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Our Manuscript Assessors

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. 

Amanda Martin

Amanda is a full-time editor, passionate YA-fiction reader and general book addict who has been working in the publishing industry for over 10 years. She completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Editing and Publishing at RMIT, is an Accredited Editor through the Institute of Professional Editors and has been assessing manuscripts for Writers Victoria since 2009.

Specialises in:

  • Middle grade
  • Young adult fiction
  • General fiction (romance, mystery, etc.)
  • Non-fiction

Andrew Nette

Andrew Nette is a writer of fiction and non-fiction. He is the author of two novels, ‘Ghost Money’, a crime story set in Cambodia in the mid-nineties, and ‘Gunshine State’. He is co-editor of ‘Girl Gangs, Biker Boys, and Real Cool Cats: Pulp Fiction and Youth Culture, 1950 to 1980’, was released by PM Press in late 2017. He is currently working on a monograph about Norman Jewison’s 1975 dystopian classic, ‘Rollerball’ for independent film and media studies publisher, Auteur’s science fiction imprint, Constellations.

He is one of the founders of Crime Factory Publications, a Melbourne-based small press specialising in crime fiction and co-edited two of its publications, ‘Hard Labour’, an anthology of Australian short crime fiction, and ‘LEE’, an anthology of fiction inspired by American cinema icon, Lee Marvin. His short fiction has appeared in a number of print and on-line publications. He has contributed reviews and non-fiction to ‘The Los Angeles Review of Books’, The British Film Institute, ‘Time Out Melbourne’, ‘The Age’, ‘Guardian Australia’, ‘Overland’, ‘Crikey’, ‘Metro Magazine’, ‘Sight and Sound’, ‘Australian Book Review’ and ‘The Big Issue’.

He is currently undertaking a PhD examining the history of pulp paperback publishing in Australia.

Specialises in:

  • Long and short form crime fiction
  • True crime
  • Non fiction work relating to cinema and popular culture 

Anna Spargo-Ryan

Anna Spargo-Ryan is the author of two novels, The Gulf and The Paper House. She was the inaugural winner of the Horne Prize and is the non-fiction editor of ISLAND. Her new book, a memoir about mental illness and trauma recovery, will be published by Ultimo Press in 2022.

Brooke Lyons

Brooke is a skilled and supportive non-fiction book editor who has been working with words for more than 18 years. She began her freelance editorial consultancy in 2016 after a successful in-house career, including three years as managing editor at Wiley. She works with independent authors and book publishers including Affirm Press, Pan Macmillan, Major Street Publishing and Publish Central. Brooke holds postgraduate qualifications in editing and publishing and attends regular industry training. She is a professional member of the Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd), and was an Australian Business Book Awards judge in 2021. Read more about Brooke’s work at: www.brookelyons.com.au

Specialises in:

  • Self-help
  • Business
  • Leadership
  • Memoir
  • General non-fiction

Cassandra Frances

Cassandra is an Australian YA writer living in France. She completed her Master of Creative Writing, Editing and Publishing at the University of Melbourne in 2015 and has worked as a freelance proofreader. She is a 2016 Grace Marion Wilson Glenfern Fellow, an alumni of the Djerassi YA Novel Writing Workshop, a judge for the 2016 and 2017 Aurealis Award Illustrated Works category, and a slush pile reader for ‘Aurealis’ magazine. As well as being a PitchWars alum, Cassandra was a round 4 Author Mentor Match mentor. Her short fiction publications include ‘Softcopy’ and ‘The Victorian Writer’. More information can be found at cassfrances.com

Specialises in:

  • General fiction
  • Genre fiction
  • All genres of Young Adult fiction with a focus on: 
    – speculative
    – science fiction
    – gothic
    – paranormal
    – fantasy

Cath Crowley

Cath Crowley is an internationally published author of young adult fiction. Her novels include The Gracie Faltrain trilogy, ‘Chasing Charlie Duskin’, ‘Graffiti Moon’, ‘Words in Deep Blue’ and ‘Take Three Girls’, co-written with Fiona Wood and Simmone Howell. She has received the The Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction (2011 and 2017), The Gold Inky (2017), and The Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book of the Year for Older Readers (2018).

