The Manuscript Appraisal Avenue

What We Do

The “Manuscript Appraisal Avenue” offers guidance and support to writers of general, literary, crime and mystery novels who wish to have central questions about their manuscript answered such as –

  • Does it make sense?
  • Is there enough tension?
  • What key points have I succeeded in achieving?
  • What have I missed?
  • Are the characters coming across as I intended?
  • What do I need to do to improve it?

Typically a manuscript for a regular sized novel (70 to 100,000 words) will require a minimum of three major rewrites before it’s ready to show to publishers or agents. However, sometimes there are many more drafts. The trick is to find the right person to view your work. You will need someone who is an experienced writer (see here) appreciates the process of rewriting a manuscript, has developed a keen understanding of the way a novel is structured, how to rewrite a scene and chapter to give it more tension, and how to trim the work so that the themes shine through. 

My fields of specialised knowledge include sailing, gymnastics, and Australian law with focus on criminal procedure. I have worked as a critique partner and manuscript appraiser for various local writers, including Taryn Bashford and Elizabeth Kasmer, each Varuna fellowship winners, with the latter securing the 2016 Queensland Emerging Writers’ Award.

Professional awards

Short Story Awards

  • 2005 Highly Commended, Short Story Category, Sunshine Coast Writers’ Group
  • 2005 Winner Poberay Award , Cooktown Writers Group
  • 2005 Commended, Short Story Category, Shoalhaven Literary Award
  • 2005 Winner, Short Story Category, SA Stumpy Festival
  • 2010 Highly Cded, Short Story Category, Eastwood/Hills Fellowship of Australian Writers
  • 2013-14 The Deception was long listed for UK-based Fish Publishing’s international short story award

Manuscript awards

  • 2013 Varuna Fellowship Crazy About Cakes
  • 2013 Mslexia Longlist for In Two Minds
  • 2014 ASA Mentorship, Garry Disher. Crazy About Cakes
  • 2015 Mslexia Longlist for Crazy About Cakes 
  • 2014 Winner, Varuna PIP program Crazy About Cakes
  • 2016 ASA Mentorship, Julie Chevalier The Hope Nest
  • 2018 Spotlight First Novel Competition One Small Character Flaw (now The Trophy Room)


How It Works

Critique only $3 per page with a minimum of fifty pages

Here’s where we will read the manuscript and suggest where to trim and clarify the work as well as thoughtful interpretations and suggestions. You will receive a written evaluation of the manuscripts stronger points and its weaker ones as well as an evolution of –

  • Structure
  • Characters
  • Plot
  • Voice
  • Pacing
  • Dialogue

This ‘big picture’ service is the best way to improve a manuscript in the early stages of development, undertaken prior to a second or third draft. No changes will be made to the manuscript itself and there will be no notes in the margins. A report is typically five to six pages long, but will vary depending in how advanced the manuscript is towards publication standard.

Developmental Editing Including Critique $3.50 per page, 50 page minimum

Here’s where we will offer detailed margin comments through the manuscript about issues relating to plot, dialogue, structure, characters and voice. We include suggestions for changing, deleting, adding or moving content. The edit incorporates both small and big-picture details.

Formatting your work for The Manuscript Appraisal Avenue
Email or printed pages are acceptable. Either way the manuscript must be –
  • Double spaced
  • Left-side one inch margins
  • Times New Roman
  • 12 point font
  • Indentation at the start of each paragraph
  • Where there is a leap in time, location or a move to sustained new viewpoint, the text must start flush left

Payment structure

We accept direct deposit or PayPal. We accept two payments – half before the work has begun and the remainder once our work is completed. We look forward to being there to support you on your writing journey, whether your is self-publication or seeking a traditional publisher.
What next?

Please fill out the Contact form to register your interest. Please provide us with your preferred email address, your name, the type of manuscript you’re writing and which of the two services you’re scoping. Also please let me know your anticipated start date.

Thank you for choosing The Manuscript Appraisal Avenue. We look forward to reading your work!

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