Manuscript Critique Service

Are you an author looking for a manuscript critique, a developmental edit, or help with your query letter? I’m a full-time editor who has helped refine the stories of over a hundred authors, some of whom have gone on to sign with literary agents and acquire book deals with both traditional and indie publishers.

AVAILABILITY UPDATE: Currently booking for August 2022 and beyond. Possible space in July depending on size of the manuscript. Faster turnaround on smaller projects.


I started as a developmental editor three years ago and have been editing full-time ever since. In the beginning, I provided written manuscript evaluations and query letter critiques, but since then my work has expanded to include comprehensive, in-document developmental editing and my popular query package. I’ve helped many querying authors increase their rates of full manuscript requests, some of whom have gone on to sign with literary agents and acquire books deals with both small and major publishers, including the newly released My Sweet Girl (Berkley/Penguin Group) by Amanda Jayatissa and Refuge (Aethon Books) by J.J. Blacklocke. In 2022 alone, three of my clients have signed with literary agents.

I love what I do and I hope to continue assisting authors on their journey to publication. If you’re interested in working with me, take a look at these client testimonials, or scroll down to see my services below.


“After eighteen months of fruitless querying, I enlisted the help of Tory Hunter to do a full manuscript critique, along with synopsis. As a result of her suggestions, I received a revise and resubmit request from an agent. Tory worked with me to address the agent’s concerns, and two weeks later I had an offer of representation on my cozy mystery series, which I happily accepted.” Kate Jackson, mystery [Twitter | Website]

“Tory’s insight and clear explanation really helped me when I was querying.”Eilene Spear, contemporary romance [Twitter]

“Think of Tory Hunter as the Manuscript Whisperer. Bring her your tangled, troubled prose and she’ll cure what ails it. Or come to her for an editorial overview and she’ll analyze your work with honesty, intelligence, and compassion. I was pleased beyond all expectation with the work she did for me. Worth every penny!” — J.J. Blacklocke, author of REFUGE: Tradepoint Saga Book One (Aethon Books) [Twitter | Website]

“Writers are told to shove their manuscripts into a drawer for months in order to get the necessary distance to edit their work. You could do that, or you could hire Tory. Her critique gave me both the ‘big picture’ of what wasn’t working, as well as chapter-by-chapter impression of details that didn’t add up. I’m excited to tackle my rewrite with her thoughtful feedback!”—Jami Denison [Twitter | Website]

“A full critique from Tory empowered me to query my first novel with confidence. Her feedback was thorough and enthusiastic. Straight away, she pinpointed and offered a simple suggestion to solve my one nagging concern within my story. I was so impressed I requested her help with writing my query letter and summary. With her skill and support, I am currently querying and receiving full requests from agents. I cannot praise the value of her services enough!”—Misty L. Brown, mystery/suspense

“I’ve purchased Tory’s manuscript critique service twice now. Once was for a horror short story collection, once for a fantasy novel, so I can say she knows her way around multiple genres and story formats. Both times I got excellent, insightful feedback that directly helped me improve my stories. She was professional, encouraging, and answered several rounds of follow-up questions. I’ve come to see her as an expert in the revision and agenting process, and it would be hard to imagine publishing another book without running it past Tory first.”—Ichabod Ebenezer [Twitter | Website]

“Tory went beyond my expectations and her honest feedback allowed me to make the changes needed to transform my manuscript and query letter into something ready to send to agents. She’s an insightful and encouraging editor who I would gladly trust with any future work!”—Mae Afia, contemporary fiction

“Tory’s critique was insightful and on-point, and she gave me encouragement that renewed my enthusiasm and love for my upmarket women’s fiction novel. I attacked her points and the MS was made infinitely stronger, and resulted in multiple MS requests from agents, a few of which are still outstanding. So when I finished my next project, upmarket contemporary with elements of suspense (and real ghost-hunting), I knew immediately that I wanted a critique from Tory. Once again, she gave me fantastic feedback, including ideas for fleshing out the parts I knew could be further developed. The result is a MS that I feel confident querying, and hope for success that I wouldn’t have had without her help. Can’t recommend her enough!”—Angela Hoke, contemporary suspense [Twitter | Website]

“Tory gave great editorial feedback to help me revise my query to be more concise and catchy. I feel a lot more confident querying agents now. Two thumbs up!”Jessica Alwell

