Q: What is a critique?
A: The purpose of a critique is to provide an overall idea of the writer's strengths and weaknesses. This service is best for new writers or writers who have hit a slump. Critiques include two thorough readings of 2-3 stories, essays, or articles. The first reading provides an overall impression of the writer's work––style, voice, language, flow, etc. The second reading will home in on specific areas the writer needs to work on as well as the strengths writers can build on. For a small additional fee writers can also order specially chosen readings and customized exercises that will help improve weak areas.

View a sample critique.

Q: Why should I have my work critiqued?
A: New writers or writers trying a new genre often operate in a vacuum. When work is rejected over and over, it is difficult to tell what is working and what isn't. A critique of several pieces will spot trends that a copyedit of one piece may not. This can help writers improve in weak areas while building on what works.

Q: What is included in the line/copy editing service?
A: Line/Copyediting will include a thorough reading of the work and an overall critique of the piece including impressions the reader came away with. Next CROSSxCHECKING will provide a line-by-line commentary on the piece. This will include suggested improvements as well as positive comments about what works well. Edits may also include suggestions for different wording, cuts, or rearranging sentences/ paragraphs. However, the purpose is not to rewrite a piece, but to provide objective input that will help writers revise and improve work in their own voice and style.

Q: I belong to a writers group/online forum where we criticize each others work. Do I still need professional input?
A: That is a matter of personal choice. Writers groups can be very helpful, but they can sometimes provide conflicting input. Also, if no one in the group is a professional writer or editor, the input may not be all that helpful toward getting work published.

Q: How do I know which service to choose?
A: Generally new writers or those who are not having success with their submissions will benefit from the critiquing service, at least to start. Critiques can also benefit writers who have hit a slump or "dry spell" and haven't had anything published in a while. Line/copyediting can help newer writers once they have focused on their strengths and weaknesses and want to get one piece ready for submission. It can also help more experienced writers having trouble with a specific piece; successful print writers who want to start submitting online; writers trying a different genre, like moving from fiction to essay; those writing in English as a Second Language and more.

Q: What if I don't agree with your critique/changes?
A: New customers ordering line/copyedits will be able to submit one page (first chapter/five pages of a book) for a free edit to determine if CROSSxCHECKING is a good fit. Most customers do appreciate the emphasis on writing strengths, but editing is subjective and, ultimately, only the writer can decide what to accept or ignore. CROSSxCHECKING will not "re-write" a customer's work and most often will only suggest changes rather than making strike-outs and over-writes, so writers can make revisions in their own personal voice and style. Because of the free sample, CROSSxCHECKING does not provide refunds as hours of work go into each edit.

Q: If I make all the changes you suggest, will my work be published?
A: Publishing is very subjective and depends on a variety of factors like how many submissions a journal receives and from what caliber of writer; whether the writer's style generally matches that of the journal; and many others. It is impossible to predict what work will be published, but your chances should be greatly improved.

Q: There are lots of services out there. Why should I choose CROSSxCHECKING?
A: Writers should choose editing/critquing services carefully. Not every service is a good fit, however CROSSxCHECKING does provide some unique advantages over other services: 
  • An emphasis on both strengths and weaknesses.
  • Two levels of service, one designed for new writers and one for experienced writers.
  • The critiquing service provides the same benefits as a weeks-long writing course at a fraction of the cost.
  • Critiquing and editing will be done by an editor with over 10 years experience selecting and editing work for publication.
  • Line and copyedits always respect the writer's voice and style.
Q: How do I go about sending you my work?
A: Please do not submit work without contacting CROSSxCHECKING first. Go to the HOW TO SUBMIT page, click on the service, and follow instructions on what to include in the email. Within 24-48 hours you will receive an invoice and instructions on how to submit your work. Online submissions are preferred. We also prefer payment through PayPal (you will find a button on your invoice). If you absolutely must send submissions by mail and/or pay by check, let us know.

Q: Do I pay the entire sum up front?
A : No, if after receiving a quote and reviewing a sample edit (new copyediting customers) you decide you would like to work with CROSSxCHECKING, you will be required to send a pre-payment along with your submission. The balance will be due when the work is completed and returned.

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