Amanda's Circus

Carve Editing

I had an email from Carve Magazine a few days ago to advertise their new editing service. I have only once given hard cash to have a story edited and it had a good outcome, a few useful suggestions anyway, I parted with £20 that time. Carve are charging 45 dollars and within 10 working days the writer will receive an in depth review. I think it’s worth it. You can tinker with a story for years, the writing becomes tighter but unless you can sneak up on it without it noticing, you get nowhere, friends aren’t that much help either – sorry about that if you happen to read this. You need a professional, someone who doesn’t know you or your work and can cast an objective eye and be blunt if that’s what’s needed. Carve must receive hundreds of stories a month, if not every week, so they definitely have the experience.

I sent a story to them a few months ago and whilst they rejected it, it was returned with perhaps the most useful commentary I have ever had.  Apparently they review between 10-15% of stories that are sent to them. I’m delighted that my story made it that far at least. The review began: ‘We’d like you to know your story was well-received by our reading committee, and they have some comments and notes on your story. We hope you find them helpful as you continue to revise or resubmit your piece elsewhere.’

I have since rewritten and the story is, without a doubt, greatly improved as a result. Who knows, maybe now it will find a home.


I am thinking of sending my novel to The Literary Consultancy. TLC is a very well-known and well-respected editing service that have been running in the UK for many years. They are very professional and many writers who have subsequently become published have used their services. It is, I suppose, a testing ground as far as the writer is concerned, a litmus, perhaps not as clearcut as a pregnancy test but an indicator. I suspect that if TLC suggest that the novel is unlikely to find a publisher for whatever reason then that is very likely to be the case. Self-publishing then becomes an option. It is expensive. A novel of 120,000 words will cost over £600. Not to be sniffed at.

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About writing, trickery and a little music