Manuscript assessments

A Manuscript Assessment (sometimes known as a ‘structural’ or ‘substantive’ edit) looks at the overall structure, content and style of your manuscript.

This may include things like plot, character, point of view, pace, writing style, narrative, dialogue, presentation, length, use of research, readership, marketing or publishing possibilities.

Manuscript Assessments differ from copy editing or proofreading. These tend to look in detail at the accuracy of things like spelling, grammar and punctuation, while a Manuscript Assessment will give you professional advice on the big picture.

A Manuscript Assessment may tell you that your work needs some editing or proofreading, but it won’t provide this service for you.

Writers Victoria also offers Publisher Submission Appraisals for writers preparing to submit their manuscript to a publisher. Publisher Submission Appraisals provide feedback on any two chapters of your manuscript (up to 6,000 words), as well as on your one-page synopsis and cover letter.

Writers Victoria works with a team of authors, editors and writing tutors to make sure your manuscript is read by someone with expertise in your area. They assess novels, short stories, memoir, poetry, children’s picture books, romance, non-fiction, theatre scripts, and more. You can learn more about some of these assessors on our Manuscript Assessors page.

After your Manuscript Assessment, you can ask to meet up with your assessor for a Post-Assessment Consultation. This will be a separate, optional service with its own fee. 

Why get a Manuscript Assessment?

Manuscript Assessments give you an objective opinion of your work that comes from an experienced industry professional. They help you make it the best manuscript it can be, whether you want to share your story with your family, self-publish your own book, or submit it to a commercial publisher.

A Manuscript Assessment gives objective, professional feedback from an industry expert who is unconnected with your work. Because of this, we recommend that your assessor not be the first person to read your manuscript. An assessment is most beneficial when it comes at the later stages of your drafting, after you’ve first received feedback from your peers (e.g. a writing group). 

Find out more about what to expect.

What does a Manuscript Assessment cost?

Manuscript Assessments start from $340 for Writers Victoria members. Download the below form to view the full list of prices.

Find out more about our terms and conditions.

How to book a Manuscript Assessment service:

Download: Manuscript Assessment booking form.

Complete the manuscript assessment booking form and email it to our Program Team.

On receipt of this form, we will contact you with details of how to electronically submit your work for assessment.

Please note we will no longer be accepting hard copy submissions.

For more information, you can phone 03 9094 7895 or contact us via email.