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.

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This was a very insightful appointment and an amazing opportunity.

I had the pleasure of speaking with my 'dream agent' Andrea Somberg for my consultation. She was really nice and had so many great suggestions for the pages that I sent. I'm glad that I booked the appointment and was so excited when she asked for my full manuscript! This was a very insightful appointment and an amazing opportunity to receive feedback from a true professional. Thanks again for the opportunity!

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Andrea Chapin

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

I feel well-positioned and excited to finally begin the query process.

I enjoyed a very instructive chat with Caitlin. She expressed enthusiasm in the project, and pointed out several ways I hadn't thought of to strengthen my query and help it better express the scope of the work. I feel well-positioned and excited to finally begin the query process, and would definitely recommend Caitlin as a wonderful source of guidance.

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Carolyn Swanson

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

Loved this event!

Loved this event! I've been submitting for awhile, and have done a lot of research on queries and first pages so I wasn't sure what I would take away from the event. But, I found this event to be the shot in the arm I needed. I learned some new research techniques, that's always helpful. Jessica's presentation on organizing rejections and taking the emotion out of it was amazing. Every little thing along the way was just what we needed to be able to revise our submissions until they were nice and shiny. I think Julie's final presentation really showed how little time we as writers have to impress agents.

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Nancy Parish

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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 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

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'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

The advice concerning my query letter from Melissa was probably the best I have received during my writing career.

The advice concerning my query letter from Melissa was probably the best I have received during my writing career. It was personal, and caring, and my query will be much stronger thanks to her help.
I highly recommend other authors to invest in this consultation.

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Dave Wickenden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Full of good humor and good advice.

The ten-minute query-page consultation with the astute Hannah Robinson was full of good humor and good advice. Hannah made several helpful suggestions for improvement, and I feel that I and my query letter greatly benefitted from our cordial discussion. I am grateful to have had this opportunity to consult with such a fine editorial professional.

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Stephani Colby

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

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

Concrete feedback ready for me

My meeting with Danielle was absolutely lovely. She had clearly spent time with my work and had concrete feedback ready for me, which is incredibly helpful because sometimes it’s hard to form the right questions to ask! And she’s also such a bright, warm human, which made the experience delightful as well as helpful. Highly recommend her as someone to consult!

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Natasha Prokopchuk

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

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

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

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 not only helpful, but a confidence boost that I'm on the right path.

Andrea was absolutely fantastic to speak to regarding my query letter. She had some wonderful insights that you can't find from google and she was joy to speak to. Very warm and personable! It was not only helpful, but a confidence boost that I'm on the right path.

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Sara Lynn Burnett

I've never felt so prepared for the query trenches.

Jessica identified which elements of my query letter to elevate to give my manuscript the best chance of appealing to the current market. Her advice extended to comp titles and potential revisions, too. I've never felt so prepared for the query trenches. Thank you, Jessica!

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Morgan Watchorn

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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

My meeting with Danielle was absolutely lovely. She had clearly spent time with my work and had concrete feedback ready for me, which is incredibly helpful because sometimes it’s hard to form the right questions to ask! And she’s also such a bright, warm human, which made the experience delightful as well as helpful. Highly recommend her as someone to consult!

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Natasha Prokopchuk

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'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

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

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 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

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 received more clarity about my query letter during my brief consultation with her than I have in all the articles I've read and the webinars I've attended.

Rachel was fantastic. I received more clarity about my query letter during my brief consultation with her than I have in all the articles I've read and the webinars I've attended. I feel much more confident now about how to revise it so I can start sending it to agents. Rachel also was generous with her time and called me back after my phone disconnected itself, as it is prone to do. I can't recommend her highly enough.

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Charlotte Slater

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

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

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

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

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

I've learned so much

Melissa was wonderful giving all the detail from submission to shelf—I had no idea about ALL the steps required nor the length of time. It was important information but also rather daunting!

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Katherine Weld Harding

She offered feedback that will make my manuscript better.

I highly recommend a consultation with Alyssa! She asked questions to understand my manuscript and she offered feedback that will make my manuscript better. I also loved that her approach didn't make the 10 minutes feel rushed.

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Mandy Yokim

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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

Cozy and personal and uplifting!

As with all Manuscript Academy events, this was so incredibly helpful. I have been perpetually confused and frustrated about hooks- like its been a thorn in my side- and I finally have some clarity on what they are, which is literally so wonderful!! I still am not sure what my own hook is, but now I have a formula to work with, which is all I can ask for, and so much more than I had at the beginning! Yay! And of course, the vibe tonight was so cozy and personal and uplifting, which is exactly the kind of tone we need for growth and community! Which is what I always come for anyways 🙂

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Natasha Procupchuk

In a matter of seconds, she identified core issues that otherwise may have taken me months to figure out.

Fiona's brilliant and insightful comments shed so much light on the areas I needed to strengthen in my manuscript. In a matter of seconds, she identified core issues that otherwise may have taken me months to figure out.

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Brandon Breen

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 loved the event!

I loved the event! It was my first time interacting with agents in a panel and was happy that two of my questions were answered. I ended up with a page of helpful notes, even though my query and first page were not chosen to be read.

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Kayleigh Carpenter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We had a very thorough and insightful chat.

We had a very thorough and insightful chat, not only about tips for the first 10 pages but the rationale behind it. I appreciated her insights suggestions. But for me, the best part was talking about the MS as a whole and how best to start readers on the journey, based on what I am trying to accomplish with the MS. It was a different conversation than what I expected--more discussion about the book and the industry than actual critique, which was exactly what I wanted, needed. Plus, she's just great. So glad I did it.

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Tom Hoover

Great 10 minutes with Rebecca Raskin! She was personable, professional, encouraging, and gave me valuable insights on platform-building, comp titles and networking opportunities, and advice on balancing personal story with prescriptive/informational elements to maintain an emotional connection with readers for a non-fiction project. One of the best 10 minutes I've spent in professional development as a writer. The Manuscript Academy and their faculty are great resources!

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Dana M Brantley-Sieders

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

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 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