Could you use some guidance in shaping, developing or refining your completed manuscript? Find a writing mentor through Writing NSW.

A Writing NSW mentorship is an opportunity for you to work one-on-one (either face-to-face, by email, Zoom or over the phone) with an experienced writer or editor. It will be up to you and your mentor to decide how best to organise the mentorship, but issues covered may include structure, characterisation, audience, style, and editing and redrafting. Writing mentorships are not designed to offer direct industry advice or letters of recommendation for literary agents or publishers.

The program is available to members of Writing NSW on application.

Applying for a Writing Mentorship

Begin by deciding which mentor would best suit your project, and then read and complete the Mentorship Application Form.

Please outline what you are aiming to achieve from the mentorship, as well as telling us how your manuscript got to where it is today as set out on the application form. Keep any synopsis notes as brief as possible. Please note that we are only able to accept applications for mentorship if we believe the applicant is likely to benefit from the program and if we have a suitable mentor available.

If you are accepted into the mentorship program, we will get in touch with your nominated mentor to check availability. We will then put the two of you in touch to sort out your work plan.

Mentorship Cost

The cost to the mentee is:

  • $1,050 for 10 hours*
  • $1,550 for 15 hours
  • $1,975 for 20 hours

*10 hour mentorships are only available for manuscripts under 60,000 words.

Please note that the mentor’s reading time is included in these hours. All prices include GST. Mentorships are non-refundable.

Contact us for more information.

Abigail Nathan

Abigail Nathan is a freelance editor who has run Bothersome Words Editing & Writing Services for more than twelve years. She specialises in fiction (including genre — fantasy, science fiction, horror, crime, suspense, romance etc.) for adults, young adults and middle grade, and works with major Australian and UK trade publishers including HarperCollins, Penguin Random House, Hachette and Gollancz; as well as small presses in the USA. She has edited a range of authors for these publishers, including Karen Miller, Traci Harding, Alastair Reynolds and James Barclay. In addition, she works regularly with emerging and self-publishing writers including authors such as Mitchell Hogan and Maria Lewis. Abigail was a committee member and website coordinator for Editors NSW for over ten years and occasionally presents workshops on editing, self-publishing and freelancing. Personal website:

Ashley Kalagian Blunt

Ashley Kalagian Blunt is the author of How to Be Australian, a memoir; and My Name Is Revenge, a collection of fiction and essays, and a finalist in the 2018 Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award. Her writing appears in Australian Book Review, Overland, Griffith Review, Sydney Review of Books, the Sydney Morning Herald, Kill Your Darlings and more. She co-hosts James and Ashley Stay at Home, a podcast about writing, creativity and health, and loves helping writers learn practical skills and develop deeper insights into the craft of writing.

Personal website:

Craig Munro

Craig Munro is a biographer, book historian and publishing editor as well as the founding chair of the Queensland Writers Centre. His award-winning biography Wild Man of Letters: The Story of P.R. Stephensen was published to wide acclaim. He was UQP fiction editor (1973-80) and then publishing manager (1983 to 2000). As an editor of both fiction and non-fiction, Craig Munro has worked with a diverse range of writers including Peter Carey, David Malouf, Olga Masters, Murray Bail, Roger McDonald, Barbara Hanrahan, Nicholas Jose, Ross Fitzgerald and Donald Horne. In 1985 he won the Barbara Ramsden Award for Editing and in 2010 the Johnno Award for his contribution to writing. He was awarded a Literature Board writing grant in 2010 and recently completed a publishing memoir Editor at Large. He is currently working on Under Cover, a collection of profiles of Australian book editors, and on a biography of critic and publisher AG Stephens (1865–1933). In his role as UQP publishing manager, Craig Munro was responsible for staff training and mentoring younger editors and was invited by the Queensland Society of Editors to take part in the society’s CAL-funded editorial mentoring project (2008–10).

Diana Giese

Diana Giese has worked for publishers large and small, including Macmillan, Oxford University Press, HarperEducational and Brandl & Schlesinger, in Australia and overseas. She has collaborated with many writers to help them develop their best possible work, and produced and promoted prize-winners and excellent sellers. She is the author of six books, including Astronauts, Lost Souls and Dragons (University of Queensland Press), Beyond Chinatown (National Library of Australia) and A better place to live (Freshwater Bay Press). She has also worked as a literary journalist for major newspapers and ABC radio, and served on writers’ festival and prize committees. A recent mentoree placed his first book with a major international publisher. Diana will help you produce memoirs, fiction and history. Diana’s personal website:

Emily Maguire


EMILY MAGUIRE is the author of five novels and three non-fiction books. Her latest novel, An Isolated Incident was shortlisted for the Stella Prize, the ABIA Literary Fiction Book of the Year and the Miles Franklin Literary Award.

