Before you submit your manuscript to an agent, publisher or competition, it’s a good idea to get professional feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of your writing.
I have spent several years helping aspiring writers prepare for that crucial next step – the submission.

I am always honest. If I feel you’re not ready yet, I’ll tell you. I’ll also explain why your manuscript needs more work and what you can do to improve it. On the other hand, if your work is ready, I will give you as much help as I can: tweaking your submission letter, getting your opening chapters word-perfect and – most important of all – helping you write a gripping synopsis that will make an agent sit up and take notice.

If you’re planning to self-publish your work, I can help with that too. Many of my clients are self-published authors and I have a wealth of knowledge on getting started as an indy author.

If you want to discuss any of the services listed below, please contact me: Contact Sheila


The editing process is simple:

  • I’ll ask you to send me a sample of your work which will help me understand how much help you’ll need.
  • We agree a fee.
  • I edit your document and send it back to you.

Manuscript assessment

If you want honest, detailed and professional feedback on your manuscript, this service is for you.

You’ll get a full editorial report, including suggestions and techniques to help you address any problems raised. I’ll help you understand whether you should go down the traditional publishing route or choose to self-publish instead.

Once you’ve received your report, I’ll be on hand to answer any questions you have and provide further advice.

Here’s how it works:

  • You send me your manuscript
  • I read it and will quote a price, based on how much work I think it needs
  • If you’re happy with the price, I will then write a detailed report telling you what works, what doesn’t work and making practical recommendations for improvements.
  • The report will also recommend next steps you need to take and advise on which publishing paths you might want to consider.
  • Once you’ve received the report, I’ll be on hand to answer any questions you may have.

Synopsis writing

Unlike many writers, I enjoy synopsis writing. As well as working with my own clients, I am the Synopsis Doctor for Words With Jam magazine, where I help writers who are having particular problems writing a synopsis.

If you think this service might be what you need, here’s how it works:

  • You send me your synopsis
  • I read it and will quote a price, based on how much work your synopsis needs
  • If you’re happy with the price, I will then give you feedback and comments on your synopsis; this will include detailed suggestions for how to improve it
  • I’ll ask you to rewrite your synopsis based on my feedback and send it back to me
  • Then I’ll read it again, make further comments and send it back to you
  • We keep going like this until we have a synopsis we’re both happy with

Best of all, once you’ve gone through this process you’ll find it easy to write the synopsis for your next novel. I promise.

Help with submission packs

The synopsis forms just one part of your submission pack to agents and publishers.
In general, you will also need to provide a well-written cover letter and the first three chapters of your novel. This is something I can help with too.

Here’s how it works:

  • I’ll read the submission pack and determine how much help you need
  • We’ll agree a price
  • I’ll send you detailed feedback and comments
  • You will rewrite the opening chapters, cover letter and synopsis and send them back to me
  • I will give you further feedback
  • We will continue like this until you have a submission pack we are both happy with

Mentoring for crime writers

I also offer a mentoring service for aspiring crime writers. If you have written the first draft of a crime novel and feel you need support getting the final draft ready for submission to agents and publishers, I can help.

The mentoring programme lasts for one year. During this time, we will have six one-to-one sessions and work to an ongoing, agreed programme of work aimed at getting your novel ready for publication. At the end of the process, when your novel is ready, I will also work with you on your submission pack: the synopsis, cover letter and opening chapters. This is all part of the mentoring package.

I was mentored early on in my writing career and understand what a positive experience it can be to be supported by a fellow crime writer who believes in you and understands what you’re trying to do.

I only work with authors I believe really have the potential to get published. It’s a difficult time for all aspiring writings and I don’t want to waste your time or money giving you false hope.

If you are interested in finding out more, please email me and we can have an initial discussion about what you need and how I might be able to help. If I feel you’re not ready for the mentoring programme I will give you detailed feedback on my reasons for this, and advise the steps you can take to get you to this level.