Manuscript Assessments & Submission Appraisals
Drawing on over twenty years of experience in the book industry – largely specialising in Children’s & YA – I’m keen to work with emerging and established writers who are seeking editorial support or publishing advice. I currently offer two services: manuscript assessments for those who want a detailed structural edit of their completed manuscript, and submission appraisals for anyone who is embarking on the submissions process and wants to test out their material on someone who has experienced the slush-pile from three angles (publisher, literary agent, and author).
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), freelance editorial, children’s book-buyer for a large independent bookshop, reader for a literary agent, volunteer school librarian. I’ve also had four novels published (YA and Upper-Middle), a junior fiction duology, and a few picture books.
What are my assessments like?
I’ve been described as thorough (eg. my most recent assessment was for a 19k-word Junior Fiction novel and my report was 5k words long). I try to be kind with the way I express criticism and, as a fellow writer, to see the report from your point-of-view. 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 (whether you agree with my suggestions or not). I’ll discuss where your work sits in the current market, which I always try to keep abreast of with regular reading of Junior, Middle-grade and YA.
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 twenty years, I have been on both sides of the “slush-pile” as they call it. 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 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 and how to sell your work in the covering letter, and suggestions for where to send your work. If you have already approached several publishers or agents and haven’t had any luck getting a response, 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 and where you’re thinking of submitting your work (if you have worked this out).
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 or Skype, or by email, depending on how you like to work.
Testimonials (names withheld for privacy)