Critiquing

Critiquing and manuscript assessment

We offer a tailored critique and feedback service to writers, at any stage of their work.

We can assess an opening extract, a work-in-progress of any length, a synopsis, a full novel, individual short stories or a collection. We also offer feedback on non-fiction, such as memoirs or factual manuscripts. Depending on requirements, we will write up a detailed written report, addressing strengths and weaknesses, character, plot, structure and prose style, flagging any other issues. Every report is unique and tailored to each individual writer. A follow-up Skype or phone call can also be arranged.

We also provide reader’s reports for submission to agents and publishers.

If you would like to receive a sample critique from us before submitting a longer piece of work, check out our sample critique offer.

We have extensive experience of manuscript critique and can assess most types of fiction and non-fiction. We also offer areas of specialism:

Lily Dunn is a novelist and creative non-fiction writer. Her work has a strong focus on place, family psychology and the complexities of human relationships, and has been compared to Esther Freud and Maggie O’Farrell. Her first novel, Shadowing the Sun, was published by Portobello Books. She’s currently writing a hybrid memoir as part of a creative writing PhD, and was recently published by Granta.

Zoe Gilbert is a short story writer and novelist, with an interest in magical realism, speculative fiction, the fantastic, and folk and fairy tales. Her creative writing PhD thesis explores this type of fiction, as do her own stories. She won the Costa Short Story Award 2014 and her book, Folk, is forthcoming from Bloomsbury in 2018.

You can read some feedback from writers who have used our critiquing services here.

Costs

Feedback costs vary according to a project and writer’s needs, therefore it is a little tricky to be precise before having that initial conversation.

We take time to read and reread a manuscript (MS), and to write our reports addressing the writer’s questions. Reading a novel for structure, or for polishing purposes, is quite different. A reader’s report involves an extensive written response to the piece, including editorial advice; a full critique includes annotations throughout the MS itself.

Please treat the prices below as a guide, and be aware that the charge may be slightly different depending on your requirements. Some specific extras are listed below.

Full critique: short stories:

Up to 2k words: £65

For each extra 1k words up to 9k, add £15

For a longer story or set of several, we can agree a fee

Full critique: novel excerpts or full MS:

Excerpt up to 10k words: £150

Partial or complete manuscript, up to 60k words: £460

For each additional 10k words over 60k, add £30

Reader’s report, fiction or non-fiction full MS:

Manuscript up to 80k words: £350

For each additional 10k words, add £15

Optional extras

  • Reading and giving feedback on the same MS following a redraft by the author – costs as above minus 10%
  • Reading for line edits and proof reading (polishing ready for submission)
  • Meeting in person, or by Skype/phone, to discuss how best to improve your MS
  • Advice on submitting to agents & publishers, cover letters and formats

We will take into consideration everything you need from the feedback and agree an offer and a total cost with you. Please get in touch, with questions or requests, at info@londonlitlab.co.uk.

Our mentoring packages are also available for writers who would like ongoing support from a professional, including critical feedback. Take a look here for more information.

You can also read our testimonials page to see what writers have said about critiques we have provided.