Manuscript critiques and mentoring

When I was starting out, I found it difficult to get an honest appraisal of my work. I went to a critique group, but we were all beginners and there was only so much useful feedback we could give each other.

So, tell you what. I will read your work and send you back a report that looks at characters, opening, setting, pace, dialogue, language, tone, theme, ending, plot and the general overview. In other words, a good structural edit. I can’t make the changes for you, but I can tell you what needs to be changed. The idea is that you end up with a book that is of publishable standard (although, you’ll still need a copy editor). All this takes time away from writing, so I’ll need to ask for some money.

I’ve done manuscript critiques for the Romantic Novelists Association NWS Scheme for a few years now. A number of the books I’ve critiqued have gone on to be offered publishing deals within a year, so I must have said something useful.

Mentoring – Are you just starting out and want to talk to someone about your writing journey? Maybe you’ve had your manuscript edited etc and you want to talk about options. I provide mentoring support. Please email me for details. If I can’t do it myself (there are only a limited number of spaces), or your genre is too far outside my sphere of knowledge, I will try and find someone else for you to talk to.



How much does it cost?

Up to 5,000 words (short stories or partial manuscripts with synopsis) – £60

From 5,000 to 50,000 words (novella or partial manuscripts) – £150

From 50,000 to 100,000 words (usually a full manuscript) – £225

Please email me to check I’m not up to my eyes with WIP/edits/family crises before you send anything. If I have to turn your manuscript down, I’ll recommend someone else. My email address is rhodabaxter{at}


What’s the point of getting manuscript advice?

Sometimes you’re too close to the story to see what’s weak. A fresh pair of eyes can really help. Experience helps too. The manuscript you end up with will be a better one.


Will the critique report hurt my feelings?

Possibly. I won’t be nasty – I know just how hard it is to write a book – but criticism is hard to take. I still send my books off to my writing partner for critique.  The changed manuscript is always better than the original was. Always.


Is a structural edit the same as a copy edit?

No. There are scores of blog posts on the difference, so I won’t bore you with it here. I can only offer a structural edit. However, if I do spot the odd typo or grammatical error, I’ll note it.


Are there any genres you DON’T critique?

Good question. I’m happiest reading romantic comedy, but I’m pretty flexible as to genre. That said, I don’t read horror, cyberpunk or erotica. If I feel I can’t give your book a fair critique, I’ll refer you to someone who can.

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