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.

Direction was what I was looking for and direction was what I received.

What a great session I had with Marilyn Atlas! Her thoughts on my writing were insightful and helpful. In particular, she gave me some guidance on having my book turned into a screenplay and shared her knowledge of the business with me. Direction was what I was looking for and direction was what I received. Thanks Marilyn!

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Janice Clements

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

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

We discussed the concept and comps.

Melissa was kind, outgoing, and fun to work with. We discussed the concept and comps, and she gave me feedback on how to improve one paragraph on my first page. I wish we had more than ten minutes; I would definitely enjoy working with her again.

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Daria Pipkin

She offered really astute insights and suggestions

I was so happy to get Kayla Lightner's take on the first ten pages of my novel. She offered really astute insights and suggestions. I was concerned that what I was trying to create, in terms of the voice, was not on key, and Kayla provided more than the feedback I needed. Her comments were clear, which of course was helpful--but on top of that she was warm and encouraging. My only regret is that the conversation couldn't have lasted longer. It was a delightful fifteen minutes.

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Bud Jennings

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

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

Completely changed the way I think about writing a query

She gave me SUCH good ideas and completely changed the way I think about writing a query. She also made me feel better about the "rules" and telling the heart of the story.

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Amy Van Duyn

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

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

Unsurprisingly, she was awesome!

I won a Ten Minutes with an Expert chat from a Facebook live first pages event and was thrilled to find a coveted meeting with Jessica available in July. Unsurprisingly, she was awesome! She didn't mind working through technical issues with me to ensure I had her comments in front of me as we chatted (even though she was running behind schedule and had already had a long day running a Manuscript Academy event), and provided excellent feedback that helped me understand the strengths and weaknesses in my query letter. Now as I rework my blurb, I have high hopes that the finished product will be a lot better thanks to her notes.

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Sarah Adler

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 feel more motivated then ever to start querying after my meeting with her!

I recently had a query critique with Jessica. She was incredibly kind and helpful. She answered all of my questions and gave a lot of great suggestions, while simultaneously being encouraging. I feel more motivated then ever to start querying after my meeting with her!

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Megan Elba

Positive, helpful, and fun

Jessica was awesome! She gives specific feedback, is personable, and clearly is very knowledgeable about what she does. If you want to have a positive, helpful, and fun conversation— she’s your gal.

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Rachel DiNunzio

Helped me work out what aspects would and would not work for the market

Eric was lovely to work with! He listened to my ideas, helped me work out what aspects would and would not work for the market, and even suggested some great comp titles.

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Lindsay Maple

Gave in-depth, invaluable advice

Lane was amazing and respectful. He effectively provided insight on my strengths and weaknesses as well as how to improve. Very knowledgeable, Lane dissected my pages and query and gave in-depth, invaluable advice. I 100% recommend Lane and I look forward to working with him again in the future.

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Arien Skiba

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

Gave me the confidence I needed to begin querying!

Meeting with Saba was a great experience. She was down-to-earth, positive, and gave me the confidence I needed to begin querying!

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Kiley Orchard

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

I walked away from the experience, more motivated and better prepared to write, revise and pursue publishing.

I took part in Fiona Kenshole's Picture Book workshop and had the most wonderful experience. Fiona is clearly a seasoned pro in the writing world. Not only was she incredibly knowledgeable, but she was able to convey the information in a way that was fun and inspirational. I walked away from the experience, more motivated and better prepared to write, revise and pursue publishing.

Whether you are a new or seasoned writer, trying to get published or write as a hobby, a workshop from The Manuscript Academy is a must. And I would highly recommend Fiona Kenshole if you have a chance to take one of her classes or book a consultation or critique.

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Tricia Larsen

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

She delivered clear insights and specific suggestions

The query consult with Caitlin was a terrific experience. She delivered clear insights and specific suggestions--and did so with kindness. I'm so happy to have had the opportunity to receive her expert feedback.

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Bud Jennings

Ten minutes with Fiona was all I needed to get me enthusiastic about my writing again and excited to get started on my editing!

Ten minutes with Fiona was all I needed to get me enthusiastic about my writing again and excited to get started on my editing! Fiona was absolutely wonderful - she was supportive, insightful, encouraging, and critical in all the right ways. As a new author and someone lacking many connections within the industry, it was great to be able to get expert guidance and to receive really specific, tailored advice that will help me take my query - and my writing - to the next level.

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Bryan Smith

Put me on a path to a much more powerful and direct query letter.

My consultation with Amy was extremely helpful. She gave me feedback on both my query letter and my pages and her clear explanations of strong and weak points in the letter have put me on a path to a much more powerful and direct query letter. Her feedback on my pages reinforced my own sense of what was and wasn't working and I am revising with more confidence. I am so thankful!

