Manuscript Assessment Of Books for Children and Young Adults

Writing is a solitary business and often it’s difficult to get enough distance from your own work to see it objectively — as objectively for instance, as a publisher would see it.
This is where a manuscript assessment can help. It is objective, professional and detailed and can be an invaluable tool. While there is no guarantee that an assessment will lead to publication, it will help you become more professional in what is a very competitive climate.

I offer two different types of assessment.
In-depth Assessment:

This report identifies problem areas and offers suggestions for improvement. It explains professional writing terms and shows how these apply to the manuscript. It covers areas such as characterisation, pacing and plot, style and technique. References from the manuscript are used to illustrate points made and often an alternative is provided to show how to overcome the problem identified. This report is detailed and specific, and in addition, your manuscript will be annotated.
• Assessment plus discussion:

What happens here is that I read and annotate the manuscript, write a short report (about two pages), then send it to you along with the manuscript. Once you’ve had time to consider the points raised, we will spend an hour to an hour and a half discussing your manuscript. The discussion can be face-to-face if you live in Wellington, or by Skype, phone or Facetime. Some writers find it more helpful to work this way and so prefer this type of assessment.

To get an assessment:

Contact me by phone or email. I will discuss with you what type of assessment would best suit your purpose. You then post to me a copy of your manuscript which must be clear, typed, double-spaced or space and a half, and with the pages numbered. Only print on one side of the paper. With it, include:

• a stamped addressed envelope for the return of the manuscript
• a cheque for the fee which we will have already discussed. I will send a receipt when I return the manuscript. If you prefer to pay by internet banking, I can send you an invoice with my bank details.

I expect to return your manuscript and the report within one month and if I cannot do this I will contact you.

My background:
I have been writing for over thirty years and have had around fifty books published, ranging from young adult novels to school readers.
I have been short-listed ten times for the children’s book awards and won the Young Adult section in 2011 with Fierce September. I won  the Esther Glen medal for fiction with Juno of Taris and for Fierce September. In March 2007 I was awarded the Storylines Gaelyn Gordon award for Slide the Corner, and in 2009 for I am not Esther. In 2012 I was awarded the Margaret Mahy Storylines award.
I teach writing for children and teenagers.
I have mentored writers and assisted them to bring their work up to publishing standard.
While in the UK for a year 2003/2004 I worked as an assessor for an agency in London.

To get in touch, use my contact form.