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Sue Reidy - manuscript assessment testimonials

“I found your comments to be very well directed. In fact, as an example of constructive feedback – I thought I had never seen any better in terms of encouragement allied to the need to improve.”
Mary Panko (crime novel)

“It was helpful to hear what was successful about my story. I received a lot of encouragement from your assessment. I felt I got a decent idea of how far I have to go to get to a publishable draft. Your general opinions about how my novel fits in the context of the market and other local historical writers were really useful, as were the suggested publishing options. The fact that you had clearly researched the historical event, considered my research sources and how this novel would be received in New Zealand, indicated that you did a really thorough job and you really wanted to understand what I was trying to accomplish.”
Brendan Elks (historical novel)

“I was impressed by Sue's efficiency and the speed with which she produced a deep assessment of my work. The insight and guidance she provided were truly invaluable and gave me a whole new approach to my story. She opened a veritable can of worms, unpleasant, hard work, soul searching, but necessary. And she did it with sensitivity, especially considering the subject matter. Sue's hand notes on the hard copy of my manuscript targeted the areas requiring work. These too were exceedingly helpful.”
Elly Intra (memoir)

“Excellent, Ten out of ten for your report. I wasn't surprised by any of your critiques and recommendations. They were first-class. It took three readings of the report to absorb all of your advice. I'm sure that I can now work through any shortcomings and will act on your recommendations.”
John Harnett (general adult fiction)

“I found your report helpful for showing me how to strengthen my characters and how to foreshadow events. It gave me an understanding of why and where the story needed more depth. The manuscript hand notes you also provided were a plus.”

Sue Singleton
(historical novel)

“I find your report and also your handwritten notes on my MS not only useful but invaluable. Your report must be a model of its kind.  I have been over it several times, and as I go through your corrections, I have your comments right beside me. I am especially indebted to you for tightening up my prose.”
Cecil Feeney (memoir)

"The feedback in your reader’s report was very useful. It covered character development, structure, overall tone and pacing as well as some of the smaller issues like clumsy writing and copyright issues. The feedback on the structure of the novel was the most helpful. It is the bigger overview that I lose when I am writing. I also spent considerable time digesting and implementing the hand notes you made on my manuscript."
Helen McNeill
(general adult fiction)

"Your reader’s report opened up the manuscript again for me and breathed new life into it. It was very helpful to have the manuscript’s faults pointed out in a professional and clear way. I knew in my gut that there were aspects that weren’t working but I couldn’t see how to change them. Now I can. I also found I find your notes on the hard-copy very helpful, and reassuring."
Tess Redgrave
(adult historical novel)

"The assessment was very helpful. The positive comments were encouraging, the criticism constructive. Most useful was the advice on grammar, punctuation and structure, as was the information on publishers and agents. The hand notes on the hard copy manuscript were also very, very useful."
Malcolm Crawford
(middle-grade non-fiction)

"I would recommend anyone in my position to go through a manuscript assessor to take them out into the writer's world beyond their desk and solitary thoughts. It has cleared the path for me and given me a list of tangible points to work on and skills to work at to make sure my writing meets the high standards that I have set for myself. I needed to read through your report several times before fully appreciating the wisdom of it. I feel it has given me the impetus and determination to make a success of my work. It has also showed me the aspects of the craft that I need to study and practise to improve the overall quality of my writing. I acknowledge as well that many of my characters need developing further. I have found your report most useful and I can't wait to begin my next draft." 
Jane Barr
(adult historical novel)

“Sue reviewed the manuscript I had spent several years writing and provided a very in-depth report. We had a subsequent meeting, which I found invaluable. I followed her advice, which initially I had thought would be difficult to achieve. However, taking her advice has resulted in a novel that now flows so much better. I would recommend Sue unreservedly.”
Dave Burt

"I want to thank you for the detailed and very useful feedback you provided. Frankly, when I handed the MS to you, I had reached the point where I simply didn't know how to carry on. The editing process is very different to the initial creative process, and I couldn't work out how to get started. Your suggestions gave me the opportunity to assess each scene with fresh eyes. I am grateful for a clearer vision than mine when it came to identifying the dead bits of my novel. A lot of learning has gone on, which is always exciting and I expect to be able to transfer these new skills to my next novel."
Penelope Haines
(Adult historical novel)

"I read your comments in the report over endlessly and find something new and insightful every time. Thank you so much for all your hard work and the encouraging comments. I'm so grateful to you for showing me the way forward. I'm also impressed by all your meticulous work in the annotated manuscript. I've begun working through the corrections in the annotated MS and I’m learning heaps doing that too."
Liz Watkinson
(adult literary novel)

“Your written report was immensely helpful. The most useful thing was the sincerity and vulnerability of your approach. The sense that my work mattered to you meant your feedback more deeply resonated with me. Also, you use the power of positivity, which I believe is important in any profession. Your enthusiasm for what I am trying to do fed me with energy and made me excited to keep writing. Finally, the feedback was complete. I felt I had a good understanding of your journey as a reader, which shed a new light on my work. Your report was more than I hoped for, and I’d very much like to work with you again.”
Andy Orris (memoir)

