Critique Service

Have you ever wanted a second opinion on your writing before seeking publication? I have two options that can help.

Below, you’ll find information about my fee-based, professional critique service for adult and children’s fiction, short stories, and non-fiction pieces.

You can also submit your work to Rate Your Story, a free “first-step” in obtaining a professional opinion on your manuscript. Please visit the Rate Your Story website (I am a volunteer judge!) to get a free rating from a published writer.

My writing credentials

Before quitting my day job to write full-time from home, I was a magazine editor at the Green Bay Press-Gazette. I have years of experience writing for women, families and homeowners. I was a weekly columnist for Homestyle and a monthly columnist for both YOU magazine and the Press-Gazette’s family magazine. I was employed with Gannett Newspapers for 10 years.

Since leaving the corporate world, I have become an active member of the SCBWI, and my first novel, ARROWS, is coming from Random House/Delacorte Press in Spring 2016. I am represented by agent Carrie Howland of Donadio & Olson. (See my author Facebook page.)

How I can help you become a better writer

I’ve opened up my own professional critique service.  I want to help new and/or established writers make their stories and articles great.  And, hopefully as a result, your work will be more successful in the wonderful world of publishing.

How Much Does a Critique Cost?

While I can’t guarantee anything I critique for you will ever be published, I can offer insight on how to make it a better piece of writing.

Please note:  I only critique stories and articles up to 1,500 words; blog posts up to 600 words. If you contact me for a critique and I don’t feel the subject matter is right for me, I’ll respectfully decline the opportunity. 

Blog post critique … $25, MAX 600 words.
I read the post, offer thoughts on the structure, critique title and offer tips from my years of experience on how to build an engaged audience online.

Basic Critique…$50
I read the story, and send a one-page letter with thoughts on the work, its strengths and weaknesses, and possible market insights.

Line-Edit …$85
I read the story, make comments and questions in the text, proofread and offer specific suggestions or word swaps to consider, and also include a one-page letter with thoughts on the work, overall strengths and weaknesses, and possible market insights.

“Second Round” Critique…$30
If you have already received a critique or line edit from me, and since revised the same story, I will give you a discounted rate for my critique services working with the new version/draft of that story.


Please note that I only accept Paypal as payment.  I require the full balance before completing the critique.  You will receive payment instructions when you email me your critique request (instructions below).


Please email melissa [at] peaceandprojects [dot] com with the words CRITIQUE REQUEST in the subject line.  Let me know the word count and genre of your story or article.  I will respond with payment instructions and my current schedule of how soon after payment clears that you can expect your returned manuscript with my critiques and edits.  Typically, I will complete these in one week or less.

How to Get a Free Critique

If you’re not able to hire me to critique your work, there are ways to get feedback on your stories or picture books for free.

Visit Rate Your Story, where a professional writer will read and rate your story for free.

Photos by Mike Peters of the first book I ever wrote, age 9.

Free email updates (I promise to respect your privacy & never share):

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rebecca Rettenmund March 19, 2013 at 9:30 pm

Hi Melissa:
I’m friends with Nichol Absher (previously Nichol Norman). She gave me this page to look over. I’m a bit confused. Looks like you only accept stories 1,500 words or less? I was hoping you could edit my non-fiction book. I don’t have a word count, but it’s 22 chapters long, each chapter about 8 pages long single spaced 10 point type.


2 Melissa March 22, 2013 at 8:54 am

Hi Rebecca!

I am definitely open to working with you on a specific project. I’ll email you to get more details. Nichol is such a sweetie … nice to meet a friend of hers! I’ll be in touch via email.



Leave a Comment

Spam Protection by WP-SpamFree