Making Nature Fun
© Maria Marshall
I offer editing/critique services for writers, as well as copyediting of blog posts and newsletters.
Picture Books (up to 800 words):
$60 - for a Page of Feedback
Which includes such things as:
- an evaluation of the opening and ending lines;
- the character(s) tension/conflict;
- use of literary techniques;
- an evaluation of the plot/story arc; and
- an evaluation of the theme or takeaway.
[For longer works: up to 1,000 words ($65) and up to 1,200 words ($75)]
$80 - includes the above letter, plus:
- line edits;
- the inclusion of mentor texts; and
- a basic scanning of poetry.
[For longer works: up to 1,000 words ($85) and up to 1,200 ($95)]
$100 - up to 5 manuscript pages (250 words each)
*Payment can be invoiced through PayPal (with an added 4.5% fee) or made by check.
Photograph © A. Marshall
"Great critiques are the backbone of great stories. I have been fortunate to benefit from Maria Marshall's feedback on my manuscripts many times. She is thoughtful, detailed, and has a stellar grasp of what it takes to make a picture book manuscript sing."
~ Vivian Kirkfield, host of #50PreciousWords Writing Challenge and author of From Here to There: Inventions That Changed the Way the World Moves (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2021), Making Their Voices Heard: The Inspiring Friendship of Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe (Little Bee Books, 2020), Sweet Dreams, Sarah (Creston Books, 2019), Four Otters Toboggan: An Animal Counting Book (PomegranateKids 2019)Pippa's Passover Plate (Holiday House 2019).
"I highly recommend Maria for picture book critiques--both fiction and non-fiction! I have received several critiques from her. She always shows a dedication to the craft and her critiques are professional, courteous, and spot on."
~ Chana Stiefel, author of The Tower of Life: How Yaffa Eliach Rebuilt Her Town in Stories and Photographs (Scholastic 2022), Mendel’s Hanukkah Mess Up (Kalaniot Books 2022), Let Liberty Rise: How America’s Schoolchildren Helped Save the Statue of Liberty (Scholastic 2021), My Name Is Wakawakaloch!(HMH Books 2019), Animal Zombies! & Other Bloodsucking Beasts, Creepy Creatures, and Real-Life Monsters (National Goegraphic 2018), and Daddy Depot (Feiwel & Friends 2017).
"I am so grateful to have had Maria critique my picture book manuscripts! She always offers me encouragement and insightful comments to strengthen emotion, heart, character, story arc, and rhyme and rhythm. None of my stories would be the same without her. Her experience as a reviewer, interviewer, and Cybils judge gives her a deep knowledge and understanding of modern picture book writing.
Thank you, Maria!"
~ Beverly Snedecor, author
"If you are ever lucky enough to get Maria Marshall to critique one of
your children’s book manuscripts, you’re in for an insightful ride!
Maria’s keen eye for detail and expertise will perhaps be the exact thing your ho-hum manuscript needs to make it submission ready; but,
brace yourself because she will pick your story apart and she will
question your story’s logic, pacing and word choice. She will push you
to make it more lyrical. She will ask you if you’ve challenged yourself enough to make your manuscript as interesting as possible. Is there a better plot twist? Can there be a surprise ending? Does your story
have enough heart? Maria’s vast knowledge and dedication to her
craft will be worth your investment in her services, which I highly recommend if you want to get published!"
~ Danielle Dufayet, author of Benford Draws a Blank (Capstone 2023),
Waiting Together (Albert Whitman 2020), You Are Your Strong and Fantastic You (Magination Press 2019),
"From the overall big picture of the plot to the smallest misplaced
comma, Maria tackles it all. Her straightforward attitude and her thoughtful constructive insights will help you bring any picture book manuscript to the next level."
~ Noa Nimrodi, author
"Maria has been my critique partner since my first year of writing. I can’t imagine my journey without Maria, for her critiques helped me greatly along the way. Maria is generous with her time, and thorough and professional with her comments. Her knowledge on picture book writing is impressive as is her attention to detail. Most of all, her insights have pushed me to think beyond what’s possible and produce much better stories! She is truly amazing!"
~ Hope Lim, author Mommy's Hometown (Candlewick 2022), My Tree (Neal Porter Books/Holiday House 2021), and I am a Bird (Candlewick 2021).
"Maria brings great insight into my work. Her unique perspective helps bring out the best in every story. Her comments are always thoughtful and helpful. Maria is a joy to work with!"
~ Erik Ammon, author
"I can’t say enough good things about Maria Marshall. She was impeccable with the detailed work she provided on my Picture Books. She not only delves into character and plot structure but has a keen eye for any inconsistencies in voice. Maria provided keen insight about changes that could be made to improve my manuscripts. Her expert assistance was invaluable. From first draft to revisions,
I highly recommend her. She’s a gem."
~ Marcia S. Nass, author
"Having a reader/editor in your corner with the quality that Maria brings is imperative if you plan on submitting manuscripts. Her eye for grammatical detail, rhyming work, and overall flow is priceless. Maria brings a very professional view to any work at any stage. I very much recommend her as an editor, critique partner, and all-round reader/reviewer of children’s books."
-Laura N. Clement, author of Egg (Spork 2017).
"If you're looking for a thorough critique to make your manuscript sparkle, Maria Marshall is the person for you! She goes out of her way to help writers and provides thoughtful line edits, often pointing out discrepancies or issues that easily go unnoticed. Maria has experience writing for various age groups and offers sensitive feedback regarding plot and character problems. Her keen eye for details, impeccable grammar, and strong editing skills help to fine tune stories as well as back matter.
Whatever your genre, I highly recommend her services."
~ Donna Cangelosi, author of Mister Roger's Gift of Music (Page Street Kids 2022).