Kid's Book Revisions:
Manuscript Revision Tutorial
Our Tutorial approach is an individual version of our KBR class. Like the class, we give you three rounds of editorial comments, and you will have the opportunity to make three rounds of revisions, but you may choose your own schedule, and work on a manuscript of any length. We set it up to make it possible for people to work with us on novels and other longer works on a flexible schedule, but you may submit picture books, nonfiction, or any other type of children's book manuscript.
During the Tutorial, you will start with one editor, who will guide you through two rounds of revision, before handing you off to the other editor for a "second opinion" and comments that will help you to continue to revise after the tutorial is over.
Schedule: We set up an individual schedule in consultation with each student, taking into account the amount of time you will need to complete a revision, and the time we will need to read, take notes, think, and deliver comments to you. We will take into account your family and work commitments, and our own; we understand that sometimes you may need to suspend work on a project, and we may need to as well. We will work around any such delays. In practice we find that picture books and other shorter manuscripts get through the tutorial in three to six months; novels and other longer manuscripts require at least six months and can last a year or more. It's physically possible, of course, to do three revisions of a manuscript more quickly for a deadline, but we don't run the tutorial that way, so if you have a deadline, this isn't the best way to revise your manuscript. This is a learning experience. We do set deadlines to keep the tutorial moving, but time pressure should not be a factor in the experience.
- First step – Contact us, submit synopsis.
- Set-up – We respond and discuss schedule; you submit manuscript.
- First comments – Our first response: for longer manuscripts, we'll need more time.
- Your first revision – You revise your manuscript in response.
- Second comments – We comment on progress and make suggestions for additional changes.
- Your second revision – You dig deeper and revise again.
- Checkpoint – First editor hands over: Author receives brief, focused comments and moves on to second editor*.
*Occasionally, we judge that further editorial direction is not needed and offer a partial line-edit to guide you with a final round of self-editing, but will always consult with an author before proceeding.
- Final comments – The "second opinion" from the other editor, or line-edit if you are ready for it.
Please contact us by email first with your name, address, and phone number; a description of your manuscript and its word or page count; what you hope to do in the class; and an attached synopsis and sample chapter.
Synopsis should be 1 page only. No cover letters please, just a description of your character and plot or story line. Synopses do not have to be polished for submission to a publisher--at this point, we just want to get a feel for your story.
We will promptly confirm (or not) that your manuscript seems to be suited to our tutorial approach (or not). If it is, we will discuss your schedule, and arrange for payment. We usually take payment through PayPal (we send you an invoice; you pay by credit card at the PayPal site). If for any reason you are not comfortable with making a payment through PayPal, please contact us to make other arrangements.
Fees are $350 for picture books of up to 3,000 words, or $500 for a partial or full manuscript of up to 75 standard manuscript pages; for longer manuscripts, add $7 per page. So, for example, a 200-page manuscript would cost a total of $1375.
Payment Schedule: Fees of $500 or less are due when we schedule you, if you will be starting in the current or the following month. Fees of over $500 can be split into two payments, at your option, with the first due upon scheduling, and the second due with your first revision.
Deposits: We will hold a place for a future month (i.e., not the current or following month) upon payment of a nonrefundable $150 deposit. If you do not take up the place we held, you lose it; if you do take it, the deposit is applied to your tuition.
At present, we are scheduling no more two Tutorial "starts" per month. If we are booked for a given month, we will suggest a later start time. Please feel free to contact us with your questions about the Tutorials.
We make ourselves available by email during a Tutorial to address questions and discuss concerns, and when necessary can schedule phone conversations; we ask that you not make excessive demands on our time in this area, as we do have other obligations.
When there is interest, we can also set up group email discussions among authors sharing common concerns or interests, moderated by one or both of us over the period of a week or two.
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