I offer manuscript assessment for any fiction or non-fiction work under 100,000 words, at $1,500 per manuscript. Any word count over that length can be negotiated.
This includes a comprehensive macro and micro edit, with notations on the page and full editorial notes. I look at overall plot, structure and pace, narrative tension, POV, characterisation, inclusion of research elements, length and also on the detailed level of the sentence. I also give you advice on your readership, getting an agent, publication possibilities and marketing options once the work is finished.
Manuscript assessment differs from line or copy editing. I edit for accuracy in spelling, grammar and punctuation but my essential focus will be on the big picture.
Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss your project and book a manuscript assessment.
Your assessment will be completed and emailed back to you within 7 working days. Payment is upfront and electronic manuscripts are encouraged.
Manuscript assessment works best if you have already revised and edited your work multiple times, given it to trusted readers such as your writing group, friends or beta readers, then revised it again.
Manuscript assessment is for the stage where you can no longer do any more work on your manuscript and need a fresh pair of professional, objective eyes. You can ask for a general assessment or one which also focuses on problem areas that you are unsure of.
My aim is to make your work the absolute best it can be. I offer honest, professional feedback, honing in on both the strengths and weaknesses of your work.
At the same time, I am sensitive to your own individual tone and style and your unique writer’s voice. I want to see your writing potential blossom in words.
At a time when it was next to impossible for me to see beyond my close up view of my manuscript, Katerina’s assessment was a breath of fresh air. Her meticulous attention to detail, her insightful suggestions on how to bring the text alive and her ability to understand the essence of my book were warmly appreciated. Her manuscript assessment was done very promptly and communicated to me in a most respectful way. Katerina’s understanding of the publishing industry was also extremely helpful in the shaping of my book. I feel very fortunate to have found such a knowledgeable and understanding ally in my writing journey.
Two things are essential in a good manuscript assessor: training and experience, and Katerina Cosgrove has them both in abundance. But she also has something else - something that can't be taught - she has instinct. Instinct for structure and pace; instinct for readability and redundancy; for overall shape and theme. She cuts to the heart of the problem in the nicest and most approachable way, establishing a dialogue that will leave you a better and wiser writer. Did I mention that she's also a great person? That's the other thing an assessor needs (along with patience and understanding), a sensitive and intelligent personality. Reading her comments, you think 'yes! yes! yes!' and then you also think 'Why the hell didn't I see that?' The reason is that a writer is often too close to their work to see it clearly, and it takes someone like Katerina to reflect it back to you in all its warped glory. Then, putting her suggestions in place, you can revise in the best way possible.
By the time I found Katerina Cosgrove, my manuscript had had a lot of structural editing plus copy edit and proof read and it was supposedly ready for publishing ... except, I had a feeling that too much meaning had been watered down and lost, and was looking for an editor with some understanding of spiritual content in a memoir,.to help me restore some aspects of my story. With her keen eye and editing expertise, Katerina picked up a number of details which were conspicuous by their absence, although ironically, most of them had already been written and got lost through the editing process. I could hardly believe how much Katerina said she enjoyed reading my story. She has helped me to trust my own gut feelings as a writer. I feel very fortunate to have found her.
Katerina Cosgrove is the fiction editor/mentor angel that every writer needs, if they want to make their story as strong and compelling as it can be. Katerina has sifted through two drafts of my own story (a work in progress) with a fine tooth comb, finding problems that I did not know existed. This can happen so easily when we writers are so close to the work we have done. We can't see the wood for the trees. And aren't we always close? Too close to see problems that can be obvious to a trained professional like Katerina? Someone we can trust, not just to tell us what is good about our writing, but what is less than good, what is unclear, what is slowing the story down, when characters step out of character and the whole host of problems; what is just plain bad. I've certainly discovered, (as a first time fiction writer) thanks to Katerina, that a new and observant set of eyes are essential if we are to do our best work. Some of the problems Katerina pointed out to me were big, and some small. The 'big' included sentences, paragraphs that did not flow well, forcing the Reader to re-read in order to be sure s/he understand. These big mistakes on my part had escaped my attention, despite writing several drafts. Re-working them, re-writing, after receiving feedback from Katerina invariably led to an improvement in my writing. The 'small' problems are embarrassing to admit to. The number of typos I had missed, despite so many read-throughs, shocked me. The accumulation of them made my writing seem amateurish but, more importantly, sometimes changed the meaning of what I was trying to communicate. Writing 'he' instead of 'she', for instance, ('Guilty' as charged) will throw the Reader into confusion, force him or her to try and figure out if it was a spelling error or if s/he (the Reader) had missed something. This interrupts the reading experience, which none of us want, right? The same applies with punctuation - definitely a weakness of mine. Should I use a comma? A semi colon? Should I break this long sentence into two? Katerina will supply three alternative ways of solving these pesky problems. Apart from being extraordinarily diligent and hard-working, Katerina is fun to work with. She has a good sense of humour and definitely does not try to force her own ideas on a writer. Her attitude, with a smile, is "I hope my feedback will help." It has, and I thank Katerina for it. Katerina has helped me improve my writing in many ways. I owe her a debt of gratitude. Try her out, and I can guarantee you'll be glad you did.
Katerina has edited multiple manuscripts for me, and her feedback has always been constructive and diplomatic. Her ability to identify grammatical and punctuation errors has been very helpful, as well as her keen eye for cliches, and the need for character-building.
Katerina has been thorough and discerning in her critique, and I am very grateful to her.
Katerina Cosgrove is a multi-talented woman. I am so thankful our paths crossed in 2020 when a friend introduced us. Since then, I have attended anything and everything she has offered to our home-schooling circle or friendship circle in the way of Writing Courses, Writer’s Workshopping Sessions, and Poetry Exploration. I devoured all her published books and felt honoured and privileged to have the chance to workshop a portion of her latest project.
Katerina has stretched my knowledge of the written form and given me the confidence to believe in my writing going forward in my own projects. She has workshopped so many of my pieces with detailed corrections and constructive advice, but more so with encouragement and support.
Her ten-week classes were of university standard, top quality with so much thought put into all the notes provided, activities set, and her delivery was exemplary and fun-filled. Some of her classes drew out emotions that left us in tears but were most cathartic.
Katerina has even helped my daughter in some very stressful times as a new University student. She has edited/proofread/overviewed some of her assignments in a timely turnaround with quality feedback and suggestions, without taking away the essence of my child’s work.
Katerina is always respectful and sensitive whilst still managing to be honest and straight-up.
I since discovered she also writes obituaries. Not your usual eulogy type of write-up, but heartfelt stories of the deceased’s life that capture their true essence, honour them well into the afterlife, and create more of a legacy than a memory.
I always look forward to reading whatever she pens to paper.