“Working with Tory on my historical adventure novel has been both inspiring and enlightening. The comprehensive editorial assessment she performed identified character development issues, plot weaknesses, and continuity errors I otherwise would have missed. She does good work at a fair price.”—Benjamin J. Gohs, historical fiction


$5 per 1,000 words

Manuscript critiques are my primary service. I accept stories of any length, age range, and genre (even the ones I won’t tell my mother about). While you’ll benefit the most from a full manuscript evaluation, I do critique partials for writers who just want to work on their opening chapters or would like to test me out before committing to the full. NOTE: I do not provide sample critiques. It’s simply impossible to properly critique a page or two of a novel.

My critique comes in the form of chapter-by-chapter commentary noting strengths and weaknesses, followed by an editorial letter to discuss major issues after I’ve completed the manuscript.

The chapter commentary not only provides you with suggestions on minute page-by-page details, it also gives you my live reaction to the story–the good, the bad, and the confusing–so you’ll know if I’ve missed something that needs to be clarified or if I’m too accurate in predicting what’s going to happen next.

The editorial letter portion of the critique is where, upon reflection, I discuss the big picture issues including character development, plot, pacing, structure, voice, genre appropriateness, subtext, etc. Character A isn’t fleshed out enough. The pacing drags in the middle. I wasn’t satisfied by the ending. It doesn’t make sense for X to happen before Y. The narrative doesn’t have a proper or consistent voice.

In rare cases, I’ll recommend very few changes and tell you your book kept me up all night. Just bear in mind that you’re going to get the cold, hard truth, whether your book needs a ton of work or I frantically beg you to start querying agents immediately. Though you’re welcome to let me know if you prefer a positivity-oriented approach.


$12 per 1,000 words

The developmental editing option is a more in depth version of a manuscript critique. It comes with an editorial letter, but I will also make detailed edit suggestions and insert commentary into the manuscript itself. This includes but is not limited to highlighting slow or weak parts of the story, suggesting material to cut or move, noting awkward transitions or dialogue, addressing plot issues, highlighting inconsistencies, suggesting structural changes, and recommending the types of subtle adjustments that are difficult to characterize but that help align the details of your story with its ultimate aim. I will also note the strong aspects of the story because I believe it’s just as important to celebrate what’s working as to point out what isn’t.

For this service, I’m happy to provide a 1,000-word sample edit upon request.


Author coaching services are not currently available. I will announce via blog post when they will be available again. If you think you might be interested in this service in the future, I recommend subscribing to my blog.



My query letter critique comes in the form of in-document edit suggestions and feedback inserted as comments using track changes, along with any additional feedback in the accompanying email, with the goal of refining your pitch for clarity, flow, and voice, along with ensuring that it properly introduces your protagonist, showcases your stakes, and offers a compelling hook while striking a balance between concrete and abstract language. You want to give enough details to give a strong sense of your story, but you also want to generate a sense of mystery.

The query critique also comes with a free second pass of your revised query letter.


$30 + $4 per 1,000 words of sample chapters (up to 10K words)

My Query Package includes a query letter critique along with an editorial assessment of your opening pages in the form of a written manuscript critique, with a focus on character development, plot, pacing, structure, voice, genre appropriateness, and what you can do to increase your chances of hooking an agent.

The Query Package also comes with a free second pass of your revised query letter and follow-up questions concerning the manuscript. You can also add a synopsis edit for an additional $20.


$30 + $8 per 1,000 words of sample chapters (up to 10K words)

My Query Package Plus includes a query letter critique along with a developmental edit of your opening pages in the form of in-document edit suggestions and feedback inserted as comments using track changes. This is a more in-depth option that provides the same feedback as a Query Package but also offers detailed, line-by-line edits combined with written feedback to maximize the flow, readability, and intrigue of your story’s opening. This has proven to be the most effective option.

The Query Package Plus also comes with a free second pass of your revised query letter and follow-up questions concerning the manuscript. You can also add a synopsis edit for an additional $20.


Use the contact form below. Introduce yourself and let me know what service you’re looking for. And don’t be shy! I’m happy to answer any questions and I won’t shed a single tear if you decide to go with another editor. If you’re looking for copy editing or proofreading services, I’m happy to make recommendations.

I look forward to discussing your work!