Writers and services

How do I learn to write?
How do I find an editor?
How do I find a ghostwriter?
How do I find a manuscript assessor?
How do I find a writer to speak at my event?
How and where do I apply for funding and residencies?
What is PLR/ELR?
How do I create an author/illustrator website?

 


How do I learn to write?

Writing is a process of constant learning and self-improvement, but the good news is, there is a wide range of organisations and and services across the country devoted to helping writers improve their craft.

One of those organisations is the ASA. Our mentorship program is designed to assist and develop writers who have reached an advanced stage with their manuscript. The mentorship service is recommended for unpublished authors, and the manuscript development service is appropriate for writers who have had at least one full-length work published or who have experience working with an editor.

Writers looking for advice on their craft may also like to read this free paper from one of Australia's most successful authors, romance writer Valerie Parv. Valerie discusses how to be your own editor, polish and draft your manuscript.

Writers who are still at an early stage of their development, or who prefer to take a writing course or join a writers' group, might investigate the services of their local state writers' centre or other writers' organisations in their area.

 

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How do I find an editor?

There is a Society of Editors in every Australian state and territory except NT, and each society website provides a "find an editor" or "register of members" tool. See below for links to state editors' societies and other editorial services the ASA is aware of. Please note that the ASA offers no endorsement or recommendation of the information or services that may be provided on these websites.  Due diligence must always be exercised when entering into any commercial undertaking.

Writers may wish to read this 2014 article The authors' guide to professional editors which provides useful information on editing options in Australia, factors to consider including affordability, level of service, skill-set, work history, turn-around time and sample edits.

Society of Editors Victoria

Society of Editors Canberra

Society of Editors Queensland

Society of Editors South Australia

Society of Editors Tasmania

Society of Editors Western Australia

Society of Editors New South Wales

The Expert Editor: Editing and Proofreading Service

Freelance Editors' Network

Mary Cunnane: Editing & Consulting

 

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How do I find a ghostwriter?

The ASA recommends that anyone contemplating engaging a ghostwriter purchase and read the ASA Paper Ghostwriting Agreement and Contact List. The paper can be purchased by non-members for $11, or downloaded for free by ASA Members, and includes a ghostwriting agreement template and full contact details of ghostwriters around Australia. The Ghostwriters Contact List also includes information about writers' experience and areas of interest.

Those seeking the services of a ghostwriter should note that ghostwriters are professional authors and will expect to charge professional rates. If you are seeking assistance in telling your story but are uncertain of your ability to pay a professional ghostwriter, you might wish to consider the services of a state writers' centre, which often run courses and groups for beginner or developing writers.

 

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How do I find a manuscript assessor?

Many state writers' centres offer manuscript assessment as part of their range of services. See below for links to other private manuscript assessment services that the ASA is aware of. Please note that the ASA offers no endorsement or recommendation of the information or services that may be provided on these websites. Due diligence must always be exercised when entering into any commercial undertaking.

 

The Book Doctor offers practical advice on style, content, presentation, marketability, and matters pertaining specifically to your manuscript in all genres except drama; also offers editing and publishing services.

Candice Lemon-Scott offers a 'Quick Assess Service' - manuscript development and editing.

John Harman: Author, Manuscript Assessor. John has assessed scores of manuscripts. In the last two years three have been published. He offers careful analysis of your fiction/non-fiction, a report covering crucial aspects and meetings to discuss your next steps. 

LHA Productions does manuscript assessments for new and established authors and has experience in preparing and editing submissions to publishers. For more information, email contact@lhaproductions.com.au or call 02 9988 3532.

Lynk Manuscript Assessment Service: Formerly the National Book Council Manuscript Assessment Service, Lynk is well established in the industry. Numerous Lynk authors have progressed to publishing deals. We assess all fiction and nonfiction, and we offer editing, mentoring and self-publishing services.

The Manuscript Appraisal Agency run by Kit Carstairs has been a major provider of manuscript assessments to writers and the industry since 1996.  Fiction and non-fiction, adults and children's.

