1 on 1 Manuscript Critique

Greetings, writer!

Please watch the follow introductory video before placing your order. If you have questions, email them to tom@fictionmentor.com.


I strongly urge you to order a 1st-page critique before ordering a full one-on-one manuscript review. You can order a 1st-page critique here:

When you’re ready to move ahead with a one-on-one manuscript review, place your order below. You will receive automatic confirmation of your order. I will then email you personally within 48 hours to obtain your manuscript or work-in-progress.

Please follow these formatting rules for the manuscript:

  1. A Word document is preferred, PDF is acceptable. Word allows me to make comments directly into the document and use Track Changes.
  2. 1-inch margins
  3. 12-point Times New Roman font
  4. Page number, last name, and one- or two-word short title in header, justified right
  5. Double spaced throughout.

This is industry standard formatting for submission to editors and agents.

Please allow up to four weeks for me to critique and return your manuscript. One week is much more likely, but be prepared for four. (Free tip: Four weeks to hear back from someone in publishing is like light speed.) Please do not send “corrections” after I’ve received the initial manuscript.

Once my critique is done, you and I will schedule a time to either chat online or on the phone. whichever you prefer. We can talk about the story, about finding an agent, about indie publishing — or all of the above. It’s your time to ask me anything at all about publishing.

Let’s get to work!


Who will read and critique my story?
Only me. At some point, FM may start offering additional mentors for you to choose from. Right now, it’s just me, and no one else will see your work.

How do I know you won’t steal my story or idea?
I won’t. It doesn’t happen. Would you steal my novel? No. Why? Because we both have enough partial manuscripts and revisions to keep us busy until well into our 70s. I have yet to meet an author who even hints that their work was ever “stolen.”  If you have any doubts whatsoever, then do not place an order.

What if I don’t like what you have to say?
I assure you will not like what I have to say. That is part of the business of fiction. To be blunt: get used to it. Your agent, editor, professional reviewers and Goodreads readers will all be telling you what they don’t like (and, on occasion, actually do like) about your novel. If it’s awesome, I will tell you. I will also tell you where it needs work. If you are not ready for an honest, professional assessment and criticism about your novel, you are not ready for this mentorship. Nor are you ready to enter the traditional publishing world.

Are all sales final?
Yes. Again, please allow up to four weeks for delivery. If for some reason I cannot complete the critique, I will refund 100% of the purchase price. Other than that, all sales are final. If you change your mind after the purchase and can email me before I have begun work, I will gladly refund your money.


*As stated in the video above, I truly want you to be sure you are ready for this critique and that you can afford it. It’s not a marketing gimmick; I’m a starving artist too, and I know exactly how much money this is. Don’t click on a whim; take some time to really decide if your manuscript is ready, if your finances are ready, and if you are ready. Try the $5 1st-page critique to test the waters.