minute call with Caitie because she was one of the agents who liked my #DVPIT tweet back in October. She loved my MC's voice, which was so affirming for me. Caitie also gave me solid tips to strengthen my opening page.

I'm in the middle of an R&R for another agent, so it really helped when I asked her for tips on that. She helped me see that there really isn't a 'time limit' per se for my R&R. Caitie believes in my story enough to wait for my strongest version, so she'll wait for me to resubmit my revised first 50 pages to her. I am so, so, grateful and delighted I got to have such a lovely Skype call with her. Thank you, Caitie and Manuscript Academy!

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Raidah Shah Idil

Kayla gave invaluable insight into the current state of the industry and helpful tips on how to continue pursuing a writing career

I'm thankful for the time I got to spend with Kayla Lightner on the consultation service. She had clearly read and considered the pages sent in advance and presented concise and specific feedback on my work. I was also able to ask questions about the querying and publishing process, and Kayla gave invaluable insight into the current state of the industry and helpful tips on how to continue pursuing a writing career.

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James Williamson

Exactly what I needed

I booked a 15-minute consultation with Fiona, and it was exactly what I needed. She delivered a clear, straightforward, and direct critique with incredible warmth and encouragement. Our time flew by, but I felt like she packed in so much insight advice that it might as well have been an hour! I'm extremely grateful, and so glad that I took the plunge and booked a slot.

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Sarah Chalmers

After the meeting I felt confident on how to position my book and query it.

Aneeka was so thoughtful during our meeting. She wanted my vision for the book prior to sharing her feedback on my first page. I was able to bounce an idea off of her and get instant feedback, which is amazing! I had been unsure how to get the "voice" of my character in that first page and I believe the edit I made after our conversation greatly improved it. She gave me a recommendation on a book series I could read that might be a good comp and she critiqued my genre to include contemporary. After the meeting I felt confident on how to position my book and query it. I hope to work with her again in the future.

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Amanda Zalar

Turns out ten minutes gives you a good bit of time to learn! I'm glad I did this.

I had a helpful conversation with Andrea. She answered my questions honestly and thoroughly. Despite my nerves, her accessibility put me at ease and allowed us to get through several of the subjects I'd hoped to touch on. Turns out ten minutes gives you a good bit of time to learn! I'm glad I did this.

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Kara Imle

She answered all my questions like a professional

My meeting with Ms. Bishop was excellent. It was my second meeting with her. For the first meeting, my query was terrible and she pointed that out and gave me suggestions. I did what she asked and in our second meeting she acknowledged that my second effort was much better. She gave me a few tweaks and answered all my questions like a professional.

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Bill Denham

I will definitely be doing one of these again

Alyssa was awesome to talk with. I knew as soon as I saw her name on the list that I wanted to talk with her. It was so easy to ask her questions and an amazing help to hear a quick answer rather than deliberating for months about a certain aspect of my project. I will most definitely be doing one of these again and will also be re-reaching back out to Alyssa! Thanks for this opportunity!

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Rachel DiNunzio

Danielle gave wonderful advice and I felt like she truly cared.

The meeting went fantastic. Danielle gave wonderful advice and I felt like she truly cared about the time we spent together. Her recommendations were relevant and highly personalized. Definitely happy with the meeting!

Thank you for your work in setting all this up. I am happy I found out about the Academy!

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Timothy Mousseau

Enjoyed our conversation

Sometimes, you want information, sometimes feedback, sometimes notes, sometimes encouragement, sometimes just to relate to a likeable human person. I wanted feedback (what's not working!) and notes (ideas, suggestions, language to use). I got all that, plus a bit of encouragement--which is always welcome-- and a very likeable human person. 🙂 I really enjoyed the Submission Strategy session hosted by Jessica and Julie this past summer, and hoped to benefit from Jessica's knowledge of the industry as well as her artful interpretation of how agents think, to help me understand what's wrong with a query that hasn't been successful. I got suggestions for 1) what genre to pitch 2) focal areas of my narrative to emphasize, 3) what to leave out, and 4) whether it was my pages or my query that's been the main problem. Maybe more importantly: enjoyed our conversation.

