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MS. Critique

I have worked with many writers on book manuscripts, and several of these books have gone on to be published.


The feedback I give is both detailed and comprehensive. I comment on a book's construction, its thematic development, as well as its strengths and possible weaknesses.


With a poetry book, I often look at a large group of poems and make suggestions about the best poems to use, as well as an arrangement of those poems.

Just a few of my former students' books!

"Nance was simultaneously able to zero in on problems with individual poems and also steer me toward an alternative vision of my project I could not have seen without her insight. The order she proposed was exciting, and one I would not have been able to see on my own; nor have I been so fortunate to have a reader able to work with me in this way, given my interest in the surreal and unconventional modalities."
—Sara Michas-Martin, winner of the 2012 Fordham Prize in Poetry Book Award for Gray Matter.


Nance's feedback—timely, smart, caring, clear—was not only instrumental in helping straighten my novel-in-stories around, but was so necessary in bringing my first book to publishable form. I only wish that I had sought her help earlier.
—S. Asher Sund, first place, Marjorie J. Wilson Award, judged by Joyce Carol Oates

Nance helped compress and reorder my first collection of poems to create a “stream-lined incarnation” that found a publisher and is a finalist for a book award. Her feedback was honest, practical, and supportive. In addition to writing notes on the manuscript, Nance sent a four-page, single-spaced letter in which she indentified the collection’s strengths and weaknesses, helped me cut ¼ of the book, and commented on sequence, sections, and individual poems. She suggested journals and publishers to follow and send work to; as a result, I discovered new venues, found a good home for a poem, and a publisher for the manuscript. Most of all, she helped me see and shift old patterns while learning from my strongest poems what I needed to revise others. Her feedback on my first book is helping me write the next.
—Chivas Sandage, author of Hidden Drive.