The North Carolina Writers’ Network offers an ongoing critiquing and editing service for its members. Through this program, Network writers have the opportunity to open a dialogue about their work with established writers and editors of varying backgrounds and areas of expertise.
"It was unbelievably helpful . . . I was totally impressed, and it was well worth the price. You have a very satisfied member."
—NCWN member Reid Wilson
"I received Betsy Humphreys' edits. They are very useful and give me much to correct but also reflect upon! Great service and a very exciting opportunity!"
—NCWN member Karin Lukas-Cox
"I have been working on my novel for quite some time and really wondered if I was on the right track. Therefore, I decided it would be most helpful to send a few pages just to see what someone thought about it. I must say, I am really glad I did, as Mr. Manchester's words greatly inspired me to continue on."
—NCWN member Jennifer Bower
"I’ve never been edited as thoroughly and with as much consideration as Linda (Hobson) showed toward my story. Her micro edits were precise, and her macro edits found things inside the story that even I didn’t realize were there. She wrote all over every page—an incredible amount of work for what turned out to be a very reasonable fee....I found her edits and critique to be spot-on: demanding more from me as a writer, while also engaging with the story so completely that I felt like she was really invested in its eventual success. That’s the very definition of a great editor, isn’t it? "
—Anonymous NCWN member
All manuscripts must have a minimum of 5 pages.
First 5 – 50 pages:
Each page thereafter:
$30 per manuscript
$3 per page
$2 per page
For example, the critique of a 100-page manuscript will cost $280:
$3 per page x 50 = $150
$2 per page x 50 = $100
Administrative Fee = $30
All prose manuscripts should be double-spaced, single-sided, with 1-inch margins and in 12-point, Times New Roman font.
Poetry must be single-spaced, with a limit of only one poem per page, with 1-inch margins and in 12-point, Times New Roman font.
Please number your pages.
Manuscripts should NOT be bound when submitted.
Please indicate your first preference plus two back-ups for a critiquer (see list below). Otherwise, we will select an appropriate critiquer based on availability.
To submit your work to the Network’s Critiquing & Editing Service, please send a single envelope or package with the following:
- Your manuscript, properly formatted
- A summary, synopsis, or table of contents for the critiquer’s reference (do not include this page when calculating the fee)
- Payment by check or money order, made payable to the North Carolina Writers' Network
- A self-addressed envelope with sufficient postage for your manuscript
Please mail to:
NCWN Critiquing Service
P.O. Box 21591
Winston-Salem, NC 27120
The critiquer will return the critiqued manuscript to you directly, using the SASE you provided.
The Network’s roster of critiquers is selected in accordance with the highest standards of excellence, including publication requirements and extensive mentoring and editing experience.
Karen M. Alley -- nonfiction, fiction
Alley has worked in the publishing industry for almost twenty years in various roles. After graduating from Davidson College, her career began with a job as a production assistant at a book production company that produced books for HarperCollins. Since then she has served as editor of Carolina Gardener Magazine and the business-to-business publication, the IGA Grocergram. Today she is using those publishing and editing skills gained in working in the book and magazine publishing fields in her work as a freelance writer and editor. Her articles have been published in O’Henry magazine, Charlotte Parent magazine, and various business publications. Her editing interests include nonfiction, specifically gardening, parenting, and business topics, as well as romance and literary fiction.
Gregg Cusick -- (flash fiction, short fiction, longer fiction)
Gregg Cusick holds a Master’s in English/Creative Writing from NCSU, where he also taught English Composition and Literature. His story collection, My Father Moves Through Time Like a Dirigible, was published by Livingston Press in 2014, and his stories have appeared in over two dozen journals and won numerous awards, including The Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition and The Florida Review Editor’s Prize. He has been a freelance editor with Carolina Academic Press and for the past nine years a judge for the Raleigh Fine Arts Society student fiction contests. Additionally, he has been a literacy tutor for the past thirteen years. Gregg believes strongly that every piece of writing is important, valuable, and also improvable. His aim is to help writers tap the heart of their fiction/memoir, and to help make each piece the best possible, truest to the writer’s vision.
