Misrule Manuscript Assessment Services

With more than twenty years experience in children’s and young adult books, as an editor, writer and critic, and more than ten years teaching programs in writing for children and  teens, I am uniquely placed to provide honest and constructive feedback on your manuscript.

Misrule Manuscript Assessment Services is ideal for writers of children’s and young adult fiction; chapter books, novels, non-fiction and other forms on application. Note that I do not as a general rule provide assessments for picture book texts, but queries are welcome, particularly for longer picture books for older readers.

Additionally, I also offer assessments of commercial women’s fiction; contemporary realism and historical fiction are particular areas of expertise.


My fees for a full assessment of a manuscript:

30,000 to 60,000 words: $550

60-100,000 words: $750

Under 30,000 and over 100,000 words by negotiation.

This will include comments and feedback on:

  • structural/logic issues
  • plot and character
  • language (where relevant)
  • age appropriateness
  • Identification of potential solutions to problems of logic, consistency in story, character
This does not include a copy edit, but I will comment on any recurring problems (eg common spelling errors, punctuation of dialogue).

Satisfied clients:

Judith was once my editor and I’m now very lucky to have her as one of my beta readers for my books.  I can’t count the times she has pointed out a new way of thinking about a story, or stopped me from making a disastrous mistake!  There is probably the-soldier-s-wifeno one in the country with a more extensive knowledge, and a more thorough understanding, of young people’s publishing.  I’m delighted that she has decided to freelance as a manuscript assessor, because it will give me the perfect person to refer aspiring writers to!

Pamela Freeman, author of more than 30 children’s books, including Victor’s Quest and The Black Dress, winner of the NSW Premier’s History Prize and, as Pamela Hart, The Soldier’s Wife. Pamela is Director of Creative Writing at the Australian Writers’ Centre.

«« »»

Your comments regarding the emotional weight of my story will encourage me to produce a much stronger set of characters and relationships. This valuable overall ‘weighing up’ of anna goannaa story and the accompanying perspective that comes from stepping beyond the role of line editor is particularly valuable. Your insights will provide a useful framework for informing my writing across a range of genres.

Jill McDougall, author of Anna the Goanna and over 200 other children’s books and poetry collections.

«« »»

caro_was_hereI completed Judith Ridge’s five-week Writing for Children course, and loved it! I thought I was just taking a break from ‘proper’ novel writing, but found the course so engaging, and Judith’s tutoring (even online) so clear, intelligent and confident, that this little book completely took over my creative energies, and became my first fiction published. Now I’m writing the second one. Without Judith, it wouldn’t have happened!

Elizabeth Farrelly, author of Caro Was Here and Sydney Morning Herald columnist.

«« »»
figgyI attended a weekend writing course with Judith in 2012. Her obvious passion for children’s literature, along with her in-depth knowledge of the publishing industry and what publishers are looking for, was highly valuable. Her course was a great source of information and gave me the confidence and tools to improve my writing and storytelling.

Tamsin Janu, author of Figgy in the World, joint winner of the 2015 NSW Premier’s Literary Prize, shortlisted for the 2015 Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Award (Younger Readers).

«« »»
Thank you again for the help with the assessment, it was so amazing to have such clear and concise feedback and made it so much easier for me to take it to the next level.
Nat Amoore
«« »»
Thanks so much for all your help. I especially appreciated your take on my protagonist’s emotions and her relationships. I feel like I might be a bit close to the story so it was good to get your thoughts. I’m on a huge learning curve with the writing process and I really appreciate all the help that I can get.
Linsey Painter
«« »»
Contact Misrule Manuscript Assessment Services:
email judith dot ridge @ gmail dot com
The Woolcot Family books by Ethel Turner

The Woolcot Family books by Ethel Turner



Leave a Reply