Specialises in:

  • Young adult fiction

Chaille Bos

Chaille is a freelance writer and editor based in Melbourne. Chaille loves the technical side of the publishing industry, like knowing how to understand a publisher contract. She developed that interest through working at literary agency Jacinta di Mase Management. She was the publishing manager of Visible Ink Anthology and has worked with ‘Kill Your Darlings’ and the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. She has published microfiction, narrative nonfiction and pop culture articles. As well as writing her own crime and speculative fiction novels, she is a ghostwriter and co-writer. Find out more about Chaille at chaillebos.com

Specialises in:

  • Genre fiction (speculative, romance, crime, thriller) 
  • Narrative non-fiction

Chelsea Cassio

After graduating film school, Chelsea sold her first short film IMAGINARY FRIEND to ABC (Australia), which aired over a three-year period. She has since written for shows such as HOME & AWAY, NEIGHBOURS, THE DOCTOR BLAKE MYSTERIES (where she received 4 ½ stars from the Herald Sun for one of her episodes) and SECRET BRIDESMAIDS’ BUSINESS. Her most recent script editing credit was on Studio Bento’s VR project ‘Remembrance’, which has since been selected for the Kaleidoscope Showcase at Cannes XR.

Chelsea’s original pilot script YESTERDAY was a semi-finalist in Scriptapalooza TV Pilot Competition (US) while other scripts have been shortlisted at Tropfest Film Festival, The Hope Awards, Homebrewed Film Festival and Realm of the Senses.

Her original television concepts are all in active development with Emmy and BAFTA Award-winning company Hoodlum, Princess Pictures, Easy Tiger and Atlantic Nomad Productions (Los Angeles). In 2020 she was invited to join the Imagine Impact community – a global content accelerator program launched by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. 

Chelsea has worked in Film and TV production, as a lecturer for RMIT’s Advanced Diploma in Screenwriting, as an English teacher in Indonesia, as in house Development Script Producer at SEVEN STUDIOS in Melbourne and as a script reader for the SCRIPTWRITERS’ NETWORK in Los Angeles. Chelsea is a graduate of the Writers’ Homicide School in Las Vegas where she honed her skills as a mystery writer.


Christie Nieman

Christie Nieman is an author, essayist, anthology editor, parent, playwright, and librarian. Her latest novel Where We Begin, set on Dja Dja Wurrung country where she lives and works, fits the bill of ‘Australian contemporary gothic’ and won a Davitt Award and a CBCA Honour Book Award and was shortlisted for both the Victorian and NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. Early in her career after her play Call Me Komachi was shortlisted for a Green Room Award she won an Asialink playwrights residency to Japan where she read Kaidan stories, traditional Japanese folk tales of the strange and supernatural, an influence later seen in her novel As Stars Fall. Whether writing novels, essays, short fiction, plays, opinion, or prose poems, her words concern themselves with women and bodies and social structures and human relationships with the environment. Her essay on human exceptionalism and the nature of storytelling, When the Clay Has You, was a feature of The Sydney Review of Books’ New Nature Series. She is also one of the editors responsible for the feminist anthologies Just Between UsMothers and Others, and 2019’s #MeToo: Stories from the Australian Movement. She is a fan of science and has studied a little bit of ecology and biology but she is an actual doctor of creative literatures and ecocriticism, though she finds the title a bit heavy to carry around and so is usually happy to just leave it at home unless she is defending the honour of women with doctorates everywhere and then she shouts it from the rooftops. She lives on the land of the Djaara people with her husband and two kids, a whole host of wild birds, and two very fluffy chooks.

Demet Divaroren

Demet Divaroren is a Melbourne-based writer, editor and creative writing teacher. Her writing has appeared in Griffith REVIEW, Island magazine, The Age Epicure, The Big Issue and From the Outer. Her debut novel ‘Living on Hope Street’ (Allen & Unwin, 2017) won the 2018 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award Young Adult category. Demet is the co-editor of the CBCA-shortlisted anthology ‘Coming of Age: Growing up Muslim in Australia,’ a collection of personal essays that challenge stereotypes and celebrate diversity, achievement, courage and determination.

