Hello. I’m Laura. I’m a UK-based published and prize-winning short story author with a background in publishing and script-reading. I’ve been writing detailed feedback for my fellow writers for some years, moving from writing script reports to my first love: prose fiction. I’m also a reader for a number of writing competitions and literary magazines.
Why Did You Start Feedback For Writers?
When I started writing fiction myself and getting involved in fiction writing groups, I realised that much of the feedback available for fiction writers was simply lacking the depth of story analysis that is standard among screenwriters and playwrights. There was a tendency to focus at the micro level, on line edits, during very early stages of a piece when it was the bigger picture that was far more important to the integrity and quality of the work as a whole. I found this quite frustrating, and began adapting my story-focused reports informally to suit fellow prose fiction writers. The enthusiastic response told me that many writers do find this approach helpful. (Check out this page to see some comments).
Why “short fiction and novel extracts”?
As a published short story writer myself, I have a particular affinity with the form, and so have worked a lot with other short story writers. I have given feedback on many occasions on novel extracts, most often on three-chapter extracts of novels prior to the writer sending them off to an agent. Unfortunately, as a one-woman band, my time is currently too limited to be able to be able to look at full novel manuscripts.
Will you do line edits of my work?
No. I do not offer a copyediting or proofreading service; these are provided by specialist editing services. As part of my analysis of language in the piece, I will of course point out if there are glaring errors or issues that jump out at me. However, my feedback is mainly about analysing the story and the key elements that make up the story whole. Check out one of my SAMPLE REPORTS to see the sort of things I look at, and at what level, to see if it matches what you’re after.
Can you tell me if my work will get published?
No, but I can help you get it to a publishable level. My service is all about the development and potential of the piece you want to write and talking in depth about its strengths and weaknesses as it currently stands. I may, on top of that, suggest additional Resources you might find helpful, depending on the work and your goals for it. Mainly, I’m here for the love of writing and story, and because I enjoy using my skills and knowledge to help other writers do their thing; to help them make their work as good as it can be.
Isn’t all feedback just subjective?
It’s true that different readers may pick up on different things. However, my reader reports are designed to go through the key story elements systematically, analysing the potential of what is already there . They are not about choosing whether or not your work is going to be published in a specific magazine, or shortlisted for a competition. Those decisions can often come down to readers’ personal preferences. I try to make my reports as objective and give as much analysis as possible. It’s not about my personal tastes; instead, it’s more about highlighting strengths and weaknesses and gaps with regard to what the writer is trying to do.
What are your credentials?
I am a published short fiction author, and have won prizes for my fiction. I’ve also written screenplays and plays. I now have nearly a decade’s experience writing reader’s reports. I initially trained to write both development-focused readers reports and script coverage with film industry specialists, and also have an MA in Creative Writing.