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
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.
"I count myself fortunate to be an NCWN member, and doubly fortunate to have had Karen Alley edit and critique my first manuscript. Karen’s skillful and comprehensive edit, along with her strategic, cogent, and challenging but instructive criticism enabled me to say what I wanted to say—well beyond the writing in my original draft. She is a true writing coach contributing positively to every detail of composition. Karen speaks volumes to the value of NCWN membership, and I could not have asked for more."
—NCWN Member Joe Mann-Stadt
Ellyn Bache -- line editing, fiction
Bache is the author of nine novels, including Safe Passage, which was made into a movie starring Susan Sarandon; three short-story collections, including one that received the Willa Cather Fiction Prize; and dozens of short stories that appeared in literary and commercial magazines. As one of the founders of the small press, Banks Channel Books, she edited the guidebook What Locals Know about Wilmington and its Beaches and later judged and edited the winners of the Carolina Novel Award. She is past fiction editor of the literary magazines Antietam Review and Emrys Journal, and has taught fiction classes for NCWN, Emrys, and OLLI at Furman. Visit her at www.ellynbache.com.
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.
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.
Kathy Goodkin -- poetry
Kathy Goodkin is the author of poetry collections Crybaby Bridge, winner of the Moon City Poetry Award (Moon City Press, forthcoming), and Sleep Paralysis (dancing girl press, 2017). She also serves as an editor for Gazing Grain Press. Her poems and criticism appear widely in journals such as Field, Denver Quarterly, Cream City Review, Redivider, The Volta, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from George Mason University, where she served as Editor-In-Chief for the literary magazine Phoebe: A Journal of Literature and Art. In 2011, she was the recipient of the Academy of American Poets Joseph A. Lohman III Poetry Prize. She has taught creative writing, literature, and composition in a wide range of community and academic settings, including universities, community colleges, and maximum security prisons. Her editing experience includes literary and scholarly journals and presses. Find her online at www.kathygoodkin.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.
"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
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.
"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
Susan Stafford Kelly -- line editing, fiction, personal essay
Susan Stafford Kelly attended UNC-CH, holds a Master of Fine Arts from Warren Wilson College, and has taught creative writing at Salem College, UNCG, and for NCWN. Her novel, How Close We Come, won the Carolina Novel Award, was reissued nationally by Warner Books, was an Alternate Selection in Book-of-the-Month Club, and was published in Russian and German. Warner Books published her second novel, Even Now. Pegasus Books published her successive novels The Last of Something, Now You Know, and By Accident, which was awarded the Sir Walter Raleigh Award. Susan is a frequent contributor to Our State magazine, as well as O. Henry, Pine Straw, and Southbound magazines.
Stephen Kirk -- fiction, nonfiction
Stephen Kirk 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.
"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
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.
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
Osborn’s past educational and work experience is unusually varied, and it now feeds her work as a book editor and singer/songwriter on acoustic guitar. In the past twelve years, Alice has taught writing workshops to thousands of aspiring fiction, poetry, and memoir authors of nearly all ages from nine to ninety both around the corner and across continents. Heroes without Capes is her most recent collection of poetry, and Old Derelicts is her most recent CD featuring crowd-pleasing favorite originals. Previous poetry collections are After the Steaming Stops and Unfinished Projects. A former editor for Wake Living magazine, Alice is also the editor of the anthologies Tattoos and Creatures of Habitat, both from Main Street Rag. A NC Writers’ Network, NC Poetry Society, and NC Songwriters Co-op board member and a Pushcart Prize nominee, her work has appeared in The News & Observer in Raleigh, The Broad River Review, The Pedestal Magazine, Soundings Review, and in numerous journals and anthologies. She’s currently working on a weird western novel and a full-length CD collection of historic folk originals. She also plays Celtic fiddle and bluegrass banjo. Alice lives in Raleigh with her husband, two children, and four birds. Visit Alice's website at www.aliceosborn.com and check out her music at www.reverbnation.com/aliceosborn.
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.
Dawn Reno Langley -- line editing, fiction, nonfiction
Dawn Reno Langley is a Fulbright scholar (Pakistan) with an MFA in Fiction from Vermont College, and a Ph.D in Interdisciplinary Studies from The Union Institute and University. She began her career in journalism, writing and editing for such magazines and newspapers as Vermont Woman, USAir Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, and dozens more. She has managed, edited, or written for literary journals such as howl!, The Hyco Review, The Green Mountains Review, The Oklahoma Review, Burrow Press, the Provo Canyon Review, and many others. Her published books include children’s books, YA novels, nonfiction books on art and antiques, and novels, including her most recent, a National Book Award nominee titled The Mourning Parade. Finally, she has taught writing at many levels, from Montessori grammar school kids to graduate level university, and in several countries. Reno Langley offers developmental editing on literary and academic texts, as well as line editing on most other written works.
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.
"Amy Rogers framed the feedback in a way that left me inspired to improve my novel. She provided excellent overall critiques and within the manuscript highlighted specific things I’d done well and need to do more often as well as repeated errors that I need to be aware of. I’m very pleased with the cost and quality of editing though the NC Writer’s Network. Thank you all for providing this service."
—NCWN member Heather Brewer
Ellen Shepard -- plays, screenplays
Ellen Shepard is a produced screenwriter and playwright, member of the WGA. She was Assistant Professor at Saint Augustine's University in Raleigh, where she developed their BA degree in Film Production and taught advanced classes in Screenwriting, Playwriting, and Documentary Filmmaking. Two of her screenwriting students won $20,000 scholarships for their screenplays from ABC/Disney Entertainment. She has served as a juror for numerous film festivals, including the NextFrame Film Festival, Asheville Film Festival, and the Carole Fielding Grants Competition, as well as serving as a juror for the NC Arts Council Fellowship Panel, and as Advisory Board Member for the NC Museum of Art Education Think Tank. She has written scripts for Universal Pictures, Par Par Productions, and Blake Edward’s Entertainment and has had several of her original screenplays optioned. Shepard is also an awarding winning documentary filmmaker whose last film Sitting at God's Table, has had numerous screenings across the South, including the NC Museum of History as part of their Billy Graham Exhibit and was an Official Selection at the Indigo Moon Film Festival. She is currently in production for her upcoming documentary Turn.
Debra Simon -- line editing, nonfiction, fiction
Debra Simon, editor and publisher of Carolina Woman magazine, has worked with hundreds of novelists, playwrights, essayists, and journalists to polish their writing. While interning at The Wall Street Journal, Simon researched and wrote daily articles as well as three front-page stories. She served as a New York-based reporter for Reuters, a copy editor for the Hartford Courant, and an assistant business editor for the Miami Herald. Following her move to North Carolina, Simon struck out on her own, creating Lean Times, a regional wellness magazine. Later, during a year-long backpacking trip around the world, she developed the idea for Carolina Woman. Launched in 1993, the magazine has a readership of 100,000. One of its most popular features is the annual writing contest. As a freelancer, Simon has contributed to publications ranging from Businessweek and Advertising Age to Seventeen magazine.
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 two artist project grants funded by the N.C. Arts Council. She is co-editor of Idol Talk: Women Writers on the Teenage Infatuations that Changed Their Lives (McFarland). 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 is a Road Scholar for the N.C. Humanities Council with special interest in Southern fiction and child narrators.