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Janna Goodwin

I learned about the industry, while also knowing exactly what to do next with my letter.

I had a 10-minute consult with Vivian Lee about my query letter. She gave me very concrete feedback. Having not attended an MFA program, I especially appreciate the opportunity to talk with industry professionals. I also like the 10-minute format because it means both of us have to be precise and focused. Vivian is both. In preparing for our conversation, I had my question ready, and Vivian brought her knowledge to the table. I learned about the industry, while also knowing exactly what to do next with my letter. Thanks so much.

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Jennifer Schuberth

I left my session with her feeling more confident than ever.

Jessica Sinsheimer was fantastic! She was kind, personable and helpful. She gave positive feedback and helpful editing suggestions. She even went out of her way to show me how to look for agents using key words on twitter and using the manuscript wish list website. I left my session with her feeling more confident than ever.

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Megan Persinger

She commented on things I'd never even considered and offered guidance on how to move forward with the changes.

Stephanie gave me so many solid insights into how to make my query solid. She commented on things I'd never even considered and offered guidance on how to move forward with the changes.

She offered clear explanations for why certain things weren't working and also offered plenty of praise for things that were.

Stephanie is very engaging, and I felt fully at ease talking to her. I highly recommend booking her for a consultation.

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Audra Atoche

Great, constructive feedback!

Samantha is very helpful with great, constructive feedback. She’s also fantastic at making authors feel at ease and relieving anxiety on phone calls.

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Madeline Dau

Always constructive suggestions

Stephanie is great! I originally had her look at my first query attempt in late August. After a lot of changes and iterations, I wanted her to take a look again. She ALWAYS has constructive suggestions, delivered in a kind and encouraging manner. I highly recommend Stephanie for anybody else seeking feedback.

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Nancy Pellowski

Would highly recommend.

My time with Rachel was very productive.

Despite the fact that my query had been past a professional editor, and reviewed by another, Rachel offered some great tips to improve the letter.

We also had a great discussion about the book itself, which left me feeling encouraged about the months ahead.

Would highly recommend Rachel to other budding authors out there. She was very helpful and great to talk to.

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Matt Leyshon

It was lovely to chat to someone so professional and understanding.

Kimberley rang right on time and straight away I knew I was going to enjoy talking to her. She was really easy to talk to and listened to what I wanted to ask. At one stage the line dropped out and she immediately rang me back. She gave good advice and tips for moving forward. I would have no hesitation in talking to her again and it was lovely to chat to someone so professional and understanding. I now have some points to follow up on. Thanks for the chance to talk to someone in the business and I look forward to what opportunities I will connect with next at The Manuscript Academy.
Thanks from Rhonda Forrest (Australian author)

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Rhonda Forrest

Andrea's love of language---delight, actually---was quickly evident.

Andrea's love of language---delight, actually---was quickly evident in our First 10-pages manuscript feedback call. Her notes were precise but also served the whole. She pointed to areas needing simplification, suggested a word change or three, and we had a laugh over an unintended image (um, 'overhead pages bursting' in my medical mindset vs. her literary one. Oh!) She was enormously encouraging about my query letter, my prose and my pages. Best of all, Andrea's enthusiasm is absolutely infectious. This woman sparkles! What a lovely and much needed reminder that agents are truly motivated first and foremost by the written word. Thank you, Jessica and Julie, for a great experience!

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Gail Ansel

10/10, would recommend

Alyssa was friendly and direct. She went through my query letter, and she gave me excellent feedback about boiling down the plot. We talked about comparative titles and other books in my genre, and it felt like talking to an old friend...who knew a lot more about publishing than me! She's a great agent. 10/10, would recommend.

