-Currently closed to new clients, except for 48-hour query critiques. Previous and current clients may email to reserve slots for spring of 2021-
Queries and manuscripts are, at their hearts, auditions and stories. Nobody knows auditioning and storytelling quite like a professional actor and author.
Let me help you hone your pitch, query, or manuscript. As an agented and published author, I’ve been where you are now and am ready to share the knowledge and expertise that helped land me an agent.
My BA in Theatre Performance taught me invaluable lessons in character development, story arc, setting, dialogue, and, most importantly, action. My attention to detail is evidenced in my nearly obsessive formatting, punctuation, and grammar critiques.
I was chosen as a faculty member for manuscript critique at the 2020 Pittsburgh Writing Workshop, and I have presented at the 2019 American Library Association Conference. As a presenting guest at the 2015 Pennwriters conference, I appeared on a panel about the author/agent relationship as well as moderated a query-writing workshop and participated in a read-and-critique.
The Submission Package: $100.00
- Turnaround time: Two to three weeks from your place in the queue, depending on how quickly the author revises.
Most agents require a combination of the following items: A query, the first ten pages, and a synopsis. This package takes a hard look at those three items, polishing them to a perfect shine. If you haven’t been getting requests from agents, this is where you want to start! Each Submission Package includes:
* A Three-Pass Query Critique (scroll down for description)
* A Two-Pass Synopsis Critique (scroll down for description)
* A 10-page Sentence Edit (12 pt font, Times New Roman, double-spaced)
*Answers to any questions you have regarding the querying process
The Diagnostic: $275.00
- Turnaround time: About a month from your place in the queue.
Are you sick of form rejections and dying for some feedback? Maybe you’ve been submitting to agents or editors for weeks, months, or even years, and have never gotten a single request. Send your manuscript (under 110k) my way and I will give you the comprehensive manuscript feedback you crave, along with specific revision ideas for your submission package to help you get noticed. Each Diagnostic package includes:
*A Three-pass Query Critique (scroll down for description)
*A Full Edit Letter (scroll down for description)
*A 50-page Sentence Edit (scroll down for description)
*Unlimited mentoring with me as we customize a solution for you and your book.
Here’s the testimonial of one querying writer:
“Before I found Laura, I literally spent over five years querying agents without a single request for more pages. I’d just endured another round of rejections for my latest novel when I stumbled across Laura’s website. I hired her to do what she now calls “The Diagnostic.” Laura’s editing and comments were thoughtful, thorough and honest, and her approach to composing query letters was easy and almost formulaic. She’s also very fast, and gets things done exactly when she says she will. After working with her to revise my novel and letter, I sent in a new round of about a dozen queries, and within just a few weeks got three—yes, three—agents asking me for the full manuscript (and one asking me for an exclusive revision). I think that really says it all — Laura’s editing just works. If you’ve been struggling with the query process like I was, I cannot recommend Laura highly enough. I only wish somebody would have told me about her when I first started querying agents. It would have saved me years of frustration and rejection.” -Jason, querying writer.
À La Carte Services
1) 48-hour, One-pass Query Critique: $25.00
-Turnaround time: Skip the queue! 48 hours from receipt of payment-
A good query letter grabs the attention of the reader and leaves them begging for more. Following industry best practices and conventions, I will help you find the essence of your story so you can best exhibit it to agents or editors.
*1st pass: Examines hook, content, and plot. I’ll give my real-time reactions in comment boxes. You’ll also receive a detailed questionnaire explaining what your query shows regarding your characters, stakes, action, plot, and genre and where it can be improved. I’ll leave comments on your grammar and punctuation as well as your bio, and include a summary email as well.
Click here for a sample Query Critique
2) Three-pass Query Critique: $50.00
-Turnaround time: Skip the queue! 48 hours per pass-
If you like the first pass but you still feel like you need some work, upgrade to a Three-pass Critique for another $25.00 and we will work together, through multiple revisions, on your query. I will use in-document comments as well as send summary emails. Three-pass query critiques can be used for up to a year from time of purchase.
*2nd pass: Corrects hook, content, and plot. After you complete your questionnaire and revamp your query, I’ll help you make it more active, interesting, and immediate. This pass will focus on letting your voice shine.
*3rd pass: Polishes. Focusing on word choice, punctuation, and final details, we’ll polish your query from the opening sentence to your bio and have you ready to submit!
3) Two-pass Synopsis Critique: $50.00
-Turnaround time: Skip the queue! 48 hours for each pass-
Writing a synopsis is a completely different skill set than writing a book. Many authors are unable to see the forest for the trees, as their subplots and supporting characters have crowded the bare bones plot and internal character arc that agents want to see. Using in-document comments, I will point out confusing moments and plot holes first, so that agents don’t have to. In a summary email, I will further explain some of the plot holes, story arcs, and character arcs that may need a little more attention. And using Track Changes, I will correct grammar and punctuation. Two passes is necessary for a synopsis critique, as I want to be sure that the plot holes have been filled.
4) Full Edit Letter: $175.00
-Turnaround time: Three or four weeks from your place in the queue-
I have spent decades of my life studying the art of storytelling. Like all writers, I’m an avid reader, but unlike all writers, I’m an analytical one. Although YA is my specialty, I am able to read and enjoy almost all genres (under 110k), from chapter books and MG to women’s fiction, thrillers, and inspirational fiction. This service includes:
*A promise to read every word of your book in just a few sittings to best understand your story’s flow and rhythm as well as the over-arching plot and sub-plots.
*A lengthy email detailing my opinions on your plot, characters, setting, world-building, story arcs, etc. I’ll include positive as well as constructive observations and some big-picture editing suggestions. I will occasionally comment on saleability, and sentence-level habits. I will always focus on any concerns that you have.
*Unlimited answers to any questions that arise as you revise.
5) Sentence Edit for 50 pages or a Full Manuscript: $.008/word (approx. $2.00/page)
-Turnaround time: Three or four weeks from your place in the queue-
This little beauty is what makes my Critique Partners love/hate me. After formatting your manuscript for submission with a proper font, spacing, paragraphs, headers, indents, chapter titles, etc. I’ll comb through it line-by-line. From noting awkward sentences to fixing punctuation, every part of your manuscript will be put under the microscope. This package includes:
*Formatting your document to ready it for submission.
*Real-time reactions- both constructive and encouraging- as comments in the sidebar of the Word document.
*Highlighting sentence-level problems, and suggesting fixes.
*Correcting punctuation, spelling, grammar, and typos (with Track Changes in the Word document).
Contact me if you want to discuss Twitter pitches, log lines, or set up a Skype session for practice with in-person pitching. In addition, discounts may be available for bundling services, and projects can be rushed for an extra fee.
If you are interested in any of these services, email me (lauralee.edits[at]gmail.com) to introduce yourself and your project!
From there, we’ll check the calendar to see what the queue looks like. All payments are handled through Paypal. If you purchase a queue’d service, the first half of the total payment will be due upon the start of the project, and the final half will be due after the project is finished. No down payment is required, and no taxes are added.
For projects that skip the queue (query critiques, synopsis critiques), I will invoice you for the full amount upon starting the project. If you’re emailing about a query critique, please don’t give me any pitch or details beyond genre and word count. I’d like to cold read the query, just like an agent or editor.
Thank you so much!