Young Adult Manuscript Assessments

Aleesah Darlison


Full Price: $270
Member: $200

Sessions for Aleesah’s Young Adult manuscript assessments have now SOLD OUT! Join our waitlist for the next Young Adult manuscript assessment sessions here.

Do you need expert insight to help your middle grade or young adult 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.

All of our assessments are carried out via Zoom or a phone call.


During our session, Aleesah was very positive and relatable. Her advice was constructive and purposeful, just as I was hoping. The report is full of great tips and helpful suggestions for potential improvements to my script. This was my first experience of professional assessment and I found it was very worthwhile. I will be sure to follow up on Aleesah’s advice. – Carmel

Aleesah has just finished assessing my 4,000 word manuscript. The quality of and detail in her assessment far exceeded my expectations. She made suggestions that will substantially improve what I’ve done. Original and insightful, I will be recommending her to everyone. – Gary

…would highly recommend these sessions. It was all very informative. Her advice and feedback was constructive, encouraging, positive and inspiring. – Aleesah

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

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.

Next dates

  • Thursday 22 June with Aleesah Darlison – open for bookings!
  • If this date doesn’t work for you, Join the waitlist for future YA Manuscript Assessments

Submission requirements

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 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.

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 in MS Word format. 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

Our assessors

Aleesah Darlison writes picture books, chapter books, novels and series for children. 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

Leonie Tyle is a former children’s book and YA publisher for UQP and Random House.

Cancellation Policy

Your enrolment is non-refundable. If you should wish to withdraw from a manuscript assessment, you must inform Writing NSW at least fourteen days in advance of the assessment to receive a full credit. Withdrawals up to seven days prior to the assessment will be eligible for a 50% credit. Withdrawals in the week prior to the assessment are ineligible for credit.

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SKU: MASS-YA Category: