Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Refreshing Your Perspective: Sandra Marchetti’s Manuscript Critique Services

I invited poet Sandra Marchetti to tell us more about her manuscript critique service for poetry books:

Could you use a fresh set of professional eyes on your poetry manuscript? Have you been drafting and revising, publishing individual poems, but still haven’t placed your book with a press? There seems to be some secret to winning the contest or impressing during an open reading period that’s impossible to crack. Oftentimes poets believe they will receive intensive, line-by-line feedback on their books from graduate school mentors or in workshops, only to be left wanting. If you crave elusive, thorough, and personalized feedback on your book from an accomplished and empathetic reader who will expedite your book’s publication, my manuscript critique service is for you.

Books and chapbooks I’ve critiqued have found publication with Kore Press, Sundress Publications, THRUSH Press, Red Paint Hill Publishing, ELJ Publications, and others. My poets have won prizes from Four Way Books, Lunch Ticket, Dash Journal, and elsewhere. This service is reasonably priced and highly effective. Here’s what clients have said about my critiques:

“Sandy Marchetti edited two of my manuscripts, after which one was picked up by a publisher I really admired and I know that a large part of that success was due to her excellent eye. Receiving a critique from Sandy was like having the ability to really understand my work from a level not accessible by my everyday psyche--she revealed to me what I knew all along about my own work by breaking into the spaces I was too close to see. I highly recommend her services!” –Shannon Hardwick Green, author of Francine in the Garden, THRUSH Press 2015.

“I recently asked Sandra to look at one of my manuscripts before submitting it to a chapbook contest. At the time, I was uncertain which poems to include in the submission, but Sandra generously said not to worry about finalizing my choices before sending her the draft--to, instead, send her all of the poems I was considering. The thoughtful commentary I later received from her would prove instrumental in deciding which poems were strongest and to include for submission. Sandra displayed her keen editorial insights in the personalized comments she sent me--insight no doubt garnered from her experience as a poet and editor--as well as a delightful versatility…I would recommend Sandra to any writer in need of a second pair of eyes, knowing that he or she will be in good hands.” –Noh Anothai, winner of Lunch Ticket’s 2014 Gabo Prize for Translation.

So how does the process work? First, I will read through your collection and look for big picture concerns. I will write a detailed 1500+ word letter to you regarding the manuscript's coherence, motifs, ordering principles, etc. If you send along any questions, I answer those. I look to magnify your book’s strengths and am enthusiastic in enhancing your vision for it.

Then, I comment individually on every poem in the manuscript, making suggestions regarding diction, line breaks, and syntax that will help you to look at the book from a new perspective. In this stage, I will indicate if some poems seem stronger than others, where another poem may be needed, or how sections are working. I familiarize myself with your diction and style and suggest improvements to strengthen your unique capabilities with language.  

My fees are hourly. Critiquing a full-length book takes me about 6-8 hours, assuming the book is between 50-80 pages. I usually charge about $200 for the service. Chapbooks cost about half as much because they take half the time. My standard fee for 15-35 page chapbook is around $100.

I work with clients both electronically, via email and PayPal, or the old fashioned way, via checks and marked up manuscripts in the mail. My turnaround time is between 10 days and two weeks. I would be honored to deeply read your poems and propel them to publication with a fine press.

In addition to manuscript critiques, I also offer literary publication coaching and substantive editing for individual poem publication. I am filling slots now, so contact me at sandrapoetry@gmail.com or https://www.facebook.com/sandywritingservices to get started!

Sandra Marchetti is the author of Confluence, a debut full-length collection of poetry forthcoming from Sundress Publications. Eating Dog Press also published an illustrated edition of her essays and poetry, A Detail in the Landscape, and her first volume, The Canopy, won Midwest Writing Center's Mississippi Valley Chapbook Contest. Sandy won Second Prize in Prick of the Spindle's 2014 Poetry Open; she was a finalist for Phoebe’s Greg Grummer Poetry Contest and Gulf Coast’s Poetry Prize. Sandy’s work is anthologized in Prairie Gold: An Anthology of the American Heartland, Parts of the Whole: Poems of the Body, New Poems from the Midwest and elsewhere. Her poems and prose also appear in The Journal, Subtropics, The Hollins Critic, Sugar House Review, Mid-American Review, Thrush Poetry Journal, Green Mountains Review, South Dakota Review, Phoebe, Word Riot, Southwest Review, and other fine magazines. Sandy currently lives in Chicago with her husband, teaches writing at Elmhurst College, and is an Associate Poetry Editor at Stirring: A Literary Collection


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.