The Blog
by University Instructor and Professional Novelist Saladin Ahmed

FINALLY hand over that novel you keep tinkering with – and get a detailed, professional opinion. Turn your rough manuscript from NaNoWriMo into a publishable novel. Get frank, respectful suggestions for perfecting your book before you self-publish it. Give the ultimate writerly gift to the aspiring novelist in your life.

I am currently offering a limited number of professional novel critiques. The critique package includes:

  • A page-by-page critique of your 50-150K-word novel manuscript. I will provide line comments every few pages: assessments of pacing and clarity, suggestions for cutting or expanding, thoughts on what’s working and what’s not. Occasionally, I may do some sentence/paragraph editing.
  • A 5-page structural/global edit letter. A ‘big picture’ document discussing your novel’s larger issues of plot, character, structure, and style. Your edit letter will be frank but encouraging — an honest, professional assessment that aims to make your book the best that it can be.
  • Publishing/representation advice, including thoughts on specific challenges or advantages the novel might have in the current market. I will recommend specific publishers and agents for querying. If you intend to self-publish your book, I’ll provide thoughts on packaging, marketing, and signal-boosting.
  • The critique package does not include copyediting services.

Why hire me? I hold an MFA in Creative Writing and an MA in English. I’ve taught creative writing courses at the University level for over ten years. I also have extensive experience as a private online writing tutor.

I’ve been a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, Crawford, and Campbell Awards. My short fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies, magazines, and podcasts including YEAR’S BEST FANTASY, and has been translated into several foreign languages. My fantasy novel THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and Library Journal, and made over a dozen “Best of 2012″ lists.

My critique packages thus combine the pragmatic insights of a working writer who is navigating the market right now with the careful, constructive attention of an experienced teacher who has had hundreds of students.

The fee for a critique package is $200/10,000 words. Turnaround time is one month.

For more information, please email

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