Work-in-Progress Critique

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Work-in-Progress Critique


*** If you would like to be on the wait list for SPARK, please email me.***

You have a work-in-progress: the thing is a holy mess. Or maybe it’s not, maybe you can feel yourself getting somewhere, but you need someone to hold up a sparkler for you. Someone who can shine a little light on all the delicious story kindling just waiting to be lit.

You might be pretty well into the thing and find yourself stuck. You might be in the early stages of drafting and just really want some guidance so you don’t end up in story quicksand. It’s possible you’re really flying, but you want someone to give you some notes, brainstorm, check in with.

Perhaps you’re good on the story front, but you’re having a hard time getting to the page. Your process is a mess. In fact, you’ve realized you don’t think you have a process and now you’re getting worried about…A BLOCK! (cue scary music)

I volunteer as tribute to help guide you in this early stage of your book—whether you’re a couple chapters in or heading toward the finish line.

All genres are welcome except picture books and poetry (love you, but that’s not my area of expertise). Adult, young adult, middle-grade. Fiction, non-fiction, memoir. Short stories, essay collections—bring it on!

SPARK is for you if:

  • You have a work-in-progress with at least 50 pages and a solid idea. That doesn’t mean the book is plotted or that you’ve figured everything out. But it means we’ve got more to go off of than: “I want to write a story about a treasure hunt. Here are three sentences I’ve written. Now what?”

  • You’re eager to have someone to jam with about your project, a co-conspirator.

  • You’re excited to get some guidance on tricky story problems, deepening character, working on process, going into the craft areas you struggle with.

What you get:

  • The first 50 pages of your work-in-progress critiqued professionally. This means track changes / line edits and a big-ass editorial letter that gets into all elements of story and craft - and suggestions for process. (Trust me when I say that 50 pages is all I need to help your brainstorm the heck out of this book. With years of editorial and teaching experience, I’m confident that these pages are a very firm foundation upon which to build our work. If you’d like me to read more than that, there is an additional fee).

  • 1 call (60 minutes) in which we get deep into the thicket of your story. If you’d like additional calls, you can sign up for some Jazz Sessions to keep jamming on this with me.

  • Story therapy: Through our call and my editorial letter, we’ll be getting into what makes a story - and your story in particular - go. We’ll home in on what needs work on your story know-how and your approach to story with this work.

  • Craft counseling: I’ll identify your key areas of struggle with craft and give you exercises in order to improve.

  • Story Action Plan: I’ll make sure that by the time our SPARK month is over, you’ll have a solid plan for moving forward and finishing the book, from next steps in the writing of it to the process and lifestyle choices that will support you getting the work done.

  • Publishing Advice: While SPARK is focused on getting this book into shape, I’m happy to answer questions you have about market and publishing. However, please note that our prime objective is to help you write a great book, and thinking about market too much is not going to help you. However, with a dozen books either published or in line for publication in various genres, all with Big 5 publishers, I certainly know my way around the publishing industry and am happy to help.

*** Please email me if you’d like to be on the waiting list for SPARK ***


  • A one-time payment of $400

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