Critiques

Welcome! Thank you for your interest in the creative critique service provided by T.R.O.U. Lit. Mag.’s editor Whitney Sweet. A kinder, gentler, non-judgmental way to improve your writing.

Whitney Sweet holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and English as well as an Master of Arts in Communication and Culture from York University in Toronto. She is an award winning, published writer, with experience critiquing everything from poetry, to short stories, to essays. She promises you a professional and timely service to help give you a second opinion on your work. She also promises you honesty delivered with kindness.

As always, Whitney strives to only ever look at the writing, never the person who wrote it. It is her mission to provide positive, constructive feedback for you so you can improve upon your creative writing. As a writer, she knows how hard it is to share work with strangers through the internet. That is how she is able to understand where you are coming from, and is able to help you with the creative solutions you can use to move forward with you storytelling in a positive direction.

Her services include:

  • Critique of your work, illuminating all positive aspects of the writing, as well as areas for possible improvement.
  • Basic editing for grammar and spelling errors.
  • Help with story direction if you’re stuck.
  • Personalized attention to lining and form of you poems.
  • Help with clarifying your ideas, story, or poem.
  • Attention to the voice, organization, story or poem structure, and sentence or line structure.
  • Whitney offers annotated notes, using Word’s Tracker Changes to give you a comprehensive list of areas of improvement. This gives you a highlighted list in the margins of your work so you can see each spot that needs attention, not just a summary at the end.
  • Working with you on any questions or concerns you might have regarding your writing.

Her services do no include:

  • Major rewrites. This is your work, and you should be in charge of the changes you decide to make. Whitney might make a suggestion of how a sentence might flow better, but the choice to rewrite it is up to you.

Cost is $25 CAD/ hr. Please send an email for estimate inquiries with CONSULTATION written in the subject line to: assistantsweet@gmail.com

All payments can be made through email bank transfer. Payment to be made prior to critiques being sent back to you.

Format for critiques: All pieces being submitted for critique must be in Word doc.x format to allow for tracking of comments. Prose should be double spaced. Poetry can be in any line formation.

Whitney will critique any genre of writing, though she will admit horror is not her favourite.

***Please note: 

Having your work critiqued by Whitney Sweet does not guarantee publication in T.R.O.U. Lit. Mag. You are, of course, welcome to submit any piece, however, it will be subject to the same scrutiny for publication that all other submissions must pass before they appear in the magazine. 

What people are saying about their critiques:

 Any experienced writer can tell you that editing and revising one’s own work is even more difficult than the original writing process. As writers, we live inside our heads with a piece of work for so long that it becomes too familiar, too much a part of us for us to critique it objectively and revise accordingly. That’s why sharing our writing with others for their responses and input is so important. It’s why writers go on expensive writing workshop retreats.
            I recently asked Whitney Sweet at TROU Magazine to critique a short story that I am working on. She obviously read the material very closely and pointed out problems that had eluded my attention, including a timeline problem that I hadn’t noticed and more than one place where my language can be tightened up and/or toned down. She has a good feel for excess verbiage and how to prune it. Her remarks — even the few that I don’t particularly agree with! — stem from a careful, attentive, sensitive reading and are clearly articulated with specific suggestions for improving the text. I am certain that integrating some of Whitney’s suggestions will indeed improve the story. I’m eager to get to work on it.
 
            In short, Ms. Sweet offers a valuable critiquing service to us writers at an extremely reasonable cost. I’m sure this is not the last time I will ask her to critique a work in progress for me.
-Hank Trout

I thought it was really useful.

A great combination of the small and practical (pointing out awkward sentences) and bigger ideas, like breaking the piece into two. Whitney was able to provide much food for thought for a very modest price. I like this kind of critique – a nudge here, a question there – rather than something more heavy handed or prescriptive.

 – Mary Fairhurst Breen