Specialises in:

  • Young Adult fiction
  • Short stories
  • General fiction
  • Memoir and personal essays
  • Gothic fantasy

Diane Stubbings

Diane Stubbings works as a writer and reviewer. Her plays have been produced in Australia and NZ, and her writing has been published by Currency Press and Palgrave Macmillan, and in international journals such as New Writing. Diane’s book reviews have appeared in Australian Book Review, The Australian and The Canberra Times, and she has more than ten years’ experience working as a manuscript assessor and writing mentor. Her work has been shortlisted for a number of awards including the Patrick White Playwrights’ Award, the Rodney Seaborn Playwrights’ Award and the Griffin Award.

Specialises in:

  • Playwriting
  • Non-fiction (general, essays, memoir, travel writing, biography/family history, self-help)
  • Adult fiction and young adult fiction (general, crime/mystery, science fiction, speculative fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, humour, romance/erotica)
  • Children’s picture books
  • Short stories
  • Screenwriting
  • Poetry

Diane Stubbings wearing a beanie and glasses in a dark sweater

Earl Livings

Earl Livings has published poetry and fiction in Australia and also Britain, Canada, the USA, and Germany. He also has read his work in many venues around Melbourne and in the USA, England, Ireland, and Wales. Earl has a PhD in Creative Writing and taught professional writing and editing for 20 years. His writing focuses on nature, mythology and the sacred, with a particular interest in Celtic mythology and Welsh language and poetics.

In 2018, Ginninderra Press published his second poetry collection, Libation. Earl is currently finalising a dark ages historical fantasy series and is working on a new poetry collection. His philosophical fantasy verse novel, The Silence Inside the World, is due to be published in early 2022.

Specialises in:

  • Poetry
  • Science fiction
  • Fantasy

Eliza Henry-Jones

Eliza is a novelist, freelance writer and PhD candidate in creative writing. She is the author of three novels. ‘In the Quiet’ was published by HarperCollins as part of a three-book deal in 2015 and was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction and longlisted for the ABIA and Indie Awards. Her second novel ‘Ache’ was published in 2017 and her first novel for young adults, ‘P is for Pearl’ (2018), was a Children’s Book Council of Australia Notable Book and also longlisted in the ABIA and Indie Awards. Her background is in psychology and grief, loss and trauma counselling. She is a recipient of a KSP young writer residency, a Varuna residential fellowship, an Australia Council new work grant and a Tyrone Guthrie fellowship. Her non-fiction has been published by places such as The Guardian, The Big Issue, The Sydney Morning Herald, Sunday Life and Country Style. Her second novel for young adults, ‘How to Grow a Family Tree’, will be released in 2020. 

Specialises in:

  • Literary Fiction
  • Commercial Fiction
  • Short Stories
  • Young Adult Fiction
  • Trauma Fiction 
  • Memoir
A photo of Eliza Henry-Jones.

Eloise Grills

Eloise Grills is an essayist, poet and comics artist who is currently working on her first full-length illustrated essay collection, big beautiful female theory (Affirm Press, 2022).  Her work has been recognised in awards including the QPF Prize for Innovation in Spoken Word, the Lifted Brow/RMIT Experimental Nonfiction Prize, the Peter Blazey Fellowship, the Felix Meyer Scholarship and the Woollahra Digital Literary Prize. Her graphic novel, Sexy Female Murderesses, was named one of The Saturday Paper‘s best books of 2019, and her poetry collection, If you’re sexy and you know it slap your hams, was shortlisted for the Mary Gilmore Award. She works as a creative writing tutor at RMIT and as a facilitating artist with Arthur Creative at Melba services. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing, Editing and Publishing from Melbourne University.

Emma Cayley

Emma Cayley was formerly the editor at Writers Victoria and has a great deal of experience editing short fiction for publication. She is a fiction aficionado and especially loves thoughtful speculative fiction, edgy YA and middle-grade children’s adventure stories. In addition to her work at WV, Emma is a freelance editor and writer and has worked on a variety of texts, including fiction, non-fiction, illustrated monographs, educational texts, reference books, cook books and corporate publications.

