Story Development and Editing





Do I offer story development and editing services?

Yes, I do, when my schedule allows.

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.

BUT what you might like to do is go to the Australian Writers’ Centre website and sign up for the self-directed Cut, Shape Polish course I developed in collaboration with the amazing Pamela Freeman. It contains some of the contents of my brain – you don’t get the mentoring experience but you do get a damned fine self-paced course to get you started on your editing endeavours.

For those of you who do want the mentoring experience:

The possibly terrifyingly named Flensing Factory is a story development and editing service for short story writers and novelists, and now for writers of feature film screenplays. My specialty is speculative fiction, but I am able to advise on general fiction writing. Query first for creative non-fiction.

The service includes:

  • Critique – what works and what does not work in your story.
  • Story development – suggestions for improvement.
  • Editing – both structural and line editing (if you choose the editing and development option).
  • Proofreading – checking and fixing your spelling, grammar, and punctuation (if you choose the editing and development option).
  • Market advice – if appropriate.

Please read on for details. Contact me on for anything that isn’t covered below.

Am I any good? See below for Testimonials. Further down. No, further …

What you will receive

If you choose the editing and development option:

  • A written report 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.
  • A marked-up story manuscript so you can see what’s been done.
  • A clean copy of the manuscript with changes in place so you can easily see how your story has the potential to read.

If you choose the manuscript assessment only option:

  • A written report 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.

If you choose the screenplay reader’s report (feature film, max. length 90 pages) option:

  • A written report giving an overall summary of the shape of the story, its strong points and weaknesses, and suggestions for fixing issues with structure, setting, point of view, plot, characterisation, theme, dialogue, rhythm, and/or developing the story.

Advice on grant applications:

  • I’ve been fortunate to win grants from Arts Queensland, the Copyright Council and the Australia Council for the Arts during my career, so I have a bit of a clue about how to pitch grant applications. Caveat: I won’t take this work on if you’re too close to the deadline (i.e. less than a week away).
  • Will I write you a Letter of Support for your grant? No. Probably not. Unless you and your writing are well known to me and I feel that I can say hand-on-heart that I am sincere in this letter, then I won’t write one. You need to seek those from people you know.
  • Perhaps have a read of this post I wrote.


Short Story (flat fee)*:

up to 2,500 words      = $200
2,501 to 5,000 words = $300
5,001 to 7,500 words = $350

Short Story (hourly fee)*:

7,501 to 10,000 words = $75 per hour

*Please note: I’m trialling a new service, Read and Report for short stories, details below – an assessment report for short stories without the editing.

Novella (20,000 words or less):

  • Editing and development option: charged at hourly rate of $75.00/hr
  • Manuscript assessment only option: $400.00 (flat fee)

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

  • Editing and development option: charged at hourly rate of $75.00/hr
  • Manuscript assessment only option: $800.00 (flat fee)

Novel (50,000 to 120,000 words):

  • Editing and development option: between $2,500.00 and $3,500.00.
  • Manuscript assessment only option: $950.00 (flat fee)

Cover Letter and Synopsis (flat fee):

  • Editing a cover letter: $75.00
  • Editing a one- to two-page synopsis: $250.00
  • Editing a cover letter and a synopsis of three or more pages: charged at hourly rate of $75.00/hr

Reader’s Report – Screenplay (feature film, max. length 90 pages):

  • Reader’s report only (no editing): $700.00

Advice on Grant Applications:

  • Reading and editing your grant answers only: $150.00
  • Reading and editing your grant answers and your fiction sample: $200.00

Are my rates negotiable? No, they are not. This is how I make my living, not a bargain basement. Please do not ask.

New Service: Read and Report

The “read and report” option is just that: instead of editing your work, I’ll read your short story and write you a report about what works and what doesn’t.

What you’ll get: I will read your story and write you a report of approximately 3 pages, identifying what works, and what doesn’t. If the story works and I know of a specific suitable market, then I will advise. This is a broad overview of a short story (the equivalent of a “manuscript assessment report” for a novel or novella).

