Posted by: Kathy Temean | September 18, 2015

Free Fall Friday

the Brooklyn Book Festival will run from September 14th through September 21st, including Bookend events beyond Brooklyn and a new Children’s Day, on SATURDAY September 19th.


The Brooklyn Book Festival is the city’s largest free literary festival launched in 2006 as a start-up festival presenting local authors; it has grown exponentially into one of the country’s premier international book festivals, drawing tens of thousands each year to the global creative capital of Brooklyn, NYC. Attendees can stroll through the vibrant outdoor literary marketplace with nearly 200 independent booksellers and publishers.


Tamra Tuller pic

Editor Tamra Tuller

Freelance Editor Tamra Tuller has agreed to be September’s Guest Critiquer for this month’s first pages. Tamra is focusing her freelance editorial business on middle-grade, young adult novels, and picture books.

Here is a little bit about Tamra:

Tamra Tuller first got her publishing feet wet in the Scholastic Book Clubs. She then moved on to Scholastic’s trade division at Blue Sky Press, followed by Philomel Books, an imprint of the Penguin Young Readers Group, and most recently Chronicle Books.

She has a strong interest in reality-based contemporary and historical fiction, but she has fallen in love with books of all genres and will gladly work on a wide variety of titles, including picture books. She has worked with such authors as Ruta Sepetys, Beth Kephart, Kathryn Erskine, Leila Sales, Hannah Moskowitz, and K.A. Holt.

Tamra lives in Oakland, California.

Here is some information about her freelance editing business:

Whether you’re on your first draft or your fifth, any manuscript can benefit from an editor’s eye to help you realize you where you are going right, and where you could use some more work. After ten years working for major publishers, I can provide you an unbiased and informed opinion on how to get your work ready for an agent or a publisher.

I offer two levels of service for novels. The first, and a great way to start, is a basic developmental edit. Here I will read your complete manuscript and provide a detailed editorial letter discussing big picture issues such as plot, pacing, voice, characters, perhaps some light line edits, etc. The next level of service is the basic developmental edit with the addition of heavier line editing. I tend to recommend people begin with the basic developmental edit first since large portions may need a rewrite. Once the manuscript is in better shape, then it will benefit from a heavy line edit. I’m happy to speak with you first to determine which service is right for you.

For picture books I can offer a detailed editorial letter along with line edits.

I’m also able to provide support along the way. Writing can be a very solitary process, and it’s easy to become discouraged, blocked, or unsure of yourself. Sometimes it helps to have someone in your corner, rooting you on through the process.


For novels, I’m charging 4 cents per word for a developmental edit, meaning I’ll read the entire manuscript and provide an editorial letter discussing big picture issues such as plot, pacing, voice, characters, perhaps some light line edits, etc. If the author would like that in addition to heavier line editing (which I actually don’t recommend until after they’ve done a basic developmental edit) then the rate goes up to 7 cents per word.

Picture books are $500-750, depending on the level of editing required and length of manuscript. Those rates include allowing the author to contact me along the way to ask question and receive some coaching and encouragement. Many editors charge extra for this level of availability, but I would not.

As you can see Tamra has had an extensive career in the children’s publishing field. I know Tamra from her time at Philomel and hated when she decided to move all the way across the country to the West Coast. We are so lucky to have this opportunity. I can’t wait to read what she has to say about the four first pages that are chosen.

If you are interested in Tamra’s services, she can be reached at



In the subject line, please write “September 2015 First Page Critique” and paste the text in the email, then attached it in a Word document to the email. Please make sure you include your name, the title of the piece, and whether it is as picture book, middle grade, or young adult, etc. at the top on both the email and the Word document.

Your First Page Word document should be formatted using one inch margins and 12 point New Times Roman font – double space – no more than 23 lines – only one page. Send to: kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com.

PLEASE FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES: Your submission will be skipped over if you do not follow the directions for both the pasted email and the attached Word doc. This is where most people mess up.

DEADLINE: September 24th.

RESULTS: October 2nd.

Please only submit one first page a month. Thanks!

Talk tomorrow



  1. Hi, Kathy, Just discovered your site. Love it. Thanks for this great opportunity. I have one question. When you say 23 lines, does that count the spaces between each line, since subm needs to be double spaced? So that would be 11 written lines? Any exceptions for rhyme? Many sincere thanks.


    • Carol,

      It mean 23 lines of text. With rhyme it is what ever will fit on one page.

      Glad you have found the site. Hope to hear from you again.



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