Specialises in:

  • Literary fiction
  • Speculative fiction
  • Young Adult and children’s fiction
  • Short fiction and collections

Joel Martin

Joel Martin is a fantasy writer and freelance editor based in Melbourne but originally hailing from Wanganui, New Zealand. Along with traditional fiction, Joel dabbles in the unusual world of video game writing and critique. He specialises in fantasy, and his love of the genre spans from sword and sorcery to epic fantasy and he is currently working on a weird fiction novel. He is the host of the monthly literary podcast The Morning Bell and the director of Speculate.

Specialises in:

  • Fantasy
  • Soft sci-fi

Josiane Behmoiras

Josiane Behmoiras is the author of ‘Dora B: A Memoir of My Mother’ published in Australia and overseas and shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Award. For the last decade she has been sharing her skills and passion for storytelling in community-based setting, in private practice and at The University of Melbourne, where she has also earned a Creative Writing PhD. Josiane has particular interest in personal trauma narratives, family history, travel writing, personal essays and dystopian fiction.  Read more on www.josianebehmoiras.com

Specialises in:

  • Fiction
  • Memoir
  • Biography

Please note that Josiane is availabe for assessments through video link only. 

Kate Ryan

Unavailable until 2023

Kate Ryan writes fiction and non-fiction and has worked as an editor for various publishing houses including Penguin and Lothian Books, as a manuscript assessor and writing mentor, freelance and for the Australian Society of Authors. Her work has appeared in publications including ‘New Australian Writing 2’, ‘The Sleepers Almanac’, ‘Kill Your Darlings’, the ‘Griffith Review’, ‘TEXT’ and ‘Best Australian Stories’ (2016). Her children’s picture books have been published by Penguin and Lothian. In 2015 and 2016 Kate’s short stories were shortlisted for the Josephine Ulrick Award and the Boroondara Literary Awards and longlisted for the Elizabeth Jolley Prize. Her essay ‘Psychotherapy for Normal People’ won the Writers’ Prize in the Melbourne Prize for Literature (2015). She has a PhD in Creative Writing (La Trobe University, 2013) and the novel component of it was nominated by her examiner, novelist Debra Adelaide, for the Nancy Millis Award for work in the top five percent of candidates. She is now completing her second novel, ‘The Golden Book’.

Specialises in:

  • General fiction
  • Short stories
  • Non fiction
  • Memoir
  • Young adult and children’s fiction

Kirstyn McDermott


Specialises in:

  • General fiction
  • Short Story
  • Thriller 
  • Science Fiction
  • Horror
  • Gothic
  • Young Adult Fiction

For more information about Kirstyn, read her bio.

Koraly Dimitriadis

Koraly Dimitriadis is a writer of poetry, prose, short stories and non-fiction, who explores feminism, racism, sexuality and culture, while challenging the traditional norms of poetry through literature, performance, film and theatre. She is a freelance opinion writer for major media publications and has written for Daily Life, SBS, Rendezview, The Saturday Paper and many more. She is the author of the controversial poetry book ‘Love and F**k Poems’, which she initially self-published as a zine with English and Greek translation rights sold into Europe. Koraly has received Australia Council funding, has a diploma in professional writing and editing from RMIT, and a double degree in Business and Computing. She is an actor, performer, film and theatre maker.

Specialises in:

  • Poetry
  • Personal opinion journalism

Laurie Steed

Unavailable until 2023.

Laurie Steed is the Patricia Hackett Prize winning author of ‘You Belong Here’, and lives in Perth, Western Australia. His work has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and published in ‘Best Australian Stories’, ‘The Age’, ‘Meanjin’, ‘Westerly’, ‘Island’, ‘The Sleepers Almanac’ and elsewhere. He teaches Advanced Fiction for Writers Victoria and is a former member of the Editorial Board of Margaret River Press and the Emerging Writers Festival Program Advisory Committee. In 2014, he became the first Australian writer granted fellowship in the history of the Sozopol Fiction Seminars and, in May 2015, he was selected for The 2016 Bernheim Writers Residency in Kentucky, USA.

