critiquing, Editorial Services

Introducing Gentle Critiques

Not sure if you’re ready for critique? Maybe you’re new to writing or you’ve gotten harsh or confusing feedback from critique partners in the past. Maybe you’re overwhelmed when you see too much feedback on one page. If this sounds like you, then you might be interested in my new editorial service – gentle critiques.

Gentle critiques are great for writers who have never had feedback or who are easily overwhelmed by feedback. Send me your first 3 pages, and I will pick out 3 things you are doing well and give you 2- 3 gentle suggestions for improvement. I will not tell you everything that needs work, just 2 or 3 things to work on (your choice of how many). I will also provide examples of how to improve.

If you are interested, please send me the title and genre of your manuscript and tell me you would like a gentle critique (use the contact form on my contact page). I will send you an agreement letter with payment details and a description of this service. Gentle critiques cost $15. I also offer discounts for repeat clients who want to use gentle critiques as a tutoring experience.

Note: I accept all genres for gentle critique except erotica, although I ask that any pages you send me do not contain explicit sexual violence, animal abuse or child abuse.

critiquing, Editorial Services, Writing Craft

Editorial Services

Do you need help bringing out the magic in your manuscript? I offer editorial services, including query critiques, first chapter critiques, three chapter critiques and full-manuscript critiques. I also offer gentle critiques for those who aren’t sure they are ready for criticism, but want a few gentle suggestions for improvement.

If interested, send me a note here.

If you’d like to know more about what my critique partners have to say about my critiquing style and my editorial eye, click here.

As I work on developing this site, I’ll post more information about what I offer, prices, etc. Thanks for your patience.

Photo credit here.


critiquing, Pitch Wars, Editorial Services, Writing Craft


Here is what some of my critique partners have to say about my critiquing style and editorial eye.

“I have had the honor to have been in the same writers’ group as Heidi Stallman for over fifteen years. She has beta read for all five of my published novels, plus several others. I can say with assurance that I would never have been published without the feedback from this group, and from Ms. Stallman in particular. She has a wonderful knack for helping authors see how their work could be improved. Her feedback is both positive and insightful, allowing a writer to see both the strengths and the weaknesses of a manuscript. I consider myself lucky to have a writer and critique partner of such talent at my disposal.”  —Brian Katcher, author of ALMOST PERFECT, (winner of the 2011 Stonewall Book Award), PLAYING WITH MATCHES (winner of the 2011 North Carolina Young Adult Book Award), EVERYONE DIES IN THE END, THE IMPROBABLE THEORY OF ANA AND ZAK, and DEACON LOCKE WENT TO PROM. Find Brian at

“Heidi has a sharp eye for structure and never settles for the obvious solution. She always takes the time to dig deep and think things through. Her observations have been invaluable to me even though I write women’s fiction and she writes middle grade. A good eye transcends genre.” —Kate Basi writes women’s fiction and placed 3rd in the WFWA’s 2014 Rising Star contest with her manuscript WINE WIDOW. Find Kate at

“Heidi has an eye for characterization and motive that has elevated me as a writer many times. She has the ability to read with a wide-angle lens that allows her to see where plot restructuring may be needed, whether macro or micro-editing. She explains herself well, and has learned the (sometimes difficult) skill of remaining encouraging while holding writers accountable to be their best.” —Amy Whitley writes thrillers, sci-fi and mainstream fiction, while maintaining her career as a free-lance travel writer. Find her at

“Heidi is great at helping me brainstorm through issues with my stories and is particularly good at pointing out areas where the tension or pace is lagging. She quickly grasps the big-picture of what I’m trying to do and is both whip-smart and supportive in her feedback.” —Julie Artz writes magical middle grade and is represented by Jennie Dunham at Dunham Lit and is also a Pitch Wars 2017 mentor. Connect with her on Twitter @JulieArtz.

“Heidi is able to pinpoint problems in a manuscript and offer helpful advice. She’s always kind and thorough, but also is honest about what a writer should address. She thinks deeply about what’s working and what’s not. Any mentee would be lucky to work with her.” —Elizabeth Leis-Newman writes Women’s Fiction and was a 2015 Pitch Wars Mentee. Find Elizabeth on twitter @TigerELN.

“Heidi’s thoughtful beta read gave me a roadmap for revision. She pinpointed which character relationships were working and which would benefit from more growth. And her recommendations for strengthening my main character’s character arc were spot on. Thanks, Heidi!” —Priscilla Mizell writes contemporary MG and was a 2015 Pitch Wars Mentee. Find Priscilla on twitter @PriscillaMizell.

“Heidi has a keen eye for plot structure. She’s great about reminding me that making the words sound pretty isn’t enough to carry  story.” —Ida Fogle writes mainstream fiction with a literary flair and can be found on twitter @damari19.