Ann Deagon -- poetry
Deagon took her doctorate in Classics at UNC Chapel Hill and served as Professor of Humanities and Writer in Residence at Guilford College until her retirement. She was editor of The Guilford Review, director of PoetryCenter Southeast, and was instrumental in establishing the North Carolina Writers’ Network. She has received an NEA Fellowship in Literature. Since retirement, she has worked in theater, advertising, and film, while continuing to present readings and sing her original blues.
Golda Fried -- fiction, screenplays
Fried has taught creative writing and English composition at Guilford Technical Community College for more than ten years. She is the author of one collection of short stories, Darkness Then a Blown Kiss, and one coming-of-age novel, Nellcott is My Darling, which she recently adapted into a screenplay with a co-writer. Nellcott is My Darling was nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award in her native Canada. She has a BA in Film and Communications from McGill and a Masters in Creative Writing from Concordia University. Website: www.goldafried.com.
Linda Hobson -- fiction, nonfiction
Hobson, the author of a book on novelist Walker Percy and editor of a second, has a Ph.D in English from the University of Alabama and is a graduate of both Denison and Duke. She is at present an editor and book reviewer. Hobson has edited many published works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry as well as taught writing to adults and to secondary- and university-level students. Her literary interests are American fiction and nonfiction and English/British literature.
Betsy Humphreys -- nonfiction (journalistic or creative)
Humphreys has been a weekly columnist for the Lenoir News-Topic newspaper; Southeast regional editor of Highways, a national travel magazine; a regional reporter for State Journal; and editorial staffer for Cost Engineering. She has been a freelance writer for twenty-five years. Her articles on travel, business, religion, and family life have been published in the Charlotte Observer, Wonderful West Virginia, North Carolina Literary Review, and Marriage and Family Living. She has won Charlotte Writers, NC Silver Arts, and ByLine Magazine creative non-fiction contests.
Susan Stafford Kelly -- line editing, fiction
Susan Stafford Kelly attended St. Catherine’s School, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College. She has twice been a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and has taught creative writing for Woodberry Forest School, Salem College, UNCG, and the North Carolina Writers' Network. Her novel, How Close We Come, won the Carolina Novel Award in 1997, was reissued nationally in 1998 by Warner Books, was an Alternate Selection in the Book-of-the-Month Club, and was published in Russian and German. In 2001, Warner published her second novel, Even Now. Pegasus Books published her novels, The Last of Something in 2006, Now You Know in 2007, and in May 2010, her fifth novel, By Accident, which has been awarded the 2010 Sir Walter Raleigh Award.
Susan Kirby-Smith -- line editing, fiction, poetry, nonfiction
While earning an MFA in Fiction at Louisiana State University and an MA in English from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Susan Kirby-Smith served on the editorial staff of The Southern Review, LSU Press, Cave Wall, New Delta Review, Unmoveable Feast and Carolina Wren Press. In 2012, she was Assistant Director and Contest Coordinator at Carolina Wren Press, overseeing both poetry and fiction submissions. She has been named a finalist in the Wordstock Short Fiction Competition, judged by Aimee Bender, the Faulkner Society’s Faulkner-Wisdom novel and poetry competitions, the North Carolina State University Short Fiction Contest, and Wigleaf’s Top 50 Stories of the Web. She has taught writing, including fiction writing, at Louisiana State University and Guilford College, among other places. She has an eye for detail within works of fiction of all lengths, poetry, creative nonfiction, and scholarly texts.
Stephen Kirk -- fiction, nonfiction
Stephen Kirk has edited over 200 books in a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction categories during his tenure at John F. Blair, Publisher, including multiple winners of prizes including the Sir Walter Raleigh Award, the Foreword Reviews Book of the Year, the Independent Publisher Book (IPPY) Award, the Benjamin Franklin Award, the Storytelling World Award, the National Outdoor Book Award, and the Parents’ Choice Award. He is the author of Voices from the Outer Banks, Scribblers: Stalking the Authors of Appalachia, and First in Flight: The Wright Brothers in North Carolina and has been reprinted in the Best American Short Stories series.
