Manuscript appraisal

The Writers’ Advice Centre is open to anyone writing for children. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a complete beginner or a published author. We will look at all types of writing, including picture books, early readers, short stories, novels for older children, non-fiction and poetry.


We offer 4 different manuscript appraisal services:

1.    Written appraisal service
2.    Telephone appraisal service
3.    Face-to-face editorial meeting
4.    Copy editing service

Written appraisal service – from £100

This service is suitable for authors who are seeking advice on a completed, or part-completed, piece of writing.

Once you have submitted your manuscript to us you will be assigned a suitable editor. Your editor will carefully read your work and prepare a full, detailed and frank report. There is no fixed length but this is usually around ten pages. We try to respond within 30 working days.

Topics covered in the report will include presentation, targeting, subject matter, theme & plotting, structure & style, characterisation & dialogue, viewpoint, approach, choosing a publisher and a suggested list of further reading.

Testimonials

"Thank you for turning this around so quickly for me. The feedback is invaluable and will allow me to make a number of really worthwhile amends before approaching publishers. As I go through the report in more detail I may have the odd question, so thank you for being open to further assistance." - R Myles

"I now have a clearer idea of my strengths and weaknesses and a way forward. I appreciate the constructive criticism and the positive comments that leave me feeling inspired to continue with what I love in a more focused manner. I am now full of inspiration and new ideas!" - R Packer

Prices

Fees are based on the word count of the manuscript and are per single story:
Up to 5000 words £100
Up to 10,000 words £150
Up to 15,000 words £200
Up to 25,000 words £250
Up to 40,000 words £300
Up to 60,000 words £350
Up to 80,000 words £400
Over 80,000 words by arrangement only

If you use the main manuscript appraisal service, you will be offered a discounted rate for follow-up reports.

How to book and pay

Once we've received your payment, we'll be in touch to let you know how and when to send in your manuscript.

  •   Pay online - click on the 'Pay now' buttons below to pay online by credit or debit card.
Words Cost Pay now
Up to 5,000 £100 Pay now
 
Follow-up report £90 Pay now
 
Up to 10,000 £150 Pay now
 
Follow-up report £135 Pay now
 
Up to 15,000 £200 Pay now
 
Follow-up report £180 Pay now
 
Up to 25,000 £250 Pay now
 
Follow-up report £225 Pay now
 
Up to 40,000 £300 Pay now
 
Follow-up report £270 Pay now
 
Up to 60,000 £350 Pay now
 
Follow-up report £315 Pay now
 
Up to 80,000 £400 Pay now

Follow-up report £360 Pay now
  •  Pay by phone: We no longer take payments over the phone. If you would rather not pay through this website or by cheque, please call us on 020 7801 6300 and we can go through other options.

  •   Pay by cheque: Please send a cheque made payable to The Writers’ Advice Centre to our offices at The Writers’ Advice Centre (for Children’s Books), Shakespeare House, 168 Lavender Hill, London SW11 5TG.

Terms

See our Terms and conditions.

Got a question?

See our Frequently asked questions for answers to common questions about our service and how to submit your manuscript.

Telephone appraisal service – from £30

This service is suitable for authors who are seeking advice on a completed, or part-completed, piece of writing up to a maximum of 25,000 words. It is for authors who specifically want Louise Jordan (Managing Editor of The Writers’ Advice Centre) to appraise their work, or who want to discuss specific queries and concerns.

Once you have submitted your manuscript, feedback will be given during a telephone consultancy session with Louise. Topics discussed in this session will be largely up to the author, but could include presentation, targeting, subject matter, theme & plotting, structure & style, characterisation & dialogue, viewpoint, approach, choosing a publisher and a suggested list of further reading.

Fees for the advance reading are charged at a 10% discount on normal manuscript appraisal fees, plus 50% discount on the £60 half-hour telephone consultancy session. See below for prices. The time between sending in your manuscript and the telephone appraisal is just two weeks.

Alternatively you can use the advice line without sending in a manuscript first.

Testimonial

"I'd like to thank you for your words of encouragement. My wife said to my children after the phone call, 'That'll be it now. You won't see your dad for three months as he'll be on the computer.' How true!" - Neil Swinney

Prices

  • Telephone consultancy only (ie does not include the reading of any work). 15 minutes. £30 
  • Telephone consultancy only (ie does not include the reading of any work). 30 minutes. £60
  • Up to 5000 words £120 (£90 + £30) + the cost of the phone call*
  • Up to 10,000 words £165 (£135 + £30) + the cost of the phone call*
  • Up to 25,000 words £255 (£225 + £30) + the cost of the phone call*

*You will be given a regular landline number to call at a mutually convenient time. The cost of the phone call is born by the caller.

