Manuscript Critiques

Dear Poet,
I look forward to offering your manuscript an empathetic & critical critique that seeks to shine your poetry’s brightest light. I will focus on craft, line edits, structure, & deeper themes (& of course, light a candle for your work).

Below are a few testimonials from poets whose work I’ve critiqued, along with my discounted summer rates and contact info. I look forward to discussing your project’s goals & timeline!


Working with Jenn on my manuscript *Banished* was like going to book therapy—she pointed out strengths and pushed me to see some hard truths. She showed me how to understand my own manuscript better so I knew how to improve it. In addition to marvelous, meticulous suggestions, often on a line-by-line level, Jenn offered me a powerful vision of where the book could go and how to get it there. She recommended books to read for inspiration and sent me craft articles catered to areas I needed to work on the most. I learned how to make the book and my writing life more powerful. When I’d spent some time revising based on her suggestions, the book was finally truly ready—and accepted for publication at the first place I submitted it! What kind of magic is that!? ~ Jessica Walsh


I highly recommend Jenn Givhan as an editor/writing coach. I sent her a mess of over one hundred pages of poetry I’d written since my last book was published, and she helped me hone it down to a strong collection, shaped it into a beautiful volume with organic unity I hadn’t previously seen, and even line-edited and offered suggestions – all for a completely reasonable price. This manuscript is now out to dozens of presses, and I feel confident that it will find a home with the love and attention that Jenn paid to it. If you’re looking for any writing/editing help, she’s the real deal! ~ Shaindel Beers, author of A Brief History of Time (2009) and The Children’s War and Other Poems (2013), both from Salt Publishing


I needed expert eyes, and I needed them quickly. I had my heart set on submitting my second book manuscript *Bloodfish* to a press that had a looming deadline. I felt stuck in my revisions and needed someone with a fresh perspective to provide feedback. Jennifer Givhan came through for me. At the time we had never met in person, only had a few online conversations, but she treated me like a friend, taking on the 60+ pages and giving me detailed and thorough feedback well in advance of when I needed it. Her commentary throughout the manuscript was conversational, but knowledgeable, insightful, and so smart. It was like she was sitting right beside me, giving me both her immediate responses and her prepared critiques. Her suggested readings were spot-on, and her extra materials on everything from writing emotionally resonant endings to finding the beating heart of a poem were professional and useful. I highly recommend her services. ~ Jennifer Jackson Berry, author of The Feeder (2016), from Yes Yes Books


Jenn Givhan was my poetry mentor for a few months last year. She possesses a very special talent. Her strong poetic background, commitment, & generous spirit coupled with her professionalism & expertise are outstanding. She sets ongoing personal & professional goals for you & is very honest in her line-by-line critiques. She shares in depth articles, essays, examples & craft lessons that enable you to gain a deeper perspective. Trust me, when I tell you I was a novice poet, just starting out, when I began working with Jenn. She accepted & understood where I was at in relation to the level of my work. She guided & pushed me to the next level. I was amazed at my own growth. Through hard work & Jenn’s constructive feedback, I had six poems published in a matter of months. I will always be grateful to Jenn for helping me believe in myself with her motivating & positive attitude & genuine interest in my progression. ~ Louisa Muniz


Jenn Givhan provided thorough feedback on my poetry manuscript-in-progress. As a reader she energetically assessed both the macro and micro aspects of the book with equal verve, and her writerly skills came out in the ways she could zoom in on something as vital as a missing comma and zoom out to wonder at other formal choices I could make in any given poem. Jenn’s critique was generous. Her comments gave me a lot to play with and above all she revved my excitement to get back to work. ~ Francine Conley


With grace and brains, Jenn helped me edit my full-length poetry manuscript. She offered praise and criticism, giving me specifics about individual poems and the order of poems. I found her feedback to be helpful and honest—she wasn’t afraid to say what was working and what wasn’t. She was prompt in getting back to me after reviewing the whole document, and was also quick to answer questions afterward. Her services were well worth the money I paid, and she and I have continued to have a friendly, professional relationship. She is passionate about her work and helping others succeed. ~ Karen Holmes


Jenn Givhan is the best, most caring editor. I appreciated her timely, well-thought out, inspiring responses to both of my manuscripts. She took the time to get to know me as a person, and her edits and responses were from her heart as well as her head. It felt we truly had a dialogue. She is the most caring and understanding person and writer, someone I feel I can write everything to (and who encourages me to write my secret heart), and that helps enormously. ~ Eileen Murphy


I sent about 30 poems that I was shaping into a manuscript to Jenn. Within a relatively short amount of time, she returned the poems with much love and care to me. Besides writing a detailed overview of what she saw as the book’s arc and its themes, as well as questions to ponder and other directions to consider, she meticulously line-edited each poem, offering both praise and a plethora of suggestions to remake a line or whole poem. Jenn’s comments helped me revise my poems and new book in unexpexted ways. With Jenn, you receive a masterful poet’s eye — you feel as though she is immersing herself in your work as though it were her own. ~ Nicole Rollender, author of Louder than Everything You Love (2016), from ELJ Publications

Winter rates, November through March (book soon, as spots are filling quickly!)
10 page poem packet / application-length ms : $175

18-40 page poem packet / chapbook-length ms : $275

48-84 page poem packet / full-length ms : $375

(85+ pages add $8/page)
I offer approximately a two-week turnaround for under 36 pages, & a four-week turnaround for up to 84 pages.
I can suggest line edits as well as an ordering/structure for the larger manuscript, new titles, & possible places to grow the manuscript based on thematic threads, narrative arc (if applicable), recurring images, & overall tone (my experienced heart/gut instincts about the poems).

Contact me at jennabee_84    @   yahoo DOT com

Message me on Facebook @ Jenn Givhan

or Fill out the form below

I’m excited to help you & your poems!
All best,

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