Steven Manchester -- line editing, fiction
Manchester is the published author of twelve books including The Unexpected Storm - The Gulf War Legacy, Jacob Evans, A Father's Love, Warp II and At The Stroke of Midnight, as well as several books under the pseudonym, Steven Herberts. He is an accomplished speaker and currently teaches the popular workshops, "Publish: See Your Work In Print and Writing Fiction That Sells" for UMASS - Dartmouth, Southcoast Learning Network in Massachusetts, as well as the Learning Connection of Rhode Island. As a professional editor, he provides line-by-line editing for spelling, punctuation, grammar, and sentence structure, as well as critical commentary on plot, character development, scene setting, and dialogue. As a well-published author, Manchester understands the polish needed to approach potential agents and publishers and will review cover letters and synopses. He has also written The Author's Toolbox, assisting other writers in their quest to be published. See: www.stevenmanchester.com.
Jen McConnel -- children's, MG, YA, and NA
McConnel holds a MS in Library Science and is completing her MFA in Children’s Literature. She teaches college composition, in addition to courses and workshops on fiction, publishing, and more. Her published works include The Secret of Isobel Key, its sequel Her Secret Inheritance, and the forthcoming Young Adult title Beautiful Curse. Her work has been published by Weiser Books, Bloomsbury Spark, Month9Books, and Swoon Romance, and her literary interests include books for kids and teens, specifically Young Adult and New Adult titles. Visit http://www.jenmcconnel.com to learn more.
Ruth Moose -- fiction, poetry
Moose teaches creative writing at UNC Chapel Hill. She is the author of two collections of short stories. She is also the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Making the Bed and Smith Grove. Her stories have appeared in Atlantic Monthly, Redbook, and Ladies Home Journal, as well as in many university and college publications. She has received the Robert Ruark Foundation prize, three PEN Syndicated Awards for short story, a NC Literary Fellowship, and a MacDowell Fellowship.
Elizabeth Oliver -- flash fiction, short fiction, nonfiction, line editing
Oliver is the founding managing editor of The Rambler, a national literary magazine. She has extensive experience critiquing and editing across genres, from flash fiction to long memoir pieces. She is passionate about the preservation of personal voice in stories and has worked with writers with a variety of experience, from beginners to accomplished authors. Oliver holds a BA in journalism and an MFA in creative writing; her work has appeared in various publications and the flash fiction anthology Long Story Short (UNC Press).
Alice Osborn -- speculative fiction, fiction, memoir, poetry
Alice Osborn, MA, is the author of two books of poetry, Unfinished Projects (Main Street Rag, 2010) and Right Lane Ends (Catawba, 2006); she is a manuscript editor, freelance writer, and storyteller. A former Raleigh Charter High School English teacher, Alice has served as a Writer-in-Residence in the Artists in the Schools program since 2009 and has taught creativity, memoir, and business workshops to Triangle residents for five years. Her work appears in Raleigh’s News and Observer, The Pedestal Magazine, and in numerous journals and anthologies. Website: www.aliceosborn.com.
A.D. Reed -- nonfiction, fiction
Reed has been a professional writer and editor for more than thirty years, in journalism, commercial writing, and book editing and publishing. Prior to returning to North Carolina in 1993, he worked as a writer, copywriter, and marketing executive with NBC Television in New York, while moonlighting as a freelance editor for ArtNews and Antiques World Books. He has edited Asheville’s monthly Urban News since its founding in 2005, previously wrote a regular column for The Asheville Citizen-Times, and edited its monthly neighborhood edition, West Asheville News. Since 2004 he has worked with five writers on six books: two nonfiction volumes by Prof. Mallory McDuff of Warren Wilson College, Natural Saints (Oxford University Press, USA, 2010), and Sacred Acts (New Society Publishers, 2012); the forthcoming novel Trang Sen by Sarah-Ann Smith; two autobiographies, and the 2011 philosophical memoir Unbelievable: Faith, Reason, & the Search for Truth, by Joseph R. Haun. Reed is also the founder and owner of Pisgah Press in Asheville.
Amy Rogers --fiction and nonfiction
Amy Rogers was a founder and the Publisher of Novello Festival Press, the award-winning independent press that put more than 300 writers into print since its founding in 2000. Rogers’ books include Hungry for Home: Stories of Food from Across the Carolinas and Red Pepper Fudge and Blue Ribbon Biscuits. Her work was included in Cornbread Nation 1: The Best of Southern Food Writing. Rogers is a frequent food and culture commentator for NPR station WFAE. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including the design magazine American Bungalow, the literary magazine the Oxford American, and the Charlotte Observer. She has been Writer in Residence at the Wildacres Center and a program presenter at dozens of events, festivals, arts centers, schools, and other venues.
