Critique Service

Why not get your work looked over before submission?  As a published author I can provide valuable feedback on your writing.  My critique includes:

  • Assessment of storyline, characters and your author voice.manuscript-critique-service-pic
  • Advice on grammar and punctuation.   (Full proofread available for small extra sum.)
  • Help with presentation and layout.
  • Suggestions on how to edit your work to the right length.
  • Areas to work on, and most importantly, your strengths!
  • Free appraisal of your submission package, if applicable.

I specialise in picture books and young fiction as that is the area I’m published in, but I’m happy to look at any writing for children up to young adult.  Just choose your rate and email your manuscript to lou dot treleaven at sky dot com.

Why not check out the critique success gallery to find out more about the authors who have gone on to see their debut books published?

“I can’t thank you enough for this insightful, constructive feedback, delivered in such a detailed and thoughtful way. Your suggestions really resonate with me and I also feel really encouraged by your comments. I will definitely be recommending your critique service!!”  VG

“Your comments are so perceptive and I would not have seen things like that at all but yet what you say just makes sense! You really have a talent – because your critique is so constructive and gives a manuscript wings.”  ES

“You have no idea how excited and encouraged I am with your fantastic, constructive critique … I’m chomping at the bit to incorporate as many of the ideas you presented as I can, as I’m totally convinced of how much it will improve them.  I wish I’d come across you much earlier.”  CB

“I have sent Lou numerous picture books to critique and this is truly an incredible critique service. Lou helps your story reshape so that your book is the best version it can be. I highly recommend this critique service – Lou weaves magic into manuscripts.”  ER

“Lou’s critiques are detailed and full of practical advice. She notices things and points you in the right direction. I will certainly try to use the tips she gave me and improve the stories, things I hadn’t noticed myself – thanks Lou.”  AK

“Really helpful advice and thorough feedback.”  RB

“Much more detailed than I was expecting and very constructive… I will certainly be using your service in future.”  KS

“Your advice is invaluable.”  CT

“Happy I contacted you.  Great advice.”  JG

“Thank you so much. This is the BEST critique I’ve ever received for a PB! All of your suggestions make so much sense.” – ST

Critique rates (please note new pricing structure – payment is now per manuscript)

£30 for up to 1000 words (great for picture books) – click here to pay £30 via PayPal

then £5 per additional 1000 words after that – click here to pay other amount via PayPal

Plus free synopsis and cover letter critique with each manuscript!

Proof reading service

If you don’t need a critique but just want your manuscript checked for typos or errors in grammar or punctuation, I can proof read it for £5 per 1000 words.  Or add this to your critique package.


In addition, you can return a previously critiqued manuscript for 50% off the stated price.  A re-critique usually takes the form of comments in your manuscript rather than separate report, so I can really dig down into the text!


Payment should be via paypal to lou dot treleaven at sky dot com (or use the links above) or you can use bank transfer (please email me for details).  Once I have received both your payment and manuscript I will book you in.  Current waiting time is around 6-8 weeks.  If you have any questions please do email me, I would love to help.

Or if you would like to take things further, why not check out my Writing Picture Books online course?










110 thoughts on “Critique Service

    1. Possibly Richard, but short stories for children are quite hard to place. You would be looking at children’s magazines, of which there are very few these days.

      1. It is, yes – unfortunately I must have missed that comment. Richard, if you still need an answer let me know, but I suspect not by now! Apologies.

  1. Hi Lou,
    Greetings! My latest story for editing has been sent to you and a payment was transferred to cover the cost. I am looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you kindly,
    lili shang

  2. Hi Lou,

    Apologies, can you please tell me how I send you my manuscript and payment? I have a picture book manuscript which I would love you to critique. It is my first book so this is all very new to me.

    Kind regards


    1. I have a short story children’s book called Mysterious Forest aimed at primary schools…

      Part of a series that I am trying to write

      It is about 4’000 words, what would the cost be?