"It was very helpful to learn how much further there is to go in achieving my goals, as well as learning many practical tips. You offered numerous insights into writing style, care with POV and the need for me to develop the story line further in many stories, as well as drawing my attention to a surprising number of punctuation and grammatical errors."
Greg Judkins (short stories)

“Your assessment is exactly what I need to improve the manuscript and take my writing to the next level. It is indeed a ‘road map’ and an excellent one too. I greatly appreciate you taking the time to break down the problem areas and detail the way forward. And the annotated manuscript notes are solid gold. Thanks, once again, for the outstanding service. I will not hesitate to recommend you.”
Victor Nikitin
  (crime novel)

"As a first-time writer, I found Sue’s assessment a valuable exercise in terms of giving an unbiased opinion on my manuscript as well as identifying key areas for improvement.  The report was detailed and helpful and now I feel like I can move forward with the editing and re-writing process with a clear sense of direction. The annotated manuscript has also enabled me to see how changes in grammar and punctuation can make a real difference to the flow of my writing. Prior to obtaining this assessment, I was hesitant to do anything with my manuscript, but now I feel as though I’ve taken a positive step forward in the writing process."
Deb Mason
(crime novel)

"Sue Reidy recently carried out a full assessment of my novel in a thoroughly professional manner. I have now embarked on a full edit based on her 13-page report and the returned fully annotated manuscript. One of the highlights of the assessment is the fact that an independent person has read the entire screed, thus encouraging further work with the goal of publication. Although still in the early stages of this process, I can testify to her plot and dialogue suggestions plus detailed grammar, punctuation and layout recommendations as being extremely helpful and easy to follow."
Chris Abbey (crime novel)

"Having Sue assess my manuscript provided excellent feedback and will add real value to my book. Her written report allowed me to think through the book from a high level to sharpen its focus and style, enhancing it as a publishing proposition. Her detailed annotations on the manuscript itself were also very helpful when redeveloping sections. The options provided for publication helped to demystify what the next steps could be."
Roger McEwan

"Your report was terrific and very encouraging. Thanks for doing it so promptly and comprehensively." Jonothan Cullinane (crime novel)

"Many, many thanks for the work you have done on my manuscript. I do recognise the need for “signposts” and the translation of certain descriptive areas into dialogue and I understand the concept of showing not telling. I will certainly work on the manuscript, adhering to your guidelines. Again Sue, I thank you. You have given me what I required to upgrade and bring some sparkle into this work."
Jenny Hunt

"After one read I thought you were spot on and said many things I suspected, but had tucked away in the back of my mind. I will read again and digest."
Bridget Wilson
(general adult fiction)

"I am very satisfied with your assessment and feel like you have given me a bit of a road map to follow moving forward. Thanks so much for your assessment. It really gave me the push I needed."
Brook Turner (
personal development, non-fiction)

"Your report was very helpful to me. You have given me some very positive feedback which I found reaffirming and genuine, but also important and valid points about the characters and pace to think about and to improve."
Annie Rehmann
(general adult fiction, 1st novel)

“The big picture stuff was useful, as was your feedback about probing beneath people's relationships. I found it very reaffirming that I’m on the right track with my writing. Your individual page feedback with suggestions was also useful. I valued your high level of professionalism, your professional, yet personal tone in your report, the fast turnaround time and your communication by email.”
Annie Rehmann (general adult fiction, 2nd novel)

"Little in your report was a surprise to me. And I'm certainly not upset or disappointed that it's not ready for publication. I was well aware of that. I was stuck. Your report is very helpful. You are quite right that I had lost charge of my material."
Kath Beattie (general adult fiction)

"Your report and recommendations are very helpful indeed! In many instances the report points out the issues I knew I had with writing the manuscript, but did not know how to correct without professional help."
Salomi Odendaal (general adult fiction)

"I really appreciate your honesty and constructive criticism, which is just what I needed. I am already thinking of ways to implement your suggestions, and look forward to the challenge. But I will also follow your advice not to jump in too quickly. However, since re-reading your emails over the weekend I can feel the ideas beginning to sprout, which is very exciting!"
Ian Cowan
(general adult fiction)

"Thank you very much for your well-considered reader report. Your words are very encouraging and, on the other hand, you have pinpointed the main problem – unrelenting bad luck [for my characters]. You’ve given me some ideas about how to bring in some light into the dark, and I will read your report several times, and think about ways to incorporate some good news. I have now reread your report (for about the fourth time), and I just wanted to say how much I appreciated it. You cut right to the key points, and were very clear on what I needed to do."
Bronwen Jones
(general adult fiction) 

"The report you have provided is indeed very thorough and exactly what I needed to hear to get through to the next step of how to create this novel. I guess I'm still trying to find my voice in many ways. I sensed, and have had this confirmed by you, that I'm far from being at the stage I wish to be as a writer. Your notes are very specific and have enthused me to revisit the way with which I hope to tell this story. You've provided me with a sturdy and honest report on how to make this story better and I'm looking forward to making the necessary changes."
Dallas Gopi (general adult fiction)