At SpecFicNZ we’re committed to helping our emerging creatives develop their craft, so we are offering up to ten (10) free manuscript assessments to members on a first-come basis (as funds allow). If you are not a member and would like to become one, information for joining up can be found here. Submissions for this programme must be speculative and can be prose (short story, novella, novel, non-fiction), poetry, or screenplay. In a single attachment (Word, rtf) include up to 6000 words (or the section break falling closest to 6000 words), your synopsis, plus a maximum of two (2) specific questions pertaining to the project that you would like help with. SpecFicNZ will endeavour to pair you with an experienced writer or editor whose work closely aligns with your own. However, if there is a particular member who you would like to have assess your excerpt, feel free to name them and we will do our best to make that happen, although we cannot make any guarantees. The final appraisal will consist of a 2-3 page document (based on the excerpt and synopsis only) with suggestions for strengthening the work to bring it to a publishable standard and might include comment on the structure, character, plot, style, and commercial nature of the project. Depending on the assessor, it may or may not include a line edit. Please note that the assessor’s suggestions may not be exhaustive and may not result in the work achieving publication. In general, appraisals should be completed and returned to you within six weeks of receipt. All forwarded materials will remain the property of the author and will be kept confidential. Send your submission to email@example.com with Manuscript Assessment and your name in the subject line.
Assessors. If you are an experienced writer or editor of speculative fiction and would like to offer your services to this programme, please send a thumbnail bio outlining your skills and project preferences to SpecFicNZ at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add you to our list of assessors. Please note, inclusion on the assessor list does not guarantee you will be invited to provide an assessment as offers will depend on the nature and number of projects submitted. Payment will be a flat fee of NZ$120.00 per completed assessment.
Grace Bridges ‒ Ten years in indie publishing and professional editing of over 40 titles under Splashdown Books, plus other clients. Strong sense of style and flow, particular interest in speculative literary fiction and especially sci-fi in all its forms. YA and older. Prefer bright themes over dark. Author of space opera, Irish cyberpunk, and New Zealand science mythology.
Chad Dick is an award winning professional editor and a writer of both non-fiction and fiction, including many horror stories with a humorous touch. Extremely versatile and experienced as an editor, and always able to help get the best out of any prose form, from flash fiction to novel – or even series.
Jean Gilbert ‒ Award winning writer-editor, Jean Gilbert is the author of The Vault Agency Series and Blonde Obsession. Her Light in My Dark is co-written with USA author and screenwriter William Dresden. Jean can help you create your worldbuilding masterpiece.
Paul Mannering ‒ Award winning author of 10 novels across horror and sci-fi genres. Experienced editor of short stories. Interested in anything weird and would be keen to work with any one attempting writing comedy (Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, Jasper Fforde type stories).
Eileen Mueller – Award winning writer with special interests in YA, middle grade and interactive fiction. Loves high fantasy, paranormal, urban fantasy, and anything with dragons.
Lee Murray – Award winning writer-editor with 7 year’s assessment experience. Interested in all speculative projects with preference for dark fiction, action, and horror. YA and middle grade projects welcome.
IK Paterson-Harkness ‒ Multi-published writer and poet including reputable venues such as Landfall, NZ Poetry, and JAAM, Immi is an experienced editor who welcomes your poetry projects. Any genre.
A.J. Ponder – Award winning author with a love of writing for all ages. A.J. loves working with language, from fairy tale to science fiction. A.J’s interests are in originality, and creating a world and a narrative that enhance your plot.
Dan Rabarts ‒ Award winning writer-editor with a special interest in dark fiction, high fantasy and crime noir. Able to assist with short fiction, poetry, screenwriting.