  3. Hi Lou, Just sent you a picture book manuscript and the payment. So looking forward to your comments.

  4. Hi there. If I have a few picture book manuscripts that together total around the 2000 word mark, can I send them all for the price of £35? xx

  5. Hi Lou, Just sent you two more picture book manuscripts and payment. I shall look forward to your valuable comments.

  6. Hi Lou.

    Would love to have your critique.

    Problem being I can’t think of a way to send my children’s picture books online due to their unique format. Although I’m not trying to say they’re as good (!) … they’re a bit like The Hungry Caterpillar … the text doesn’t work in isolation without the images and the tabs at the top.

    Would you accept hard copies as a one-off please? Once you’ve seen them maybe you could suggest any ways around this, as lots of publishers want online submission as you know.

    Many thanks 🙂

    1. Hi Christine. I’d love to look at your books but I’d be a bit worried about sending originals in the post. How about photographing each page and emailing me the photographs? Lay them flat and photograph from above to get as good a copy as you can.

  7. Hi Lou,
    I have written a few Picture books and would love you to critique them, if possible.
    Many thanks
    Lorraine x

  8. Hi Lou,
    I’ve completed my first middle grade book. Are you interested in looking at it?

  9. Hi Lou,
    I am wanting to send you some picture books to critique- I understand that I can send 4 (of under 500 words each) and it would be 35 pounds cost- but regarding the 5 pounds per 1000 thereafter, does that mean I could send 8 (each of under 500 words say), for 45 pounds? Thanks

  10. Hi Lou,
    If I have a picture book manuscript of 1,281 words would it be a £30 critique fee? I understand it’s probably just a shade too long hence wishing the critique! 🙂
    Kind Regards

  11. Hi Lou,
    I am looking at letting you do a critique of my picture books, however it’s probably a simple question but…
    Am I allowed to ask questions such as should I resubmit to publishers agents etc. Even ones I still haven’t heard from and ask how to go about that in the email or isn’t it simply just a critique/grammar check without any guidance for next steps?

  12. Hi Lou,
    I managed to get my picture book manuscript down to 998 words! I have emailed it over to you for critique and have also made the paypal payment.

  13. Hi Lou,
    Would like to send you my manuscript for a critique. I tried to email you but your email address did not seem to work. Would also like to pay by bank transfer. Looking forward to hearing from you

  14. I, too, am having difficulty emailing you for details to send a manuscript and transfer payment. Can you advise please? Many thanks

  15. Hi Lou, same as above, I’ve sent my manuscript and paid through PayPal, just hoping you could let me know you’ve received it. Thanks!

  16. Hi Lou, I’ve sent it again, please let me know if you’ve got it. If not, is there another email address I could send it to? Not sure why it wouldn’t have gone through, it’s showing up in my sent messages, but then so did the last one!
    Thanks! Mae

  17. Hi Lou!

    I was wondering whether you have received my email which I sent on Friday. No rush, I just want to know that I used the correct addrresse.

    Look forward to hearing from you,

  18. Hi Lou, please could you send me your BACS details for payment for a picture book manuscript please
    Many thanks!

  19. Hi Lou,
    Do you accept PDF? I have a book almost complete (minus some illustration) and would like a critique before sending it to agents.
    Many thanks

  20. Hi there, do you still offer this service, I have written a number of poems, kind of in the vein of Julia Donaldson, and wonder whether to just read to my kids, or seek some form of publishing?

  21. Hey! Love your blog, very helpful. I have a manuscript for a picture book that I’d like you to check. May I ask how long is the waiting time right now?
    Thank you!

  22. Don’t worry! We were all quite busy with Christmas. My picture book is below 1000 words, 830 words to be exact, so I should pay you £30 via PayPal and then e-mail you the manuscript to Is this correct?

    Is a docx format acceptable? Will you e-mail me back your critique in a separate document? This is the first time I’ve considered publishing my work, as before I only ever wrote fan-fictions, so could you include some advice about the best publishing companies/agents in the UK?

    Thank you!

  23. Hey Lou. I just transferred the money and e-mail your my manuscript. Thank you again for your quick response. I will check those links, no doubt!

