Critique Services

“Do the best you can until you know better.
Then when you know better, do better.” 

​- Maya Angelou 

Thanks for stopping by to learn more about my critique services.  If you’ve made it here, CONGRATS! That means you created something beautiful and are on your way to polishing it up and perhaps sharing it with the world. Critiques have been essential to my growth as a writer and artist and have allowed me to see my work in a new light. 

​As a teacher, I enjoy helping others grow and develop in their craft and giving thoughtful and meaningful feedback can do wonders to our development. Thank you for trusting me with your precious work. I feel privileged that I can be a part of your creative journey. 

Please see a list of my services below along with the CRITIQUE PURCHASING MENU.
​If you don’t see a good fit, please contact me with specific requests.

Are you looking for personalized one-to-one mentoring to help improve your craft? Amanda also offers hourly mentoring services through the Carnegie Center for Literacy & Learning. BOOK YOUR SESSION HERE!


Need some fresh eyes on your picture book manuscript?

For $150 I will critique fiction and nonfiction picture book manuscripts up to 1000 words (please email me if your text is longer). Using Track Changes in Microsoft Word, I will leave you inline comments that focus on areas such as but not limited to: 

  • Plot
  • Structure 
  • Voice
  • Heart
  • Pacing
  • Character Development
  • Language and Lyricism
  • Illustrative Potential 

BONUS! For $175, your critique will also include a bonus one-page developmental summary highlighting areas of strength and areas for improvement. The BONUS CRITIQUE will also include an audio recording of your manuscript being read aloud to help you identify problem areas in the text, along with suggestions for comparative titles and if applicable, resources that may be helpful in your revision process. 



  • Upon confirmation of receipt of payment, please email a Microsoft Word document with your complete manuscript to with PICTURE BOOK MANUSCRIPT CRITIQUE or BONUS PICTURE BOOK MANUSCRIPT CRITIQUE in the subject line. 
  • Submissions should be double-spaced and one-inch margins all the way around.
  • Font should be Times New Roman or Arial 
  • Size 12-point font. 
  • OPTIONAL: In your email, please note any specific areas of concern you would like feedback on.

​Turn around time is 2-3 weeks depending on the length of manuscript. 


Ready to query? 

Hooray! I like to think of query letters like cover letters when applying to a job. It’s your first impression. It’s your chance to sell your work (and yourself) to an agent and editor. You need to be concise, knowledgeable, professional, and most importantly, you need to hook them right out the gate.

For $50 I will critique your picture book query for spelling, grammar, and content; making sure your letter is engaging and contains all the necessary ingredients to make an irresistible query recipe. You will also receive a special QUERY CRITIQUE BONUS SHEET that contains a helpful querying checklist and resources to help you research and target the perfect agent match!   

To purchase a picture book QUERY LETTER CRITIQUE:


  • Upon confirmation of receipt of payment, please email a Microsoft Word document with your query letter to with QUERY LETTER CRITIQUE in the subject line.
  • Submissions should be one-inch margins all the way around.
  • Font should be Times New Roman or Arial
  • Size 12-point font. 
  • OPTIONAL: In your email, please note any specific areas of concern you would like feedback on. 

Turn around time is 3 days.


Are you thinking of entering an online picture book pitch contest?

Fabulous! Pitch contests are an excellent way to get your pitch looked at by agents and editors who may otherwise be closed to submissions. Crafting a stellar pitch is also a great exercise in boiling down the heart of your story. Before landing an agent, I participated in many  pitch events such as, #PBPitch and #PitMad and garnered likes from several agents and editors along the way.

For $20 per pitch, I will help you punch up your pitch with the proper word count while making sure to include the key elements of your story in a manner that will hook the industry pros! 

To purchase a PITCH CRITIQUE:

  • Find it under Purchase a Critique below.
  • Click Add to Cart and checkout.
  • Make sure to select the appropriate quantity for your number of pitches (ex. 5 pitches; quantity equals 5). 


  • Upon confirmation of receipt of payment, please email a Microsoft Word document with your pitches to with PITCH CRITIQUE in the subject line. 
  • ​​OPTIONAL: In your email, please note any specific areas of concern you would like feedback on. 

​Turn around time is 3 days (or quicker depending on number of pitches submitted). 