Specialises in:

  • Short stories
  • Short fiction collections
  • Novels

Liz Kemp

Liz Kemp is currently working for Allen & Unwin as operations manager for the Children’s and Young Adult department. Prior to that she worked in a variety of administrative roles in all areas of the publishing industry, most recently at the State Library of Victoria’s Centre for Youth Literature. She also operates a freelance manuscript assessment and editing business.

Specialises in:

  • Young Adult fiction
  • Children’s fiction (picture books, chapter books, and Middle Grade fiction)
  • Popular adult fiction
  • Genre fiction – fantasy, science fiction, romance, crime

Lyndel Caffrey

Lyndel Caffrey is a Melbourne writer, mentor and creative writing teacher. She works to help writers build a deeper understanding of the story they have to tell and how to tell it. Lyndel has been published by ‘Southerly’, ‘Poetrix’, ‘Vignette Press’ and newmatilda.com, among others. Her novella ‘Glad’ featured in ‘Griffith Review’ 38. She’s working on two novels: ‘The Christmas Box’, set in 1930s Melbourne, and ‘The Gun Club’, her Great War novel, which was shortlisted for the 2015 Richell Prize. Lyndel is the Local Mentor for the Write-ability Goes Regional and Online Loddon Region Writers Group.

Specialises in:

  • Memoir and biography
  • Family history
  • General fiction
  • Historical fiction
  • Short story
  • Poetry
  • Crime and mystery
  • Self-help

Marie Alafaci

Marie Alafaci has been published in biography, environmental science, speculative fiction and picture books. She has been short listed for a number of awards, been a competition judge and taught Professional Writing and Editing at Holmesglen. She has worked for the Australian Society of Authors and been a reviewer and interviewer for ‘Magpies’ magazine. She teaches Grammar and Punctuation at RMIT and is co-owner of ‘Bedlam Books’, a manuscript assessment service. She is passionate about helping writers to bridge the gap between what they see in their mind’s eye and what they present on the page.

Specialises in:

  • Children’s and young adult fiction
  • Speculative fiction (horror, science fiction, fantasy etc)
  • Humour
  • Short stories
  • Non-fiction


Maryrose Cuskelly

Maryrose Cuskelly has worked as a freelance writer and editor for almost twenty years. She writes both fiction and non-fiction, and her debut novel, The Cane, will be published by Allen & Unwin in 2022.

In 2019, her book, Wedderburn: A True Tale of Blood and Dust (Allen & Unwin, 2018), was longlisted for Best Debut and Best True Crime in the 2019 Davitt Awards. In 2016, she was awarded the New England Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Writing (non-fiction) for her essay on the 1972 abduction and murder of Marilyn Wallman.

She is the author of Original Skin: Exploring the Marvels of the Human Hide (Scribe 2010) and The End of Charity: Time for Social Enterprise (Allen & Unwin 2008) co-written with Nic Frances, and winner of the Iremonger Award for Writing on Public Issues.

She has twice been awarded fellowships at Varuna, The Writers’ House, most recently in 2020 for The Campers, a novel in development.

Specialises in:

  • General adult fiction
  • Literary non-fiction
  • Memoir

Max Conroy

Max is an experienced screenwriter with a passion for film and television.  Recently, he wrote on multiple seasons of the popular drama series, Wentworth.  He’s also worked as a script editor on a diverse range of programs, including drama (Wentworth), murder-mystery (Mr. & Mrs. Murder) and kids sci-fi (Nowhere Boys).

Apart from developing projects for the big and small screens, Max assesses screenplays for a variety of prominent organisations in Australia and the U.S. He enjoys providing incisive, actionable feedback to writers on their film and TV scripts and treatments.

Specialises in:

  • Screenwriting
  • Feature film scripts of any genre
  • Television scripts, one-hour and half-hour, of any genre

Myfanwy Jones

Myfanwy Jones is the author of Leap, finalist for the 2016 Miles Franklin Literary Award, and The Rainy Season, shortlisted for The Melbourne Prize for Literature’s Best Writing Award 2010. She also co-wrote, with Spiri Tsintziras, the bestselling Parlour Games for Modern Families, awarded ABIA Book of the Year for Older Children 2010. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies; including, most recently, Split: true stories of leaving, loss and new beginnings. She is presently revising a third novel.
Alongside her own practice, Myfanwy has had the privilege of working as an editor, manuscript assessor and writing mentor for over twenty years. She has a particular keenness for story arc, and the character of place.

