Susan Kan is founding director of Perugia Press, a nonprofit, independent literary press located in western Massachusetts. In addition to being the editor and publisher, Susan is one the many judges for their national poetry contest, the Perugia Press Prize. Prior to starting the press, Susan earned her MFA in creative writing from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.
Annually, Susan looks at more than 500 manuscripts. She knows what affects how well a manuscript is received in a contest—from its physical presentation to the overall cohesiveness of the poetry.
Here is the exciting news: Susan is now offering a personal manuscript review service for individualized feedback on poetry manuscripts.
A manuscript review would be helpful if:
- you are ready to send your manuscript out for the first time and want unbiased feedback.
- you have been a semi-finalist or finalist in contests and wonder what is keeping your manuscript from winning.
- you are thinking about the overall unity, musicality, voice, and theme of your manuscript rather than looking for feedback on individual poems.
- you are considering your title, the order of poems, and how sections serve the whole.
- you wonder whether a prologue poem or an epigraph is trendy or right for your book.
- you are looking to transform a seemingly disparate group of poems into a meaningful book.
- you want to know what is involved in shaping a manuscript other than the poems themselves.
- you would like ideas for exercises to help you make these kinds of decisions.
Intrigued? Contact me for submission details, scheduling, and fees.
Feedback from Inspired Poets
“Thank you for your excellent critique (and also for the generosity in the positive feedback). Yes, you put your finger on the pulse of the problem with this manuscript and if I were a publisher, these would be precisely my concerns. Anyway, thanks again for a penetrating and valuable analysis. It just felt absolutely on-target. I appreciate the time and thought you put into this and am taking your comments closely to heart.”
— Rebecca Foust, November 2012
“I wanted to thank you for your careful reading of my poetry. Your commentary is enormously helpful and rings true. Because it has been such a personal journey to write the poems, I have had little ability to discern the soft, sentimental spots, or the distance to see what the poems need to hold their own. I am very grateful for your insights and your ideas for revision. Thank you for the encouragement to keep going--I definitely feel inspired toward more daring and compelling work!”
— Tina Carlson, September 2012
“I wanted to thank you for your thoughtful and considered feedback on my
manuscript. It was worth every dime—as they say. Truly, I think you
nailed what was bothering me about my poetry and why I’ve been uninspired
for some time. I appreciate all your suggestions and am quite fond
of the prompts you suggested.”
— Sarah Conover, May 2011
“I have never been this excited about a writing idea before! The comments you shared about my manuscript have inspired me to return to writing poetry after a six-month break! The insights you shared have quickly helped me turn a corner in my approach to writing so that I now feel as though I can move forward rather than staying with the same material. I can't thank you enough for that! I spent $40,000 for a MFA (not that I regret it!) and it’s amazing how much I learned, in comparison, from a review that cost me a lot less.”
— Joyce Hayden, February 2004