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.

She was so generous in sharing her knowledge and expertise.

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

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Shelly Unwin

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

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

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

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

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

She answered all my questions like a professional

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

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Bill Denham

Smart, practical and kind

Very much enjoyed my talk with Kayla. After seeing her podcast, I knew she'd be great - smart, practical and kind. I definitely recommend a consultation with her.

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Jayme Inman

Just what I need at the moment

My consultation with Rachel was just what I need at the moment - direct feedback from an experienced industry professional. To date, my writing has been a creative brain to paper exercise, which has been rewarding. Rachel's review of my first ten pages, and subsequent consultation, provided me with guidance on structure, and the show don't tell writing style that I have been eagerly searching for. I hope some day to be an accomplished author of MG novels. Even then, I am sure that I would still learn a lot from Rachel.

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Rick Tyson

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

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

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

Expect to learn 10-12 things that will give you immediate knowledge for how to execute a new awesome plan taking you into your greatness as a writer

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

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Alysha Dominico

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

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

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Jonah Logan

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 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

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

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

The 10-minutes was packed with great feedback

Melissa is WONDERFUL! The 10-minutes was packed with great feedback I could implement immediately and then explained WHY she was giving me this feedback. It was so helpful and I’m feeling incredibly refreshed and excited. Thank you so much!

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Isadora Brown

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

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

I feel like I have a strong idea of what I've done well and what I need to work on.

I met with Melissa Warten for the 10 minute query critique. I enjoyed working with her, so I came back for a 15 minute 10 page critique. Melissa is fantastic. I feel like I have a strong idea of what I've done well and what I need to work on. She is very approachable and extremely clear with her feedback. It is evident Melissa is passionate about literature. She arrives to the sessions prepared and excited to discuss the writer's work. I highly recommend these sessions!

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Marci Rubin

My consultations with Manuscript Academy faculty have been SO valuable over the past month.

My consultations with Manuscript Academy faculty have been SO valuable over the past month. I signed up for several, to get multiple opinions and a variety of input. My most recent consultation, this Monday, was with Jennifer Wills from the Seymour Agency. She had both general and very specific commentary on my query that really helped with the final stages of refining that elusive piece of the publishing puzzle. She was also easy to talk to and super supportive. I definitely recommend choosing Jennifer for a live consult!

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Jayme Inman

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

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

Just immensely helpful

Caitlin was so fantastic in this follow-up chat; I'd met with her several months ago and got to work on revising my query based her feedback. To have the opportunity to share the revised version with her--and then dig a little deeper still!--was just immensely helpful. Thank you!!

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Trisha Muro

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

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

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

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Alysha Dominico

All of these critiques are worth every penny and then some.

Melissa was great! She gave both specific and general feedback that has helped me answer some lingering questions I have, and I believe her honesty and transparency will help me not only create a better manuscript, but also find the right agent for this book. If you want someone who will be straightforward, choose Melissa. You can't go wrong. All of these critiques are worth every penny and then some.

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Helen Tosch

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

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

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

I love these consultations!

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

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Patty Barrue

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

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

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

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

Transmittable?

Communicable?

Drat.

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

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

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

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Jeremiah Glass

The day after I took her precise and useful notes and revised my query, I got a full request for my manuscript.

Jessica was extremely thorough, professional and compassionate in helping me to improve my query letter. The day after I took her precise and useful notes and revised my query, I got a full request for my manuscript as well as a note from an agent that my query letter was SOLID. The proof is in the pudding, and Jessica is a gem.

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Jai Franklin Sarki

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

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

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

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

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

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James Williamson

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

Money well spent!

Going into the query trenches is daunting no matter how many times you have edited, and re-edited your materials. While I totally respect the need for form emails when an agent feels your project is not the right fit for them, it does leave you wondering if something is WRONG with your query! Is something not up to par? Is that cuss word in the first chapter turning prospective agents off?! My Skype call with Alyssa was just what I needed. She gave some fantastic suggestions to tighten my query letter and it was great hearing from an agent in my field that the important things were there (she said the voice of the chapter was great 🥰) and that I'm not totally off track. Money well spent!!

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Melanie Schubert

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

Incredibly helpful!

Jessica was great! She gave me commentary not only on the overall state of my picture book manuscript, but also specific items for me to tweak. She was incredibly helpful, and I highly recommend her!

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Elisabeth Aikins

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

To have the opportunity to share the revised version with her--and then dig a little deeper still!--was just immensely helpful

Caitlyn was so fantastic in this follow-up chat; I'd met with her several months ago and got to work on revising my query based her feedback. To have the opportunity to share the revised version with her--and then dig a little deeper still!--was just immensely helpful. Thank you!!

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Trisha Muro

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

Helped me focus on the parts that made my query shine

Stephanie was so friendly and so helpful! She had really great suggestions to improve my query letter and helped me focus on the parts that made it shine. She also had thoughtful, insightful answers for all my questions, and her feedback really made my pitch and comps shine. I would highly recommend a consult with her - she has so many great ideas and really took the time to dig into my query.