    Best wishes,

  24. Hi Lou,

    Great website. I’ve just finished and edited (many times) my first draft for a kids picture book (approx age 5) and have also mapped out how the where the text would go and pictures and some key words would look. Almost like a visual instruction document.

    Would love to get your critique on it and how to submit it correctly asap. Is it still a 9 week waiting list though?



  25. Hi Lou I love that you are so approachable it makes this whole process manageable. I have just sent through a payment but am unsure what the next steps are. It looks like you are busy, busy busy though. Looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks Lilamani

  26. Hi Lou, If I send you two picture book manuscripts of 469 and 652 words, how much will that be? (Also I’m never sure if you include the title in word counts!)

      1. I have a children’s short story approx. 4 thousand words what would you charge please?

      2. It would be late January I’m afraid if that’s okay? There’s a bit of a queue plus Christmas hols! If you’d like to go ahead, please email me the manuscript at You can either pay by PayPal to that address (or via the link on the critique page) or let me know in the email if you would like my bank details for a transfer. Lou

      3. Thankyou! I just tried to send them to you and it came back undeliverable. Is your email address still the same?

      1. Thanks Lou. Could you confirm if it’s £60 for two picture book manuscripts? I’ll then send payment etc. Thanks

  27. Hi Lou, how much would it be to have 3 picture books critiqued and proofread. Each book is approx 420 words. Kindest Regards, Maria

    1. Hi Maria. They would be £35 each including the proof read so for three that would be £105. The waiting time is around 5 weeks at the moment I’m afraid! Any other questions just let me know. Best wishes, Lou

  28. Hi Lou, really enjoyed looking at your websiteI have 3 X picture books that require proof read and critique, they are between 879 and 995 words. Would you do a multi buy deal for all 3 at all (with more to follow!)? Thanks!

    1. Hi Richard, thanks very much for your interest and I’m glad the website has been useful. I’m so sorry but I don’t actually do a multi-deal, due to the time and effort I put into each critique, plus the current situation has caused other income streams to suffer! I wish I could as I know everyone is in the same situation.

      1. No problem at all, cheeky question on my part haha. So, proof read and critique for 3 would be £105 is that correct? If so will use paypal link and get that done ASAP, thank you!

  29. Hi Lou, just re-reading the guidance, with regards to the £5 for proof reading it mentions adding into the critique package, so if if I have 3 books under 1000 words that need critique and proof read what would the total price be please? Sorry to pester! Thank you

  30. BEST MONEY I EVER SPENT! Lou has a tremendous gift for providing direct yet supportive feedback. You will not regret seeking the invaluable and extensive advice of a pro! Thank you so much Lou

  31. Hello Lou. I have just paid £35 into your account via Paypal. I wonder if you would critique my PB please? Please can you confirm the submission e mail I should send the documents to please? Thank you so much. Poppy.

  32. Hi Lou,
    I have a 50,000 manuscript but am just interested in the first 10,000. Middle-grade. What would be the charge and turnaround?

    1. Hi Sally, thanks for your enquiry. The charge would be £30+(5×9=45)=£75 total and you can add a covering letter and synopsis to this as well. The turnaround time is a bit lengthy at the moment I’m afraid – early to mid October! Let me know if you have any other questions. Best wishes, Lou

  33. Hi Lou, I’m just wondering if you still offer this service and if so what the waiting time is? I have a non fiction rhyming picture book (about 550 words) that I think is ready to show to someone objective.

    It’s based on some of the big ideas in train history and the people who developed them. I would really value an opinion on how it flows, sounds and whether the narrative arc works.

    1. Hi Hilary, that sounds really interesting! I’m booked up until early January but if you are happy to wait until then I’d love to read it. Please email me at louise dot treleaven at sky dot com.

  34. Hi Lou, i wonder if you can help me. Do i still need a type setter if i use your critique service. Sorry if that is a silly question, im new to this.
    Thanks Sue

      1. Great thank you

        Warm Regards Sue Steer BA Hons in Counselling, MBACP (Accred), CBT Dip. [cid:image001.jpg@01D819B6.80F48380]

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