Manuscript Assessments & Submission Appraisals
January 2022: I am open to enquiries.
Drawing on 20+ years in the book industry – specialising in Children’s & YA – I’m keen to work with emerging and established writers seeking editorial support or publishing advice. I offer three services:
- manuscript assessments for those who want a detailed structural edit of their completed manuscript
- submission appraisals for those who want to test out their material on someone who has experienced the slush-pile from three angles (publisher, literary agent and author)
- mentoring by the hour for those seeking quick advice or feedback on any aspect of their writing or the publishing industry
My experience as an editor
For many years I’ve worked freelance as a manuscript assessor. My clients include published and aspiring authors. I specialise in Junior, Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction and my experience in these areas includes: in-house editorial (Penguin & Egmont in the UK), freelance editorial, children’s book-buyer for a large independent bookshop (Australia), reader for an Australian literary agent, member of a high school library team. I’ve also had five novels published (YA and Middle Grade, shortlisted for several awards), and a Junior duology translated into multiple languages.
What are my assessments like?
I’m thorough – you will get a few thousand words of critique that covers all bases. I try to be kind with the way I express criticism (as a fellow writer, I understand how overwhelming a report can be) but I will also be honest. My goal is to give you the most detailed report possible so that you can make all the necessary decisions when you come to redraft. I’ll discuss where your work sits in the current market.
What is a submission appraisal?
When you submit your work to a literary agent or directly to a publisher, they will generally ask for: a covering letter, a one-page synopsis, and three chapters of your novel – or “up to 10k words”, depending on their particular guidelines. During my 20 years I’ve been on both sides of the “slush-pile”. It was via the slush-pile that I ended up signing three novels with Penguin Random House. And it was while working on a slush-pile that I discovered brilliant new voices for a literary agent, including Australian YA award-winners Vikki Wakefield and Claire Zorn. I can write you an appraisal of the package you intend to send out, giving advice on your early chapters and synopsis, feedback on titles, how to sell your work in the covering letter, and suggestions for where to send your work. If you have already approached publishers or agents and haven’t had any luck, I might be able to shed some light on that and help you to refine your package.
To enquire about a manuscript assessment, please email me – email@example.com – describing your work, why you’d like a report on your manuscript and when you need it by, attaching the first few pages of your manuscript (no more than 10). To enquire about a submission appraisal, please email me a brief background of your work.
For manuscript assessments, my pricing is based on the length of your manuscript.
10k-20k words = $600
20k-30k = $650
30k-40k = $700
40k-50k = $750
50k-60k = $800
60k-70k = $850
70k-80k = $900
80k-100k = $1000
For submission appraisals, I charge a flat fee of $300.
If you’d prefer to hire me by the hour for mentoring, my rate is $100 per hour and mentoring can be in person (Melbourne only), by phone, Zoom or email, depending on how you like to work.
Testimonials (names withheld for privacy)