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 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!

profile-pic
Laurie Murphy

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!

profile-pic
Katherine Weld Harding

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.

profile-pic
Clare Golding

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.

profile-pic
Nancy Parish

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.

profile-pic
Michele Zapf

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.

profile-pic
Katie Moynihan

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!!!

profile-pic
Nancy Parish

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.

profile-pic
Jessica Tedrick

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!

profile-pic
Linda Simoni-Wastila

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?

profile-pic
Jane Hammons

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.

profile-pic
Kathleen Kilpatrick

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!

profile-pic
Laura Vida

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!

profile-pic
Whitney Jones

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

profile-pic
Judy Hock

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.

profile-pic
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.

profile-pic
Shelly Drummond

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.

profile-pic
Megan Persinger

Will improve my work.

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

profile-pic
Chelsea Conley

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.

profile-pic
Amanda Zalar

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.

profile-pic
Jennifer Schuberth

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.

profile-pic
Helen Tosch

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.

profile-pic
Sarah LeFebvre

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!

profile-pic
Janice Clements

It is truly a gift to have had this experience.

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

profile-pic
Holly C.

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.

profile-pic
Natasha Yim

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

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

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

profile-pic
Suzanna M.

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!

profile-pic
Morgan Watchorn

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!

profile-pic
Natasha Prokopchuk

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!

profile-pic
Isadora Brown

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!

profile-pic
Dawn Miller

So much value!

Fiona was fantastic! I loved her knowledge an insights and very helpful, specific tips and strategies. Also, her openness and honesty. She sounds like such a fun, joyful agent to have in your corner. I'll definitely query her, for sure.

These workshops are so reasonably priced, but provide so much value. As a "starving" artist (not really, but it sounds romantic), I appreciate the low costs. The speakers are great, and I always learn so much. Jessica and Julie are great facilitators!

profile-pic
Natasha Yim

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.

profile-pic
John Franz

Just what I needed!

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

profile-pic
Cynthia Reeg

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.

profile-pic
Diana S.

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.

profile-pic
Sarah Lael

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.

profile-pic
Shelly Unwin

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.

profile-pic
Brittany Maresh

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!

profile-pic
Selina Maitreya

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.

profile-pic
Sabrina Vienneau

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.

profile-pic
Shireen Hakim

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.

profile-pic
Carolyn Swanson

I can’t wait to revise my query!

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

profile-pic
Kathleen Milligan

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!

profile-pic
Emily Thiede

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.

profile-pic
Sara Lynn Burnett

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.

profile-pic
Kathi J. Most

I would love to work with her again!

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

profile-pic
Amy Mercer

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.

profile-pic
Anne Putnam

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.

profile-pic
Diana S.

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!

profile-pic
Jennifer Major

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!

profile-pic
Bonnie Jo

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.

profile-pic
Brandon Breen

Positive, helpful, and fun

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

profile-pic
Rachel DiNunzio

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!

profile-pic
Brooke Hartman

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!

profile-pic
Todd Merrifield

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.

profile-pic
Afton Nelson

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!

profile-pic
Natasha Prokopchuk

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.

profile-pic
Dan Walsh

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.

profile-pic
Amy VanDuyn

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!

profile-pic
Gail Ansel

You put together a terrific event!

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

profile-pic
Zelly Ruskin

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.

profile-pic
Clare

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!

profile-pic
Jennifer Ammoscato

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.

profile-pic
Elaine Ostry

I can already see the difference in my writing.

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

profile-pic
Erin Corbett

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!

profile-pic
Christopher Mannino

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.

profile-pic
Gina Kopcrak

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.

profile-pic
Susmita Ramani

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

profile-pic
Sandra Edmondson

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!"

profile-pic
Sandra Dethlefsen

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.

profile-pic
Kayleigh Carpenter

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.

profile-pic
Laurie Lascos

The Manuscript Academy made a huge difference.

I have an agent! I signed with Emily Forney at BookEnds this morning, on the basis of my roller derby young adult novel, and I'm so excited!

Manuscript Academy made a huge difference in getting me the info I needed and in getting me to take the effort to get published seriously. HUGE shout out to Jessica Sinsheimer and Julie True Kingsley!
.

profile-pic
Elizabeth Holden

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.

profile-pic
Sarah Chalmers

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.

profile-pic
Janna Goodwin

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.

profile-pic
Irina

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!

profile-pic
Nancy Pellowski

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.

profile-pic
Tom Hoover

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.

profile-pic
Kara Imle

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

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

profile-pic
Claire Hatcher-Smith

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.

profile-pic
Colleen Jiron

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.

profile-pic
Zeena Pliska

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!

profile-pic
Victoria Shi

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!

profile-pic
Elisabeth Aikins

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!

profile-pic
Andrea Chapin

Always constructive suggestions

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

profile-pic
Nancy Pellowski

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!!

profile-pic
Melanie Schubert

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.

profile-pic
Dave Wickenden

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.

profile-pic
Brad Cameron

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.

profile-pic
Matt Leyshon

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!!!!!

profile-pic
Jesse Weiner

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.

profile-pic
Charlotte Slater

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.

profile-pic
Jen Myers

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!

profile-pic
Judy Palermo

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.

profile-pic
Maureen Hayes

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.

profile-pic
Samantha Gassman

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!!

profile-pic
Todd Merrifield

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!

profile-pic
Raidah Shah Idil

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.

profile-pic
Gina Kopcrak

She gave me confidence in my ability

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

profile-pic
Shelia Diaz

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!

profile-pic
Dana M Brantley-Sieders