Editing and Critique
Morgen welcomes fiction manuscripts for…
Full editing (content, copy editing & line editing): In-depth ‘firm but fair’ editing with feedback which will include grammar, punctuation, story structure, character depth / dialogue, highlighting potential copyright issues, fact checking, chapter structure / order, narrative drive… the whole shebang. This comes in the form of an edited manuscript together with separate commented document. Suitable for all writers, regardless of experience.
Charged at the competitive rate of £5 (€6.5 / US$8.5 / CA$ & AS$9.5) per 1,000 words. To work out the cost, multiply your word count by 0.005 / 0.0065 / 0.0085 / 0.0095 respectively (so a 100,000-word novel would be £500 / €650 / US$850 / CA$950 / AUS$950 respectively).
*** NEW OCTOBER 2014: Unlike many freelance editors, Morgen runs a computer analysis of your writing before, during and after the editing process which highlights average sentence lengths (short sentences make for a pacier story), over-usage of adverbs, cliches, ‘redundant’ phrases (e.g. all of, right now), unnecessary filler words (e.g. that, then), initial pronouns / names / ‘ing’ words and conjunctions, pacing and momentum, repeated and commonly-used words and phrases. ***
Line editing: spelling, grammar, punctuation, word usage (e.g. stationery vs stationary, story vs storey), repetition, clichés, sentence construction, consistencies. Here the concentration is on sentences and paragraphs instead of pages and chapters. Suitable for more advanced writers.
Charged at £4 (€5 / US$6.5 / CA$ & AS$7.5) per 1,000 words. Multiply your word count by 0.004 / 0.005 / 0.0065 / 0.0075.
Proofreading: a human spell- and grammar-checker, concentrating on individual words rather than the context. This is the option to take if you are confident of your characters, plot, structure and layout etc. but you want someone to go through it before you submit to an agent or publisher, or self-publish. Morgen’s non-fiction writing is about writing so she concentrates on fiction but has proofread non-fiction manuscripts.
Charged at £3 (€4 / US$5 / CA & AS$5.50) per 1,000 words. Multiply your word count by 0.003 / 0.004 / 0.005 / 0.0055.
General feedback: no proofreading / editing, no changes to the document itself, just a typed summary report. This is useful if you’re not sure whether the story is working, your characters (or plot) are believable or you’ve not edited it yet but have sent it to beta (first-round) readers and the feedback you’ve received makes you wonder whether you want to progress it. Morgen will be honest and tell you, although for most authors who have taken this option, she has seen promise with their work, they’ve just needed a steer in the right direction.
Charged at £2 (€2.50 / US$3.50 / CA & AS$4) per 1,000 words. Multiply your word count by 0.002 / 0.0025 / 0.0035 / 0.004.
Regardless of the option taken, the first 1,000 words are free (usually returned within 48 hours), given as the ‘full’ editing service for your free sample, unless you advise otherwise. This is sent to you first and there is no obligation thereafter.
Prices valid until January 2015. Fees agreed in advance of any work undertaken, and more importantly, stuck to (payment options below).
Morgen is also the creative writing tutor for Northamptonshire County Council Adult Learning).
There are two formats:
- Morgen uses Word’s track changes (see picture immediately below as generic example) as it keeps the file size small and the feedback in one place.
- For authors without Word, and therefore the facility to use track changes, she can usually convert whatever she is sent (Open Office, rtf etc) into Word then do the track changes and save it as a PDF so you can see the changes she suggests.
** First c.1,000 words offered free as a sample.**
In the first instance…
Take a look at http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/writing-101 for Morgen’s writing tips. If this improves your writing, then it makes her job easier to give feedback on it. Then email Morgen your 1,000-word extract (with 1-page synopsis if from a novel) and she’ll get her feedback to you (on the extract and synopsis) as soon as possible (usually within 48 hours, or she’ll email you to advise).
- First 1,000 words free (usually returned within 48 hours). For novels, please also submit a synopsis and Morgen will comment on that too (free of charge).
- <20,000 words: 100% in advance, when documents submitted. Please allow up to two weeks for the return of your edited manuscript.
- Over 20,000 words: 50% in advance, when documents submitted then remaining 50% within 48-hours of receipt of feedback / critique. Usually 4-5 weeks max. for full-length novels.
- If you are sending a novel extract for your free sample, please also send a 1-2 page synopsis of the whole novel (including any ‘spoilers’). Agents / publishers usually prefer one page synopses.
To pay via PayPal:
Morgen has written / published over 400 short stories, from six words to several thousand, in a variety of genres. Her seven novels are chick-lit (a 105,000-worder, originally a 117,540-word first draft), lad-lit, mystery, and various shades of crime. She is currently writing her eighth novel, a departure from the crime genre; its protagonist is Henry, a talking dog with attitude.
