Reading Service for Writers

Are you a new or seasoned writer challenged by a difficult or troublesome manuscript?

Every year EVENT receives hundreds of manuscripts. Many are good, but since we can’t publish them all, we send many of them back, sometimes with a brief note, and sometimes with only a stock rejection form.

Since 1993, EVENT’s Reading Service for Writers has provided writers with in-depth commentary and feedback on their manuscripts.

How Will EVENT’s Reading Service Help Me?

  • EVENT’s editors provide you with a 700 to 1,000 word assessment of your manuscript, focusing on such aspects of craft as voice, style, structure, point of view, rhythm, credibility and characterization.
  • The assessment details the strengths and weaknesses of the writing, with specific recommendations on how to proceed.
  • You will also receive an edited copy of your manuscript.
  • Hear what experienced, professional editors have to say about your work.

What Genres Can You Help Me With?

  • Poetry — up to a maximum of eight poems.
  • Short fiction and creative non-fiction under 5,000 words.

How Much Does the Service Cost?

EVENT’s Reading Service for Writers costs $100 (includes taxes and comes with a a one-year subscription or renewal so you can check out EVENT’s award-winning mix of writing).

Pay the fee on our Buy page and email your manuscript to event@douglascollege.ca (subject line: Reading Service Submission); or attach a cheque or money order, payable to EVENT, for each manuscript and mail the submission to:
EVENT
Attn: Reading Service Editor
PO Box 2503, New Westminster, BC
V3L 5B2 Canada

All manuscripts read by EVENT’s Reading Service for Writers are considered for publication. You should expect to wait four to six weeks for the commentary to arrive. For more information, call 604-527-5293 or email us at event@douglascollege.ca

What Writers Have to Say About EVENT’s Reading Service

“The commentary told me what worked and that information guided my revisions of the piece. The weaknesses in my work were clearly identified…. I was able to see how the piece could be improved. The commentary was both detailed and general. I liked the overview you provided in the letter as well as all of the editing and comments in the text…. The best $100 I ever spent! I appreciate the care and time you gave to my writing. I felt that I was in good hands as I read your extensive notations. Many thanks.”
— Gail Benick

“The service has become an important part of the learning and writing process…the feedback has allowed me to proceed with the process that I enjoy. I appreciate this very much. I have found the criticism very constructive and helpful every time.”
— Toni Atkinson

“Very comprehensive—attention paid on all levels to each poem. I especially appreciated the overall impression and assessment…. I was very pleased overall with the careful attention those few poems were given. Since I am self-taught, the view from a professional eye is important and necessary to my growth as a poet. Thank you!”
— Lynne Burnett

“Just wanted to thank you for the excellent Reading Service critique. Both the summary and the manuscript mark-up are brimming with useful advice and suggestions, which will certainly guide me through the rewrites…. And what a neat experience, as an editor, to be edited by another professional editor. I won’t hesitate to use this service again in the future, and have already recommended it to a couple of the writers I work with.”
— Jacqueline Argent

“It was a good balance of positive and critical comments and suggestions… I was pleased with the critique—it was clear and made sense to me… The combination of edited copy and an overall summary helped me sort through the recommendations easily.”
— Janet Hepburn

EVENT’s Reading Service Editors

gillian harding-russell’s latest publications include I forgot to tell you (Thistledown, 2007), and the chapbooks Apples and Mice (Alfred Gustav, 2008), Stories of Snow (Alfred Gustav, 2011) and Maya: Poems for the Summer Solstice (Leaf Press, 2012). Her poems appear in the anthologies That Not Forgotten (Hidden Brook Press, 2012) and Poet to Poet (Guernica, 2012). She edits manuscripts and reviews books for The Prairie Fire Online Review of Books and The University of Manitoba Journal.

Ian Cockfield is the Managing Editor of EVENT magazine. He also runs EVENT’s Reading Service for Writers, is a past Fiction Editor of PRISM international and has a MFA in Creative Writing from UBC. His fiction, non-fiction and poetry have appeared in various Canadian journals, including Prairie Fire, Descant, PRISM international, EVENT, Rampike and the Carleton Arts Review, and in the anthology Exact Fare Only II (Anvil Press, 2003), which he also edited. He has also recently edited the non-fiction books Godless Religion: Finding the Profound (Profound Press, 2010) and Douglas College: The First 40 Years (Douglas College, 2010). From 2005 to 2007, he served as President of the BC Association of Magazine Publishers (now MABC), and has edited for UBC Press, Anvil Press, the Vancouver School Board, Douglas College and the UBC Creative Writing Department.