What is a writing critique? 

A critique is not as in-depth as a line-edit.  Whereas a line-edit will clean your manuscript to prepare it for the public, a critique will provide an overview of a manuscript’s strengths and weaknesses. The areas I address in critiques include the following: word choice, style/mechanisms, structure, content (plot), voice, character development, world-building, and tension. Think of a critique as an edit with a light touch.


The purpose of a critique isn’t to tear down a writer; rather, it’s to provide feedback that highlights a manuscript’s strong areas while challenging the writer to bring their work to the next level.


Oftentimes, aspiring authors will receive a line-edit before their work has reached its fullest potential. (Or even worse … they’ll submit it to a publisher/agent while it’s still in rough form.) Receiving a critique is the perfect way for a writer to know how they can develop their craft and whether or not their work is ready for submission (or an editor’s red pen).


An under-developed manuscript could result in a bridge burned between you and your favorite agent/publisher. As a professional writer, that should not be a risk you're willing to take.


Let me help bring your book to the next level.



"every block of stone has a statue inside it

and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it."





  • My previous editing clients have won awards at the 2017 BRMCWC Foundation Awards and 2016 ACFW Genesis Contest for their manuscripts
  • I am an award-winning author of YA fiction. My books include PURPLE MOON (LPC Books), UNWRITTEN MELODY (Clean Reads), and FALLEN LEAVES (illuminateyYA, 2018). My first nonfiction book, COFFEE SHOP DEVOS, will release in 2018 with Bethany House. I have contributed to a Christian non-fiction compilation book titled BREAKING THE CHAINS (Lighthouse Bible Studies).
  • I am a YA Acquisitions Editor at illuminateYA (teen imprint of LPC Books)
  • I work for Cyle Young at Hartline Literary Agency as an Associate Agent
  • I have taught writing workshops at conferences across the country
  • I am a member of American Christian Fiction Writers
  • I am a former student of Christian Writer's Guild
  • I am a creative writing mentor for teen/young writers
  • I have judged entries for the ACFW Genesis Contest
  • I have judged writing contests for AlmostAnAuthor.com
  • I am a freelance writer of Christian non-fiction articles
  • I am a former teen columnist for Whole Magazine, former editor at Temperance Youth Magazine, and former contributing writer to MoreToBe.com
  • I am a current Editor for PURSUE Magazine, columnist for AlmostAnAuthor.com, and columnist for Broken But Priceless Magazine
  • I am a faculty member of Young Writers Workshop and have provided critiques for students
  • I have provided critiques of manuscripts for writers at writing conferences across the country




Query/Cover Letter Critique (up to 500 words): $20


Book Proposal Critique (excluding sample chapters and query/cover letter): $50


Query + Proposal (excluding sample chapters and query/cover letter): $60


Manuscript (fiction or non-fiction) critique: $10 per 1000 words


All submissions will be critiqued using Track Changes in Word Document. I will also provide a critique letter that includes an overview of strengths and weaknesses. 

NOTE: I am not interested in critiquing manuscripts in the following genres: Children's picture/board books, Amish fiction, Erotica fiction, memoirs, poetry, and biographies




Manuscripts must be in 12 pt font, Times New Roman, 1" margins, and double-spaced. Please submit in a .doc or .docx format.

If you'd like a sample critique before hiring my services, please send me a 1-page sample of your work.

An additional price will be applied for rush projects. Contact me for more info.


Interested? Please contact me and clarify which editing service(s) you are interested in.




All payments will be made via check, the app Cash, or PayPal. I request the first half of the payment before I begin to work on your manuscript. The second half should be paid when I reach the midway point of your manuscript.


"Tessa took a look at the opening chapters of my current project. I was hoping for help in removing my 'weasel words' with minimal revising. Not only did she help me spot these weak expressions and recommend fixes, but she also flagged numerous places where I was telling instead of showing. I thought I understood what telling was, but she helped me grow to a new level of understanding and made my writing shine in a whole new way. She was great to work with, and if I need help down the road, I know who to call. I highly recommend Tessa's services."

Adam Blumer, suspense author of Fatal Illusions and The Tenth Plague


Remember Honor, a novella written by Donna Smith, a former client, was a semi-finalist in the 2016 ACFW Genesis Awards.


An adult contemporary romance, written by Bethany Morehead, a former client, placed second in the 2017 BRMCWC Foundation Awards