The Blog
by University Instructor and Professional Novelist Saladin Ahmed

Tomorrow is the first day of NaNoWriMo, and I’m offering you brave souls a handful of specially priced manuscript critiques. Here’s how it works:

On Dec 1st You send me your 50K NaNoWriMo novel, as is. I will do a frank but supportive developmental edit of your inevitably messy manuscript: I’ll read it, mark it up, and write a brief edit letter, helping you to think about what’s working and what’s not. This not a nitpicking word-by-word copyedit, but a broader consideration of the story you’re trying to tell — and detailed advice on how to tell it more powerfully.

Sometime between Jan 1st-Feb1st (depending on when you reserve a spot), I’ll return your manuscript with comments aplenty in the margins, and a 3-5 page edit letter addressing questions of plot, character, style, genre, setting, etc.

Critiques are priced at $600. A $300 deposit reserves your slot. The other $300 is paid upon return of the manuscript. The return dates will range from Jan 1st-Feb 1, with earliest slots going to those who sign up earliest. Payment is done via paypal, and Word is my preferred format, but I can work with others.

Why hire me? I hold an MFA in Creative Writing and an MA in English, and I’ve taught creative writing courses at colleges and universities for ten years. My first novel, THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON, praised by George RR Martin and NPR, was a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, Crawford, Gemmell, and British Fantasy Awards, won the Locus Award for Best First Novel, and received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and Library Journal. My short stories have been nominated for the Nebula and Campbell awards, have been reprinted in numerous anthologies, including THE YEAR’S BEST SCIENCE FICTION, and have been translated into a half-dozen languages.

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.

Invest in your writing! To reserve a slot or ask a question, you can write me at