Writing Coach & Critique Partnerships

I work with first time writers, others with a complete manuscript who are ready to start their search for agents or editors, and already published authors who need an objective, critical eye on their work. I have mentored both writers of literature for children as well as those writing for the adult market. I am not the best person to help you with a picture book manuscript, but I can point you in the direction to others who are far more expert at that than I am.

My goal is to provide clarity, an unbiased, professional view of your work, and an understanding how changes to your manuscript will impact the story and marketability of your work. I am a support system during the often arduous process of writing a novel, and to cheer you on and help you focus on what needs to happen to make every single word count. I am a passionate wordsmith and will help you work through the kinks to get your story spit-polished and irresistible.

Winter Gift Special for your Teen Writer!

Champion your young writer’s talent and ambition with a gift certificate for three (3) hours of mentorship and coaching. 

Three hours includes reading up to 10 pages of the young writer’s work (the story, a summary, synopsis, or journal scribble of an idea they are noodling around in their heart), plus two Zoom or Skype get togethers to discuss writing goals, the strengths and weaknesses of the work, help develop a reasonable writing strategy, and learn concrete action plans to give them freedom to move forward creatively and confidently plus a follow up get together.

  • $75 (regular price $180)
  • Offer good through 12/31/2020. Mentoring to be completed between January 1st, 2021 and February 28th, 2021
  • Click here to contact me directly for more information or to purchase gift certificate (which will be emailed to you upon payment). 


Quick Look

One to two readings of the critical first 20 pages of your manuscript (double spaced, one-inch margins, properly formatted). These pages set the groundwork for everything else that is to come, and this is where you risk losing a reader. You will receive a two page evaluation of your opening image focusing on grounding, voice, character connection, pacing, scene structure, passive writing, showing and info-dumps. Additionally, I will write comments on your manuscript to show the weak spots and give examples of how to fix them and then recommend next steps. This can generally be completed within a week of submission and payment and is followed by a 30 minute phone or zoom consult with suggested reading materials. $195.00 

Overview Read

One to two readings of up to 68,000 words followed by a three to five page editorial letter focusing on big picture issues including plot, character development, pacing, and some notations on language. Includes some comments within the manuscript itself to be sure the author is clear on what my written notes mean and to show examples of how to fix weak areas.  We will schedule a 30 – 40 minute follow-up phone call or Zoom to discuss, answer questions, clarify, and talk about next steps. Additional pages $5/page. Depending on my schedule and how full I am, this can typically be done within ten days of receiving manuscript and payment. $595.00

Deep Dive

One to two readings of your manuscript up to 68,000 words with a closer, more critical look at sentence structure, passive writing, plot devices, chapter length, word count, and dialogue fixes in addition to the big picture view of plot, character development, pacing, and voice. You will receive a five to ten page editorial letter and up to fifty pages of your manuscript with detailed line edit/suggestions to point out repeat problem areas in grammar, punctuation, info-dumping, overuse of words/phrases, places where the voice drops, inconsistencies, and timeline flaws. We will schedule a 60- 75 minute follow-up phone call or Zoom to discuss the notes, answer questions, clarify, and talk about next steps. Additional pages $5/page. Depending on my schedule this can typically be completed within two to three weeks of receiving your manuscript and payment. $895.00

Nanci Steveson has a unique gift of being able to write with soul and teach with an equal passion. I’ve been deeply moved by her books. They entertain, but do so much more—helping children (and adults) triumph over issues like cancer, anorexia, divided families, and homelessness. But her ability to teach what she practices is just as extraordinary. I’ve taken courses on writing Middle Grade and Young Adult novels that were instructive. Hers are transformative. Moreover, she is incredibly generous in offering help and encouragement. I can’t recommend her highly enough.” —Belden C. Lane, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Theological Studies at Saint Louis University

Nanci is a warm, enthusiastic teacher who encourages student participation and uses clear, concise examples to model the concepts she teaches. She offers concrete advice on conquering the often daunting task of revision, and she is open to questions and helping new writers find their way. I thoroughly enjoyed her class and would definitely study with her again!” —Erin Golden, Creative Writing Instructor Texas Christian University

Discounts & Additional Work:

Teenage writers receive a substantial discount at any stage of their progress. Please contact me for more details.

If preferred, you can book both an Overview Read and a Deep Dive up front for a 10% discount. This will help you kickstart your revision work, and a deeper, more critical evaluation after you have done the work from the first round.

Additional work is billed at $60.00 per hour.

Discount for writers who I have worked with through writers conferences, or have attended one of my craft workshops.

Feel free to reach out with any questions.