Manuscript Assessment Service

Are you writing a novel or collection of stories? Get a professional assessment and advice on your work.

I am an award-winning short story writer and novelist, and have been reading and assessing manuscripts for nearly ten years. I have worked with writers through university and college creative writing programs, as a dedicated instructor, as Writer-In-Residence for the Toronto Public Library, and on an individual basis. My manuscript assessment service includes:

  • In-depth comments on writing craft and effective style and technique, with advice on how to build your skills in these areas and strengthen the work.
  • Commentary on the content of your manuscript, with a focus on areas like plot design, effective dialogue, characterization, setting, voice, tone, and the aim of the work.
  • Advice on how to proceed with revisions of the manuscript and develop your work further, whether the intention is to submit to work for publication, or explore self-publication.
  • Handwritten or digitally inserted line notes throughout the manuscript, with specific examples of areas to address and build on.
  • A concise report of between 3-7 pages (depending on length of work), summarizing suggestions on how to improve the manuscript, as well as advice on next steps for each author.

If you are looking for advice on your manuscript, I can help. If you would like to discuss the service, and how to submit your manuscript for an assessment, contact me. I’m open for queries now.

The fees for this service can vary widely, depending on the length of your manuscript, the type of work, and specific requests on the speed of delivery. Typical manuscripts can range from 10000 to 80000 words, with assessments ranging from $300 to $1000. For short fiction, stories can be assessed individually for a base fee of $125 for up to 15 double-spaced pages (roughly 4000 words), with additional fees for longer short fiction or novellas.

Contact me to discuss an individual quote for your manuscript. Send your query here.


The architecture of this novel is faultlessly conceived; the construction of the storytelling is meticulously crafted.  Hardcastle has an abiding sympathy for the neglected rural poor.  The characters we love will break our hearts; the low-lifes we fear are no less indelibly rendered.  There is an aura of foreboding — of tragic inevitability —  to the collision course of their lives.  And, speaking strictly as a former wrestler, the details are true.

John Irving, on In the Cage (2017).