Rachel Ang

Rachel Ang is an artist and writer. Their work has been published by The New Yorker, The Washington Post, kuš! and Australian journals like The Lifted Brow, Going Down Swinging and Meanjin. Rachel’s first book, Swimsuit (Glom Press, 2018), won a Silver Ledger Award for Excellence in Comics and Graphic Novels. Their next book, provisionally titled What You Seek (Is Seeking You) will be published by Drawn and Quarterly in 2024.

Rachel Flynn

Rachel Flynn has published numerous picture books and novels for children (Penguin), some of which have been translated and republished in French, Spanish, Dutch, Turkish, Chinese and Korean. She is also an occasional poet and short story writer with a list of publications. Rachel has taught in Professional Writing Programs around Melbourne for twenty-five years. She is currently undertaking a PhD in creative writing.

Specialises in:

  • Picture books
  • Children’s novels

Roz Bellamy

Available from December

Specialises in:

  • Memoir
  • Personal essays
  • Queer narratives
  • Editing
  • Nonfiction
  • Journalism

For more information about Roz, read their bio.

Sam van Zweden

Sam van Zweden is a Melbourne-based writer interested in memory, food, mental health and the body. Her writing has been published by the Saturday PaperABC LifeMeanjin, The Big Issue, The Lifted BrowCordite, The Sydney Review of Books, The Wheeler Centre and others. Her work has been shortlisted for the Scribe Nonfiction Prize for Young Writers, the Lifted Brow and non/fictionLab Experimental Non-fiction Writing Prize, and the Lord Mayor’s Creative Writing Awards. Her debut book, Eating with my Mouth Open, won the 2019 KYD Unpublished Manuscript Award, and is available now. 

Sherryl Clark

Sherryl has more than 70 published children’s and YA books, which have been shortlisted for and won awards, and been published in more than 10 countries. She writes for all ages, from picture books to YA, as well as poetry, short fiction and mystery novels for an adult audience. She is currently undertaking a PhD in creative writing, focusing on fairy tales. Through her writing coach website, she works with writers in a mentoring and editing capacity. She teaches creative writing at Victoria University Polytech. 

Specialises in:

  • Picture books
  • Children’s chapter books and novels
  • Young adult novels
  • Poetry
  • Verse novels for children and young adults

Shivaun Plozza

Shivaun Plozza is the author of ‘Frankie’ (Penguin [AUS] and Flatiron [US]), a darkly funny YA novel about a teen willing to defy her friends, family and the law to find her missing brother. Frankie was highly commended at the Victorian Premier Literary Awards, longlisted for the Inky Awards and is a 2017 CBCA Notables book. Her next novel, ‘Tin Heart’ (Penguin), was released in March 2018. Shivaun’s short fiction, essays and poetry have appeared in publications such as ELLE Australia, Above Water, Vivid, The Victorian Writer and ArtsHub. She also works as a freelance editor and a manuscript assessor. 

Specialises in:

  • Young adult (all genres but with a focus on contemporary realism, romance, crime and fantasy)
  • Middle grade fiction (all genres but with a focus on fantasy)
  • Junior fiction
  • Crime (adult)

Sumudu Narayana


Specialises in:

  • Adult Fiction
  • Young Adult
  • Fantasy
  • Nonfiction science and Academic writing 
  • Historical fiction 
  • Crime 

For more information on Sumudu, read her bio.

Thuy On

Thuy On has been a freelance literary critic and journalist for two decades. She has written for a range of publications including for Fairfax publications (The Age, SMH), The Australian, Australian Book Review, and Books + Publishing. For the last six years, she has been The Big Issue’s books editor.

Thuy has also been a judge at the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards several times. In 2018, she was the convening judge in the Fiction category. Thuy reads and reviews widely, from picture books to literary fiction. 

Specialises in:

  • General and literary fiction
  • Young Adult
  • Children’s
  • Psychological thriller
  • Memoir

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