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Gina Kopcrak

I'm so pleased to see it all coming together now in a much stronger query that more clearly conveys the heart of my book.

John critiqued my opening pages, and I was so impressed, I decided to hire him to critique my query. His feedback, along with the feedback I received from other Manuscript Academy faculty, was so insightful. I'm so pleased to see it all coming together now in a much stronger query that more clearly conveys the heart of my book. Thank you so much, John! And thank you, Manuscript Academy, for having such an incredible faculty!

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K.M. Ellis

He was able to clarify what publishers were looking for

Meeting with Brian was super helpful. He was able to clarify what publishers were looking for in my niche, and he provided areas in which I might change my manuscript and my query for a better chance of competing in the saturated YA fantasy market.

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Gina Kopcrak

His words were kind and gentle and gave me the direction I needed to make my story shine.

His words were kind and gentle and gave me the direction I needed to make my story shine. I highly recommend John Cusick for your next critique.

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Kathi J. Most

Great feedback and highly encouraging.

John gave great feedback and was incredibly encouraging! I would absolutely work with him again! Highly recommend!

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Elisabeth Aikins

By far the best critique I've ever received.

I have to honestly say that Linda [Camacho]'s critique was by far the best critique I've ever received from an agent. Very often, the feedback I'd get from agents would be very broad and generic (something like "make sure the pacing doesn't lag"), which could be equally applicable to half of all the manuscripts, but it was never precise or thought out enough to give me specific direction on how to make my particular manuscript better.

Linda's critique was the opposite - it was detailed, thought out, and clearly tailored to the specific issues in my query/manuscript. Linda's critique struck the perfect balance of providing positive feedback together with constructive criticism, which motivated me to continue working on and improving my manuscript without feeling discouraged. While there's still plenty of work for me to do on this manuscript, the critique helped provide me with a clear sense of direction and made me feel enthusiastic about continuing to work on this project.

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Irina

Such a fabulous service!

Agent Andrea Somberg provided on-the-mark insights about my manuscript. She clarified what was muddy and gave me hands-on suggestions for improving. I've already begun implementing her wisdom. Thanks, Manuscript Academy, for offering such a fabulous service!

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Jennifer Ammoscato

She made me feel relaxed and asked me just the right questions.

My meeting with Melissa went extremely well! She was kind and friendly and easy to talk to. She made me feel relaxed and asked me just the right questions to help me see what was needed in my query. It made so much sense and now I think my query letter is ready. I would definitely recommend Melissa for a consult!

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Laurie Murphy

It was amazing! It’s like having a critique done by your wise, funny, loving aunt (whom you’ve never met) but who still always sends you the perfect thoughtful gift on Christmas and your birthday

I had a written critique of my first ten pages done by Fiona Kenshole. It was amazing! It’s like having a critique done by your wise, funny, loving aunt (whom you’ve never met) but who still always sends you the perfect thoughtful gift on Christmas and your birthday. But this aunt just so happens to be a professional literary agent who knows everything there is about publishing, writing, film and being kind, insightful and wonderfully genuine. Don’t we all wish we could have a Fiona in the family. Well, now you can! Or, at least you can pretend to

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Jonah Logan

The beauty of the design of the 10-minute meeting is that you can do whatever you want with the 10 minutes. It's like being a kid in a candy store. It's a chance to go behind the scenes and get a perspective you'd never have access to otherwise. It's a chance to work one on one with an agent and experience that particular agent's editorial process. It's a chance to evaluate where you are in the development of your craft. It's a chance to get eyes on your writing piece. It's invaluable. For me, it was a game changer.

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Zeena Pliska

I would love to work with her again!

My 10 minutes with Melissa Warten was great! She gave me both thoughtful and encouraging feedback, as well as suggestions on how to improve my query letter. I would love to work with her again!

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Amy Mercer

Specific and on-point feedback

Caitlin is awesome. I've spoken to her twice now and her feedback is so on-point and specific, while always being kind and upbeat. She's a terrific advisor and I bet she'd make an excellent agent, for anyone lucky enough to get her.