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Sabrina Reeves

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

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.

I also participated in an online writer's session earlier this month. Though I had listened to and enjoyed the podcast this past year, after one month I'm already really feeling the added value of the Manuscript Academy subscription.

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James Williamson

Very helpful

My consultation with Valentina was excellent. She had great suggestions specific to me and my situation. Very helpful. It was a real pleasure to talk with her.

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Miriam Giskin

She gave me the input I needed to move to the next step.

Working with Hannah was wonderful! She was friendly, prepared, and full of practical advice and recommendations. After talking with Hannah, I knew what changes I needed to make to my book proposal. She gave me the input I needed to move to the next step. I appreciated Hannah's input and insight based on her tremendous experience in the publishing field. Thank you!

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Eileen Smith

I already took her advice and am confident about querying and having my first pages read by other agents.

Samantha's suggestions on improving my first page by adding a little more emotional depth were spot-on. I already took her advice and am confident about querying and having my first pages read by other agents.

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Rachel Remick

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

This was well worth my time!

I loved the writing exercises and the positivity! I walked away with an appreciation for emotional connections as a transportive sort of thing - the connections that make a character and relationship more real and give them a sense of history and reality. Non-linear structure aside, this was well worth my time, and I'm really glad I signed up for it.

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Brittany Maresh

She was extremely helpful with her feedback

I submitted a small writing sample prior to my meeting with Hannah. I was a bit anxious as I knew we only had a short time, but she got right down to business. She was extremely helpful with her feedback as well as her insights on new author websites, social media and query letters. I truly appreciated everything she had to say and felt I really benefitted from our time together.

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Denise Miller

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am excited to rework my query and think it will be stronger thanks to her advice

Caitlin was wonderful! She reviewed my query with me and gave me great insight into how to integrate "industry standard" pieces, such as comps. We also discussed how important specificity is in a query and she helped me identify places where my language was vague. She was a great manager of time, making sure to leave enough time for me to ask questions at the end after sharing her thoughts. I am excited to rework my query and think it will be stronger thanks to her advice.

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Sarah McGowan

Artfully provided feedback in an encouraging manner

CeCe provided me with immensely helpful feedback that I can readily put to use in my writing efforts. She is as much a teacher as an agent, and artfully provides feedback in an encouraging manner. Be prepared to take notes - CeCe does her homework in advance of the call. She knew my main character well, asked informed questions, and gave me a ton of great ideas to work on. I am so appreciative to have spent time with her discussing my work.

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Rick Tyson

I left the call buzzing with energy and enthusiasm and was so grateful for her time and expertise.

My consultation with Linda was incredible. She was so encouraging and warm, but equally insightful and considered. She asked great questions, which showed that she had thought about the whole story not just the first ten pages. She gave me some fabulous advice to help set the scene in the first chapter and a couple of line edit suggestions, which whilst small will really impact the reader as they engage with the story. I left the call buzzing with energy and enthusiasm and was so grateful for her time and expertise.

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Shelly Unwin

She also answered my questions concisely and honestly

Ms. McDonald was amazing. She had a lot of insight on my first page, not only because she gave me suggestions but also WHY she felt those suggestions were necessary in order to help build a stronger hook. She also answered my questions concisely and honestly, which I appreciated.

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Heather Cardona

Feedback is so on-point and specific

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

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

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

It was extremely helpful and loads of fun.

A terrific learning experience. The team took the time to read the first lines of many of the participants and point out their strengths. So helpful to those of us struggling with the "hook!"

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Sandra Dethlefsen

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

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

I can already see the difference in my writing.

I found the craft pack to be extremely helpful, particularly Laura Zats' class on voice. She provided actionable advice on deepening POV that I was able to use on my manuscript that same day, and I can already see the difference in my writing. Since I watched the classes, I have frequently referenced back to the notes I took on all of them.

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Erin Corbett

Writers need critiques from agents who have never seen your manuscript before.  That's the beauty of Manuscript Academy!

As an author taking a plunge and meeting with literary agents is a leap that can be scary. An author needs to take every bit of advice and sift through it, like a fine cookie recipe. Sift, Sift, mix, add a little here, and a little there. Here and there definitely describes the 15 minute consultation I received with Megan Barnard. Her thoughts, and written notes, and line edits, were well worth the time and fee. She brought numerous details to me and covererd a lot of ground, which I couldn't see very clearly at first. Sift and sift. That's what I did afterwords, and thought about adding more detail here and there throughout the beginning of the manuscript to make the flow better, while also capturing my Mrs. Eula's true essence. Megan's fascination with the true depiction of my main character prompted me to realize readers are our best critics. She really understood Mrs. Eula and the problem she faced, suggesting there needed to be a more chronological flow at beginning. I appreciate my meeting with Megan, and without a doubt, it was time well spent. I dearly love Manuscript Academy, it's the link I've been missing throughout my novel journey. Writers need critiques from agents who have never seen your manuscript before. That's the beauty of Manuscript Academy!

