Kid's Book Revisions:
Student Comments

Note: Most of these comments were collected from our classes--several students working with us at once, through 3 rounds of revision of their manuscript. We now have "tutorials," which go through the same process one-on-one. See our Student testimonials page for comments on workshops and tutorials.

Some comments refer to F1rst Pages, Eileen's editorial service's company, where we started the tutorials before establishing the KBR name.

Comments from KBR students:

I enjoyed the dialog with Eileen and Harold and the other class members. The instructor's feedback helped me take my manuscript in a totally different direction and provided support during the critical revision process.

--Lois Sepahban


I started my F1rst Pages class spinning my heels on a stalled work-in-progress and I finished with a definitive outline and a greater understanding of the journey ahead, not only for my characters, but for myself as well.

Harold and Eileen's dual approach helped me work through tough plot problems and necessary character development. Thanks to their guidance, I'm on my way to a viable manuscript, with a greater appeal for today's market.

--Elaine Alexander


The F1rst Pages class helped me take a PB manuscript from the rough draft stage to a finished project that was ready for submission. Big thanks to Harold and Eileen for their hard work and patience.

--name withheld


I highly recommend the F1rst Pages revision on-line class to anyone who wants to get their wonderful stories ready for publication. The one on one critiques, and suggestions from two editors, helped me to identify and orchestrate the skills of the craft to make the story work.

For the first time, I have the sense of assurance and confidence that my manuscript is headed in the right direction for submission.

--Gaylia Taylor


Thanks to you both! I've been staring at this story for about a year, wondering why it didn't live and breath like I wanted it to. I knew something (or several somethings) was missing, but didn't really know what. But, with a couple of clear suggestions, you guys got me moving again, and this work is so much better than it was when I started. You are good at what you do; very compassionate about and interested in the work I did, while still letting me know what should be seen as "re-workable". It's easy to be defensive about the work one produces. I didn't feel that at all during the F1rst Pages class, which is an indicator of how right (or convincing!) you guys can be.

--Jesse Cronin

Comments from students who took Kid's Book Revisions in Fall 2008:

From Shelli Johannes-Wells, who runs the the Market My Words blog:

1) What did you get from the class?

I got so much from this class. But mostly, I received direct feedback and varying perspectives from two editors. What I loved most was the ongoing dialogue (the back and forth) on the book comments. Sometimes we are lucky to get direct feedback from agents or editors but are “not supposed” to respond and ask clarifying questions.

2) Why did you choose it over or in addition to other options (other classes, conferences, critiques)?

Because of working with an editor in an editing process as opposed to getting just one round and then being left to do them. It is hard to know who to trust in this business. Tons of people do reviews and editing services. I knew Harold and Eileen were reputable and experienced.

3) Who do you think should consider it?

Anyone writing a CB, MG, or YA book. Even if you are on your first draft – it can help tremendously.

4) Is there anything else you would like to say?

I thought the comments were very thorough. Harold gave fantastic suggestions and even though he worked me hard, my book is 1,000 times better because of it. Not only did I get feedback on the first 3 chapters but he gave me feedback on the story/plotting as a whole which was a bonus! I cannot say enough good things about Harold and Eileen. This class is worth every penny!

* * *

"I think it’s important to consider the difference between F1rstpages and manuscript critiques at conferences or whatever. I know that the recursive revision process is an asset. A 'one shot' critique can clearly be helpful, but revision is a developmental process. F1rstpages respects that reality.

"I also think the quality of the editorial insight is remarkable."

--name withheld

* * *

"What a wonderful workshop! In my retelling of the battle of Gettysburg, my mid-grade novel [Mam's Wisdom] wove three distinct perspectives -- a farmer's (free man) daughter, a girl disguised as a rebel soldier, and a shopkeep's daughter. A challenging project, and the research was daunting, but the end product turned out -- thanks to Harold's help -- very strong indeed!"

--Bobbi Miller

Kid's Book Revisions
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