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Jayme Inman

I would highly recommend pursuing one of these consultations.

I had a wonderful consultation with Eric Smith. Eric offered me a valuable mix of critique and positive feedback, and his comments really made me think about where to go in future edits. He was kind and supportive, and I felt comfortable asking any questions I had. I would highly recommend pursuing one of these consultations.

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Sarah LeFebvre

I had a wonderful, informative, and genuine conversation with Katharine Sands.

I had a wonderful, informative, and genuine conversation with Katharine Sands. She was targeted with her advice and she shared her considerable experience generously. I ended the session feeling inspired along with having a clear direction for my next move for my book. I felt like I was speaking with a knowledgable friend. I highly recommend Katharine without reservation!

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Laura Vida

You put together a terrific event!

You put together a terrific event! The workshops humanized the submission process and the homework pushed my query and first pages to a new level. The FB group was an encouraging and thoughtful group of writing peers which made it comfortable and easy to share my work, and see it from fresh perspectives. So happy I was a part of the experience.

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Zelly Ruskin

She made me feel confident about my work

I recently had a consultation with Molly Cusick regarding the first 10 pages of my manuscript. At first I was nervous, as I wasn't sure if she was going to be harsh, and I didn't know what to expect. I'm extemely pleased to say that she was kind, encouraging and provided amazing feedback. All of the ideas she gave for improving my work, had the gears in my head turning and had me thinking- I can't wait to make these changes! Everything she brought up were ways to elevate my pages and strengthen my work, I never felt as if she was cutting my writing down. Aside from the helpful feedback, she made me feel confident about my work, encouraging where the story would fit in the market and going out of her way to answer all of my questions. I never felt rushed out of the conversation, and she was engaging and helpful throughout the whole phone call. It was truly a pleasure having a consultation with her, and I would consider it an honor to ever work with, or recieve feedback from Molly Cusick in the future.

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Megan Elba

She gave me confidence in my ability

Hannah was very helpful in responding to my questions and addressing areas where I could improve my writing. She gave me confidence in my ability to make my memoir what I want it to be.

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Shelia Diaz

So easy to talk to and very helpful.

Had a great consultation with Lane Heymont of the Tobias Agency. He was so easy to talk with and very helpful. I highly recommend him. I've paid so much money to attend conferences and not gotten as much out of those consultations as I did with Lane. Thanks so much to Mr. Heymont and to The Manuscript Academy!

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Debra Dockter

The meeting helped improve my pages and I'm so grateful that I scheduled the time

My 10 page video review session with Linda Camacho didn't disappoint. The 15 minutes was packed with actionable feedback. Linda walked me through my pages highlighting things that worked and the areas that I needed to revisit and polish. She has a wisdom about the industry that is immediately evident and I've enjoyed working through her notes. The meeting helped improve my pages and I'm so grateful that I scheduled the time.

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Seetha Kandik

I learned more in 15 minutes about my manuscript than in any writer's workshop I've attended.

I did the 10 page + 15 minute consultation with Danielle Chiotti. It was one of the most informative and constructive critiques I've ever received. In 15 minutes, Danielle showed me how to strengthen my first 10 pages. She was friendly, knowledgeable, and most important made me feel good about my writing and story. I'm so glad I did an E-consultation with Danielle, I learned more in 15 minutes about my manuscript than in any writer's workshop I've attended.

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Ariana Fae

So impressed!

I'd heard Fiona on the Manuscript Academy several times over the last two years and always came away so impressed with her knowledge and her warmth, so I booked her for a 1st page review. I can say she is just as lovely on the phone as she seems on the podcast! Her advice to change my first sentence, because it didn't match the rest of the tempo (or mood) of the first paragraph, was very insightful. A small tweak that had never occurred to me, but absolutely made sense. I had some questions for her about whether or not my first paragraph was starting in the right place and before she answered she asked me several things about the manuscript, so that she could give a good answer. Ultimately, I came away confident that I am starting in the right place, and that is what I was looking for.

