No Nonsense Critiques
What can you expect?
An honest review of your picture book story or short story for children by a published children's author. Critiques are based on many years of reading, critiquing and studying picture books as well as over two decades’ experience as a qualified early childhood professional with a dedication to understanding how children engage with story and why.
If you are ready to receive constructive feedback and comments to revise and improve your story, then contact me now!
Why no nonsense?
Your critique will be straight up, honest and to the point. That said, my feedback is never about you as an author, it focuses on your work, solely. My aim is to assist you in making your story the best it can be, whether you are submitting to an agent or editor or self-publishing.
What you won’t receive:
A detailed proof read with a focus on grammar, spelling and punctuation.
A promise that your story is 'gold' and you will be the next Mem Fox or Jane Yolen (unless it is, of course, and you will be).
You will receive my thoughts on:
Plot and Arc or Concept
Use of language and style
Where to cut (or add) scenes and reduce word count
Suitable age group
Illustration notes (where included)
Where illustrations are supplied, how they interact with the text
You may receive suggestions on:
What publisher to submit to (Australia only)
Sometimes I give specific suggestions, but usually I explain why something may not work, leaving the creative solution to you. It is, after all, your story!
Picture Book/ Short Story
up to a 1000 words $50
Rhyming Picture Book
up to 800 words $80
Stories can be fiction or non-fiction.
Illustrations are welcome. Although your critique won't necessarily include feedback on your dummy, seeing your illustrations will help me critiquing your text.
Picture books in rhyme will receive comments on the stresses, meter, rhyme and language in addition to the usual critique. However, I will not rewrite sections of your story; I will only explain where the problem is.
Payment via Paypal
You will receive instructions on payment after making email contact.
I will only critique after payment has been made.
How to submit?
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or use my contact page.
Submit in docs or docx format.
If including a dummy or illustrations, please provide these separately in PDF format.
"I've been in a picture book critique group with Yvonne for several years and count myself lucky to have access to her expertise on a regular basis. Sure, she knows her stuff when it comes to all aspects of PB structure, and her comments and insights on the big picture are always spot on.
But there are two things that I've always loved most about her critiques: 1) her ability to pick out specific details that others might not have noticed and ask pointed questions about them -- you know, the important kind of questions that make you go "Ohhhh, I hadn't thought of that!" and 2) her complete honesty.
If a story just isn't working, I know I can count on Yvonne not just to tell me so, but also to offer suggestions or new ways of thinking to help me push the story to where it needs to be.
If you're looking for a real, no-lip-service critique that challenges you to look at your own work with a critical eye, Yvonne is your gal!" Renée LaTulippe, Poet, No Water River (USA)
"I recommend Yvonne's critiques. I love her ideas including the ability to increase the quality of my manuscript with the attention to the tiniest details."
Katrin Dreiling, author/ illustrator (Australia)
"Yvonne offers intelligent, informed and skilled critiques, based on current experience as an author and as part of a highly-attended writers' group. Plus, as a bonus, she’s warm, engaging and funny. You can’t go wrong."
Zoe Collins, author/ illustrator (Australia)
"I've been lucky enough to be one of Yvonne's critique partners for the last four years. Her critiques are always insightful and helpful. One of her many strengths is to see the heart of the story and ask penetrating questions that help you rethink your story."
Sylvia Liu, author of A MORNING WITH GRANDPA, illustrator and co-founder of kidlit411.com (USA)
"Yvonne's critiques are nothing short of stellar. She always manages to ask the precise question that my manuscript needs to answer -- but that I haven't managed to pinpoint on my own. I can also count on her never to gloss over a manuscript's shortcomings. Her critiques are diplomatic and kind but always frank. I always walk away from them thinking about my story on a deeper level." Victoria Warneck, Children's Author (USA)
"I consider myself lucky to have Yvonne Mes as one of my long-time critique group partners. Yvonne has a way of helping me see my stories in a whole new light, asking questions that I’d not thought of and suggesting fresh ideas to incorporate or consider. With her discerning artistic eye, she has also been invaluable in critiquing my illustrations in addition to my writing. I feel that I’ve grown much as a writer-illustrator with her assistance." Teresa Robeson, Children's Author and Illustrator