Martha Bennett on completing her first manuscript

Martha Bennett

A Closer Look

Martha Bennett
Valdasota, Georgia

Genre: Memoir

Through Manuscript Tune-Up, I get to work closely with writers of all sorts. Some are experienced, award-winning writers who have published many books and are looking for a critical second set of eyes on a manuscript before sharing with their agent or publisher. And others are first time authors, completing a project of fiction, memoir, or nonfiction.

In the coming year, I’m planning to profile a number of writers who have completed Manuscript Tune-Up to share their tips and experiences in the program.

First up is Martha Bennett. Martha is primarily a nonfiction writer. A retired teacher, she divides her time between Georgia and eastern Prince Edward Island.


Tell us about your writing project, Martha.

Shortly after retiring from a teaching career spanning 28 years, I began writing the stories of experiences I had with students, teachers, principals and schools that I thought demonstrated good educational practices. My thinking was these stories would become an inspiration book for new teachers.

Why did you decide to work with an editor?

I was tired of rewriting my stories. I felt like I needed the input from someone who was not a family member who would read my manuscript with a writer’s sensibility and who would give me honest feedback.

What was it like to work with Trevor in the editing process? Any surprises?

When I met Trevor at a writing workshop on PEI, I thought he was someone I could trust to help me with my manuscript. His teaching style reassured me that he would be kindly analytical, encouraging and insightful. And he has been all of those things!! The big surprise for me has been that his comments and analysis of my manuscript have inspired me to continue to expand my writing as a memoir of my teaching career that will include stories demonstrating how this new teacher became an experienced teacher recognized for her creativity in the classroom. Another surprise was the understanding that these new stories may increase this book’s inspirational value for new teachers.

Any words of advice for other writers considering Manuscript Tune-Up?

Readiness was a key factor in my decision to contract with Trevor for a Manuscript Tune-Up. I needed someone who would read what I had written and then enable me to see what was missing, what was not clear, and where I could show and not tell. Having a list of questions to ask Trevor during our first conversation caused me to clarify expectations of the process.


With thanks to Martha Bennett. If you’d like to learn more about Manuscript Tune-Up, be in touch. Note that spaces in Manuscript Tune-Up are limited and quite often fill up well in advance of published start dates. Two spots remain for Fall, 2019.