Critique Services



Editing is definitely my favorite part of the writing process. Whether working on my own books or those which published friends have trusted me to critique, I have always loved having a hand in helping “level up” a novel. Through the process of publishing a trilogy with HarperCollins, I learned what an asset a good editor can be to a project. Now, I’d like the opportunity to help you. An outside perspective is so important in pinpointing problem areas that you, as the writer, are too close to see. I’m here to give you an unbiased opinion and work with you to strengthen your novel.

What you get:

Full manuscript critique consists of:

  • A line by line edit covering sentence structure, content, and basic grammar/spelling errors. I’ll also use Track Changes to rephrase awkward sentences and paragraphs to improve flow.
  • Pointing out trouble words, weak verb usage, and tense/point of view issues
  • Notes throughout the manuscript highlighting any problems with clarity and/or consistency
  • Assessing pacing and plot, including suggestions as to what could be cut and/or added for flow
  • Assuring the strength of your character’s voice (including motivations and dialogue), along with suggestions on how to improve each as needed

In addition to line edits, you’ll receive a developmental letter breaking down characters and plot/world building. This letter will give you a more in depth explanation of the problems I spotted while line editing and possible suggestions as to fixing these issues. You’ll also receive an explanation of what did work and why. While most editors charge a fee for both aspects, mine are bundled. My goal in this two part process is to give you the information needed to improve your novel and I don’t feel it’s fair to limit that information because you chose one package over another.

Partial critique:

Not quite ready to commit to a full manuscript critique? Want to make sure you’re heading in the right direction? The partial critique is for you. You’ll receive the same benefits of a full critique (line edits and letter).

Costs for either critique: 

  • My critique package, which includes both the developmental letter and line edits, along with any follow up questions you may have, is .008 per word.
  • A sample line edit of your first 1,500 words is free.
  • Any clients who mention you by name as their referrer will earn you a $25 discount once their payment for any service over $100 is received. Yes, you can pay for your whole critique this way!

Query critique package:

  • Query and first 5 pages: $30
  • Query and first 10 pages: $40
  • Query, first 10 pages and 1 page synopsis: $50

Package includes two rounds of editing for the query letter. Pages need to be double spaced in Times New Roman 12pt font.

How to reach me and what to do:

I can be reached by email at CliffordLeah (at) gmail (dot) com or on Facebook by clicking the link here. My expected turnaround time is 15 days for a full manuscript. Rush rates are available. Please keep in mind there may be others ahead of you, which will affect your critique start date. I work mostly with Young/New Adult novels, though exceptions have been made for adult projects on a case by case basis. No high fantasy please-it’s just not my thing. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask! I hope to hear from you soon and look forward to working together to make your project all it can be!


Leah Clifford

The Fine Print
Payment of half is due upon booking, and is non-refundable. You will have 1 year from the original purchase date of your critique to use it, after which time the credit is forfeited.
The remainder of the payment and your manuscript is due to me no later than 7 days before your critique is scheduled to start. If payment is not made on or before this date, your critique will be pushed to the next available slot.
Forms of payment accepted: PayPal
By scheduling and making a down payment for this critique sale you are agreeing to these Terms and Conditions.


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