Query Letter and Synopsis Critiques

If you're preparing queries, synopses, or proposals for an agent or publisher, I can edit and evaluate your pitch and suggest improvements to increase your chances of a response. I can't guarantee you'll get representation or a publishing deal, but I can offer you insight into potential challenges or stumbling blocks in your efforts to get published.

After the editing work is finished, I'm available to answer your follow-up questions via email at no charge. You're also welcome to get in touch as questions arise during the submissions process. My goal is to help you feel more confident and less anxious as you submit your work to agents, editors, or publishers—to know that there's someone you can trust and communicate with whenever you encounter doubt or frustration. This service is more than a transaction: it's a relationship.

All consulting and editing work is performed exclusively by myself; I do not subcontract or use assistants. You will always be communicating directly with me.

My credentials: I have 20 years of experience in the book and magazine publishing industry. I'm the former publisher of Writer's Digest, and have worked or written for the Authors Guild, Virginia Quarterly Review, University of Chicago Press, Writer's Market, Digital Book World, the Alliance of Independent Authors, and Publishing Perspectives. Find out more.

The Novelist's Critique Package ($400)

For novelists, I can help you with the following submissions materials.

  • Query letter edit. I'll edit your query to emphasize the most attractive aspects of your work, and also alert you to any red flags that may prevent an editor or agent from requesting your manuscript. I've seen thousands of query letters and know what professionals look for. I can teach you how to improve your query's lead paragraph, and how to be more concise and efficient with your pitch. You'll also learn how to write your next query more effectively and without my help. We will go through as many rounds of editing as necessary until we feel the query is ready to submit.
  • Synopsis edit. Is your synopsis running too long? Are you struggling with "synopsis-speak," where your story takes on a deadening feel? I've helped hundreds of writers improve their synopsis and can help shape your synopsis to reflect the best qualities of your work, in professional and compelling language. Our goal will be to produce 1-2 page synopsis, single spaced. As with the query, we'll go through as many rounds of editing as needed until it's ready to submit.
  • Feedback on your first five pages. Sometimes agents allow you to submit your first pages along with your query. I'll read your first pages and offer insight on how an agent or editor may perceive them.

I'm more than happy to answer via email all of your questions about the submissions process and publishing industry. While I don't offer hands-on assistance with finding the right agents or publishers for your work, I outline the process here. I believe every writer should undertake this research process for himself.

To get started, please fill out the contact form below.

The Memoirist's Critique Package ($400)

If you're writing a memoir, I can help with the following submissions materials.

  • Query letter edit. I'll edit your query to emphasize the most attractive aspects of your work, and also alert you to any red flags that may prevent an editor or agent from requesting your manuscript. I've seen thousands of query letters and know what professionals look for. I can teach you how to improve your query's lead paragraph, and how to be more concise and efficient with your pitch. You'll also learn how to write your next query more effectively and without my help. We will go through as many rounds of editing as necessary until we feel the query is ready to submit.
  • Synopsis or chapter overview edit. Depending on the structure of your memoir and what submissions materials you're preparing, I'll help you with your synopsis draft or with your book proposal's chapter overview.
  • Feedback on your first five pages. I'll review your first pages and offer advice on how an agent or editor may perceive them.

I'm more than happy to answer via email all of your questions about the submissions process and publishing industry. While I don't offer hands-on assistance with finding the right agents or publishers for your work, I outline the process here. I believe every writer should undertake this research process for himself.

To get started, please fill out the contact form below.

Query or Synopsis Only ($200)

Just looking for a query edit? Or only a synopsis edit? I can help, regardless of your genre/category. We will go through as many editing rounds as needed, until it's ready for submission to an agent or publisher.

Submittal Form and Payment

I will respond within one business day to let you know I received your materials. My current turnaround time for first edits is 3-4 business days. If you have questions about this service or how it works, please email me.

  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: doc, docx, pages, rtf, txt.
    You can send up to 3 files: a query letter, a synopsis, and the first 5 pages of your manuscript.
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I worked with Jane as my editor/consultant on the query letter for my novel, as well as its synopsis. I now think of Jane as the Ferrari of editors—a true pro. She's a crisp and succinct coach, she's incredibly responsive and effective, and she's very pleasant to work with in general. She earned my trust quickly and I can't recommend her highly enough!

Rich Turgeon

Jane was an absolute pleasure to work with. She provided clear and concise insights into the world of publishing, offering invaluable knowledge, specifically pertaining to the submissions process. Jane’s professionalism and punctuality were absolutely refreshing. Working with Jane is a no-brainer for any writer looking to get published.

Greg Labe

Thank you so very much for your expertise in revising and finesse in polishing the query. It would not be the same without your input.

Linda Noble

I've reviewed the edits and believe you have done a great job. My wife (and best critic) agrees! You shortened the synopsis while preserving the critical parts.

Richard Coico

I like the changes you made. The query is 100% clearer and right to the point now. I learned a lot about writing a query letter from your lecture from the Great Courses. It prompted me to seek out your help with my query letter. I'm so glad I did, you're a genius.

Ariana Fae

I can’t thank you enough. Of all the critiques and edits I’ve had in the past—and there have been tons—your methods are the most impressive. Your work is professional and excellent.

Marlene Bell

You’re input and experienced eye has been enormously helpful in getting me out of the storyteller mode and into a pitch mode.

Stephen Foehr

I’m comfortable with your revisions and greatly appreciate your help. I will call on you for other projects. Thanks again.

Lewis Cook

Jane, thank you for everything. You made a meaningful difference in what I'm sending out. Really, your help was invaluable.

Tom King

Thanks so much for your work. Your ability to take what I sent you and turn it in to a quality query letter is simply amazing. I think writing a query is in many ways more challenging than writing the novel itself.

Stephen Terrell

Just wanted to let you know a publisher has already asked for a manuscript! Woohoo! Thanks for your help. I feel like I'm starting off on the right foot having consulted with you.

Lauren Heintz