Young Adult Manuscript Assessments

Do you need expert insight to help your middle grade or YA manuscript reach its full potential?

What should I expect?

In a one-hour session, our industry expert will work with you to help your manuscript reach its full potential. Feedback may include discussions of theme, structure, voice, plot, characterisation, point of view, language, dialogue, audience, genre and/or pace, as well as discussion of publishing options, time permitting.

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?

These assessments are suitable for manuscripts of 20,000 words or more, intended for junior fiction/middle grade readers (approximately ages 8 to 12) or young adult manuscripts. If you are writing a shorter manuscript, please see our children’s book assessments.

Submission requirements

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

  • the first 4000 words 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 including a statement of goals for this manuscript, 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.

 Next dates

  • Saturday 29 February 2020 with Leonie Tyle – SOLD OUT
  • Sunday 28 June with Aleesah Darlison – open for bookings

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 our assessors

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.

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 aleesahdarlison.com.

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