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Sabrina Vienneau

Each critique I’ve had with Manuscript Academy has provided new insights.

Each critique I’ve had with Manuscript Academy has provided new insights. Alyssa Jennette asked me numerous thoughtful questions to help me narrow down the main points for my query. She shared what attracts an agent and what is not necessary to mention. I found her critique extremely practical.

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Diana S.

I hope to work with her again in the near future.

Superb experience. Alyssa was knowledgeable, professional and invaluable in sharing guidance with me on publishing, my body of work and strategy for future publication. I hope to work with her again in the near future.

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Brad Cameron

Excellent Value for the Cost

Excellent value for the cost, and perfect for people who either haven't started querying yet and want to get off on the right foot, or those who've had trouble getting responses on their queries.

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Katie Moynihan

Well-prepared, patient, and thoughtful

Stephanie was helpful. She was well-prepared, patient, and thoughtful. Her critique was constructive. When we had technical difficulties linking up, she was quick to follow-up with a backup means of contact. Ten minutes wasn't enough, so she spent a few more minutes answering my questions. It helps when someone is just a nice person, and Stephanie is.

Overall, I'm appreciative. It gave me a confidence boost while at the same time highlighting areas that I could improve and revise. Overall, a good experience. I definitely recommend Stephanie.

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Dan Walsh

Anyone out there working on a novel, picture book, etc. needs to know about The Manuscript Academy.

I really enjoyed the energy and information from all the people involved. I wrote so many notes down which I think will really help me get my work published. My search continues for an agent to help me start the process. I am so glad I found your group.

Anyone out there working on a novel, picture book, etc. needs to know about The Manuscript Academy. This group can offer so much relative information which will help answer the many questions we all have starting out as writers. I feel so privileged to know about this group.

Sincerely,

Sandra

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Sandra Edmondson

Best bargain of the year.

Sometimes you may get a hunch that you need a nudge. I had a hunch - so I signed up for a consultation and got a quick shove down my writing path. A two thumbs up to Erzsi Deàk for generosity, diplomacy and willingness to point me in the right direction. Well worth the effort, and the best bargain of the year.

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Jo DeMars

This consult was the best thing I've done this year to improve my writing skills. Thank you so much!!!

My consultation with Fiona Kenshole was awesome. I scheduled a 15 minute consult w/ the 10 page critique. and I certainly got my money's worth. She gave me great insight into my story, into my own writing tics and provided me with tools for revising my book. She took her time to ensure I understood what I meant. She asked very specific questions about the story. It was clear she took a lot of time reading and digesting the pages. I learned so much from her. This consult was the best thing I've done this year to improve my writing skills. Thank you so much!!!

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Nancy Parish

Tremendously helpful and positive feedback!

John Cusick gave me tremendously helpful and positive feedback! I know my YA story is good (OK, I think it's more than good!:)), but my query letter was all wrong. I've revised it and resumed the journey. Thank you Manuscript Academy for your great program to support authors.

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Colleen Jiron

Much needed validation and encouragement

My time with Samantha Wekstein from the Manuscript Academy was a wonderful experience! Not only did I gain some incredibly solid and productive input on my query letter, but I also received some much needed validation and encouragement about my concept. So often, the world of the writer is an isolated bubble of questions and worries and wondering whether what we have to say will be of any interest to anyone beyond our desk, and quite often, the email responses we get don't give the kind of feedback that we really need to realize our project's worth or potential -- perhaps that it's just not a great fit. Samantha gave me honest and concrete feedback, and she did it in a professional, yet safe and comfortably human way. Thank you SO much!

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Todd Merrifield

She was so generous in sharing her knowledge and expertise.

