Posted by: Kathy Temean | August 9, 2012

MG or YA Full Manuscript Critique

Are you an advanced writer who would love the opportunity to have an editor or agent read your full manuscript, give you feedback and help you decide how to revise? 

One of the things I never accomplished when I was Regional Advisor for New Jersey was trying to figure out how to get the middle and end of your manuscript critiqued.  We had lots of opportunities for honing the first 30 pages of a novel, but after a while, those 30 pages get really good.  What about the saggy middle and the climatic end?  It is true that you need you first pages to sing, but we want our whole novel to belt out the story.  Thus, this dilemma has been rolling around in my head for 10 years.

I think someone out in my blogosphere might be interested in joining a small critique group of children’s novel writers to spend some time with two industry professionals and receive a whole manuscript critique.  We are renting a lovely house in Avalon, NJ – right on the ocean to house six writers, plus the editors or agents.  

We have one spot available for an advanced writer.  Sarah Barley, a very up a coming editor at Blazer and Brey has committed to joining us.  I am waiting to see who will be our sixth person before deciding if I should invite an agent or another agent.

Besides meeting with the editor/agent, we will have two groups of three and the other two people in your group will read and critique your full manuscript, so when the group meets we can discuss our thoughts about what is working and what should be changed.  There will be a pre-assignment for the whole group, so we can brainstorm with each writer to come up with a new plot idea and characters that will help move the plot along.

The check in date is Wednesday September 26th and check out is lunch time on Saturday September 29th.  Anyone one in the group is welcome to arrive on Sunday September 23rd and stay for the week, but the actual program will not start until Wednesday.  If you arrive early you will have time to relax, explore the island, and write.  The location and the accommodations are perfect for creating that best selling book. 

I will be there the whole week and I think there may be a few others.  Once I find out, I will come up with appropriate activities to make the most out of your time.

The cost is $800, without food.  Everyone is going to provide something to stock the house.  We have three people who are going to cook a dinner.  We’ll probably grill burgers, hotdogs, chicken, make salads, etc. for lunches.  Everyone will have to cook what they want to breakfast.

In case you are saying $800 is a lot of money, you are right, but not for getting a full manuscript critique.  Other places who are offering full manuscript critiques are twice as much money.  If you are interested in taking the spot, please e-mail me and give me some idea about you and what you have written. (You don’t have to be from New Jersey.)

I thought Joe Capeda’s illustration at the top was perfect for this post.  Hope it inspires you to think about joining us and working on your manuscript and characters.  Joe was featured last year on Illustrator Saturday.  Here is the link:

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Kathy, you never cease to amaze me 🙂 For anyone who has the money and time to spend, I can’t think of a better way to spend a week! It’s actually a great deal, when you think about it: beach, writing, writers, agent, editor and being away from the mundane! Irresistible 🙂


  2. Sounds like a great opportunity! Thanks for always sharing such useful information for writers, Kathy.

    Wish it was in the budget for me this year! 🙂


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