Chapter Book Manuscript Critique

I offer professional chapter book manuscript critiques.

Writing is a challenging, often frustrating, and very emotional journey. I recognize the great courage it takes to hand your work over for review and I appreciate the trust you place in me as a critiquer. Please know that I take this role very seriously.

With that in mind, my goal is to help you take your manuscript as far as it can go. This means two things: (1) I try to be as objective as possible and offer feedback that helps you tell your story in the best way that you can and (2) I am honest, thorough and comprehensive in my feedback, for that is the best way for me to honor your hard work.

If what you seek is a pat in the back or a good job/keep going kind of critique, I am probably not the right fit for you. If, however, you have a manuscript that you have completed and are serious about taking it to the next level, please consider one of the following packages:

First 10 Basic ($30) includes overall analysis of story structure and plot along with recommendations for addressing key problems or offering suggestions based on the first 10 pages of the manuscript.

First 10 Premium ($50) includes the above plus in-line comments and separate written feedback. Depending on the manuscript needs, I will analyze the following key elements (among others):

  • story structure and plotting
  • character development
  • voice and language
  • showing vs. telling
  • concept/theme

Pro Critiques ($2/page) include in-line comments throughout the entire manuscript as well as a comprehensive feedback letter.

Please contact me with questions or for custom packages.



Karla’s critiques are direct and honest. She not only can identify the weaknesses in the story arc and character development, but she can spot a word, phrase, or detail that jars.  Critiquing is like a coin. It has two sides. Karla also identifies a story’s strong points and encourages the author. Karla has a good understanding of what makes a good picture book and of the picture book market. You will always learn from Karla’s critiques.

Lynn Connor, writer


Karla provided an in-depth professional critique. Karla’s vast knowledge accelerated my learning at a pace unparalleled from other critiques. I have also been fortunate to read some of her own writing. Her creativity is exceptional.

Julia Richardson, writer


Karla has the ability to examine a text in detail and look at a manuscript from every conceivable angle, but she is also able to take a step back and see the “big picture.” She is knowledgeable about the finer points of writing children’s fiction and shares this knowledge through each critique, giving writers a lot to think about as they move forward with polishing their work.

Becky Shillington, writer


Karla’s critiques are always well-considered, and often get to the heart of what is and isn’t working in a story. Not only does she point out problems, but she also helps explain why they are problems, and offers suggestions for solving them. She also notes what is working well, and how to build upon this. Karla’s observations have been invaluable in helping me craft better stories.

Rajani LaRocca, writer


Karla offers a careful, thoughtful critique. One feels that she really cares about one’s writing. Her comments make it clear how to improve a story with clear suggestions. I value her honesty.

J.S.Buttery, writer


Karla provides straightforward, insightful critiques. She provides in-depth line by line support, as well as big picture recommendations and exploratory questions to support the revision process. I found her critiques specifically helpful to me in further exploring the theme, structure, and character development of my manuscript. Karla’s thoughtful feedback pushes writers to not only improve their manuscript, but also to hone their craft.

Amanda Sincavage, writer

Karla has offered incredible feedback for my story drafts. She is very prompt in her responses. Karla did a thorough and  helpful critique of my picture book manuscripts. Her critiques were always positive and offered suggestions for revision that would clearly strengthen the narrative of my manuscript. I certainly plan to have several critiques with her. I highly recommend her services to my fellow writers.
Rani Iyer, writer

Self-Directed Manuscript Critique Guide

If you would like to do your own manuscript critique, I’ve prepared a ten step guide which you can access for free by clicking on the image below.

PB Critique Guide