Manuscript Critique Services

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What is Evenstar Editing?

Evenstar Editing is a freelance editing service that offers professional editing and critique services to hone your writing craft, improve your manuscript, and get it ready to be submitted for publication. I offer a variety of services, from agent query critiques to full manuscript critiques.

Who am I?

I’m Eilis O’Neal. I’m the author of The False Princess, a traditionally published young adult fantasy novel, and the Editor-in-Chief of Nimrod International Journal, one of the U.S.A.’s oldest and most well-respected literary journals. I’ve published short fiction in a variety of journals and magazines, and I have over 15 years of direct editing experience.

Why Evenstar Editing?

In addition to my own writing, my mission is helping writers improve their work. As a writer myself, I know the value of having a professional editor offer their opinion and advice when it comes to a story, novel, or poem. I started Evenstar Editing so that I could work directly with aspiring writers who want to get their work ready for an agent or editor’s eye and writers who just want to improve their craft. In short, I like helping other writers get better at what they do!

I accept all genres except horror for fiction, and I’m especially passionate about YA literature of all types, fantasy, and science fiction. I accept all styles of poetry, from traditional poems to prose poems to experimental poems.

Services and Rates

Agent Query Critique

Agents receive so many queries that yours needs to stand out from the pack. I’ll help you make your query letter clear, concise, and appealing to agents.

Price: $25.00

Short Story Critique

Short stories are a great way to build your writing résumé. I’ll provide notes on your story—what works and what doesn’t—from an editor’s viewpoint, focusing on character, plot, and conclusion.

Price: $30.00 (up to 4,000 words), $45.00 (up to 7,500 words)

Poetry Critique 

Poems use fewer words than short stories and novels, so every word counts. I’ll provide an overall editor’s critique of your poems and offer line-by-line suggestions to improve them.

Price: $20 (up to 5 pages)

10-Page Opener Critique

The first 10 pages of a novel are the most important. They’re your introduction to editors and agents, so it’s crucial that they be as strong and polished as possible. I’ll provide notes on how to make your first 10 pages shine, concentrating on character definition, pacing, and plotting.

Price: $25.00

First 50 Critique

Agents often request to see a partial version of your novel before the full manuscript, so your first 50 pages need to grab their attention, keep their attention, and make them want to see the rest of your book. I’ll provide an overall critique of your novel’s first 50 pages to help you rise above the other submissions on an agent’s desk, focusing on character, plot, and pacing.

Price: $115.00

Full Novel Critique

I’ll read your entire novel and provide an editorial letter that discusses how your novel works as a whole. My focus will be on

  • Character: Are your major and minor characters distinct, developed, active, and interesting?
  • Plot and pacing: Does your plot make sense? Does the pacing keep the novel moving forward?
  • Worldbuilding: Is your worldbuilding consistent? Is it unique? Does your world feel real—whether it’s a modern American high school or a world of elves and goblins?
  • Voice: Is the voice of your novel consistent? Is it authentic?
  • Readability: Is your novel enjoyable and easy to read? Do I want to keep going?

Note: The full novel critique is a big picture critique and does not provide line edits.

Price: 1 cent per word. An estimate will be provided.

Request Service

To request any editorial service, please email eilis@eilisoneal.com. I’ll send you information on how to format your work for submission and payment information. All payment is processed via PayPal.

At this time, I have open slots available for all services except the Full Novel Critique.

If you wish to have a Full Novel Critique, please email me with a description of your novel and the first 10 pages of your novel. I’ll look them over and see if the project looks like a good fit for me. I reserve the right to decline full manuscripts.

Terms of Service

Payment

For query, 10-page, short story, poetry, and 50-page critiques I will email feedback upon receipt of payment via PayPal. For full novel critiques, a deposit of half the fee must be paid up front and the balance paid before I send my editorial letter.

Refunds

If I have not yet begun work on a manuscript for which I have received partial payment, I will refund your payment. If I am unable to return your manuscript in the agreed upon time frame, I will return a pro-rated portion of your payment and partial notes, at your request. No other refunds will be given, with no exceptions.

Manuscript Turn-around Time

I try to get query, 10-page, short story, and poetry critiques back to you in two weeks. 50-page critiques and full novel critiques can take up to four weeks.

Future Publishing

The publishing field can be a challenging one, and thus I cannot guarantee that your work will be published after my critique. I can promise that you will have received my best advice to improve your manuscript.   

My Critiques

My critiques are provided to you as in individual to improve your work. They may not be reproduced in any form without my written permission.

Nimrod International Journal

Work critiqued through Evenstar Editing may not be submitted to Nimrod International Journal in any form at any time, even after revision.

Copyright Infringement

All work received is assumed to be yours. I am a professional editor, and I will never reproduce your words without your permission, and I will not steal your ideas. That said, I am also a writer, so I cannot guarantee that I will never write a story with similar elements to yours. I may, for instance, someday write a mermaid story after having critiqued your mermaid story, but it will be my own. If you are especially concerned about this, you may wish to pick a freelance editor who is not also a writer.

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