My meeting with Molly was excellent. She was very conscious of our limited time so made sure from the get-go that she understood what I was hoping to focus on during the meeting. She was so generous in sharing her knowledge and expertise and I left the meeting with a much clearer vision and so much energy and enthusiasm. I highly recommend a meeting with Molly at any stage in your development, she is likely one of the most supportive and helpful publishing professionals you could spend 15 minutes with!

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Shelly Unwin

I got so much out of it.

John was so helpful, courteous, and encouraging! I really enjoyed our chat (which FLEW by!) and I got so much out of it. I can tell he is very knowledgeable and experienced.

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Amy VanDuyn

Inspiring

All the events and classes Julie and Jessica put on are tops but Fiona topped TOPS! I came away feeling eager and inspired after having had many days of, "Why am I doing this?"

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Katherine Weld Harding

Made a big difference

Eric Smith is so wonderful to consult with! He generously sent some comments before our session so that our time could be maximized when we connected. After speaking with him I made some major changes to my manuscript that I feel have made a big difference. Thanks Eric!

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Alanna Grace

He was very helpful.

I had a meeting with John Cusick to go over my MG query letter. He was very helpful. We refined comps, edited the second summary paragraph, and he answered questions. I definitely recommend him.

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Jamie Barber

I think my first chapter is going to be much better as a result of this meeting. I would absolutely recommend doing this.

Danielle was fantastic! I got so much out of our talk. She was really insightful, and I felt like she both understood what I was trying to do, and the ways in which I needed help achieving it. She had actionable suggestions that made sense, she recommended some excellent articles to read, and just overall I felt like I learned a ton. I think my first chapter is going to be much better as a result of this meeting. I would absolutely recommend doing this.

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Elizabeth Holden

It was a relief to have a low-stress talk with an expert.

My consultation with Eric Smith was excellent. I'd been told by other writers that he is kind, informative, and patient, and I was very pleased to find that was 100% true. Querying and pitching agents can be a very daunting (and sometimes mysterious) process, so it was a relief to have a low-stress talk with an expert, to ask questions and get feedback and insight from someone with an insider's perspective. I'm very glad I made the investment and highly recommend it to other writers!

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Emily Thiede

If you’re looking for feedback that will get your manuscript to stick out above the rest, then I definitely recommend signing up for one of these critique sessions.

Molly was incredibly helpful and sweet. If you’re looking for feedback that will get your manuscript to stick out above the rest, then I definitely recommend signing up for one of these critique sessions. I came away from the phone call with a couple of really insightful tips, and I look forward to seeing how my manuscript does in the year.

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Jen Myers

This week I signed with an agent.

Wanted to take a moment to thank Jessica Sinsheimer and Julie True Kingsley who are absolutely fabulous. They do a ton for authors and always encourage and support their journeys. I've used MA for years, and have even made lifelong friends through the program. This week I signed with Steve Fraser of the DeChiara agency, and my MG novel's already out on submission. I think MA played a huge role in my querying success, and again am grateful. And to all others out there in the Query Trenches- don't give up. You've got this!

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Christopher Mannino

Kayla was friendly and helpful.

Kayla was friendly and helpful, and was keenly appreciative of making the most out of our 10-minute session. She didn't hesitate to praise my writing when it was warranted and offered constructive, applicable feedback for the first 10 pages of my MG steampunk fantasy. We fit in a lot in such a short timeframe but Kayla didn't make our conversation feel rushed or impersonal. It was a truly productive and fun experience.

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Laurie Lascos

I came away from our meeting eager to rethink not just the first ten pages but parts of the whole thing.

I enjoyed talking to Caitlyn. She was highly analytical and professional. Her reading was astute--she picked out inconsistencies and unclear spots in a piece of writing I have read at least 300 times. She helped me see the writing from the point of view of the reader, which is not always easy to do. She clearly really thought about the piece and packed in a lot in 15 minutes. I would of course love to work with her as I came away from our meeting eager to rethink not just the first ten pages but parts of the whole thing.

