Complete References:


“Since my retirement from teaching 7th grade English for 25 years, Mary Beth has taught me more about writing than any course in my training. Her critiques guided me through the completion of my first book-length manuscript. Her suggestions and questions strengthened my characters, tightened my language, and invigorated the plot. Mary Beth's critiques are thorough, perceptive, and committed to eliciting a writer's best story—without writing it herself.”

Ann Mack



“I highly recommend Mary Beth Lundgren to children's writers who are seeking a professional critique of their manuscript(s), either middle grade novels, teen novels, and/or picture book texts. Ms. Lundgren has given me invaluable advice and suggestions over many years, and in every instance, it caused me to improve my writing project, often leading to publication.”

Joan Stevenson



“Of all the good things I could say about Mary Beth's critique ability, the most important is this—she will help you see more clearly what you are saying and how you are saying it, and when either could be improved, without expecting or allowing you to turn it into a story that sounds as though she might have written it. This is an ever-present danger with teachers, but you will be safe here.”

Lila McGinnis



“I met Mary Beth at Wildacres writers' retreat in North Carolina. I LOVED the chapters she submitted and was equally wowed when she critiqued chapters of my middle grade novel, A THOUSAND NEVER EVERS. Her feedback was incredibly thoughtful, insightful, and most importantly, practical. She really nailed what I needed to do to improve my manuscript. Mary Beth has an eye for critiquing that is unique and invaluable.”

Shana Burg

Delacorte Press, Random House


“If you want to take your writing to a level you've been unable to reach on your own, bookmark this website now. Mary Beth Lundgren is not only an accomplished and beautiful writer, she is an expert teacher of craft and an extraordinary line editor. A story in Mary Beth's hands is a story revealed: she deftly separates the weave, and then analyzes the elements of craft for strengths and weaknesses. And if you doubt yourself as a writer? Mary Beth will be there to hold you up and help you find your way. Such high praise must sound like fiction, but it's not. Mary Beth really is this wonderful and generous with her gifts.”




“Thank you once again, Mary Beth, for your critique of my contest entry. When I asked for your opinion, I had no idea you would give the piece such a thorough and well-thought-out review. You took the time to analyze not only line-by-line but the concept as a whole, and you edited with a gentle hand. Your encouragement was exactly what I needed to make me want to keep on writing.”




You're excellent at line editing, MB, and I appreciated the brief explanations, even of small things. You have a gift for when that's helpful or necessary, as opposed to when you can just circle a word or write a suggestion without explanation…. You asked me for something that was the real key—much more than an interesting detail.

Your critique was generous, lengthy, and complete. You brought up several key issues concerning background, which I needed to explain/work out. I love the way you described (character) and what he goes through—that lets me know you “got it” and that I did it—very cool experience.”

Amy Coombs



"Mary Beth can see exactly what a manuscript needs and then express what she sees clearly and thoroughly--but also with kindness. She always finds something to like. She skillfully but gently puts her finger on the problem and helps me identify which tools from the writers' toolbox I can use to fix it. She has helped me craft more vivid characters, more lively plot lines, more intriguing beginnings, and more satisfying endings. And afterwards, the story always sounds like me--with no hint in the writing that Mary Beth was there at all."

Susan McElwain