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Critique Services

You’ve written a book or have an idea for a book. Where do you go from here?

If you’re working on a Middle Grade, Young Adult, or an Adult Novel and need feedback, I can provide a critique on plotting, pacing, character, theme, and more. If you’re in the development stage of a novel, fleshing out what might work or what might not can save you a lot of time.

I’m a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and have been a member of the Colorado Authors’ League for over 25 years. I have taught novel writing in schools, at libraries, and at writing conferences.

My Middle Grade Novel, Ayumi’s Violin, was the Paterson Prize for Books for Young People Honor Book, Colorado Authors’ League Award Finalist, Winner of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Gold Award, and Named one of Colorado’s Powerful Reads. My Young Adult Novel, Swept Away (originally named Gutless), was the Winner of Paterson Prize for Books for Young People and a Colorado Authors’ League Award Finalist.

For information about synopsis consultation, click here.

For information about manuscript critique, click here.

Until we get together, you can get tips from my book, How to Write a Middle Grad Book Kids Will Love: The Essential Guide to Joining the Red Hot Kids’ Book Market.

Whatever your level of writing, your project will move faster and smoother with my help. I love teaching and seeing writers develop their craft. Let’s do it together!


“Like plotting a route on a map before taking a trip, Mariko Tatsumoto’s book is an insightful and to-the-point guide for writers of Middle Grade fiction. She knows what children want.” Terry Wright, editor, TWB Press and Amore Moon Publishing

“Going through Mariko Tatsumoto’s book and doing the exercises helped me think through the bones of my novel, the foundation, and aided me in making it better. The topics and exercises on theme, character, dialogue, plot, etc. are vital building blocks for any novel – timeless lessons for a well-crafted story.” Jerilyn Winstead, Author of Encyclopedeia Magica: Volume 1 – Alchemy

“Your books are enlightening and your workshops inspiring!” Jenny Martin, Middle Grade Book Author

“Your How-To Write a Middle Grade workshop was wonderful!” Rebecca Davis, Middle Grade Book Author


“After writing hundreds of pages, I knew I needed to get some feedback. But I didn’t want the false praise friends and family would provide, nor did I want someone who would try to turn my story into their own version of what they thought it should be.

I needed someone who understood the craft of writing well enough that they could provide me specific direction while respecting the story I was trying to tell.

Thankfully, Mariko was that person. Her critique provided the steps I needed to improve the reader experience. She showed me where my manuscript lacked clarity and identified areas where I could better engage the reader by creating scenes and building tension.

It not only took the manuscript to the next level, it also reinvigorated my desire to work on it, because now, every time I sit down to write, I have clear focus and purpose.”

Rob Seideman, Aspiring Novelist and Writing Instructor

“Mariko’s input has been valuable in sharpening my focus, keeping action going and keeping the point of view consistent.”

Rob Hagberg, Author