Now, get the helpful feedback and collegial support of our Roundtables without leaving your house!
$175 per session (6 meetings in a session)*
Jan-May 2017 Session
Deadlines for Uploading Work
(12 pm CST on the following Wednesdays)
Jan 18, Feb 8, Mar 1 & 22, Apr 12, May 3
Real-Time Online Hangouts
(7-8:30 CST on the following Wednesdays)
Jan 25, Feb 15, Mar 8 & 29, Apr 19, May 10
Register Using Pay Pal
Register by Mail
- 4-6 writers for each 6-meeting session (small group means deeper, more focused comments)
- Meet in a real-time Google Hangout every third week
- One week prior to each Hangout, participants share a Googledoc of their work (2,500 words max) so others can post comments before we “meet” in the Hangout
- Allot approximately 15-20 minutes to commenting on each piece prior to our Hangout time.
- Attendance at the real-time Hangouts is mandatory (with dispensation for one absence per session if absolutely necessary). It is important for written/verbal feedback to be even and equitable. No fair taking written feedback and not providing conversation on others’ pieces.
- The verbal portion/real-time Hangout will be topic driven. (I will suggest aspects of craft for deeper exploration.) When we have finished discussing the piece, the writer will have a few minutes to ask follow-up questions or make a comment.
*Prerequisite: Previous participation in our face-to-face Roundtables OR the equivalent. (If you have never been in a Roundtable, please contact Kim Suhr 414.881.7276 or email@example.com to discuss your experience with giving and receiving critique.)
Gmail account and familiarity with Googledocs and Google Hangouts
Highspeed internet connection
Webcam and mic
About the Facilitator: Kim Suhr is the author of Maybe I’ll Learn: Snapshots of a Novice Mom and director of Red Oak Writing. Her work has appeared at Grey Sparrow Journal, Full of Crow and Foundling Review as well as earning awards from the Wisconsin Writers’ Association’s Jade Ring and Lindemann Humor Contests. You can listen to Kim read her work at WUWM 89.7 on the Lake Effect Program. She holds an MFA from the Solstice program at Pine Manor College where she was the Dennis Lehane Fellow in Fiction. To learn more about her writing, visit kimsuhr.com.
All My Expectations Were Met and Exceeded
I recently took advantage of Kim’s Manuscript Critique Service, and I must recommend it to all my fellow writers. Kim’s was the most comprehensive critic I have received on my writing: plot, dialogue, narrative, point of view, spelling, type-o’s, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, scene structure, character development, formatting. You name. I got it.
This was what I call a deep critique. All my expectations were met and exceeded.
The single most important aspect of the critique was the feedback I received on plot that can only be obtained when a critic reads the entire novel. For the first time, I got important notes on how the plot unfolded, its strengths and weaknesses, where logic failed, and where plot points were unclear, or needed beefing up.
In addition to the internal corrections and comments made using the review function in Word, I really appreciated the handwritten pages of global comments. This method made editing much easier for me. I could make grammar and spelling corrections on the first pass and rewrites on the second pass. I thoroughly appreciated the many positive comments, too.
At last, I feel confident enough to submit to agents and publishers. Thank you, Kim!
Author of The Oath, blogging at Full Scottish Breakfast
Every day, I work with writers like you: toiling away alone at a desk, hoping to make your writing dreams come true. You know it takes many drafts to make your writing sing, and you’re willing to do the hard work of revision. You have what it takes.
But you could also use a little help.
Maybe you’re looking for the insight of a thorough and trusted reader who can reflect back to you what is working and what just plain needs work in your manuscript. Someone with enough distance to be objective, while offering suggestions to push your writing to the next level.
You’ve come to the right place.
As Director of Red Oak Writing, I lead Roundtable critique groups, work one-on-one with individual writers and present writing workshops on various aspects of craft and publishing. I am a teacher at heart (with many years of experience), so I see my relationship with writers as being a mentor rather than a critic. I want to help them learn not only how to improve the piece before us, but how they can apply these skills to their future writing. I want to help them understand why something works (or doesn’t) and how they might go about revising. (If you’re looking for someone who is simply going to “fix” your work, you might want to hire a freelance editor.)
