Children’s Book Assessments

Please note, due to the current Coronavirus pandemic, all of our manuscript assessments will be carried out via a phone call or Zoom. When you call to book in, please let us know which you would prefer.

Do you need expert insight to help your picture book or early reader manuscript reach its full potential?

What should I expect?

In a 30-minute session, our industry expert will work with you to help your manuscript reach its full potential.  Feedback may include discussions on voice, plot, characterisation, language, readability and/or writing techniques.

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. Please note, if you have illustrations, they may be brought on the day. The assessment focus is your text, though the assessor can discuss visual elements and integration of illustration and text, time permitting.

Is my manuscript eligible?

These assessments are for picture books or chapter books for readers up to eight years old (under 20,000 words). If you are writing a manuscript for junior fiction/middle grade readers (approximately ages 8 to 12) or young adults, please see our young adult assessments.

Submission requirements

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

  • Picture book or chapter book text, up to 1000 words*

*Please note that if your manuscript excerpt exceeds the word limit, it will be truncated at 1000 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.

 Next date

Saturday 17 October with Leonie Tyle – open for bookings. Contact us to book in.

Booking in

The cost of a 30 minute assessment is $95 for members and $135 for non-members. To book an appointment, please call us on (02) 9555 9757 or email us info[at]writingnsw[dot]org[dot]au. Currently how we are accepting payment, is by confirming an appointment time with you, and then issuing an online invoice to be paid within 7 days. Once your payment is received we will confirm your booking. Contact us if you have any questions.

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)
  • 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

Leonie Tyle has been associated with children’s books for over 25 years as a librarian, reviewer, speaker, and publisher. For thirteen years she was responsible for UQP’s children’s and young adults list, publishing approximately sixteen books a year, from picture books to young adult fiction and nonfiction. She set up Woolshed Press, an imprint of Random House, in 2008. Leonie has worked with many of Australia’s finest authors and illustrators, including Catherine Bateson, Steven Herrick, James Moloney, Brian Caswell, James Roy, Anthony Eaton, and Bill Condon. She is currently working freelance.

Leonie’s feedback was extremely valuable…She was also very affirming.
– Clare

Leonie’s constructive criticism and rigorous assessment of ‘The Dragon and The Little Boy’ has motivated me to do a complete rewrite of the story. 
– Louise

Aleesah Darlison writes picture books, chapter books, novels and series for children. Her story themes include courage, understanding, self-belief, friendship and environmental issues. She has won several awards for her writing and has had numerous short stories, articles and book reviews published across various mediums. Aleesah’s picture books include Stripes in the Forest: The Story of the Last Wild ThylacineMama & HugEmerald: The Green Turtle’s TaleFox and MoonbeamPuggle’s Problem, Our Class Tiger (2015 Wilderness Society Award Winner, Non-Fiction), and Warambi (2012 CBCA Notable Book Non-Fiction; 2012 Wilderness Society Award for Children’s Literature Shortlist). Her novels and series include Ash RoverLittle Good Wolf, Running from the Tiger, the Totally Twins Series, the Little Witch Series, the Netball Gems Series and the Unicorn Riders Series. Aleesah travels across Australia and internationally teaching creative writing and the power and value of the written word. Visit