Proton Writing Consultants Pty Ltd: combining scientific expertise with the crafts of nonfiction writing and editing. We provide manuscript assessments and copy-editing services for nonfiction and scientific writing.  www.WritersMarke.com

Writerful Books: Writerful Books offers a comprehensive manuscript appraisal at a competitive rate for new and established authors. Email them with details of your manuscript or visit the website for more information.

Zephyr Manuscripts: general manuscript assessment, writing and editing services, online and paper assessments. Email Antoinette Eklund or phone 03 56682881.

ASA members offering manuscript assessment services may send details of their website to comms@asauthors.org.

 

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How do I find a writer to speak at my event?

Please note that the ASA does not act as a speaker's agency and cannot find or recommend writers to speak at your event.

Not all authors and illustrators are members of the Australian Society of Authors. However, if you have a specific author or illustrator in mind for your event you can check our member portfolios to see if they have chosen to add a listing. You may also contact the ASA office at asa@asauthors.org to enquire about contacting an author or illustrator member if you have a specific person in mind. We may or may not have permission to pass on contact information to you.

Schools might like to contact the speakers' agencies specialising in authors and illustrators below. Please note that the ASA offers no endorsement or recommendation of the information or services that may be provided on these websites. Due diligence must always be exercised when entering into any commercial undertaking.

Booked Out

Creative Net

Lateral Learning

Speakers Ink

 

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How and where do I apply for funding and residencies?

There are a range of grants available for artists in Australia to cover career opportunities, travel, residencies and the development of new work. Here are just a few organisations that offer funding a residencies we know about:

Asialink Arts: Residency and writing programs connecting Australian writers, readers and publishers with their counterparts in Asia

Australia Council for the Arts: grants programs for individuals, groups and organisations working in the arts

Copyright Agency: Career Fund offers grants for individuals working in the publishing and visual art sectors to develop specific skills and progress their careers

The Keesing Studio: Six month residency opportunity in Paris

Varuna, the National Writers House: writing development, residential opportunities and publisher introduction programs in the Blue Mountains, NSW

For three tips on applying for funding, watch our video below featuring Australia Council Program Officer Joanne Simpson.

For more detailed advice on applying for grants, see our 2014 article Applying oneself to funding. Author Charlotte Wood also has some useful tips on applying for grants at her blog How to shuck oysters.

 

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What is PLR/ELR?

Public Lending Right (PLR) and Educational Lending Right (ELR) are Australian Government cultural programs which make payments to eligible Australian creators and publishers in recognition that income is lost through the free multiple use of their books in public and educational lending libraries. PLR and ELR also support the enrichment of Australian culture by encouraging the growth and development of Australian writing.

PLR and ELR were both established in response to campaigning by the Australian Society of Authors. Learn a little more about PLR/ELR in the video below, featuring Libby Gleeson, one of Australia's best known and most highly regarded writers for young people.

To apply for PLR/ELR visit the Ministry for the Arts website http://arts.gov.au/literature/lending_rights.

 

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How do I create an author/illustrator website?

Unfortunately, the ASA is unable to provide or recommend services to create your author/illustrator website. However, we do have some resources that may be of assistance to members and others seeking to create their own website.

ASA members can set up a portfolio page including a photo, bio information, a list of their publications and methods by which they may be contacted, on our website. To see member portfolios, click here. To find out how to set up a portfolio, see our "Members and the Website" FAQ here.

Writers and illustrators looking to set up their own website may also benefit from this free paper "Coming to grips with the new technology" based on a seminar offered to members by website developer Michael Cairns in 2010. Michael covers how to build and maintain an online presence, covering digital strategy and planning, options that are free, small investment, medium investment and full bespoke, social media, search engine optimisation and more.

Writers might also like to contact the website developer specialising in authors and illustrators below. Please note that the ASA offers no endorsement or recommendation of the information or services that may be provided on this website. Due diligence must always be exercised when entering into any commercial undertaking.

Jin and Co: Professional author website specialists

 

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