Emily’s articles and essays on sex, feminism, culture and literature have been published widely including in The Sydney Morning HeraldThe AustralianThe Observer and The Age.

Emily works as a teacher and as a mentor to young and emerging writers and was the 2018/2019 Writer-inResidence at the Charles Perkins Centre at the University of Sydney.

Fiona Kelly McGregor

Fiona Kelly McGregor is a writer, artist, critic, teacher and mentor with over thirty years’ experience. McGregor has published eight books and won a variety of awards, including The Age Book of the Year for Indelible Ink, a Queensland Literary Award (Steel Rudd) for short story collection Suck my Toes and the Woollahra Digital Literary Award for essay ‘The Hot Desk’. Recent nominations include the Miles Franklin, the NSW Premiers’ Award, and the Stella Prize for the novel Iris. McGregor has conducted seminars at universities and given lectures internationally on topics pertaining to writing, performance art, urban histories, memoir, street life, activism, LGBTIQ culture and politics, and more. McGregor has taught a range of creative writing subjects including fiction both long and short, narrative non-fiction, and arts and music criticism. McGregor has also taught English as a second language and mentored extensively, with several mentees progressing to publication and being shortlisted for awards. McGregor is based in Sydney, on unceded Gadigal land. Web: Instagram: Fiona Kelly McGregor

Keith Stevenson

Keith Stevenson is the author of Horizon: an SF thriller (HarperCollins) and The Lenticular Series: Traitor’s Run (finalist in the Aurealis Awards for Best SF Novel), Traitor’s Bargain, and Traitor’s War. On Traitor’s Run, Kirkus Reviews said, “The author’s gift for xenofiction matches that of genre grandmasters like Hal Clement, Larry Niven, and C.J. Cherryh” and Aurealis Magazine described it as, “wild and expansive, and just so utterly out there”. He’s also a past editor of Aurealis Magazineand Dimension6 as well as a number of anthologies including X6 (which won the World Fantasy Award for Margo Langan’s “Sea-Hearts”), and Anywhere But Earth. Keith brings his critical skills as a writer and editor immersed in the SF, Fantasy and Horror genres to the mentorship program. Personal website:

Kirsten Tranter


Kirsten Tranter is a novelist and critic with over twenty years experience in the world of publishing, and the author of the critically acclaimed novels The LegacyHold, and A Common Loss. Her approach to mentoring involves identifying and building on the storytelling strengths of a manuscript, with a focus on narrative structure and voice. Kirsten has taught creative writing at UC Berkeley, UTS, Writing NSW and literary festivals across Australia. Since the early 1990s Kirsten has worked as a freelance manuscript assessor and editor for organisations including leading agency Australian Literary Management. Kirsten brings expertise in a wide range of genres from literary fiction to genre fiction including sci-fi, fantasy, and romance. Personal website:

Leonie Tyle

Leonie Tyle has been dedicated to children’s literature as a librarian, reviewer, speaker, editor and publisher. She was Children’s & Young Adult Publisher at University of Queensland Press and established Woolshed Press, a children’s literary imprint for Random House Australia. Both lists have won many awards including the inaugural Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Young Adult Literature.

She is currently a Partner in Tyle&Bateson Publishing, a multi-faceted publishing services enterprise. Leonie does sessional teaching at Queensland University of Technology. She is the currently one of 3 judges for the Rosanne Fitzgibbon Editorial Award & a judge for the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Award.

Leonie has worked with many of Australia’s finest authors and illustrators including Steven Herrick, James Moloney, Brian Caswell, James Roy, Gregory Rogers, David Mackintosh, Stella Danalis, Anthony Eaton, Bill Condon, Christine Bongers, Nette Hilton, Samuel Wagan Watson, Celeste Walters and Doris Pilkington Garimara. She has a passion for literature and believes in encouraging and providing an environment for her authors and illustrators to produce their most imaginative and creative work. Personal website:

Lliane Clarke

Lliane Clarke is an experienced publisher, writer, ghost-writer, editor and journalist with over 20 years of experience in publishing in print and online. She has a passion for story-telling and helping writers to bring to life the stories they want to tell.