Do you have a completed picture book dummy that you’re itching to have reviewed?

For $200, I will critique a 32-page PDF of a fiction or nonfiction picture book dummy. 

You will receive your marked up PDF with comments and suggestions along with a short summary of written feedback.  
Picture Book Dummy Critiques may include feedback in the following areas:

  • Composition
  • Color Palette
  • Artistic Style
  • Point of View
  • Consistency of characters
  • Pacing/Page Turns
  • Relationship of text and image
  • Layout of text
  • Marketability



  • Upon confirmation of receipt of payment, please email a PDF of your dummy (no larger than 10 MB) to with PICTURE BOOK DUMMY CRITIQUE in the subject line. 
  • If you’re unsure of how to save your images as a PDF, please email to inquire.
  • Children’s book dummies only 
  • OPTIONAL: In your email, please note any specific areas of concern you would like feedback on. 

Turn around time is 2-3 weeks.  

​** If you are interested in another round of feedback after you’ve revised, please get in touch for discounted prices.

“I highly recommend Amanda’s critique services. Her ability to help those of us struggling to match words with a vision, to intertwine character growth within a narrative arc, all while leaving space for illustrative storytelling, is second to none. We are both teachers. I easily related to the depth and diligence of her critique style, not only improving my manuscripts but improving me as a writer. Amanda’s interest in her clients is genuine. I feel blessed to be included in that group.”​ —Karen Garcia, author

“What makes Amanda’s children’s book critique style is her give and take, unbiased approach. As a writer, she understands exactly what goes into a story—initial concept, writing a first draft, and the many, many story revisions that follow. First hand, Amanda knows the detailed creative process and long road to getting published. These experiences are what makes Amanda’s critiques so helpful in combination with her thoughtful critique process—she reads, thinks, and rereads to process her feedback on your story–Amanda cares. Whenever I’ve been stuck on a story, be it an obstacle to overcome or resolution, Amanda has given fantastic advice. She thinks visually, a key asset in picture book writing, understanding that words work in harmony to complement the illustrations.” —Anne Lambert, author-illustrator

“Amanda’s critiques include helpful suggestions, encouragement, and advice for manuscripts, illustrations, or picture book dummies. She offers comparative titles and writing resources in the current picture book market that are spot on. Amanda understands the fortitude it takes to become published and is eager to share her own experiences. She provides timely feedback and has helped me shape my stories into submission-ready manuscripts. I’m grateful our paths crossed a few years back and consider her a friend and a mentor with my own writing journey.” —Lisa Furness, author-illustrator

“I obtained Amanda’s services for a query letter critique, and I couldn’t have been happier with her feedback.  Amanda was professional and skilled in her approach. She provided me with detailed options and suggestions and answered all my questions. I was so happy with the final result. Amanda was such a pleasure to deal with, and she truly went above and beyond. I highly recommend her services.” —Rosanna Montanaro, author-illustrator

“What I value most about Amanda’s critiques is her ability to dig deep and get right to the heart of a story.  Whether it’s structural feedback you’re looking for (narrative arc, pace, flow, character development, etc.), or the finer, line level tweaks, Amanda is on it! I have found her suggestions so helpful in bringing my manuscripts to the next level. Plus, she’s a great cheerleader!” —Amanda Wastrom, author-illustrator

“I loved how Amanda broke down my pitch elements (MC, goal, antagonist, stakes, and conflict), and offered suggestions. Her suggestions were spot-on, and her questions helped me dive deeper into each pitch. For simple 2-3 line pitches, her feedback, alternatives, and food for thought were extremely helpful. In fact, I think we prevented grumpy Birthday Cake from creating a cake-tastrophe! Thank you so much for your pitch critique, Amanda! I look forward to working with you in the very near future!” —Erica Mae Presley, author-illustrator

“I met Amanda at a writing conference and was immediately impressed with the quality of her writing. Since then, she’s critiqued several of my manuscripts. Each critique has been thoughtful and constructive, pinpointing problem areas that were tripping me up. Now I look to her for my final critique before submitting a manuscript.” —Mary McClellan, author

“Amanda’s comments are encouraging and insightful and guide me in making meaningful revisions. It’s clear she gives my work her thoughtful attention and respect.” —Laurel Santini, author