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Sherry Purdom

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

An astonishing amount of feedback in 10 minutes.

Kayla crammed an astonishing amount of feedback (including encouraging, positive feedback but also actionable, constructive comments) into just ten minutes. Her thoughts were extremely valuable – I left the call feeling reassured that I was on the right path, and also energized to revise my query and make it even better.

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Anne Putnam

Objective and experienced

The greatest value of spending 10 minutes on the phone with an agent and former editor, was that I could get feedback from someone who is objective and experienced. Whitney provided a few nuggets of advice that were helpful in rewriting my first sentence. She was encouraging and kind. She also helped me think more about comp titles and how to categorize my manuscript.

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Lori Narlock

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 can’t wait to revise my query!

Linda was easy to talk to and covered an amazing amount of subject matter in a short amount of time. Her remarks were quite helpful, and I can’t wait to revise my query!

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Kathleen Milligan

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

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

Questions answered that really helped narrow down which paths to pursue

Alyssa was very easy to talk to. Although I was nervous, I had a great time and got questions answered that really helped narrow down which paths to pursue. I would recommend her for consults for sure.

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Rachel Scott

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

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

Great feedback and suggestions on my query

Megan gave me great feedback and suggestions on my query. In ten minutes, she helped me with clarifying my novels plot lines leading to a cliffhanging ending.

I would highly recommend her.

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Maureen Hayes

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

Super nice and thorough

Jessica was super nice and thorough. I didn't feel like I was rushed, nor that we missed discussing anything. I'm so happy with my experience!

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Liv Macy

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.

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

I got so many answers in just ten minutes!

My ten-minute meeting with Andrea was fabulous and incredibly productive. Andrea was so nice and supportive and helped me feel more confident about sending out my query letter. I got so many answers in just ten minutes!

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Whitney Jones

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

Excellent resources and super pleasant people, too!

I had consultations with both John and Molly Cusick and found them to be wonderful to work with. They're friendly, smart, practical and very knowledgeable. Excellent resources and super pleasant people, too!

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Jayme Inman

This is a tremendous service for a writer seeking advice and I thank The Manuscript Academy and Katharine!

My very brief consultation with Katharine was filled to the brim with cogent information. Katharine had obviously reviewed my material beforehand and she shared with me her specific ideas for strengthening the proposal. Her ideas were extremely helpful and I so appreciated how patient and kind she was. This is a tremendous service for a writer seeking advice and I thank The Manuscript Academy and Katharine!

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Selina Maitreya

Danielle was very helpful.

Danielle was very helpful. I had a tricky problem with my query and she talked me through the fixes I needed in order to add a lot of new information without going into a flood of detail. This is my third consultation and each one has helped me in a meaningful way.

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Clare

I can't emphasize how nervous I was at the beginning, but I'm so glad I signed up!

Although I'd shown my adult sci-fi manuscript to a couple waves beta readers, including Meetups and a writer's retreat workshop with an industry editor, this live session was a great experience. Foremost, Kiana Nguyen provided unique advice about starting the novel at a different point in the event timeline. She provided solid rationale, and even kindly offered a sentence stem to kick off with. Two days later, I had a first draft to show my Meetup, and seven out of eight readers-- both new and old-- preferred the new beginning. Apart from that, Kiana also offered detailed thoughts on weaker and problematic word choices, and how to get the story feeling more appropriate to the timeline. Unexpectedly, she also went the extra mile and sent written notes, including suggestions for my query letter. When Kiana's recommendations conflicted with other beta readers, that was also really informative. A good reminder of subjectivity, and how agents have specific approaches. Mind you, she also said nice things about my premise and certain passages. She was extremely friendly, reassuring, emphasized the need to write frim the POV/style/etc. that one prefers rather than focusing on 'the most commercially viable' strategy. Also, she was communicative when we had technical problems at the start, and shared neat opinions about representing racial minorities in fiction. I can't emphasize how nervous I was at the beginning, but I'm so glad I signed up!

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Victoria Shi

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 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 was so inspired after our conversation

Ms. Sands was an absolute pleasure to speak with. Her guidance was thoughtful and kind, and I never felt rushed. I was so inspired after our conversation that I immediately got to work implementing her suggestions for my query letter! It was a wonderful experience.

