Story Development and Editing

Artwork by Kathleen Jennings


I’m happy to announce that the Flensing Factory is open once again.

I am, however, no longer editing, but offering a Read and Report service, which is basically a manuscript assessment for short stories, novelettes, novellas, and novels.

But, Angela! I hear you cry. No editing at all?

Pretty much not, except in special circumstances. I can recommend other editors (email me at, and you might also find the self-editing course I wrote with Pamela Freeman for the Australian Writers’ Centre – Cut, Shape and Polish –   useful.

So, no editing at all? Really?

No. Well, except for the cover letter and synopsis package.

Are you any good? I hear you mutter.

I’ve won a World Fantasy Award, a British Fantasy Award, a Shirley Jackson Award, a Ditmar, an inaugural Queensland Writer’s Fellowship, two Australian Shadows Awards, and eight Aurealis Awards. I have an MA and a PhD in Creative Writing, and have been granted career development funding by the Australia Council for the Arts, the Copyright Council, and Arts Queensland. So, maybe? Also, see below for Testimonials. Further down. No, further …

Read and Report

The “read and report” is just that: instead of editing, I’ll read your submission and write you a manuscript assessment report about what works and what doesn’t. This is a broad overview of your work – it’s not an edit, I won’t correct spelling, formatting, grammar, etc – giving an overall summary of the shape of the story, its strong points, weaknesses, and suggestions for fixing issues with structure, setting, plot, characterisation, description, and/or developing the story. You’ll get a written report of at least 3 pages (depending on the length of your submission). If the story works and I know of a specific suitable market, then I will advise.

The service is likely best suited to (a) experienced writers with a strong grasp of writing craft who need an objective report, and (b) to new writers eager to take their own independent steps to learn writing skills, and who want to be pointed in the right direction.


Everything is a flat fee.

Short Story:

Up to 2,500 words     = $150
2,501 to 5,000 words = $200
5,001 to 7,500 words = $250


7,501 to 12,500 words = $400.00

Novella (12,500 to 20,000 words):


Novella (20,000 to 50,000 words):


Novel (50,000 to 100,000 words):


Novel (100,000 to 150,000 words):


Cover Letter and Synopsis Package:

  • Editing a cover letter (one to two pages) and a two-page synopsis: $250.00

But before we go any further: are my rates negotiable?


No, they are not. So, if you were planning on haggling, then I am not the editor for you. Good luck with your future writing endeavours.


If I agree to work with you (if I think I can help and that we’re sympatico), then payment is required before I do the work. I’ll provide a tax invoice and will commence as soon as payment hits my bank account.

Turnaround Time

This will depend entirely on the length of your story and my schedule. If you want something worked on for a tight deadline (oh, say for a competition entry), then I would not advise using my service.


I work on a PC using Word. I’ve experienced some difficulties when people send me documents created on Macs, and especially when they’ve used novel writing software. So, I will only work with Word docs. Sorry.


“I highly recommend Angela’s read and report service. I approached Angela with a short story I was struggling to finish. I didn’t quite know how I wanted to develop the plot or characters, and was finding it hard to see its potential. Angela came through with a very useful, detailed and motivating assessment of the story. I was grateful for her attention and wisdom.”

Laura Elvery, award-winning author of Ordinary Matter

“I have benefited enormously from Angela’s generous, vigorous and thorough critiques, which unflinchingly peel back the layers and neuroses of both the story and the writer. A purgative and cathartic experience.”

Kathleen Jennings, award-winning artist and author

“I sent my first ever short story to Angela Slatter (whom I did not know personally; thank you Twitter). One rigorous flense and bespoke writing masterclass later, that short story was published (in Overland). I then applied Angela’s transformative wisdom and advice to my second short fiction—also an alumnus of The Flensing Factory. It too was published in early 2021. And only recently, Angela again applied her considerable superpowers to my 100,000+ word manuscript, a novel was picked up by a leading Australian publisher and was shortlisted for the Queensland Literary Awards in two categories. There’s no format or genre beyond the scope of Angela’s scholarship, no problem of voice, structure or tone that her expertise cannot guide you through, improving both the work and your own artistry. Angela’s specialist instruction and vast industry knowledge can’t guarantee that your work will be published, but you will emerge a better writer after a visit to The Flensing Factory. Angela will make sure of that. And you will have learned from one of the most generous, professional and accomplished teachers of the writing craft you will ever have the pleasure to know. I owe her enormously.”

AA Campbell, author of The Keepers

“Angela Slatter is extraordinary. It almost feels like cheating to get Angela’s feedback because she knows so much about story, narrative and structure. She sees the good in what you are trying to do and she honours that. She sees where it is failing and helps you see that too. And THEN she gives you the tools to strengthen what is weak. Angela is unerringly insightful, razor-ly incisive and unboundedly generous. A literary treasure. So if you ever have the chance to do a workshop with her, do it. And if you want a crash course in how to make your own writing better, she is one of the absolute best in the business to guide you. Just do it already.”

