Win a full critique of your spooky manuscript this Halloween!

Do you have a finished draft of a scary middle grade or YA story? Are you ready for an objective, professional (not too scary) critique full of actionable feedback, genre-specific advice and warm and fuzzy encouragement? Have your school friends been dying in strange circumstances one by one and you’re worried you’re next? Okay, I can’t help you with that one, but do you want to make your novel the absolute best it can be and get one step closer to your publishing goals?

Excellent! Step this way. Wait – nobody knows you’re here, do they? Good.

The competition

To celebrate the spooky season I’m offering one talented middle grade or YA author The Monster – a full, jam-packed manuscript critique worth up to £899. If the following apply to you, please submit!

  • You have a completed draft of a novel up to 100,000 words
  • Your story is for children (approx 8-12 years old) or young adults (approx 13-18 years old)
  • It’s a least a bit scary! It might be horror, dark fantasy, a spooky mystery – something you’d be proud to read around a campfire at Halloween
  • You’re willing to sacrifice a very small piece of your brain for a new elixir I’m working on

I’ll pick my favourite manuscript after 31st October and the author will receive The Monster within two months of the announcement. The winning story will be one that I feel has lots of potential and that I can add value to with a critique. All entrants will receive a response (although emails *may* be cursed).

The competition ends at midnight on Sunday 31st October 2021.

Why now?

I’ve been wanting to run a Halloween competition ever since I started my editing business. But with Covid-19 making childcare so unpredictable last year I was scared to commit to such a big project in case I didn’t have the time for reading and responding to entries. Now my son’s in school I get to work a full FIVE days a week so I’m finally ready for you, woohoo!

Send me that manuscript

Whoop, I’m so excited to read your stuff. Send me an email at [email protected] with the following:

  • The age group your story is aimed at (it’s fine if you’re not sure!)
  • Your genre
  • The full word count
  • The first 5,000 words of your manuscript, ideally as a Word doc attachment
  • A synopsis of up to 500 words (this can be copied and pasted into the email or included in your Word doc attachment)

Small print and promises

I promise to keep all of your work and personal details utterly confidential and won’t share your writing or your email address with anybody. I won’t add you to my mailing list or send you unsolicited emails. I take my role as an editor very seriously and absolutely love what I do, so I would never risk my reputation or your trust by stealing your stuff or spamming you.

I will choose the winning manuscript based on how much I enjoy the writing and overall premise and whether I think I can help you strengthen your story with a critique. My decision will be final.

Writer and The Wolf at a glance

About Siobhán

Hello! I’m a freelance developmental editor working with authors of middle grade and YA genre fiction. I’m a Professional-level member of the CIEP, the UK’s professional body for editors, and I have an MA in Novel Writing and an MA in Children’s Literature.

What are my spooky credentials?

Aside from being a lifelong horror fan, I was a juror on the 2020 British Fantasy Awards horror panel and I review YA fantasy and horror for the British Fantasy Society. I read, write, edit and blog about children’s horror and dark fiction every day.

What’s The Monster Manuscript Critique?

The Monster dives deep into your story and provides comprehensive feedback and teaching, like a workshop on story craft with your novel as the text book. It includes:

  • Editorial letter addressing all plot elements (around 30-40 A4 pages in Word)
  • Personalised reading list
  • ‘Spoonful of Sugar’ next steps plans
  • Book map worksheet to help you visualise your story and track character arc, plot and theme
  • Worksheets to help you nail character development, goals, conflict and magic systems.
  • Feedback on your completed worksheets
  • 10 hours follow-up support over email
  • Monthly check-in emails for 6 months