Manuscript Critique
Cheri Johnson Manuscript Critique

Open to: Short and long fiction critique (any genre and literary); Prose Copyediting; Prose Proofreading

Word Limit: No word limit

What You’ll Submit: A complete or partially completed manuscript, plus some brief notes about your goals for your project; any specific worries about the manuscript you’d like me to pay special attention to; and a list of works (which might include music, art, movies, etc. in addition to books and stories) you’ve been using as models or sources of inspiration for your project. This information will help me get an idea of how you want your book or story to sound and feel.

What You’ll Get:

Manuscript Critique

An editorial letter with in-depth discussion and analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript. I’ll address the many aspects of fiction writing (characters, plot, setting, themes, style, tone, voice, point-of-view, pacing, world-building, and other issues). This analysis will include not only my general impressions but detailed examples to explain what I mean; I’ll quote from both your manuscript and published books and stories to give you specific ideas for how to revise to make certain aspects of your manuscript stronger. I’ll also point out the parts of your manuscript that I think are already successful and discuss how these strengths can serve as a guide for shaping the rest of your manuscript. Using the Track Changes and Comments features in Word, I’ll include some line edits throughout the manuscript to further illustrate my impressions and ideas for revision. The editorial letter will run at least 2000 words for short fiction (under 10,000 words) and 5000 words for longer fiction. I’m also glad to respond to a few follow-up questions after I’ve delivered the critique, including questions about publishing. 

I’m endlessly curious to see what writers are working on and I love being a part of the process of turning hazy ideas and drafts into powerful and polished stories. As an eclectic reader and writer myself, I’m excited to work with writers of both genre and literary fiction and I feel particularly suited to helping to develop and shape those works that lie somewhere in-between.


The phrases “good writing” and “strong prose” are always at least somewhat subjective. When editing your prose for clarity, style, and flow, it’s never my goal to change your vision for your project or make you sound like somebody else. 

But I also believe it’s crucial to find the right prose editor for your work. So before I’ll take on your project, I’ll ask you to send a few pages from your manuscript so I can do a free sample edit of a paragraph or two. This way, you can get an idea of how I would edit your work and decide if I’d be a good fit for your project.


I’ll do a thorough syllable-by-syllable proofread of your prose manuscript, using a style sheet you provide and/or the Chicago Manual of Style


Manuscript critique: $275 (base price) + $0.02/word
Copyediting: $20 (base price) + $0.08/word
Proofreading: $20 (base price) + $0.05/word


Manuscript Critiques: 2–6 weeks (possibly up to 8 for projects over 100,000 words)

Copyediting and Proofreading: 3–8 weeks (possibly up to 12 for projects over 100,000 words)