Morgen has been critiquing fellow writers’ novels since 2005, covering all mainstream genres, most recently YA dystopian, YA paranormal, action & adventure, contemporary romance / erotica, mystery, lad lit, thriller, and crime. She doesn’t write scripts and very little poetry, so please bear this in mind if sending these formats.
Some of the testimonials (in alphabetical order) received to-date…
- “Morgen’s critiquing service was really valuable to me. Not only was the turnaround time remarkable, but her comments about my work have given me new impetus. In particular, I found her review of my synopsis really helpful. She shares her feedback in a professional yet inclusive style. It almost feels like she is sitting right next to you. She is a great communicator and highly proficient, yet friendly and easy to deal with. I look forward to sharing more of my work with her in the future.” Angela Watt (England)
- “Hi Morgen, I just wanted to thank you for editing my novel… you’re fantastic! I’ve learned so much from the notes (and from your writing course) and it reads so much better now. Everything you suggested was spot on. I’m going to use a cliche now, so sorry in advance :o) … but you’re worth every penny! I’ll be sending my next novel as soon as it’s finished. Thank you again.” Deborah S (England)
- “This is exactly what I was looking for. Exceptional communication and professionalism, and turnaround time was much faster than I expected. I can say that this experience has truly rekindled my desire to write, and I know that my works will be in good hands.” Doug J (USA)
- “I met Morgen at the 2014 Dunford Novelists Conference and was so impressed with her professional skills, that I recently have used her editing services for several short stories. Whilst I have been writing for over twenty years, Morgen has managed to add insight and improve my stories with her suggestions. Her turnaround was incredibly quick and when requested to elaborate, she didn’t hesitate to do so. I would highly recommend her and am delighted to have found an editor who is efficient, honest and skilled. I will be using her services again!” E.L Norry (Bournemouth, England)
- “The feedback was really useful, and I intend to take advantage of your editing service again. Will be submitting the story, with your suggested revisions, so keeping my fingers crossed that the competition judges will like it. Thanks.” Julia Ann Lees (England)
- “Morgen (with an E) Bailey is a consummate editor, with a knowledge of formatting and Elements of Style that would please any author’s publisher. She edited my first mystery novel with three pages of typed feedback, single-spaced, as well as numerous comments on each page, using the ‘track changes’ edit program in Word. All comments were very much relevant and to the point, making my novel much tighter and a better work to submit. I was so pleased that I hired Morgen to edit two more works: a book of short stories (short stories are her first love), and a collection of three paranormal novellas. Her rates are extremely reasonable and she is fast and accurate. What more could a writer ask of an editor? I recommend Morgen Bailey highly. PS Check out her writing, too; excellent flash fiction, short stories, and a book called, ‘The Serial Dater’s Shopping List’.” Kenna McKinnon (Canada) Thank you, Kenna. Kenna later emailed to say, “I want to tell you again how very pleased I am with your editing skills. You’ve created a brand new and far superior product for <book title>, the novellas go back many years as originally novels, and I’d dearly love them to see the light of print.” And subsequently, having edited her biographies, she said, “Thanks, Morgen, you rock.” :)
- “I have read over your suggested changes and can only say “WOW”, you are right on target! I loved all the changes. I really love the suggestions to the synopsis. I am excited to have you as my editor!” Lorraine Carey (Grand Cayman)
- “I met Morgen at a writing festival a short while ago and goodness, what a spot of luck. She doesn’t miss a thing. I’ve learnt an awful lot since starting writing some six years ago now, and since meeting her, have learnt even more. I can’t recommend her highly enough. Very professional, very easy to work with, and very good at what she does.” Mark K (England)
- “I asked Morgen to edit my first novel after meeting her at Crime and Publishment in March. Her rates are extremely competitive and the returned ms along with comments allowed me to bring it up to the standard required to publish or submit. I’m happy to say that the first publisher I approached offered me a contract and I have no doubt that Morgen’s skilful editing hugely contributed to this. I’m a bit wary about posting this without running it past Morgen first TBH as I may have fragmented sentences or something!” Mike Craven (UK) Looks good to me. Thank you, Mike.
- “I discovered Morgen and her writing website while I was trolling for various ways to publicize a friend’s novel. Our relationship grew via guest blogs and author spotlights. When it came time for me to get serious about my own writing and editing, I thought first of Morgen and looked into what she offered – I was not disappointed. Her reasonable rates, free 1000 word trial package, and use of the Track Changes options in MS Word drew me in. Going through each of my edited chapters, I was pleasantly surprised to find side notes and comments in addition to the basic proofreading services I asked for. I loved coming across a comment where she was particularly pleased with my phrasing or story ideas. These little gems of thought created a bond between us – Morgen not only edited my work but she engaged herself with me as writer along the way. In this day and age that kind of thoughtful attention is rare. I looked forward to seeing her notes with every chapter, and her personal attention revitalized my own connection with the novel. Morgen is a master of her craft and has a great pair of editing eyes – don’t overlook her honest simplicity and attention to detail, she’s a treasure.” M.J. Moores, Teacher. Author. Mother. (Canada)
- “Very efficient and to the point. Highly recommended.” and “I’ve used Morgen for a short story. She’s rapid, responsive and very reasonably priced. My subsequent rewrite satisfied even me.” Rosalind Minett (England)
- “I wish everyone I was dealing with were as efficient and user friendly as you! Once again, thank you for exceeding my expectations.” Tony Klinger (England)
Listed below are some examples of the free sample critiques Morgen has given…
- The first ‘red pen’ session episode was released on Monday 8th August 2011 featuring a 325-word flash fiction entitled ‘Green’ by San Francisco-based writer and musician J D Mader and the podcast is available via the links at the top of this page (and in the ‘Where to find me’ side menu) with a summary here and you can listen to the episode here. Full feedback was blogged – Sunday 2nd December 2012.