Emilie Collyer, award-winning author and playwright

“The Flensing Factory is like a personal MFA. No matter if it’s a short story or a developmental edit for a novel, Angela slices your structure, dices your dialogue, and makes your plot, your themes, and your cohesion stronger and more resonant.

The Flensing will be painful. Character arcs, story logic, themes – everything goes under the knife and gets better having gone through the Factory. Angela’s editing is a gift to your future readers.”

Ian Vogel, Writer and Game Designer Bioshock, System Shock 2, Crucible

“Angela has helped me immensely in the three years she has been mentoring me. I’d had numerous writing tutors before Angela, and was blown away by the first piece of feedback she prepared for me – the length and detail of her report was incredible. Since then, Angela has continued to help me with my writing in countless ways. She has led me to further understand, shape, and add dimensions to my characters. She has taught me to control the pace of my writing, often telling me where I need to slow down! I like to write multiple drafts, and Angela has always patiently read each and every one of them, noticing the smallest changes I make and answering all of my needy questions. She has encouraged me to submit my work to publications, often sending me the names and submission dates for different journals. I cannot recommend Angela highly enough.”

Dennan Chew, writer and filmmaker

“Angela Slatter is a literary genius. Not only is her own writing exquisite, but her editorial feedback is incomparable. Each critique session with Angela is a master class in itself. There is more to be learned in one session under her direction than you might find in an entire semester taking a traditional creative writing class. Angela offers encouragement while still presenting challenges geared towards each individual story’s needs. She seamlessly edits with the precision of a surgeon, yet does it in such a way that keeps authorial voice and vision intact. She brings out the best in the stories she touches, makes them shine. And then, she balances her generous praise with concrete, unerring advice on how to rework areas that could be improved. A workshop session with Angela is no small thing. It’s an experience that will change your writing life—forever. If you are lucky enough to score a critique session or an online workshop with her, take it. You’ll be glad you did.”

Carina Bissett, writer, editor, poet, educator

“I have known Angela Slatter since 2017. In late 2018, I attended a short story workshop she facilitated and was greatly encouraged by both Angela’s style of teaching as well as her genuine interest in her students’ writing. As a consequence, I contracted Angela to edit and develop the draft short story I had written in the workshop. Her feedback fuelled my desire to learn to write short stories better. So much so, in fact, that I requested Angela to be my mentor for a short story mentorship through a successful Arts Queensland Individuals Fund grant. Angela provided me with a letter of support, not just for this grant application, but also for subsequent applications I made for arts grants to various organisations, in which she would not be actively involved as a mentor. This support has helped build my confidence as a writer as much as, if not more than, the detailed and insightful critique on craft aspects of my stories. Angela’s feedback is not ‘copy-paste’, but feels like she actively engages with the intention of what I am trying to write. But Angela’s engagement does not end with the words. She generously opens doors and connects me to relevant journals and platforms. I feel that, despite her vast experience and multiple awards and shortlistings, Angela treats me as a peer. From what I have seen of her interactions with the Australian writing community on social media, this is her default position. She is not one of those writers who pulls up the drawbridge behind her. She is empathetic, ready to dispense wisdom and advice on craft and the writing life at any given moment. Angela as a mentor is generous, with a no-nonsense style. She believes in the promise of stories and writers, and knows just how to extract and polish it up.”

Kali Napier, author of The Secrets at Ocean’s Edge

Angela Slatter is an excellent editor. Skills that have made her own writing highly lauded worldwide are reflected in the way she can take your manuscript and track down grammatical errors, meaningless repetition, irrelevant characters, factual errors, inconsistencies, awkward plot movement, redundancy in phrasing, and other kinds of weaknesses that creep into the work of even the best writers. Her detailed analysis and suggestions for improvement are both rigorous and enlightening, while retaining the integrity and uniqueness of the work. I know this from experience. I can only thank her for helping me see more clearly both the trees and the forest.”

J.S. Breukelaar, award-winning author of AletheiaThe Bridge and Collision: Stories

“Thicken your skin and brace for the best thing to happen to your story since you got that original sweet idea. Angela Slatter’s critiques are no-holds-barred, absolutely honest and absolutely expert breakdowns of narrative, style, voice and structure. She has an uncanny eye for language and can home in on exactly what needs fixing with any story, and she can communicate her opinion frankly and clearly. The beauty of her crits is that you’ll learn from them and gain improvements in your craft that you will carry into the future. I certainly have – Angela has made me a better writer. Her experience is obvious. A critique from Angela is like open-heart surgery on your story that will leave it (and you!) better than even you thought possible, assuming you take her advice. I can’t recommend her skills highly enough.”

Alan Baxter, award-winning author of the Alex Caine Chronicles (HarperVoyager), Sallow Bend, The Devouring Dark, Crow Shine, Served Cold