Of course, I am a writer, too. My fiction has appeared in various literary journals, and a collection of my essays titled, Maybe I’ll Learn: Snapshots of a Novice Mom, was published in 2012. My second book, a collection of short stories, Nothing to Lose & Other Stories, is out in the world looking for a publishing home. I earned my MFA from Pine Manor College in Boston. During my free time, I enjoy working in the garden, reading (naturally) and spending time outdoors with my family.
What I critique:
I critique only prose manuscripts written for adult readers:
- Fiction (long or short form)
- Creative Nonfiction
- MFA Application Materials
- Masters Theses
- Query Letters/Book Proposals/Synopses
What is provided:
- A detailed letter pointing out the aspects of the manuscript that are working well and big-picture suggestions for making the writing stronger.
- Written annotations within the manuscript. I think of this as “having a conversation” with the piece, in which I show the writer what I am thinking as I read.
- One email exchange for clarification or suggestions for next steps.
While I do not do line edits, I may point out distracting grammatical/mechanical errors I notice.
How to Submit:
Please contact me before sending a manuscript. (Unsolicited manuscripts will be returned unread.)
In your query email, please share the following information:
- Your name & contact info including email address and phone number
- Title and genre
- First three pages
- Number of pages you would like to submit (1 page = 250 words)
- Whether it is complete or a portion of a longer work (Sometimes critique of an excerpt is all you need.)
- Where you are in the process: for example, first draft with no other readers, draft that has been workshopped and revised, near-final draft you are preparing for submission/self-publishing, etc.
- Areas on which you’d like me to focus
- Information about time frame (Are you working under a deadline?)
- Anything else you’d like me to know before we work together?
If it seems we will be a good fit, I will send a Letter of Agreement outlining the services I will provide and instructions for paying in advance.
Next, you will send a Word doc of your manuscript, and I’ll get to work.
Time frame: Depending upon the length of the manuscript and my schedule, I should be able to complete most manuscripts within 1-2 weeks’ time. The conditions in the Letter of Agreement will state the time frame explicitly.
Fees: $5 per page (1 page = 250 words; divide Total Word Count by 250 to get the Page Total) through Pay Pal or by check.
A Word About Rights: As a writer myself, I deeply respect the sanctity of others’ original work. The copyright for your original material always resides with you, just as my comments about your work reside with me. (Please do not reproduce my editorial comments or suggestions without my written permission.)
Right of Refusal: I cannot accept every request I receive either because of my schedule or because I don’t believe I’m the right person for the project. If I must decline your project, I will try to make suggestions for other possibilities.
Has your writers’ group hit a plateau? Are you looking for a way to take your writing to the next level? Would you like fresh approaches to giving and receiving feedback?
Whether your group is just starting out or you have been together for years, you can benefit from the observations and guidance of an objective, experienced eye. Red Oak Director and Roundtable Leader, Kim Suhr, can tailor the session to your group’s needs. Some possible activities include:
- helping you set group and individual goals
- modeling different approaches to feedback
- sharing techniques for improving your critiquing skills
- observing the group’s process & suggesting ways to make it stronger and more efficient
- demonstrating Red Oak’s approach & helping you find ways to tweak it to match your needs
- other (addressing issues specific to your group)
To set up a session, call Kim at 414.881.7276Fee: $150 for one 2.5 hour session (for up to 6 writers. Plus $25 for each additional writer.) Kim Suhr is Director of Red Oak Writing and author of Maybe I’ll Learn: Snapshots of a Novice Mom. She will receive her MFA in fiction from Pine Manor College in January, 2015. Her work has appeared at Grey Sparrow Journal, Full of Crow and Staccato Fiction as well as earning awards from the Wisconsin Writers Association’s Jade Ring and Lindemann Humor Contests. To learn more about her writing, visit kimsuhr.com