What it isn’t: I won’t edit your work or correct your spelling or suggest specific fixes to individual problems. But the report will give you the information you need to work out how to do that. For this reason, 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.

Short Story (flat fee):

up to 2,500 words      = $100
2,501 to 6,000 words = $150
6,001 to 7,500 words = $200


Payment is to be made after you’ve contacted me and we have agreed on the work to be done. The sequence goes like this:

  • You email me your story at and tell me what you’d like me to do.
  • I read your story, confirm whether it’s the kind of writing with which I can help, propose a critique completion date, and confirm my fee by return email.
  • If all that suits, you make payment via PayPal and we’re off and running!

Turnaround Time

This will depend entirely on the length of your story and my work 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.


“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 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, Author and Playwright

“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 is about to be 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 will be published in early 2021. And only recently, Angela again applied her considerable superpowers to my 100,000+ word manuscript, a novel that has just been picked up by a leading Australian publisher. 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

“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, 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.”

Robert Hood, Author of Fragments of a Broken Land: Valarl Undead and Peripheral Visions: The Collected Ghost Stories

“Angela Slatter’s edits are generous, ruthless and on the money. As a professional with untold published stories to her name, and several internationally acclaimed collections, her objective when editing any story is simply that—to bring out the very best of the work with a pro sale in mind. And in my case that is exactly what happened.”

J.S. Breukelaar, Author of AletheiaAmerican Monster 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, Author of the Alex Caine Chronicles (HarperVoyager), The Devouring Dark, Hidden City, C row Shine, Served Cold

“Both professional and encouraging, Angela Slatter will work quickly to whip your manuscript into shape, as she has done with mine.”

Fleur McDonald, Author: Red Dust, Blue Skies, Purple Roads, Silver Clouds, Crimson Dawn (Allen& Unwin)

“Angela Slatter offers far more than professional editing services, she delivers in-depth insight into transforming your work with a complete edit, both line and structural. Combined with her supreme sense of story, Angela has a knack for reviewing works from a wide range of genres and story lengths. I found Angela to be an extremely valuable part of the publishing process and I recommend anyone with a manuscript – no matter how healthy – to book it in for a check-up from the Story Doctor.”

Damon Cavalchini, Author

“Angela Slatter owns one of the sharpest sets of editing knives in the business. In her expert hands, they cut neatly and precisely, slicing all the fat from overweight stories, leaving no scars. It’s a great learning experience, seeing where Angela trims sentences and paragraphs; she teaches by demonstrating, in a classic ‘before and after’ style, how the narratives she’s doctored have transformed between drafts. It’s impossible not to become a better writer after working with Angela.”

Lisa L. Hannett, Author, World Fantasy Finalist, Aurealis Award Winner, Bluegrass Symphony, Lament for the Afterlife

“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, Artist, Author, World Fantasy finalist

“Angela critiqued and encouraged me through my first-ever short story, completed after years of “one days” in 2010. I can still see the line she drew through the first, sweated-over paragraphs and her comment beside a section half way down the page: “The story starts here.” So I deleted. The story came alive. Since then, I’ve attended a number of Angela’s critique courses through the Queensland Writer’s Centre, and commissioned her feedback independently. She’s gutsy, insightful, deeply in control of her craft and always, always, settles my words more comfortably on the page. I’ve now managed to work my way into publication and a few ticks from short story competitions here, and in England. Her feedback and support has been instrumental in that. Thank you, Angela.”

Linda Brucesmith, Author, PR Professional

“Angela’s editing is exact and thoughtful. She isn’t ‘just’ an editor she sees a MS as a whole entity – in terms of its narrative, genre, characterisation – going beyond an editing brief.

She is honest and her advice, input and suggestions have been helpful every step of the process. I wouldn’t hesitate to consult her from outside Australia as most of our work was done via email and skype and she has industry contacts throughout the world.”

Sarah Ridout, QWC-Hachette Manuscript Development Program Participant

“Angela Slatter is the most helpful editor I have worked with. Ever.”

Gio Clairval, Author