Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Welcome to the official blog of Affordable Manuscript Assessments and Workshops.

Some of you will be already familiar with our website and services, but for those who are not, here's a short introduction.

The roots of AffMssAss lie way back in the 1980s, when Sally Odgers, a multi-published author, began reading manuscripts for a small literary agency. Her brief was to recommend the manuscripts to the agent, or else to suggest a pass. Having been on the receiving end of a lot of thanks-but-no-thanks or your-ms-doesn't-quite-fit-our-list notes in the past, she asked if she could give some general feedback to the authors whose mss went into the "suggest a pass" bag. After a while the agency head moved on, but by then the author was fielding phone calls from local and not-so-local writers whose mss had been passed on by publishers or agents and who wanted to know why.

Slowly, a service called Send-it-to-Sally was born. This proved popular, and evolved into Affordable Assessments, so called because the service was, well, affordable. When it was deemed time to make a specific website for the service, it was discovered that googling "Affordable Assessments" turned up a lot of real estate sites. Therefore, the rather long but more clearly descriptive name of Affordable Manuscript Assessments was chosen.

http://www.affordablemanuscriptassessments.com has now been running for several years. It still offers the original service of a manuscript assessment with attention to the strengths and weaknesses of a manuscript, coupled with specific advice for improvement. It has also branched into on-line workshops, offered as PDF ebooks or hard copy Lulu-print editions. These workshops cover just about every aspect of writing fiction. They also cover the unwritten rules and the most common errors writers make. The idea was that if a would-be author took a selection of workshops, and then used the knowledge thus gained to write a new manuscript, s/he would have a much better chance of avoiding major rewriting. Indeed some writers do use the workshops as intended, but the majority of clients still approach AffMssAss with manuscripts they have already completed.

AffMssAss clients include first-time writers, published writers, established writers, groups, and the occasional small press editor or agent. Our youngest client to date was twelve, and the eldest well into her eighties. We advertise via Facebook and Twitter and in various websites, but most clients come to us via word of mouth or web-search.

So, how affordable is "affordable"? Our rates are clearly marked on the website. The cheapest assessment costs $25.00. This pays for a complete assessment of a picture book text, or a full or partial manuscript of up to 5000 words. We will also edit around ten pages for the same cost. Longer assessments or edits cost $25.00 for the first hour or 5000 words and $15.00 for each hour or 10,000 words (or part thereof) thereafter.

Comments are welcome.


  1. Oh so excited to have found you - thanks to Katrina Germein.
    Will be in touch soon.