Manuscript Evaluation

This service is provided by C.L. Dyck and Keanan Brand.


This is a great entry point for most writers. It provides a reading of your partial or completed manuscript and a comprehensive revision letter. Unlike substantive editing, this service is hands-off. All notes are provided separate to the manuscript itself, rather than on your pages. For a full line-by-line evaluation, mentoring, and line editing support, the substantive service is recommended.

Scroll down for info on how to request this service.


  • When you’d like a detailed opinion of your manuscript’s needs and next steps
  • When you’d like expert support for final revisions prior to submitting your manuscript
  • As a follow-up after you’ve applied substantive edits


  • A minimum charge of $60 (6,000 words)
    • For shorter submissions, the First 10 Pages service is recommended. It provides a discounted substantive evaluation of your writing sample.
  • Summary document including:
    • Evaluation of your story’s unique strengths and weaknesses
    • Evaluation of your plot, story structure and characterization
    • Evaluation of your scene-writing strengths and areas of improvement
    • Assessment for consistency in story details, believability, interest level
    • Writing craft tips tailored to you and your manuscript
    • Page-by-page listing of the main areas where you can strengthen your work, with why’s and how’s

I Am Ocilla, by Diane Graham I Am Ocilla by Diane Graham

“You are a gift, Cat…Thank you for the excellent job…At one point, coffee spewed due to your comments. I may need to pay you a little more for the good belly-laugh.”

This service is also available for nonfiction manuscripts, if you are publishing independently. If you’d like to pursue traditional publication, be aware that publishers look for submissions of about 3 chapters plus proposal, not a completed manuscript.

For nonfiction manuscript evaluation, you can expect:

  • A minimum charge of $60 (6,000 words)
    • For shorter submissions, the First 10 Pages service is recommended. It provides a discounted substantive evaluation of your writing sample.
  • An evaluation document covering:
    • Manuscript structure–does it follow its topic effectively from beginning to end?
    • Lines of reasoning–is the logical flow strong and well-crafted?
    • Case material–is your supporting material convincing and well presented?
    • Writing craft–is your style clear, engaging, grammatically proficient?


The top question I get is, “How do I hire you?”

Simply contact me with your manuscript’s word count to request placement in my work queue. Feel free to ask any questions you may have first. My inbox is always open to talk with you. I like to hear:

  • Your genre and word count
  • What you’d like support with–tell me about your headaches, concerns or craft questions
  • Any other questions you may have

Once you are sure you want to hire me, I’ll ask you to send me your work as a Word .doc attachment. I’ll bill you based on the document’s word count and assign your project a completion date. (Times may vary depending on how busy I am.)

All services are payable in advance, usually via PayPal. Upon receipt of payment, I’ll put your work into my active projects.