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Stacey Danevicz

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

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

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

It's the best money I've ever spent!

Molly provided concise and insightful feedback on my query letter and manuscript, which I've been struggling with for a while. I'm immensely grateful to Molly for this, and would highly recommend her to any writer looking for a fresh pair of eyes, along with kind and helpful feedback.

I bought this critique with money I received for my birthday, and I'm so glad I did - it's the best money I've ever spent! So, thank you to everyone at Manuscript Academy for providing this wonderful service.

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Suzanna M.

She showed enthusiasm for my project while conveying some of the harsh realities of the publishing industry.

In our ten minute chat, Rachel was warm, welcoming and generous with her time. She showed enthusiasm for my project while conveying some of the harsh realities of the publishing industry. She answered all my question and gave great suggestions for my query. My thanks to Rachel and The Manuscript Academy team!

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Yolanda Ridge

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

Specific, insightful suggestions

Whitney Ross was enormously helpful--in just our 10-minute discussion. She provided specific, insightful suggestions for my query letter--and she did so with real compassion and care. I am grateful for her recommendations and am inspired by her encouragement.

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Bud Jennings

I'm excited to proceed forward with confidence with the querying process.

I really enjoyed my 1-on-1 critique session with Stephanie Winter. I feel my manuscript 1st page has been "turbo-charged." In a mere ten minutes, Stephanie combined her erudite literary insight, knowledge of the publishing industry, and experience as avid reader and writer's advocate, while always displaying a diplomatic balance of both praise and criticism, for her succinct and powerful recommendations to improve the first page of my manuscript. Now that I see the result, I'm excited to proceed forward with confidence with the querying process.

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Dave Elliott

Clear actionable guidance on what I need to accomplish

Alyssa did a great job. I've been bracketing the amount and type of information to provide in my query letter and Alyssa gave me clear actionable guidance on what I need to accomplish. All the Manuscript Academy resources have been instrumental in my development to being a professional writer.

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David VanderVeen

She knew what I needed to move my story along!

Samantha was wonderful! She was very positive, and knew exactly what I needed to move my story forward.

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Kathi Most

I love all the events and classes Manuscript Academy has to offer. Thank you for making industry professionals so accessible to writers.

This was a FANTASTIC series! I love all the very specific, usable tips, especially the ones on how to research agents using metatags and advanced Twitter and Google searches. I had never thought of that before. I couldn't attend live so watched the recordings. I found all the information extremely helpful and inspiring. It was such a supportive environment. Thank you for all the useful strategies on how to track agent submissions and read rejection letters (that was super helpful!). I've had a few "this isn't right for me. But send me another manuscript" type of rejections. It reminds me not to stop listening at "this isn't right for me." but to make note of that agent for "send me another manuscript." - got to find that silver lining!

I love all the events and classes Manuscript Academy has to offer. Thank you for making industry professionals so accessible to writers.

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Natasha Yim

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

Kind, encouraging and provided amazing feedback

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

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

Equal parts encouraging and unvarnished feedback

Caitlin was equal parts encouraging and unvarnished feedback - and she packed a lot of insight and advice into 15 minutes. I'm grateful she approached my pages so thoughtfully when I know the end of the year had pretty much everyone running on fumes. I highly recommend her for anyone writing in the YA fantasy genre!

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Emma Baker

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

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

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

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 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

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

Great tips and wonderful insights into my writing

I highly recommend Linda. I’ve done several versions of critiques and edits on various platforms and I’ve found Linda to be the most engaging with great tips and wonderful insights into my writing and characters I didn’t even realize. She was patient and went well past the allotted time. I actually felt bad as 10 minutes became 30 minutes.

I plan on having her critique my next WIP and if my manuscripts were on her MSWL, I’d absolutely query her. I can tell she’s one of the most engaging people and deeply cares about her authors and friends.

Highly recommend her. Although I want to keep her a secret to myself, I know she can help advance your next steps for your WIP.

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Wenjay Sung

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

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

Thanks Manuscript Academy for putting together a wonderful resource for writers!

Stephanie's feedback on my first ten pages has been invaluable. She took the time to breakdown scene, setting, character, and motivations. It allowed me to see everything more objectively, and my brain was buzzing with ideas before even finishing the call. I can't recommend her enough! Thanks Manuscript Academy for putting together a wonderful resource for writers!

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Dawn Miller

It's always lovely working with Melissa!

It's always lovely working with Melissa! She give such wonderfully concrete and specific information to help make my manuscript better. I highly recommend working with her!

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Elisabeth Aikins