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Helping you find your voice.

Christian writers get a free critique of your first novel or memoir chapter. (See the coupon below.)

Meet Andrea Heiberg, and read her winning poem, "The Grass is Green."

Need pointers for writing that first chapter? Check out 
"Common Mistakes of First Chapters and How to Avoid Them." 

Try our Basic Critique--our most affordable way to give you valuable feedback for sprucing up your manuscript!

Check out
our Past Winners for more great reads.

July special - free critique of ch. 1
of a Christian novel or memoir 

Use code GIVEBACK in subject line of email to apply



June 5, 2014

Critique Group Groupie

Critique groups—I’m a huge fan! I’ve been faithfully attending various groups for fifteen years, but my latest and greatest—The Scribes’ Tribe—is nearest to my heart. My good friend Candace Carrabus and I run this group, meeting every Thursday night for two hours in O’Fallon, Missouri. We write and critique nearly anything—novel chapters, memoirs, essays, short stories, query letters, synopses, poems, and even drabbles. (Laura is our resident expert on the latter.)

Our members are a talented bunch, with our work published in books, magazines, anthologies, and lit journals. We’ve won numerous awards between us, yet we don’t feel like we’ve arrived. We’re always learning, attending workshops, reading, and growing along this journey called the writing life. We like to keep “the Tribe” small and intimate, but sometimes we have openings.

As of June 2014, we do have openings! Are you interested in growing and learning along with us? Would you like feedback on your works-in-progress? Do you want more information on marketing your writing?

We serve the counties of St. Charles, Lincoln, Warren, and St. Louis, depending on how far you want to drive. (Candace and I hail from the north country—as in rural farm country—so we know a little about drivin’ to get somewhere.)

If you’ve got the desire and commitment to improving your writing and would like to join a friendly, yet serious group of writers, contact Candace at or me (Amy) at for more information.

January 25, 2014

Slow Start, High Hopes


Did you ever have one of those years? You had high hopes for the new year and everything it might bring, but a disasterous January happened and threatened to set the tone for the entire year. . . Welcome to my world.

The writing retreat I was so excited about fizzled in disappointment. Opening up my novel-in-progress and reading it became discouraging while simultaneously watching fellow writing friends burst with excitement and productivity.

So it just wasn't my day--days--long weekend.

But I realized something today. So out of the starting gate this January I'm left feeling Disapppointed and Discouraged. Not much I can do about it. But whether I take upon myself being Defeated is entirely my Decision. (Yeah, she's doing the four-D thing.)

I've decided today I won't accept Defeat.

How about you? How is your year going so far? What do you plan to do about it?



October 15, 2013

Fall for a Critique

Still waiting for some brave soul to contact me with 250 words in need of a critique. I promise, it won't be painful. Something else to remember: a good critique also points out what the writer is doing well. But you will never know if you don't give it a try.

Still waiting. . .



September 24, 2013

Any Brave Souls Out There?

And the results of Free Critique Wednesdays are--no takers! No one wanted to give it a try, but we won't let that get us down. We're right back where we always are, here to take a look at your work if you're willing to take a risk. A free critique doesn't hurt, but it will help. You'll also notice that we give a bunch of encouragement along with the helpful suggestions for improvements.

So c'mon! What are you waiting for?



September 17, 2013

Free Critique Wednesdays, Are You Ready?

We're launching our free critique Wednesdays for September. Here are the rules--you didn't think we'd just let anything go, did you?

1) Send only the requested material, nothing extra. Anything extra will not be critiqued. We've got to draw the line somewhere, right?

2) You must be willing to let the whole world see the submitted work, the comments, and the edits. They will be posted on this website.

3) Send the requested material to amy@thewritehelper. We will do as many of these as we can.

4) Please keep it family friendly. (PG13 without the f-bomb.)

5) We reserve the right to change, add, or subtract rules as we work the bugs out of the system.

Okay, I think that's all. So it's your turn. Send us something. The first challenge is simply send us your first page. That means your first 250 words.

No go forth and write.


July 30, 2013

Delays and Apologies

The Write Helper is a family business, and as such, sometimes the business suffers for the "busyness" of the family. The wedding was a wonderful success, the perfect day to celebrate my daughter's and her new husband's special time with family and friends. . . But, thankfully, it's over! I was still having dreams days later in which I was worrying over whether the decorations were up or the food was ready only to wake with great relief that the stressful time was over.

But then comes catch-up time for the business. Friends, we are running behind, and the contest we had hoped to be finished judging is still not decided. Right now we are reading and rereading and deliberating, plus making notes on critiques and working on line edits. It will not be much longer. We will have results August 5! Critiques and line edits will start trickling out after this, all of which will be returned by August 31.

Until then, we are thankful for your patience, and very thankful for your business!

Enjoy the rest of summer.


June 25, 2013

The Good Ol' Summertime!

 Summer is here, and I am knee-deep into my only daughter's (as well as only child's) wedding. But we at The Write Helper will continue to help you with your editing needs and promise response time won't take too long--though, admittedly, we are running a bit slower.

Enjoy your barbecues and swimming and long, sleepy days! And maybe, just maybe, take a few moments to write about it!

Happy summer and writing,


April 13, 2013

Shaping Clay

I tried something new today. Mom and I went to The Painted Pot and sat behind a pottery wheel to make a bowl. She took to it like a duck takes to water. Me, not so much. I pushed too hard with my fingers at times, creating a lopsided, spinning lump. Then I didn't push hard enough and couldn't balance out the clay. 

I was disappointed with myself because I wasn't an instant "success." No matter that I liked getting my hands in the clay, the feel of it. The fact that I couldn't do it perfectly took my focus away from the joy in the doing. Fortunately, a young woman named Abby helped me shape the clay, talked me through the rough parts, showed me how to make a bowl.

Writing can be like that. Sometimes stories can be lopsided clay in need of reshaping. You need guidance, someone to help you form the lumpy, bumpy story parts and create something beautiful, a work of art.

Or maybe just a bowl.

Either way, we're here to help you shape your words, your voice. Let us help you write a wonderful story. 



















The Grass is Green

"and whatever sky
it's blue,
I tell you
I saw it . . ." 

Read “The Grass is Green” by Andrea Heiberg, winner of the Burning the Midnight Oil Poetry Contest.

Need an editor?

Every writer does. And that's why we're here. To help you wade through the murky waters of the English language and all her numerous, intricate, fussy rules. Do you have a history paper due next week? Is chapter five dealing you fits? We're here to help you!

Check out our competitive rates.



Invest in Your Writing

Every day we pay for small, trivial things, like a soda out of the vending machine at work or a candy bar in line at the grocery store. A magazine or a manicure. A cup of coffee through the drive-thru.

But how much do we invest in enriching our lives? Developing a talent that's been dormant for a long time? Realizing a dream, like seeing our name in print?

We're here to help you achieve your writing goals. But it starts with you, here, today.

Why not begin with a critique?

Questions? E-mail