Lliane has managed major authors across a variety of genres from biography, cookery and crime and has commissioned titles for markets in Australia and the UK. She has written and created trade and custom publishing titles for companies such as New Hobsons Press, New Holland Publishers International, Bauer Media Books, Emap Media Magazines and others. She runs non-fiction manuscript assessment sessions for Writing NSW and presents non-fiction titles on behalf of authors to publishers such as Hardie Grant, Allen and Unwin/Murdoch, Random House Penguin and New Holland Publishers amongst others. Lliane is also an experienced communications professional with extensive experience in developing publicity campaigns. Personal website:

Apply for a mentorship or manuscript assessment here.

Mireille Juchau

Mireille Juchau is a novelist, essayist and critic. Her third novel, The World Without Us, won the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award. Her essays, reviews and short fiction are widely published, most recently in The Monthly,, Tablet, Sydney Review of Books, Best Australian Essays and LA Review of Books. She has taught at several universities and in the community and has a PhD in literature. Mireille has also worked as an editor, at HEAT Magazine, RealTime and on several other publications.

Personal website:

Pamela Cook

Pamela Cook writes Rural Fiction novels (Hachette) featuring feisty women, tangled family relationships and a dash of romance. Her first novel, Blackwattle Lake, was published in 2012 after being selected for the Queensland Writer’s Centre/Hachette Manuscript Development Program. Her following novels were Essie’s Way (2013) and Close To Home (2015) and her fourth book, The Crossroads was released in December 2016. Her next book will be Contemporary Women’s Fiction. Pamela has taught writing workshops since 2005 and a number of her students have been published. She particularly enjoys working with new writers and helping them get to ‘The End’. Personal website:

Pip Smith

Pip Smith is a novelist, poet, songwriter and children’s author based in Sydney. Her critically acclaimed first novel, Half Wild, was published by Allen & Unwin in 2017, and her first collection of poetry, Too Close for Comfort, won the inaugural Helen Anne Bell Poetry Bequest Award in 2013. She reviews Australian literature for the Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian, and has two children’s picture books with Scholastic: Theodore the Unsure (2019) and To Greenland! (2022). She has judged the poetry and fiction categories for the Woollahra Digital Literary Award since its inauguration in 2017, judged the Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Novelist Award (2021), and has taught creative writing in high schools and universities. She thoroughly enjoys climbing inside works of literature in development and working out what makes them tick. (@PipCSmith)

Stuart MacDonald

Guiding authors through the creative writing process and through the publishing/sales/marketing process is something Stuart MacDonald has been doing for several decades. His broad experience of manuscript assessment, and of assisting, mentoring and motivating writers and students of creative writing, ranges from business books, self-help and autobiography to romance, serious fiction and poetry. Stuart’s background in publishing management includes directorships with a number of publishers including HarperCollins, Woodslane, Harlequin and Dorling Kindersley. He has spoken at numerous conferences here and overseas, and has lectured for a number of publishing organisations and educational institutions including the Australian Publishers Association and Macquarie University.

Timothy Daly

Timothy Daly is one of Australia’s most internationally produced playwrights, with a string of national and international productions to his credit. Actors such as Academy-Award winners Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush have appeared in his plays. His 2008 play, Derrida In Love, was written expressly for the 2011 Academy Award nominee, Jacki Weaver. His play Kafka Dances has won over a dozen national and international awards since its première, and is the most internationally performed Australian plays of all time. His recent play The Man in the Attic was awarded Australia’s most prestigious award for a new play, the Patrick White Playwrights’ Award, and has just been performed in Paris. Timothy Daly’s newest play Richard III (ou presque) premiered at the 2010 Festival of Avignon, followed by a season in Paris in Oct-Nov, 2011.

He has been a literary judge in most categories for the Australian Writers’ Guild AWGIES, the NSW Premier’s Fellowship, and the Premier’s Literary Awards. He has taught extensively in Australia and overseas, and was a Featured Artist at the 2014 and 2016 Valdez Last Frontier Theatre Conference. His radio plays have been broadcast in six countries, and won an AWGIE and an AWGIE nomination. In 2012, Timothy Daly began a professional relationship with Los Angeles-based producer Victoria Wisdom for the production in the U.S.A. of his theatre and film work. He advises on over 100 plays and productions a year both in Australia and the US.

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