Non-Fiction Assessments

Do you have a non-fiction manuscript that could be ready for publishing? Do you want advice on how to improve your manuscript and its publishing potential? Our experienced assessor offers feedback on non-fiction works-in-progress, including memoir, biography, travel, true crime, parenting, cookbooks, self help, gardening and more.

What should I expect?

Our non-fiction assessor will consider your manuscript’s structure, content and style to assess its potential for publication. Feedback may include structural assessment, analysis of voice, and/or legal issues to be aware of, such as defamation and copyright.

You will receive a brief written summary of the assessor’s key feedback points; however, you will not receive edits on your manuscript submission. This one-on-one meeting is a chance to discuss issues and potential solutions, and to ask questions.

Is my manuscript eligible?

All non-fiction is eligible. If you’re writing narrative non-fiction and would like a stronger focus on story structure, character or dialogue, please see our narrative assessments.

Submission requirements

You will need to provide the following at least 10 days before your assessment:

  • the first 15 pages of your manuscript, up to 4000 words
  • a one-page synopsis, up to 300 words (need help with your synopsis? Please see our guide to writing a synopsis)
  • a brief writing CV, no more than one page

Next date

  • Saturday 7 September 2019 with Lliane Clarke

Booking in

The cost of a one-hour assessment is $190 for members and $270 for non-members. To book an appointment, please call us on (02) 9555 9757.

Submitting your work

Once you have made your appointment, you will need to your submission at least 10 days before your assessment as one document. Your document must be formatted to industry standards, as follows:

  • Line spacing: 1.5 or double
  • Font: Times New Roman
  • Size: 12 pt
  • Margins: minimum 3 cm all round (Word default margins are fine)
  • Paragraphing: indent all paragraphs except the first paragraph of a new chapter or section. Only put spaces between paragraphs where you wish to indicate a section break.
  • Text should be range left (which means the right edge is ‘ragged’), not justified.
  • Page numbers: consecutive from beginning to end

You can submit your document via our submission form.

Please note, if your materials are not submitted at least 10 days before your assessment, we cannot guarantee your assessor will have time to review them before your appointment.

Can’t get here?

Writing NSW offers Skype manuscript assessment appointments for regional members and people who are unable to make their appointment in person. Skype is a free computer program that allows voice and video calls via the internet. Calling from one computer to another is completely free, which means that you can speak to our manuscript assessor in Sydney as though they were in your home, without any additional cost. If internet connection is problematic, we can also offer phone appointments. Note that Skype and phone appointments are limited.

About the assessor

Lliane Clarke is a publishing manager, publisher, writer and editor with over 20 years of experience in non-fiction publishing and journalism. She has managed major authors and leaders in their field across a variety of genres from cookery to crime and gardening and has commissioned titles for markets in Australia and the UK. She has created titles for trade book publishers and in custom publishing for companies such as New Hobsons Press, New Holland Publishers International, Bauer Media Books, Emap Media Magazines and others. She presents non-fiction titles on behalf of authors to publishers such as Hardie Grant, Allen and Unwin/Murdoch, Penguin and New Holland Publishers among others. Learn more about Lliane on her website.

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