How to book and pay

Once we've received your payment, we'll be in touch to let you know how and when to send in your manuscript and arrange a mutually convenient time for the call.

  •   Pay online - click on the 'Pay now' buttons below to pay online by credit or debit card.
Consultancy Cost Pay now
15-minute telephone consultancy only (reading not included) £30 Pay now
 
30-minute telephone consultancy only (reading not included) £60 Pay now
 
Review manuscript up to 5000 words plus
30-minute telephone consultancy
£120 Pay now
 
Review manuscript up to 10,000 words plus
30-minute telephone consultancy
£165 Pay now
 
Review manuscript up to 25,000 words
plus 30-minute telephone consultancy
£255 Pay now
 
  •   Pay by phone: We no longer take payments over the phone. If you would rather not pay through this website or by cheque, please call us on 020 7801 6300 and we can go through other options.

  •   Pay by cheque: Please send a cheque made payable to The Writers’ Advice Centre to our offices at The Writers’ Advice Centre (for Children’s Books), Shakespeare House, 168 Lavender Hill, London SW11 5TG.

Terms

See our Terms and conditions.

Got a question?

See our Frequently asked questions for answers to common questions about our service and how to submit your manuscript.

Face-to-face editorial meeting – from £80

This service is suitable for authors who prefer a more personal approach and want to have a one-to-one general discussion, a tutorial, or to look at a specific piece of work (up to a maximum of 25,000 words). It is for authors who specifically want to talk to Louise Jordan (Managing Editor of The Writers’ Advice Centre) about their work.

In the cases of shorter pieces of work (up to 1,000 words) you bring your manuscript along to the meeting. However with manuscripts of 1,000 words plus, Louise will need to see the manuscript in advance of the meeting. Fees for the advance reading are charged at a 10% discount on normal manuscript appraisal fees.

Testimonial

"Thank you for an interesting meeting today. I skipped down the road knowing I have plenty of writing to do. I will be in touch soon in order to set up a second meeting once the improvements/alterations have been completed." - J Gough

Prices

Meeting only £80
1,000-5,000 words £170 (including the £80 meeting fee)
5,000-10,000 words £215 (including the £80 meeting fee)
Up to 25,000 words £305 (including the £80 meeting fee)

How to book and pay

Once we've received your payment, we'll be in touch to arrange a mutually convenient time for the meeting.

  •   Pay online - click on the 'Pay now' buttons below to pay online by credit or debit card.

  • Consultancy Cost Pay now
    Meeting only £80 Pay now
     
    Review manuscript 1,000-5,000 words plus editorial meeting £170 Pay now
     
    Review manuscript 5,000-10,000 words plus editorial meeting £215 Pay now
     
    Review manuscript up to 25,000 words plus editorial meeting £305 Pay now
     
  •   Pay by phone: We no longer take payments over the phone. If you would rather not pay through this website or by cheque, please call us on 020 7801 6300 and we can go through other options. We can arrange a meeting time at the same time.

  •   Pay by cheque: Please send a cheque made payable to The Writers’ Advice Centre to our offices at The Writers’ Advice Centre (for Children’s Books), Shakespeare House, 168 Lavender Hill, London SW11 5TG.

Terms

See our Terms and conditions.

Got a question?

See our Frequently asked questions for answers to common questions about our service and how to submit your manuscript.

Copy editing service – from £200

Our copy editing service can include anything from simple corrections, to grammar and spelling, to a complete re-structuring of manuscript content.

The term ‘copy editing’ means different things to different people. And writers’ expectations, as to what this service provides, vary hugely. If you’re interested in having your work copy edited, you can submit your manuscript to our office and we’ll give you a ‘no obligation’ quote. Do be aware, though, that the work of a copy editor is extremely time-consuming and our prices will reflect this.

Copy editing is generally done on-screen. However it is also possible to send in hard copy manuscripts.

Testimonial

"Please thank your editor for the wonderful edit and notes... I understand exactly how to follow her comments and will correct accordingly. Will come back to you next year with book 2." - S Ralfini

Terms

See our Terms and conditions.

Got a question?

See our Frequently asked questions for answers to common questions about our service and how to submit your manuscript.