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What to Expect

So, what will you get out of a written critique from me? Definitely a heavy dose of my personality! I'm mindful that out of the context of a two-way conversation, authors need written feedback to be clear, to have thorough explanations, and to have helpful examples. Tone is also important to me. When I write feedback, I consider the human being on the other side of the screen and phrase things in an upbeat and encouraging manner. I might even make you laugh!


Practically speaking, you'll get notes, questions, and authentic reactions throughout your story. I love finding opportunities to invite you to consider things you might not have noticed, offering choices, and summarizing sections. I love commenting on the big picture, structure, and what makes stories work. And I also get detailed at the line level as well. Sometimes I suggest line edits and list a selection of possible options if I have ideas on phrasing something differently. Ultimately, my goal is to get you thinking about your story in a fresh way through inquiry. Since I'm a creative writing educator, I approach it like a teacher--be ready to get lots of questions!

In addition to written feedback on the manuscript itself, you'll also receive a summary page of my thoughts including statements of meaning, opportunities, and questions. My pledge to you is that my feedback will have personality, substance, and clarity. And you'll leave knowing what you need to do with your story without feeling sad about it. That's what I'm offering. Nothing more...nothing less!

Requirements for Written Critiques: If you want feedback on your query letter, include it at the top of your manuscript. The max word count for picture book manuscripts is 750. Manuscripts should be uploaded as a Microsoft Word file on the registration form so I can write comments directly on the story.

If you want to work with me, I'll keep it simple: fill out the form below with your manuscript, submit payment via Venmo*, and I'll have your feedback returned to you as soon as possible--specific turnaround estimations available upon request.

*Zelle and Paypal are available upon request--please indicate on the form's last question

To pay, log in to your Venmo account and search for "Brian-Gehrlein" or use the QR reader below. Zelle and Paypal are available upon request.

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