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Substantive Editing

What is a
Manuscript Assessment?

A Manuscript Assessment is an informed review of your story. It allows The Story Mentor to bring his storytelling experience and fresh eyes to your manuscript to determine whether the concept and story works as a whole.


During a Manuscript Assessment, The Story Mentor:

  • Reviews your story with experienced eyes;

  • Assesses the story as a whole;

  • Offers suggestions on how to improve it;

  • Identifies any sections that need clarification;

  • Recommends what to add or remove;

  • Pinpoints plot holes and errors in logic; and

  • Advises your next best course of action.

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When Should I Get a
Manuscript Assessment?

A Manuscript Assessment is recommended for writers with a completed early draft of their story.


Often writers become too close to their stories and struggle to recognise its quality components from its obvious flaws. If this has happened to you, then you need a Manuscript Assessment.


The Story Mentor approaches your manuscript with fresh eyes, allowing him to see clearly what works and what needs improvement.

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What is
Substantive Editing?

Substantive Editing is a comprehensive examination and, if necessary, revision of your story and its structural elements.


The Story Mentor brings his storytelling experience and knowledge to your story to make sense of its complexity and mechanics and resolve any problems.

During Substantive Editing, The Story Mentor:

  • Determines if the story flows well;

  • Ascertains the most effective structure;

  • Establishes the most valuable point-of-view and perspective;

  • Considers if more or less content is needed;

  • Verifies the appropriate target audience

  • Ensures a consistent tone and style throughout

  • Condenses unnecessarily wordy language; and

  • Applies uniform formatting to the manuscript.

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When to Get a
Substantive Edit

Sometimes, writers get so absorbed in their stories that they become lost in its complexities so that each subsequent draft feels like it is not getting anywhere. If this has happened to you, then you need a Substantive Edit.


Substantive Editing is recommended for writers who, despite having written several drafts of their story, still have a problematic or unwieldy draft.


The Story Mentor approaches your manuscript with objective eyes that allow him to see clearly what works and what needs refinement.

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You Receive

A Substantive Edit provides you with a clearer understanding of your story and its complexities, a better grasp on its problems and potential solutions, and a way to move forward with the next draft.


The Story Mentor also provides you with:

  • 2 x Story Meetings;


  • A Detailed Report of his findings;

  • Manuscript Mark-ups highlighting issues;


  • General Notes; and

  • A Professionally formatted manuscript.

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Once you have made contact with The Story Mentor, he will provide a quote for the cost and length of the work and arrange a time and centrally neutral location, usually a cafe or library, for the Initial Meeting.

During the Initial Meeting, you get to discuss your story with the Story Mentor before handing over your manuscript and making payment.

The Story Mentor takes your manuscript with him, reviews it within the agreed upon time, then contacts you to arrange the Final Meeting.

At the Final Meeting, The Story Mentor discusses his findings with you and hands over his report and your marked-up manuscript. During the meeting you have the opportunity to discuss The Story Mentor's findings with him.

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What Story Forms & Genres
Can Be Assessed?

As well as providing you with a better understanding of your story and a clear direction of how to approach your next draft, The Story Mentor provides you with:

  • 2 x 45 minute Story Meetings*;


  • A Report detailing his findings; and

  • General notes and mark-ups within your manuscript regarding specific issues.

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When submitting your story to The Story Mentor for Substantive Editing, please use the following formatting:

  • Line Spacing: 2.0

  • Margins: 5.0cm top, bottom, left, right

  • Font Type: Times New Roman or Arial

  • Font Size: 12pt

  • Document Format: .doc or .docx only

  • Printed Manuscripts: One sided only

  • Page Numbers: Place inside Bottom Footer

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The time it takes to complete a Substantive Edit depends upon both the length of your story and the schedule of The Story Mentor. Use the following as a rough guide:

The Story Mentor will provide an approximate time for completion in his quote.

All meetings are limited to a strict length (see above). If you require a longer meeting, any additional time will be billed at $30 per hour in hourly increments.

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Substantive Editing

The cost of Substantive Editing depends on the length of your story. Please see the table below for pricing categories.


All prices are in Australian Dollars and include GST.

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Booking a
Substantive Edit

To book or enquire about  a Substantive Edit, please contact The Story Mentor using the form below.

In your message, please outline your name, the length of your story, and your writing experience.

Thanks! Message sent.


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For more information, please read the FAQs page or contact The Story Mentor:

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