Want Feedback on Your Writing?

Join the nearly 200 serious creative writers who have worked one-on-one over the past several years with award-winning author Joan Dempsey.

Joan's feedback will help you not only with your current writing project, but with every future manuscript. Get a detailed, written critique and specific guidance on how to improve your work. Master the skills you need to take your writing to the next level.

  • I sought you out because I could no longer identify which details in my manuscript might benefit from an additional look – I was too close to it. Now I can see sentence level opportunities for improvement as well as thematic gaps I can fill in. My work is stronger on every level!
    Shannon Huffman Polson, author of 'North of Hope'
      Shannon Huffman Polson, author of 'North of Hope'
  • Thanks for your excellent help, Joan! I appreciate how you saw some of the intention behind my piece while at the same time giving me a few specific points on which I can improve. I will absolutely use those suggestions as I revise the rest of the manuscript.
    Tim Queeney, author of 'George in London'
      Tim Queeney, author of 'George in London'
  • Terrific edits, Joan! Now I can finally see where I’m overwriting and underwriting. I know just where to streamline and where to amplify, which is such a relief; you helped me find the confidence I needed to keep writing. What more could an aspiring crime thriller novelist ask for? Thanks again.
    Maureen C. Berry, author of the forthcoming memoir 'Hurricanes, Handcuffs, Pepper Spray & Scrambled Eggs'
      Maureen C. Berry, author of the forthcoming memoir 'Hurricanes, Handcuffs, Pepper Spray & Scrambled Eggs'
  • Now I can see Katie Reeves and the Dragon’s Heart through fresh eyes, more like a reader than a writer – just what I needed. I’ve also figured out one point of view issue that was troubling me, so now I can fix that in the rest of the manuscript. Thanks, Joan!
    S.K. Lamont, author of the forthcoming novel 'Katie Reeves and the Dragon's Heart'
      S.K. Lamont, author of the forthcoming novel 'Katie Reeves and the Dragon's Heart'
  • Joan helps clarify your prose without taking away your ‘voice’ and coaches you to be the best writer you can be. When I thought I couldn’t go on, Joan helped me see ways to further enrich my writing and helped me achieve my goal.
    Dr. Pardis Mahdavi, author of 'From Trafficking to Terror' and 'Passionate Uprisings: Iran's Sexual Revolution'
      Dr. Pardis Mahdavi, author of 'From Trafficking to Terror' and 'Passionate Uprisings: Iran's Sexual Revolution'
  • Working with Joan Dempsey is a writer’s dream. She shows you how to revise your work and is thorough in her editing. Joan gives you the necessary tools to write with confidence. She is easy to work with and I know I will be consulting with her again.
    Cheryl Blaydon, author of 'The Heart of Stone' and 'Beyond the Ledge'
      Cheryl Blaydon, author of 'The Heart of Stone' and 'Beyond the Ledge'
  • Joan's one of the very few people to whom I always turn to read my work in its early stages, because she approaches writing not only with a rare intelligence and insight, but also with a tremendous compassion and integrity.
    Matthew Goodman, 'New York Times' bestselling author of 'Eighty Days'
      Matthew Goodman, 'New York Times' bestselling author of 'Eighty Days'

Why Get Feedback?

 

You're not certain you're on the right track and need guidance before you continue.

You've gotten conflicting feedback from others and need another, professional opinion.

You've done all you can and need to know what still needs to be revised.

You think you're ready to submit to agents or publishers but want to be 100% sure.

Click Here to Discover the Type of Feedback You'll Receive

Here's What You'll Receive

  1. Detailed margin notes throughout your manuscript that identify what’s working and what’s not.
  2. Suggestions about big picture issues like the authenticity and consistency of the narrative voice, the plot, theme and story, structure, setting, characterization, point of view, and more (applies to both fiction and non-fiction).
  3. An assessment of your writing “tics” or habits, with suggestions for avoiding them in the next draft.
  4. Sentence-level suggestions for cutting out unnecessary words that clutter your prose, and guidance for using those suggestions.

One of "5 More Over 50" Writers to Watch (Poets & Writers)

Nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award

Winner, 2017 Poets & Writers Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award

How the Feedback Process Works

 

  1. Sign up. Click on the orange button below to sign up and pay to secure time in Joan's schedule, which is first come, first served (she'll do everything possible to accommodate your schedule).
  2. Check your email. Joan will send a message with complete details about how to send your work, what specifically you'd like her to focus on and your requested time frame for completion.
  3. Relax while Joan reads your work. Once finished, Joan will email your feedback, which is written using the track changes feature in Word or Pages (NOTE: You will need to use track changes, or be willing and able to learn how to use them—Joan can provide links to online instructions, but can't coach you).
  4. You and Joan will discuss and review the feedback (via email).

The Cost

$4.25 per page*

 

*Formatted as follows: double-spaced, 1-inch margins, 12-point Times New Roman font.

You're welcome to send 5-pages, your full manuscript, or any number of pages in between.

