Winning Writers has engaged Lauren Singer and Annie Mydla to provide expert private critiques of your poems, stories, and essays.

  • Lauren Singer has years of experience judging entries for poetry, prose, and book contests for Winning Writers. Her poetry has been published in Nerve House, Bareback, Feel the Word, Read This, Kosmosis, One Night Stanzas, and other literary magazines across the US. In 2015 she received her MSW at the University of Chicago, is a graduate of Bard College at Simon's Rock, and an attendee of the New York State Summer Writer's Institute.
  • Annie Mydla has evaluated thousands of books as a judge of our North Street Book Prize, with categories including poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Her work has been published in The Yearbook of Joseph Conrad Studies, Avant Literary Journal, and in Polish translation in Tajemni wspólnicy: czytelnik, widz i tłumacz (Secret Sharers: Reader, Viewer and Translator). She is a regular contributor to the official publication of the Joseph Conrad Society of America, Joseph Conrad Today.

Please submit 1-3 poems up to 250 lines long in total or one self-contained work of prose up to 6,000 words long. By "self-contained", we mean a work that forms a coherent whole, such as one story or one essay, and is not an excerpt of a longer work like a novel. If you need a critique of a novel or memoir, in whole or part, we suggest ordering a book and manuscript critique instead.

It is acceptable to leave identifying information in your document. We will keep your submission private, and we will provide your critique for your personal use (i.e. please don't publish our critique without our permission).

Our goal is not to judge your work or provide an overall assessment. Instead, we offer a supportive critical eye to writers mid-project who want advice on making their next draft better. We'll highlight one or two qualities to focus on in revisions, with suggested techniques, methods, or exercises for improving those qualities. We'll also include in-line comments with quick fixes and new options, and questions that will help you view your piece in a fresh light. Our comments will be straightforward and specific to you.

You can expect at least 500 words in the thematic portion of our response; the in-line comments depend upon the work submitted. We will welcome one round of follow-up questions and clarifications from you.

Please allow 3-5 weeks for us to complete your critique.

Price: $90. Your satisfaction is guaranteed. If our critique does not deliver value for you, you can request a prompt refund from

Please do not submit work that is under active consideration in a Winning Writers contest. Work submitted to past contests is acceptable after the results have been announced, and you may submit a work to one of our contests after it has been critiqued. If one of our judges encounters a contest entry that they feel they cannot judge without a perception of bias, they will recuse themselves from that entry.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.