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Elaine Ostry

Excellent Feedback!

Jessica Watterson provided excellent feedback! She helped me re-structure my query to make it better by sharing her insights about what she looks for. She pointed out which parts were strong and which could be better.

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Maureen Hayes

Honestly, this was invaluable.

Kiana walked me through my query, almost line by line. Her critique was thoughtful, specific, and kind. She even offered comp titles. The query that I end up with after re-writing it based on her notes is going to so completely different than what I began with. Writers, I would recommend meeting with her before sending a single query out. Honestly, this was invaluable.

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Jessica Tedrick

John used the time masterfully, providing valuable insights during every minute of the call.

John Cusick’s 10 minute query critique was fabulous. He narrowed down areas in my query that could be shortened and helped me reword a paragraph to be more from my protagonist’s point of view. He also pointed out areas in my query that worked well. John used the time masterfully, providing valuable insights during every minute of the call.

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Diana S.

I feel more confident now

I feel more confident now, instead of running in circles trying to guess what agents are looking for as relates to my story and writing style, now I have a clearer idea going forward. I can't say enough about my great experience with Caitlin.

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David Wildman

Will improve my work.

Lizzie was kind and helpful. She covered a lot in 15 minutes while still giving me time to ask questions and explain my book. She offered unique insights and specific actionable recommendations that will improve my work.

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Chelsea Conley

She was thoughtful, kind and clear.


I had a great conversation with Danielle. She had read through all the pages I sent and had concrete suggestions for making them better. She was also able to discuss more general questions about how best to describe my project and overall how to make it better. She was thoughtful, kind and clear.

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John Franz

I believe it will probably save my future queries

I hired Caitlin for fifteen minutes to fix a problem after several agent rejections on the first ten pages. It was a problem I feared the pages had, but wasn't sure how to fix them myself, and my beta-readers thought it all seemed fine. In just fifteen minutes, Caitlin was able to help me fix the problem, as well as fix a couple extra problems I hadn't known about at all. I appreciated that it was not a session full of compliments--we got a lot done in that small amount of time. Money well spent. I believe it will probably save my future queries.

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Darren McNaughton

I received eye-opening information at this event that I will definitely use. 

I received eye-opening information at this event that I will definitely use. I liked the trio of speakers, they complemented one another well and I'd like to see more panels with them. I like the addition of Melissa because she gives honest feedback and is funny. Jessica is always sweet.

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Shireen Hakim

I highly recommend her to other writers!

Stephanie was wonderful. Her comments were encouraging and constructive. I was nervous at the start, but within a few minutes I felt like I was talking to a good friend- and a supportive one. I highly recommend her to other writers!

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Nancy Pellowski

The best conversation with an agent I've ever had!

Katharine was gracious with her guidance and generous with her advice. The best conversation with an agent I've ever had! Her tips were spot on and backed up from her substantial experience. I finished feeling that she "got" my memoir and saw the bigger picture for my career as a writer and speaker. I recommend Katharine highly and without reservation.

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Laura Vida

Not only did she provide honest feedback on my manuscript, I learned so much about the publishing industry from an agent's perspective.

Talking with Alyssa was a humbling, grounding experience. Not only did she provide honest feedback on my manuscript, I learned so much about the publishing industry from an agent's perspective. It helped me see my writing from her point of view, and inspired me to work even harder on my submissions. Alyssa was very gracious with her time and I greatly enjoyed our conversation.

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Samantha Gassman

It felt like chatting with an old friend, which really helped my nerves!

Eric was so helpful in critiquing my query. He pointed out what worked and what didn't, and even helped me brainstorm ways to clarify my stakes and polish up my wording. He was so nice and approachable too – it felt like chatting with an old friend, which really helped my nerves!

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Kate Bechard

Her detailed feedback helped strengthen my query letter

My 10 minutes with Jessica was great! She is fun and easy to talk to, and her detailed feedback helped strengthen my query letter. Also, her words of encouragement gave me hope at a time of doubt. I love these consultations!

