Manuscript Critiques

“For an honest critique of your work along with truly helpful suggestions on improving it, Matt Henderson Ellis is the man to work with.” Frank Freudberg, author of Baby Please Don’t Go and Find Virgil

A manuscript critique is a professional assessment of your fiction or non-fiction project. I want to dramatically improve your manuscript’s attractiveness to agents and publishers by giving honest feedback about the strengths and weaknesses in your writing, as well as provide a concrete direction for revision. I worked at the front line in New York book publishing, where I had the task of evaluating countless manuscripts under consideration. I can tell you if your writing is compelling from a commercial point of view. For a competitive fee, I will read your work and give you my in-depth impression of its viability from the point of view of a publishing gate-keeper. I deliver my comments in a lengthy editorial letter that highlights Big Picture structural problems and areas in your craft that need strengthening.

Why get a Manuscript Critique?

Most writers I work with are first-time authors. Having jumped off the deep end and  written a full-length manuscript, they frequently want feedback before taking the next step of searching for an agent or publisher. The beta readers they usually draw from – friends and family – can be trusted for support, but not for a truly honest appraisal and diagnosis of the writing.

In my time as a publishing professional in New York, I poured over thousands of manuscripts for Doubleday/Random House and a few major literary agencies (including Carol Mann Agency, and Kim Witherspoon). Because of  this, I have developed an ability to identify strengths and weaknesses of a manuscript almost automatically. This means you will get your work read and reviewed efficiently, accurately, and at minimal cost.

What a Manuscript Critique includes:

I will read your manuscript – be it fiction or non-fiction – and write a manuscript evaluation in the form of an editorial letter. I address issues such as character development, tone, plotting, language issues, and overall structure in my report. This is done so in a way that is both blunt but constructive. Writing is subjective; and as such I don’t believe in ‘right’ choices, only more effective ones. Having worked as an author coach on numerous projects, I understand the importance of delivering constructive criticism in a nurturing fashion.

Who should get a Manuscript Critique?

Writers who have finished a first draft of a full-length work and want solid notes for a re-draft.
Writers who want a second opinion before going ahead with the agent or publisher search.
Writers who want more than feedback from a friend.
Writers who want to know the project’s viability before submitting it to publishers.

What does a Manuscript Critique cost?

Matt’s email address is or see my site dedicated to manuscript critiques: Manuscript Critique Ninja.

Read what clients have said about my editing and critiques at my Testimonials page.