Work With Me Privately

I've been at this rodeo a few times and can help you at any stage of the writing or submission process: getting started, revising, drafting, submitting. We can work on query letters, too. All sessions are conducted remotely by email, telephone, and/or Zoom.

Manuscript Critiques

I offer manuscript critiques for completed work in the following genres:

  • fiction (literary, commercial, historical, family saga, YA, women's fiction)
  • memoir
  • creative nonfiction
  • poetry (collections or chapbooks)

Base reading price 

$850 for manuscripts 300 pages and fewer (double-spaced, one inch margins). This price includes a thorough reading, editing letter, and one hour phone call.

$1000 for manuscripts 300-450 pages.

Base reading (reading, letter, phone call as with the above) plus in-text comments and line editing done through track-changes.
$1250 for manuscripts 300 pages and fewer.
$1400 for manuscripts 300-450.

If you have more than that (or less than) well, let's have a chat about writing a trilogy! And we can talk about your specific manuscript before settling on a price. Contact me.



If you need a call for help with writer's block or help with themes and topics or feedback on a handful of pages, consider a one-hour session.
Single session: $100/hour


Feedback on 10 pages, double-spaced: $75
Feedback on 30 pages, double-spaced: $150
Accountability calls: $55 for 30 minutes

Payment preferred through Venmo (@Jess-Barksdale) orExternal link opens in new tab or window Paypal.


Please check back for up-coming workshops offered in my home in Vancouver, Washington.

Comments from former clients:

Jessica Barksdale provided a warm and creative environment at her workshop where we could learn about, think about, and write about our characters, settings, and plots.  She is an incredibly knowledgeable literary scholar and an expert at her craft.  Learning from her was a gift.

-Terri, Truckee, CA


Jessica Barksdale is just a really great writing teacher.  As someone who has studied the arts most of my life (ballet, acting, singing) it strikes that many of my teachers had such difficult personalities that it made it hard to digest what they were actually teaching.  I appreciate how skillfully she presented information, the concrete doable writing exercises she had us do, and the considerate way she dealt with each student.

Jessica is personable, likable, and pretty silly at times.  She is also very able to provide direct useful criticism. I think everyone left the workshop with an enthusiastic sense of direction.  I know I did.

- Adriane, Los Angeles, CA


I had always dreamed of going to a writing retreat, several days of learning and writing with writers in a serene environment. When Jessica's email announcing a four-day retreat at her home popped up on the screen, I was ready to go. The retreat was more than I had imagined. I never doubted I'd learn a lot. I have always learned from Jessica over the years. She's been my best source for inspiration and learning the craft.

Ten writers assembled and after four days together, I have new friends who encourage, critique with kindness and wisdom, and like to laugh together. The homemade food was delicious and we begged for the recipes. We practiced what we learned for improving our writing in cozy chairs on three levels inside the house or sitting on desks surrounded by trees. My dream came true. Thank you, Jessica

-Julaina, Martinez, CA

And from former students:

"She was so approachable and kind.  She set the tone for the group.  She gave everyone consideration and time.  [Her] feedback helped me break through an area I was having trouble recognizing and changing.  I have never had a more enthusiastic or more "natural" teacher.  She clearly has a grasp on how to teach writing"...."Wonderfully expressive, well steeped in her craft, savvy and realistic"...."Jessica gave me just the right toolbox I needed to get started and she did it in an entertaining and concentrated dosage"...."A perfect mix of both information and practical writing exercises and evaluation."...."Just wanted to let you know that the novel I worked on in your class, The Divorce Domino, (now The Island Escape) is number five in the Kindle Bestsellers chart over in the UK. I couldn't have done it without your help and I'm so grateful to you - still carry those lessons and words of wisdom from you around as I approach the next one, thinking, 'Hmm, I've no idea how I did this before!'."