- The second ‘red pen’ session episode was released on Monday 22nd August featuring a 1,591-word short story from Aneesa – the summary was posted here and you can listen to the episode here. Full feedback to be blogged t.b.a. (awaiting permission from the author).
- The third ‘red pen’ session episode was released on Monday 5th September and featured a novel extract from crime writer Lae Monie. A summary of the podcast episode was posted here and you can listen to the episode here. Full feedback was blogged – Tuesday 4th December 2012.
- The fourth ‘red pen’ session episode was released on Saturday 17th September and featured a 883-word short story entitled The Sow’s Ear by J D Mader. A summary of the podcast was posted here and you can listen to the episode here. Full feedback was blogged – Wednesday 5th December 2012.
- Aneesa returned for episode no.5 which was released on Monday 10th October and featured a short story called ‘You are my reasons’ -– the summary was posted here and you can listen to the episode here. Full feedback to be blogged t.b.a. (awaiting permission from the author).
- Episode no.6, released on Monday 24th October, was an extract from forthcoming novel ‘Firebound’ provided by teacher and writer Kathryn Wild – the summary of which was posted here and you can listen to the episode here. Full feedback was blogged – Friday 7th December 2012.
- Episode no.7, released on Sunday 6th November, featured a short story by Aaron entitled ‘On the edge’ – the summary was posted here and you can listen to the episode here. Full feedback was blogged – Saturday 8th December 2012.
- Episode no.8, released Sunday 27th November, was another novel extract by crime writer Lae Monie – the summary was posted here and you can listen to the episode here. Full feedback was blogged – Sunday 9th December 2012.
- Episode no.9, released Wednesday 28th December – was Morgen’s critique of a novel extract from The Desolate Garden by Danny Kemp – the summary was posted here and you can listen to the episode here. Full feedback was blogged – Monday 10th December 2012.
Then the red pen sessions transferred from audio podcast to blog text:
- Red Pen no.10, critique of Circles, a short story from Aaron (see episode no.7) – Sunday 16th December 2012.
- Red Pen no.11, critique of an extract (with synopsis) from Lianne Simon’s novel Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite – Sunday 23rd December 2012.
- Red Pen no.12, critique of the short story Shooting Stars by crime novelist, short story author and interviewee Graham Smith – Sunday 30th December 2012.
- Red Pen no.13, critique of a novel extract from YA, romance and suspense thriller novelist Erica Miner‘s Murder in the Pit – Sunday 6th January 2013.
- Red Pen no.14, critique of Agoraphobia, a short story by non-fiction and short story author Kerry Dwyer – Sunday 13th January 2013.
- Red Pen no.15, critique of Betrayal, a short story by short story author and poet Charlie Kane – Sunday 20th January 2013.
- Short Stories Submitted For Critique
- Poems Submitted For Critique
- Script Extracts Submitted For Critique
- Novel Extracts Submitted For Critique
- Non-fiction Pieces Submitted For Critique
- £2 (€2.50 / US$3.50 / CA & AS$4) per 1,000 words for general feedback on the story (Word document, pdf or email text, whichever is preferred), no alterations to the original manuscript
- £3 (€4 / US$5 / CA & AS$5.50) per 1,000 words for proofread only (track changes)
- £4 (€5 / US$6.5 / CA$ & AS$7.5) per 1,000 words for line editing (track changes)
- £5 (€6.5 / US$8.5 / CA$ & AS$9.5) per 1,000 words for a full critique (track changes and full typed report)
- Fee agreed in advance, but based on the above and no more than £5 per 1,000 words.
- Prices valid until January 2015.
Note: Morgen is English so will edit based on UK English rather than US English although US spellings will remain unaltered. Fee agreed in advance so there are no further costs unless agreed, and payment to be made via PayPal.
It is stressed that Morgen is not responsible for the accuracy of the content of the authors’ works before or after publication and any factual mistakes not pointed out shall incur no liability on Morgen’s part.
She also transcribes manuscripts from audio files or handwritten formats (rate by agreement but based on the same hourly rate).
Whatever your requirement, you can email Morgen at firstname.lastname@example.org.