Ellen Shepard -- plays, screenplays
Ellen Shepard, a native of Los Angeles, is a professional screenwriter and playwright. A member of the WGA, she has developed screenplays for Universal Pictures, Blake Edwards Entertainment, and Par Par Productions. Shepard is a noted playwright and director, with plays having been produced in Los Angeles and North Carolina. She studied writing with Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Paul Zindel at the Actors Studio West, who said this of her work, "At no time since I've been here (at the Actor's Studio) through all our sessions, did my mind ever have to shift into any critical mode... You just have total confidence in what you're doing here. " She is on the faculty of St. Augustine's College in Raleigh, where she developed their BA degree in Film. Her classes include Intro to Screenwriting, Feature Screenwriting I & II, Character Development, and Playwriting.
Michael A. Shinn -- mystery, nonfiction
Shinn teaches and tutors English and composition at Central Piedmont Community College and UNC Charlotte. His book reviews have appeared in The Chapel Hill Newspaper, the Southern Pines Pilot, and The Winston-Salem Journal. The National Humanities Center and Pembroke Magazine have published his work on murder mysteries and NC literature. In 1999, Theatre Charlotte produced his playlet, Miss Hilda Hunts. He has also recently had plays read at the Converse College New Play Festival and at UNCC.
Eleanora E. Tate -- children’s fiction, nonfiction
Eleanora E. Tate is the author of eleven books for children and young adults. She has been a featured author at conferences such as the International Reading Association, the East Carolina University Literary Homecoming, the North Carolina Writers' Network Fall Conference, the Novello Festival, the Sand Hills Writers Conference, and the Dallas (TX) Children's Literary Festival. She won the 1999 NABS Zora Neale Hurston Award, the 2000 Dr. Annette Lewis Phinazee Award, and a Bread Loaf Writers Conference Fellowship. Two of her books have won Parents' Choice Awards; two others were American Booksellers Association "Pick of the Lists"; two were made into audio books, and another was made into an award-winning television film. She's been an author in schools and libraries across the country for nearly 30 years. Her newest book is Celeste's Harlem Renaissance, which won the AAUW North Carolina Book Award for Juvenile Literature, and an International Reading Association Teacher's Choice Award. http://www.eleanoraetate.com.
Robert Wallace -- fiction, nonfiction, line editing
Wallace has received an Emerging Artist grant from the Durham Arts Council, a Writer’s Fellowship from the NC Arts Council, and has been a Blumenthal reader. He has had fiction and nonfiction published in various journals and newspapers, including the Bryant Literary Review, Wellspring, Aethlon, the O.Henry Festival Stories, and the Raleigh News & Observer. His work has also been in several anthologies, including Racing Home: New Short Stories by Award Winning North Carolina Writers. Wallace's first novel was published in 2007. A Hold On Time was published by Paper Journey Press.
Tamra Wilson -- fiction, nonfiction
Wilson is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and earned her MFA at Stonecoast. She has been a fellow at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, a Blumenthal reader, and the recipient of an artist project grant funded by the N.C. Arts Council. All but two of twenty-one stories in her collection Dining with Robert Redford were previously published in such journals as The MacGuffin, Emrys Journal, Epiphany and North Carolina Literary Review. She has written three first-place entries in the Charlotte Writers Club Children’s Story Contest and won the Jesse Stuart Prize for Young Adult Fiction in 2009. She was recently named a Road Scholar for the N.C. Humanities Council with special interest in southern fiction and child narrators.
Susan Woodring -- fiction
Woodring holds an MFA in fiction from Queens University of Charlotte and is the author of one short-story collection, Springtime on Mars, and two novels, The Traveling Disease (Main Street Rag, 2007) and Goliath (St. Martins Press, 2012). Her short fiction has been published in a number of literary magazines and anthologies and has garnered a number of prizes and honors, including Distinguished Story for Best American Short Stories 2010. She has taught fiction writing at Queens University and Salem College and has worked as an independent consultant for fiction writers. She is interested in helping writers get their stories and novels in the best shape possible, both in terms of artistic merit and publishability.