Story and Novel Appraisals

Why does your story or novel keep getting rejected? Friends and family and even English professors say it’s lovely, so why won’t anyone accept it?

We can help you find out. With our SmartAppraisal system, we will score your story or your novel against multiple criteria for “good writing”, all the way from the first-sentence hook to the last-sentence sale.

As publishers and acquisitions editors, we know good writing. From dangling modifiers to showing-vs.-telling, we can point out the places in your manuscript that send your manuscript to the slush pile.

Then, it’s up to you whether you want to learn how to fix your ‘script yourself or if you would like us to coach you (or if you’d like to take or audit our e-course).



Story SmartAppraisals measure over 50 points of good writing in 8 categories: Prose, Characters, Plot, Structure, Grammar, Setting, Showing, and Theme. We promise to point out absolutely every item that would cause us to reject your story for publication, which means, once you’ve addressed the issues outlined in the appraisal, you can submit it to us to publish! Normally editors and convention organizers charge hundreds of dollars for a solid appraisal, and they leave out factors like the last-sentence sale, or the Real Estate allocation of the climax…factors that can leave your work lost in the slush, or at least not pursued. But cover everything we know about short stories, and everything the readers care about. And we do it all for $49.

That’s it. And the lessons that you learn (on your own, through e-courses, through coaching, or just from having the issues pointed out) are yours to apply to every story you write from here on, forever, for free. You cannot get a better deal on such a comprehensive evaluation.

Story Appraisal: $49



If writing the next Great American Novel has left you a little confused and disheartened, you’re not alone. Publishers and agents are rarely clear on what makes a great book. “I’ll know it when I read it” didn’t work out well for the hundreds of companies that rejected Stephen King, or all the companies that rejected Harry Potter. But we at SmartyPants have spent years studying what makes writing good, what makes novels “pop”, and what readers like to read. And we break it all down for you.

Thousands of details make a great book. From Scene Writing to Dialogue, from POV to Effective Narration, our 125-point analysis of your book will give you the answers you’ve looked for.

Get your novel out of the slush-pile and let it be seen by people who matter. But before you do, make sure your book scores well on our appraisal. Because any one of the items we point out could cause a rejection, and, let’s face it, we got enough rejection in High School.  We promise our results will revolutionize your writing. Why? Because we can point out not only technical flaws, but habits in your writing you didn’t know you had, and we can help you fix them separately if you choose.

Or you can go it alone. We like to be flexible like that. For a limited time, we’re offering a whole novel appraisal (from 50-100,000 words) for $299. That’s a detailed evaluation for your novel for less than a shady editor’s cost!

Not sure? Try it out on a short story first, or a single scene (using the Short Story one above), and try it!

Novel Appraisal: $299

Stories More ARtfully Told

Let's start growing as authors, sharing our knowledge and helping one another create Stories More ARtfully Told. After all, that's only SMART.