Black Lawrence Press

Fiction Consultations with Adrian Van Young

During the month of May, Black Lawrence Press authors Adrian Van Young and Kelly Magee are on board to critique fiction manuscripts; and they are accepting everything from flash fiction to novels. The fees and parameters for each of these categories is as follows:

  •     Flash fiction, up to 2 pages in length, $25
  •     Short stories, up to 20 pages in length, $50
  •     Chapbooks, up to 40 pages in length, $195
  •     Novellas, up to 100 pages in length, $325
  •     Short story collections, up to 180 pages in length, $450
  •     Novels, up to 300 pages in length, $700

All manuscripts should be double spaced and formatted in 12-point font.

The deadline to submit work for this consultation program is May 31. The consultants will complete their work and respond to all participants by June 30.

Space in this program is limited, so please be sure to submit your work soon!

Note: Please do not send manuscripts that promote hate speech, are intended to harass or bully a specific person or group of persons, or include glorified sexual violence.


Click Here to Submit

Statement of Purpose

My philosophy of critique when it comes to fiction is to always approach the narrative on its own terms. Which is to say: I will never make the story into something it’s not. My foremost goal as a critical reader of manuscript drafts is to help the story be the best kind of story it wants to be in the most efficient way possible. So, if you have written a piece of domestic realism with an epiphanal climax that tapers into falling action, I will not try and make it into a gothic historical story. What I *will* do is zero in on issues of characterization, atmosphere, genre, space-time issues, point of view and, particularly, structure and pacing (my specialties!) to facilitate what I believe to be the best mode of storytelling given the specific aims of the writer. I will also place a separate, heavy emphasis on plot and narrative entertainment which is what, after all, keeps a reader turning pages, something many writers sorely underestimate. But, a word to the wise: I am not into polish. I believe in radical revision, i.e. modifying and rearranging large sections of narrative, if called for. And I do this behind the logic that the more urgently and completely a manuscript is re-engineered over a series of drafts, the better it promises to be when the final one emerges.


By Adrian Van Young

Black Lawrence Press accepts submissions and payment of the entry fee exclusively through our online submission manager, Submittable. We are not able to accept submissions via email or postal mail.

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Upcoming Consultations

June – Poetry Consultations with Marcela Sulak, Fiction Consultations with Bryan Furuness

July – Poetry Consultations with Hala Alyan, Fiction Consultations with Thomas Cotsonas

Adrian Van Young

Adrian Van Young is the author of The Man Who Noticed Everything, a collection of stories, which won Black Lawrence Press’s St. Lawrence Book Award in 2011, and the novel, Shadows in Summerland, forthcoming from ChiZine Publications in April. His fiction and non-fiction have been published or are forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading, VICE, Slate, The Believer, and The New Yorker, among others. His work has also appeared in the anthologies States of Terror II and Gigantic Worlds. He has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and is a regular contributor to He lives in New Orleans with his wife Darcy and son Sebastian, where he teaches creative writing at Tulane University.

Van Young Author page