Story-telling has been my passion for as long as I can remember. Working with writers and helping them to create their best work has been a wonderful privilege, and one I look forward to continuing through
Shelf Made Creative Services.
I started off with a Master's in Journalism and have been an editor for online magazines. Once I realized I could be working with books, I dropped everything and completed courses in the Publishing Certificate at Ryerson University. Since then, I've been a bookseller, I've worked at Penguin Random House Canada and McClelland & Stewart, and I've edited and evaluated for a literary agency in Toronto. Most recently, I was the Assistant Editor at HarperCollins Canada where I provided editorial reports and championed many talented authors such as Jessica Westhead, Steven Hall, Kate Eberlen, Dan Vyleta, Owen Nicholls, Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott, Karen McBride, Jeffrey Colvin, Beatrice MacNeil, and Alison Taylor.
I chose to leave the publishing house to move home to Winnipeg and be close to my family, and with the support of the literary community I love being apart of, I am able to continue working with authors and stories of all kinds. I'm a horror nut but also love to work on character-driven literary fiction, speculative fiction, thrillers, narrative non-fiction, memoirs, short stories, and have even dabbled in YA fantasy. And now, with Shelf Made, I'm now able to work with my other passion of film through script editing. My goal is to guide authors and screenwriters to a polished manuscript/screenplay they feel confident in bringing out to the world. Let's see if we'll be the right fit!
“In today’s crowded field of analysts, I believe Karmen Wells has a unique perspective to offer screenwriters. . . . What was refreshing is [she didn't] just give a dry rundown of what wasn’t working. And when she did mention the weaknesses, she always provided actionable suggestions on how to improve them.”
- Manfred Lopez Grem, screenwriter
Film is one of the most engaging forms of storytelling. A viewer will decide in an instant if they can connect to the story on the screen. This creates enormous pressure for the screenwriter to not only write captivating scenes within a unique storyline (because producers have seen it all) but also to create authentic characters that hold the viewer's attention and make them care about getting to the end.
Every line in a screenplay must move the story forward in a compelling and visual way. I can guide you to a well-written screenplay with my knowledge of great stories and my experience as a script reader and book-to-screen agent at The Rights Factory.
Whether you're writing a romantic comedy with witty dialogue and awkward moments, or an indie film needing space for actors to convey emotion through action, or a horror script with deeper content than jump scares, I'm pleased to provide a Script Assessment for your screenplay. This will include an editorial review with suggestions for, but not limited to, plot, pacing, character development, dialogue, and overall story structure, along with line notes and formatting assistance. If your screenplay is nearly complete and you're ready to pitch to agents and producers, I'm also available for Copyediting to fine-tune your writing (please see details here).
As a film/TV agent, it's a habit in my reading to analyze the layers and concepts of a story that may be fit for the screen and to consider which scenes of a novel can be used or let go. For screenwriters looking to turn novel pages into screen time, I can assist in identifying the most significant moments, scenes, and characters best used for the script in order to keep the integrity of the story and its themes intact while ensuring rich and visual content for the screenplay.
Rates for each service will be priced separately. To receive a quote, please contact me with your premise and services required.
“Karmen has helped me transition from novelist to screenwriter.”
- Daniel Sullivan, screenwriter & author of Black Collar