THE DEAL: No BS about your MS
CRITIQUE, EDITING, PROOFREADING, MENTORING:
Need help editing your manuscript in order to submit it to an agent, publisher, or contest?
The Real Writer (Chris Stewart) offers critique, editing, and proofreading services (broken down below) for writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. The ideal client is one who is passionate about writing and learning how to improve his/her skills and who is ready for constructive critique/edits to move to the next level. Chris' work is thorough and insightful, but also includes as much instruction on craft as she can squeeze in, while honoring your voice and vision for the manuscript. Chris' goal is to provide you with the tools and skills to empower and inspire you as you revise your current work and begin future projects.
The Writing Life: Through her residencies, teaching experience, the conferences she attends, and her contacts, Chris stays up to date on what agents and editors are looking for and can point you in the direction of some fantastic resources that will get you face time with editors from leading publishing houses and hot new agents. She can also point you in the direction of resources for grants, residencies, fellowships, online communities, and contests, as well as make suggestions for publications to subscribe to to keep informed on the latest news and opportunities in the writing world. Chris will make the appropriate suggestions after working with you on your book.
Your Pitch, Synopsis, Query Letter: Chris can also help you write and revise all of these necessary documents that are required during the submission process, so you're ready to showcase your book (hourly rate; please inquire).
About Chris Stewart, The Real Writer. Chris has an MFA and MA in creative writing, has led workshops for more than 15 years (currently in the Johns Hopkins Odyssey program), and is a Pushcart Prize nominee, a Ruth Lilly Fellow, and first runner up for the 2012 Maureen Egen Award from Poets & Writers magazine. She is a frequent contributor to the online magazine JMWW and The Writer's Edge blog, as well as her own blog, The Real Writer. Some of her publications include Poetry, Ploughshares, Five Points, Blackbird, and Smartish Pace. Her last residency was at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.
(Phone conversations must be prearranged. Communication is by email to start.)
CRITIQUE, DEVELOPMENTAL EDITING, and PROOFREADING SERVICES:
CRITIQUE: $2.50 per page
Reading of the manuscript and suggestions for where to trim and clarify the work until only your unique voice remains, and offer thoughtful interpretations and suggestions. You will receive a written evaluation of the manuscript's strengths and weaknesses, as well as a critique of characters, plot, voice, pacing, dialogue, structure, and quality of writing, pointing out where the writing is on target and effective, and making suggestions on ways to improve the parts that need revision. This is a 'big picture' service that is often the best way to begin the revision process after completing a manuscript. With critique, no changes are made to the manuscript itself. See Developmental Editing below.
DEVELOPMENTAL AND LINE EDITING (INCLUDES PROOFREADING AND CRITIQUE): $5 per page
Editing suggestions made at the level of the line/sentence where appropriate through Track Changes. You'll receive that version of the ms electronically, as well as a second document where changes have been accepted so you have a clean copy with just comments. This editing service checks/corrects spelling, grammar, sentence structure, flow, consistency, verb tense shifts, point of view and provides suggestions for changing, deleting, and adding material. Includes margin comments about craft/editing issues related to plot, dialogue, structure, character, voice, etc. is included. Clients should not expect a perfectly proofread document as proofreading requires about 4-6 passes to complete. See "Critique" service above for what the critique includes.
Note on the editing comments: these are suggestion in the margins only. It's the client's responsibility to make the revisions that delete, fill in gaps, move material, change material, and elaborate.
LINE EDIT ONLY (NO DEVELOPMENTAL EDIT OR CRITIQUE, INCLUDES PROOFREADING): $4 per page
Editing suggestions made at the level of the line/sentence where appropriate through Track Changes. You'll receive that version of the ms electronically, as well as a second document where changes have been accepted so you have a clean copy with just comments. This editing service checks/corrects spelling, grammar, sentence structure, flow, consistency, verb tense shifts, point of view.
An author requesting this service should have already been through a developmental edit with a professional editor, and revised the manuscript more than a few times. If not, a developmental edit (alone or with line editing) is highly recommended.
DEVELOPMENTAL EDIT ONLY (NO LINE EDIT, PROOFREADING, OR CRITIQUE): $3 per page
Detailed margin comments throughout the manuscript about craft/editing issues related to plot, dialogue, structure, character, voice, etc. Includes suggestions for changing, deleting, adding, moving content, small details as well as "big picture" interpretations and suggestions.
A note on proofreading: should the work become too detailed, Chris will contact the author to revise the scope of services. Proofreading and editing require two different levels of reading a manuscript. When a manuscript needs very detailed proofreading, it becomes difficult to keep track of the story and properly and adequately complete the line and/or development editing work
All services include a discussion of the work on the manuscript by phone or email once completed, any follow up emails, and a no-cost reading of up to 25 revised pages.
Note: Manuscripts must be formatted properly prior to start of service:
- double spaced
- 1 inch margins on all sides
- Times New Roman
- 12 point font
- Chapters begin halfway down the page and start flush left
- New sections, scenes where there is a leap in time, location, or a move to a sustained new point of view should start flush left
- The last name, portion of title, and page number appear in upper right hand corner like this: Name/Part of Title/Number, except on first page.
Short pieces (short stories, essays, a group of poems) are charged the two hour minimum rate ($140) in lieu of the per page rate to start and on from there ($70/hour).
Poetry: this includes everything it should: syntax, grammar, punctuation, line breaks, pacing, consistency of figurative language (metaphors are the trickiest), title, stanza structure, successful use of form (if that's being used), voice, how poems interact with each other, the book as a whole, etc. Depending on your plans for the poems or book (contest, MFA portfolio, publication), comments will be geared towards reaching that goal.
FEES FOR POETRY AND SHORT PIECES:
The fee is $70/per hour and breaks down as follows:
One hour session/one hour prep = 5 poems or 20-25 pages of prose. (Cost = $140)
Two hour session/ two hour prep = 10 poems or 40-50 pages of prose. (Cost = $280)
Payment is required at the time of our meeting.
Whatever service you choose, I'll help to sharpen your poetry and/or prose, help you with plot and structure or elements of form, tune your dialogue, teach you the fundamentals of craft, help prepare a manuscript for submission, or accompany you in an exploration of the art with exercises and projects.
Whether the goal is publication or simply gathering a record of a period in your life for yourself, family, and friends, I will respect and honor your unique voice and gifts. There's no time like the present to further your dream of being the best writer you can be.
It's never to late to be what you might have been. -- George Eliot