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Patty Barrue

Really helped strengthen my query!

I had a super session with Stephanie Winter. My novel is dual perspective, and I've struggled trying to get both protagonists stories in the query. But Stephanie provided some great ideas and really helped strengthen my query!

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Linda Simoni-Wastila

Caitlin was off-the-charts helpful.

Caitlin was off-the-charts helpful. I worked with her twice, and both times, she gave incisive, well-reasoned feedback that immediately resounded with me. Also, she offered me information about presses that handle literary sci fi (and gave me that term, which I hadn't even known was a designation before). She was also very personable. I really enjoyed working with her.

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Susmita Ramani

Great presentations with truly valuable information from industry insiders.

This was such a great resource. I felt as motivated as if I'd spent all day at a conference, except it only cost $49! It was so nice to watch each class multiple times so that I could really absorb it at my own pace, take notes, or just listen. Thank you Laura Zats, Roseanne Wells and Linda Camacho! Great presentations with truly valuable information from industry insiders.

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Afton Nelson

I was able to fix the errors in my query letter, and finally create one I could feel confident in.

After tossing one frustrating draft after another of my query letter, I decided to try the Manuscript Academy's critique service. I'm glad I did. After following the advice Mr. Smith gave me, I was able to fix the errors in my query letter, and finally create one I could feel confident in. He was approachable, took care to answer my questions thoroughly, and made sure to explain not just what I should do, but why I should do it.

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Michele Zapf

Excellent feedback on my picture book project.

Not only did Kate give me excellent feedback on my picture book project, her comments were positive and constructive, and let me know exactly where I was on the right (write?) track and what needed more attention. Thank you, Kate and Manuscript Academy!

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Brooke Hartman

What more could a writer ask for?

My talk with Danielle Chiotti was nothing short of inspirational–and it was absolutely motivational! She was cheerful, inquisitive and well-prepared. I got several very concrete pieces of advice that transformed the query I had been struggling with. I now feel confident about sending the revised one out. What more could a writer ask for?

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Jane Hammons

She asked insightful questions, gave excellent advice on my query, and I felt like I was chatting with a new friend who genuinely wanted me to succeed.

My consultation with Kimberely Atkins was FABULOUS! She asked insightful questions, gave excellent advice on my query, and I felt like I was chatting with a new friend who genuinely wanted me to succeed and wanted to help me as much as possible.

Thank you!

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Jennifer Major

The ten minute consult could be just the help you need.

I would highly recommend both the experience of doing the query consult and doing so with Ms. Kenshole. Not only was she very easy to talk with but she gave me feedback that I could immediately put to use. I also had the opportunity to ask my burning questions. I left the meeting feeling encouraged and hopeful. Whether you’re just starting out or have hit a wall—the ten minute consult could be just the help you need.

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Julia Cooper

Get some critique coaching from John. You may not win ... but at least you’ll still enjoy playing the game

I had a 10-minute phone consult with John Cusick and I couldn’t be happier. Talking to John was like being given a pep talk by your favorite coach growing up. That wily coach that knew how to bring out the very best in their players with kindness, compassion, wisdom and a sense of humour. That coach that still has their skin in the game (John is a successful writer) and still knows all the craftiest plays and sneaks. And he knows how to best wrap an injury (even if it’s just your ego). That coach that has you play to your strengths but doesn’t fail to point out your weaknesses. Get some critique coaching from John. You may not win ... but at least you’ll still enjoy playing the game.

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Jonah Logan

Danielle Chiotti was personable and made me feel comfortable.

Danielle Chiotti was personable and made me feel comfortable. She critiqued the first page of my MG, giving me some valuable feedback. Danielle was thorough as we went over every paragraph, what worked and what didn't, and suggested enhancing foreshadowing using bread crumbs. I love that! It was a positive consultation and I'm eager to send her my query.

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Laurie Smith Murphy