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.
You will need to provide the following at least 10 days before your assessment:
- the first 4000 words of your manuscript*
- 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
*Please note that if your manuscript excerpt exceeds the word limit, it will be truncated at 4000 words before being forwarded to the assessor. Please respect the time the assessor is dedicating to reading your work by sticking to the industry standard formatting and word limit. Thank you.
- Saturday 14 March 2020 with Patrick Mangan – SOLD OUT, join our waitlist to be notified if a space becomes available.
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 submit your materials 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
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
Patrick Mangan is a senior editor at Penguin Random House and is also the author of two non-fiction books, So Close and Offsider.