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Manuscript Critique:
Esther Porter

Please query for availability and timeline before signing up. 

"Esther picked up on exactly what I was trying to do (with narrative voice, narrative distance, first and third person, the mind of this particular narrator) and consequently her edits were pitch perfect."
— Steven Lang

Open to: Short, Long, or Novel-Length Fiction or Nonfiction

Limit: Please check on projects more than 100,000 words

What You’ll Submit:

Your manuscript of short, long, or book-length fiction or nonfiction; your poetry of up to 10 pages; your text-only picture book manuscript.  

What You’ll Get:

Esther sees her editorial role as one that helps you reach your goals as a writer by bringing your work closer to your ultimate vision. In addition to providing an overall manuscript review, she can offer a thorough copy edit that gets into the nitty-gritty of how to improve your work. She will use Microsoft Word’s Track Changes tool to highlight edits and to insert electronic notes (asking questions about setting or dialog, explaining suggested changes, asking you for clarification, for example). She will watch closely for spelling, grammar, punctuation, tone, continuity, word choice, correct sentence structure, and any “author ticks” that emerge. On a larger scale, she will make sure the narrative is smooth and progresses naturally, pointing out where the story needs clarification or the characters seem inconsistent. She will focus on the presentation, structure, and organization of your work as a whole, and will ensure that the content is as coherent and effective as possible. 

Loft manuscript critique consists of a flat base price, plus a per word fee. You can enter your word count below and the system will calculate your price. 
  • $300 (base price) + 2.5 cents/word


  • Prose up to 3,000 words: one week
  • Prose up to 10,000 words: three weeks
  • Prose up to 50,000 words: four weeks
  • Prose up to 100,000 words: six weeks

Esther Porter Manuscript Critique

Class Level: Word

Base Price: $300.00
Manuscript Critique (Base Price + 2.5 cents/word)

* Field is required.

Esther Porter is a Founding Editor at Revolver and writes the “Ask Esther” column for The Loft Literary Center. She received her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota, summa cum laude. She has extensive literary publishing experience, has taught fiction and poetry writing to children of all ages, and has published four children’s books with Capstone Press. After five years working for the Minneapolis-based nonprofit publisher, Coffee House Press, she decided to transition into full-time editorial work in 2010.

Purchase of this review consents to the following conditions

Program and Purchase Terms and Details

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Manuscript Critique Editors

Who do I work with? 

The best way to review what you'd get working with each editor is to review their specific page, but here is a summary of what each editor offers with general pricing. If you would like to contact an editor with specific questions before purchasing, email and we will forward your questions to them.

Prose: Fiction & Nonfiction
  • Ellen Akins: Fiction & Memoir Manuscript Coaching ($2,100)
  • Lesley Arimah: Short Stories ($300 + 5 cents/word)
  • Ben Barnhart: Fiction (short stories and novels); Nonfiction; YA and Middle-Grade Fiction ($250 + 2 cents/word)
  • Bruce Berglund: Short, Long, or Book-Length Nonfiction ($250 + 2 cents/word)
  • Patricia Weaver Francisco: Short and Long Prose, Fiction and Nonfiction ($300 + 1.5 cents/word)
  • Erin Hart: Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction—Short or Novel-Length; Query Letters ($150 + 1.5 cents/word)
  • Heather McPherson: Book-Length Creative Nonfiction (including memoir, family history, essay, literary journalism, etc.) ($250 + 1.25 cents/word)
  • Lyda Morehouse: Book-Length Science Fiction and Fantasy ($250 + $1.75 cents/word)
  • Lee Oglesby: Creative nonfiction essays and book-length manuscripts ($125 + 1.5 cents/word)
  • Esther Porter: Short, Long, or Novel-Length Fiction or Nonfiction ($300 + 2.5 cents/word)
  • Kathryn Savage: MFA application personal statements, residency and fellowship personal statements, short fiction, flash fiction, and prose poems ($300 + 2 cents/word)
  • Sarah Stonich: Short, Long, or Novel-Length Fiction or Nonfiction ($300 + 1.75 cents/word) or Query Letters ($130)
  • Stanley Trollip: Crime Fiction—Short or Novel-Length ($100 + 1.75 cents/word) or Query Letters ($110)
Screen- and Playwriting
  • Cristina Pippa: Short or Feature-length Screenplays and Plays ($50 + $3.50/page); Screenplay Treatment ($210)
  • Sarah Stonich: Screenplay Critique ($400 + 3.75/page)
  • Kathryn Kysar: Poetry Manuscripts ($100 + $12.50/page), Marketing Plan ($560)
  • Jude Nutter: Poetry Manuscripts ($100 + $17.50/page)
Children's and Young Adult
Offerings for Teens