Sign Up Now to Work with Joan

(First come, first served—extremely limited time available.)

I hired Joan to read 100 pages, and my advice to anyone thinking about it is to go for it! Joan not only picked up some habits I didn’t know I had, she looked at the whole picture, noted the strengths and weaknesses she saw, and most importantly SHOWED ME THE WAY FORWARD! I’m excited to revise this book, which I had thought was a) finished, and b) not very good. Thank you, Joan.

- Anne Dibble

AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR AND SOUGHT-AFTER WRITING TEACHER

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: How many pages can I submit and what genre of writing does Joan accept?
ANSWER +

You're welcome to send as few as 5-pages, your full manuscript, or any number of pages in between. Joan is happy to work with you on the following:

—Individual short stories

—Fiction collections

—Novels, including literary, middle grade, young adult and genre fiction

—Novellas

—Individual essays

—Essay collections

—Book-length creative non-fiction

—Memoir

She doesn't work on:

—Poetry

—Screenwriting

—Playwriting

—Blogs

—Websites

—Handbooks

—Picture books

 

If you don't see your work reflected in any of the categories shown above, have no fear! Simply get in touch and let Joan know what you're up to so you can determine whether she's the right developmental editor for what you'd like to accomplish.

Q: What format does the feedback come in?
ANSWER +

Joan uses the "track changes" feature in both Word and Pages, so you're welcome to send your manuscript in either program. NOTE that you will need to be familiar with track changes, or be willing and able to learn how to use them—Joan can provide links to online instructions but can't coach you through how to use them. If you don't think you can manage track changes, then Joan is probably not the best fit for you.

Joan will send your feedback to you as an email attachment.

Q: When can I expect to receive my feedback?
ANSWER +

Joan always does her best to accommodate your schedule, and usually that's possible. She doesn't take on more work than she can manage, but do note that Joan's in high demand, so her schedule is nearly always jam-packed.

When you sign up, she'll ask you to let her know your preferred time-frame, and she'll let you know how that works with her schedule. So far (knock on wood), she's been able to satisfy most preferred deadlines.

Q: What are Joan's credentials?
ANSWER +

Joan loves working with writers!

For more than ten years now she has worked with a wide variety of writers on all kinds of projects. She focuses on developmental editing, which means she reads your work with an eye toward what's working well and what can be improved, and provides you with guidance about what you need to learn or do to take your writing to the next level. She makes both big picture and sentence-level suggestions.

Joan is an author and trained writing teacher, with advanced degrees in fiction and pedagogy from Antioch University Los Angeles. She's the author of This Is How It Begins, a novel, which was published in October, 2017 and was recently nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award. In 2017, she also won the Poets & Writers Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award, and was named by Poets & Writers Magazine as one of "5 more over 50" writers to watch.

You can read more details about Joan here.

Q: Do I have to pay up front? What if I don't know how many pages I have?
ANSWER +

Yes, Joan does require you to pay up front.

The reason for this is that Joan's in high demand and wants to make sure she reserves time in her schedule for the writers who truly want to work with her. By paying in advance, you're making a commitment both to Joan and to yourself that you will work together. That way she doesn't find herself with gaps in her schedule that could have gone to another writer.

The cost is $4.25 per page (double-spaced, 1-inch margins, 12-point Times New Roman Font).

If you don't know exactly how many pages you have, that's okay. Estimate as best you can—if you end up sending fewer pages, we'll either reimburse you or give you credit for future pages (your choice), and if you end up sending more pages, you can simply pay the difference when you send your work.

The sign up form (click on orange button, above) allows you to choose the number of pages.

Q: What types of payment do you accept?
ANSWER +

You can pay with a credit card or PayPal.

If you'd prefer to send a check, you're welcome to do that, but please email Joan first to alert her to the number of pages you'll be paying for.

Make your check payable to Joan Dempsey, and send it to:

14 Dougherty Road

New Gloucester, ME 04260-5028

Q: Is Joan a copy editor or proofreader?
ANSWER +

Joan is neither a copy editor nor a proofreader, so she's not the right person for helping you polish your draft so it's perfectly free of typos, grammatical errors and the like.

She focuses on what's called developmental editing, which means she reads your work with an eye toward what's working well and what can be improved, and provides you with guidance about what you need to learn or do to take your writing to the next level. She makes both big picture and sentence-level suggestions.

If you need a copy editor or a proofreader, let Joan know and she can make some recommendations.

Have more questions? Email Joan.

Don't Miss Out!

I'd love to work with you! My time, however, is extremely limited (I always have a long waiting list) so if you'd like me to read your writing, even a month or two from now, sign up today to secure your time in my schedule. Getting feedback on your writing will help you not only with your current manuscript, but with every word you write in the future. And don't forget, it only costs $4.25 per page, and you're welcome to submit as few as 5 pages (only $21.25).

GREAT, SIGN ME UP!I Don't Want to Miss Out