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Kate Bechard

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

An expert eye for nonfiction

Hannah was amazing! She gave me thoughtful, specific, actionable feedback on my query letter in a straightforward and encouraging manner. She also gave me insight into what agents and editors are looking for when evaluating nonfiction book projects like mine. It was clear she engaged with my query and really thought about how to revise it to make the book's unique aspects shine. Based on her feedback, I am really encouraged to continue to hone the query/pitch as she suggested to make the book's premise, market, and content clear and irresistible. If you have a nonfiction book, particularly practical nonfiction, and are looking for an expert eye to help you with your query/pitch, you need Hannah's perspective. I am so glad I took advantage of this opportunity!

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Cathy Dipierro

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

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

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

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

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

Her advice was really groundbreaking for me.

Katharine was unbelievably generous with her time and advice, both on Zoom and via email after her query critique. Her advice was really groundbreaking for me because what I thought was understandable was not to her. She (very patiently and kindly) explained that agents read fast and need simple, chronological accounts. She identified the backbone of my story and got me thinking of how readers will approach my title. She is a gift.

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Heidi Colonna

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

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

I highly recommend her to other writers!

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

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Nancy Pellowski

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

I believe it will probably save my future queries

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

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Darren McNaughton

I 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friendly, smart, practical and very knowledgeable

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

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

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

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

More informative than my MFA

My consultation was amazing. Cecilia provided me with excellent feedback and opened my eyes to some (now) obvious errors in my prose. Honestly, her consultation was more enlightening and informative than many of my writing classes I attended in my MFA program. Thank you for creating this valuable opportunity.

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Rochelle S.

Her professional insights were super valuable

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

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Jenn Marlis

I 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

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

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

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

She really helped me see what I need to do next

I had a fabulous 10-minutes with an expert call with Cece Lyra yesterday! She was helpful, funny, and kind. She really helped me see what I need to do next. Thanks a million for this opportunity, Julie and Jessica!

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Vanya Erickson

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.

She went out of her way

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

I left the consult feeling motivated and encouraged about the direction of my writing

I met with Amy Bishop for a first page consult. She gave me specific, actionable constructive criticism to make my first page stronger, and pointed out a few issues to fix the tone of the character. I left the consult feeling motivated and encouraged about the direction of my writing.

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Kathryn Wilson

She helped me see the key next step for my revision!

Fiona Kenshole was generous with her time and comments, warm and easy to talk with, and most of all, she helped me see the key next step for my revision! I am encouraged and challenged, in a good way. I absolutely recommend talking with Fiona to learn how to make your MG more immersive and relatable to the target reader. She also gave me helpful feedback on my query.

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Stephanie Jones

Got right into the heart of what needed to be addressed in my first 10 pages.

Melissa was very prepared and got right into the heart of what needed to be addressed in my first 10 pages. Fifteen minutes goes by quickly, and she was able to give me highly workable action items on my pages and my query.

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Lowell Buckner

I would definitely recommend this to any author

Caitlin's feedback was incredibly valuable, and from the short conversation I can already see many opportunities to improve both my manuscript and my query letter. I would definitely recommend this to any author, especially those going the traditional publishing route.

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Aaron Peters

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

She also pointed out specific areas of my query letter that could be improved and tweaked.

It's incredible how much Em was able to help in 10 minutes! Not only did she give me great general advice as it pertains to query letters' structure and contents, but she also pointed out specific areas of mine that could be improved and tweaked. She was so informative that she actually covered most of the questions I'd written out in advance to ask, so we had time for me to try and come up with new questions on the fly. I can't recommend her highly enough to go over your query letter and give insight as to what is or isn't working as well as how to make it stronger.

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Madeleine Cassier

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

I left the meeting feeling encouraged and hopeful

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

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Julia Cooper

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

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 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

Incredibly helpful and encouraging

My consultation with Anne Elliott was awesome! When I finished writing my first short story about a month ago, I wasn't sure what the next step should be. I considered having a consultation with a Manuscript Academy faculty member, but when I read their bio's, there didn't seem to be anyone specializing in short stories. And then I came across Anne's "Finding a Home for Your Short Story" talk, which was super informative. And when I saw that she was offering individual consultations, I couldn't believe my good luck. Our Zoom call and her follow-up email were incredibly helpful and encouraging. She was also just really personable and fun to talk to. I'm much more knowledgeable about writing and publishing short stories now. Thanks so much for bringing Anne into The Manuscript Academy's family.

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Mary Sprague

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

Talking to John was like being given a pep talk by your favorite coach growing up.

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

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 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

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

She took me right to what worked and then to what didn't work.

Caitlin rocked. She took me right to what worked and then to what didn't work. Getting published isn't just about having my name on a book, it's about the experience of working with a genius editor who will guide you through improving your writing. Caitlin gave me a taste of what that's like. Which is joyous. Also—and I'm STILL kind of coasting on this—I secretly think I'd fit on the shelf next to a certain super famous author and Caitlin mentioned him in the first three minutes of the call and I almost died.

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Bull Garlington