Our children’s/YA fiction specialists include Claire Hennessy and E.R. Murray. As with our general fiction critiques, our children’s and YA fiction critiques are tailored towards each individual writer and project. Please note that writers new to children’s/YA fiction would be best suited to our online Introduction to Writing Children’s Fiction course.
Comments are returned to writers via email and include in-line notes as well as a summary at the end. The focus is on story, structure, characterisation, plot, voice, style, and suitability for intended age group. Recurring grammatical/punctuation issues will be noted but writers should note this is not a proofreading service. We provide critiques for both short and long fiction (including novels), but we would suggest that writers working on novels or longer pieces begin by getting an excerpt critiqued – often the same issues turn up over and over again in a piece of writing and this can be identified from the first few pages.
We have a number of set packages (see below), but if none of these suit, do please email us with the word count of your story/novel and a brief description of where you’re at with it – e.g. first draft, have received feedback from others but not sure where to go next, trying to polish it for publication, etc – and we’ll provide you with a quote.
Option 1 – Picture Books
Working on picture book texts? This critique package includes feedback on three picture book texts (up to 1000 words each) plus a query letter to an agent/editor for these texts.
Option 2 – Children’s/YA Books
This critique package is aimed at those working on book-length projects aimed at children or young adults. You’ll send on the first 5000 words of your novel, plus a summary of the whole book (1-2 pages) and receive feedback on both. The book doesn’t need to be finished at this stage, though it may be – it’s a good opportunity for writers to get feedback both on their overall plot and concept as well as how the story is progressing in its opening chapters.
Option 3 – Query Letter
This critique package is for writers who’ve already polished their manuscript and are looking for feedback about how to pitch it to agents and editors in a one-page query letter. Often it’s different to see the wood for the trees when it comes to summarising your work, so an extra set of eyes can be very beneficial at this stage.
Facilitator: Claire Hennessy