Working with Children, Young Adults, Books and Resources since 1950
Member New Zealand Association of Manuscript Assessors


Manuscript Assessment Services
•Every year publishers in this country and overseas are overloaded with unsolicited manuscripts from writers. Sadly only a very few of them ever make it to the bookshops or library shelves. Publishers just do not have the time or resources to go through a manuscript suggesting how to bring it up to publishable standards. This is where a professional assessor may be able to help. If you choose me to assess your manuscript you will receive an informed and impartial professional opinion of your work including a detailed written report pointing out the strengths and any weaknesses with ideas on how to rework it, if necessary, with the idea of submitting it for possible publication This will include comments on characterisation, plot and style. After you receive the report I am always available by email or phone if there are any points on which you want to follow up.  I work mainly with books for children and young people but from time to time am really excited when I ‘get’ an adult ms. to work with – especially memoirs.

Some Background Details
                  My qualifications include over sixty years (could it really be that long?) working with and assessing books and resources for children and young readers, knowledge of what publishers are currently looking for and a real hope to keep a high standard of children’s literature alive in this country.
                  In 2002 Storylines: New Zealand Children’s Literature Foundation, awarded me the Betty Gilderdale Award for services to New Zealand children’s literature and in 2004, SLANZA School Library Association of New Zealand Aotearoa presented me with a Certificate of Recognition for ‘innovation and contribution over 50 years in the development of quality resources and expertise in libraries for children and young people’. In the 2007 New Year Honours, I was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to children’s literature.  Later last year SLANZA did me the honour of making me an Hon Life Member of the Association and then was I asked to become the Patron of the Friends of the Dorothy Neal White Collection.  Of course absolutely none of these things would have happened without the amazing network of librarians and teachers it has been my privilege to work with or the real life children and teenagers for whom we do it all…  
                  For nineteen years I produced a three-monthly book review bulletin for schools, colleges, public libraries. In November 2012 I decided to stop this part of my business but I continue to read the new children's (and young adults) books as they come out and review them on my blog  (see address below). In a way this is even more enjoyable than producing the bulletin as it is always much more up to date and I can show the wonderful jackets in full colour – and, most importantly, have instant feedback on what I have written. . 
However, just for the record, I don’t spend all my time at the computer (it just feels like it sometimes – I do get out in the bush and the fresh air and also enjoy going out with family and friends to movies, dinner, events etc.)

How To Send Your Manuscript To Me
Your  manuscript should be clearly typed, double-spaced with numbered pages and wide margins. Please don’t use fancy fonts! Helvetica, Arial, Times New Roman or Verdana are the easiest for me to read. Please don’t send in the form you feel you would like it to be if published – large print/ triple spacing etc. All I need are the words.  Please PLEASE don’t use page breaks!
•You will also need to include an accurate word-count.
•If you are sending a hard copy a CD as well would be helpful.  However – email is by far the easiest way I feel for both the writer and me. Just send as an attachment.
•Handwritten manuscripts cannot be assessed.
•If you are posting your work, include an appropriately sized, stamped and addressed envelope for its return.
•Assessments usually take about ten days but I am always available by email to let you know how far I have progressed with your manuscript.
.  •If you are sending a hard copy please tell me if you would rather I didn’t make any notes on the ms..


The following is a guide only based on word count. If you send your total word count I can get back to you with a more accurate charge.

From 10 to 3000 words                     $156.50  (this is a fixed charge and applies to one or several manuscripts if they are sent together

up to 6000 words                           $189.00 
up to 10,000 words                    $215.00 
up to 20,000 words                    $280.00 
up to 30,000 words                    $345.00 
up to 45,000 words                    $442.50 
up to 60,000 words                    $540.00 
up to 80,000 words                    $670.00 
up to 90,000 words                    $735.00 
up to 100,000 words                  $800.00 
and so on…

I do not charge GST

Contact Me 
Assessment Services
PO Box 113
Waikanae   5036
New Zealand

Phone :                                  64 04 293 1247
Mobile:                                   021  217 3217

(Note:  I use my blog primarily to review current books from New Zealand and around the world for children and young adults.  
Assessment Services is closed for two weeks over the summer holidays from Christmas Eve. It is also sometimes necessary to limit the numbers of assessments taken on board when the workload becomes too heavy but I will always suggest the name and emails of other assessors with whom I am in constant contact if this happens).

Last updated June 2016