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First Chapter Critique: One-on-One Story Coaching & Developmental Editing Session

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By signing up for a coaching session, you automatically agree to our refund policy and code of conduct here. **Once manuscripts are received, refunds are not offered for this service. This service is available for works of fiction only; non-fiction and poetry are not included.

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Have you written the first chapter of your novel and are ready for feedback?

The first five to ten pages are the most critical to your story - determining whether or not a reader will be invested enough to read on or how long an agent or publishing house may initially read to decide whether to move your manuscript to the top of the pile.

Readers don’t just read; they experience a story with all of their senses and expectations. Allow me to partner with you to assess your reader's experience with your opening pages and identify where you're knocking it out of the park...or could make a few changes to make your story even stronger! 

Let me be your story coach! 

This time is YOUR time. During your 60-minute First Chapter Critique: One-on-One Story Coaching and Developmental Editing Session, we'll discuss your opening chapter and I'll provide feedback on viable next steps to take your story to the next level.

TURNAROUND TIME: 4-6 weeks from receipt of your manuscript; excluding  weekends and holidays

What you'll receive:

1) A detailed Editorial letter - a written analysis of your first ten pages, including the following elements and more:

  • Plot - analysis of the story itself, as well as any plot holes or errors
  • Character - analysis of each main character in the story, including character development
  • Pacing and Flow - a look at how your story world develops, and how quickly each element is presented
  • Descriptions and Setting - analysis of how well these elements are done in your manuscript. Can the reader visualize your scenes? Have you given so much information that your story drags? How can you improve the descriptions in your story?
  • Style and Voice - comments on how you can improve your writing as a whole (what you have done well and what may need work or revision

2) A 1-hour One-on-One Story Coaching & Developmental Editing FeedbackSession 

  • During our 60-minute session, we'll discuss your manuscript, any questions about my feedback, and I'll provide feedback on viable next steps to take your story to the next level. This will take place via video call/Zoom (unless phone is preferred). For more information on how to download or use Zoom, please click here.

I will review up to ten pages in standard manuscript format and provide feedback. Click here for a format example. You’ll be surprised by how much you can learn.

This service works equally well for writers just starting out or those with multiple stories on their belts!

THE PROCESS:

Once you register, you will receive an email with instructions on how to email over your first ten pages for evaluation and schedule time for our call. Coaching calls will take place at least 6 weeks from the receipt of your manuscript pages, to allow sufficient time to review and provide meaningful feedback. Please note: copy editing or line editing of your pages is not included.

Please note: After a First Chapter Critique, if you decide to move forward with having your full manuscript edited with us, you can apply the cost of the first chapter critique toward the full manuscript project.

All calls will be held via Zoom (unless phone is preferred). The link to join our Zoom meeting will be provided in advance. For more information on how to download or use Zoom, please click here.

 Meet Your Developmental Editor:
Ianna A. Small

Ianna A. Small is the CEO of midnight & indigo Publishing and creator of midnight & indigo, a literary organization dedicated to short stories and narrative essays by Black women writers. m&i is her love letter to Black women like herself, who long to reach the pinnacle of their purpose. As the executive editor of midnight & indigo, she oversees all editorial and creative direction for the digital and print platforms. She has acquired, edited, and published collective works by 300+ emerging and established Black storytellers across the U.S., Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, Canada, Asia, and Australia. In her capacity, she also oversees midnight & indigo's Writing Program for Black women writers. In addition to editing for 12 years, Ms. Small has 25+ years of experience developing partnerships, distribution, and content marketing initiatives for entertainment brands including BET, Disney Channel, ESPN, ABC, FX, VH1, MTV, HOT97, and more.

An avid fan of Black and South Asian literature, Korean horror, and all things Jesus + Michelle Obama + The Golden Girls + cultural food documentaries, she dreams of one day running midnight & indigo from a lounge chair overlooking the archipelagos of her happy place, Santorini. Ms. Small is a proud graduate of Syracuse University and active member of ACES: The Society for Editing and the Editorial Freelancers Organization. among others.

 **Once manuscripts are received, refunds are not offered for this service. This service is available for works of fiction only; non-fiction and poetry are not included.