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Manuscript Critique:
Nicole Helget

Open to: Literary Fiction, Short Story collections, Historical Fiction, Genre Fiction (Western, Fantasy, Military, etc.), Literary Nonfiction, Essay collections, Memoir, Young Adult, and Middle Grade

Word Limit: Please check on projects more than 150,000 words

What You’ll Submit: Your “nearly there” manuscript 

What You’ll Get: Helget reads as the audience you intend and as the editor/publicist you hope to secure. Her edits, thoughts, queries, and/or suggestions appear on nearly every page. Sometimes the marks are line edits or word choice questions, and sometimes they are bird’s eye commentary or questions. In any event, Helget provides a comprehensive micro and macro audit of your work, including compliments or recommendations on diction, sentence and paragraph structure, musicality, setting, pacing, character development, tension, plot, dialogue, metaphor, surprise, narrative design, voice, themes, and point of view. She sees her role as the mediator between you and your reader, advocating for you as a literary artist and for the reader as a person who deserves an emotional and intellectual experience. Ultimately, you will receive your manuscript back with detailed commentary on the page along with a 5-10 page letter outlining your strengths and suggesting improvements and, if appropriate, ideas for agent and/or editor leads for your work. Email correspondence throughout the agreement will be instigated by Helget, and email queries from you will be responded to in 48 hours. A timeline for the entire project will be agreed upon, but short projects should expect a 2-3 week turnaround, and longer projects should expect a 4-6 week turn around.

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. 
  • $500 (base price) + 2.5 cents/word

Other services: Ghostwriting of your personal story told from your point of view with significant research and writing and editorial assistance from Helget. Contact for specifics of your project.

Nicole Helget Manuscript Critique

Class Level: Word

Base Price: $500.00
Manuscript Critique (Base Price + 2.5 cents/word)

* Field is required.

Nicole Helget is the author of the memoir, The Summer of Ordinary Ways (Borealis Books), the novels, The Turtle Catcher and Stillwater (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), and the middle-grade novels, Horse Camp co-authored with Nate LeBoutiller (Egmont), Wonder at the Edge of the World and forthcoming Fern’s Grove (Little, Brown and Company). Helget was selected as a Barnes and Nobles “Discover Great New Writers” and “Featured Authors,” and has starred reviews from Booklist andPublisher’s Weekly . Her work has earned the Tamarack Award and Speakeasy Prize, as well as Midwest Selections Pick, several Minnesota Book Award nominations, and two Minnesota State Arts Board grants. Featured reviews have appeared in People magazine and “Weekend Edition” on National Public Radio. She works and lives in St. Peter, MN, with her family.

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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 + 1.5 cents/word)
  • Anitra Budd: Fiction and Nonfiction ($250 + 1.75 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)
  • 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 + 1.25 cents/word) or Query Letters ($105)
  • 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 + 3.50/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