pathways to publishing > services > editorial consultations and mentoring




A guiding hand, eye and ear can make your writing journey not only more successful, but also more enjoyable.


Sheila Vijeyarasa, one of Laurel Cohn's clients

Sheila Vijeyarasa
Brave: Courageously Live Your Truth
Rockpool Publishing



'The process with Laurel was truly exceptional. She took me from a writer who had training wheels on, to a writer who had confidence in her voice and her story. I could not have secured a publishing deal without Laurel. She helped me to write a tight, well-narrated and strong manuscript. She held my hand closely through the whole editing process. I am indebted to her forever!'


'My time with you has been such a help and far beyond my expectations. It's strange how you said so many things that I had fleeting thoughts about and you also managed to get it all to coalesce somehow in my mind. I feel as if you have given me the perfect guidance by seeing the heart of my story which I felt but couldn't put my finger on. Thanks so much for setting me on the right path and IĀ  look forward to working with you in the future.'

Jo Kennett
(editorial consultation)


'Thank you for your assistance with my synopsis and chapters, and with our one-hour conversation. It was exactly what I needed at the time. Afterwards, I knew where I was headed with my first novel. It really helped me to get on with the job and to finish it with style! It was so much easier to fill in the gaps and to delete much baggage, once I was confident about the overall structure and how to end the journey. '

Anne Skyvington
(editorial consultation)


'I signed up for a full day workshop with Laurel at Writing NSW. I was so impressed by her knowledge and method that I asked her if she would consider guiding my manuscript in the next phase of its construction. In both electronic communication and personal meetings she has enabled me to revise my original manuscript in style, content, flow, plot and readability. She has also provided invaluable advice which laid groundwork improvements that cannot be seen in hard print evidence. Laurel has continued to improve not only my product in editing, structure, plot and grammar, but also in my own personal development as a writer.'

John Nemesh



Editorial consultations and mentoring


Editorial Consultations with an industry professional offer writers the opportunity to discuss their ideas, explore options, consider potential issues and pose questions.

Often publishers and agents are unwilling to discuss a book idea unless they are able to consider samples of your writing or a finished manuscript. However, getting advice early on in the life of the project can be pivotal in helping your intentions become a reality. And sometimes talking through the issues of a book idea before you commit months and years to it can save you a lot of time and effort in the long run.

If you have some of your ideas already down on paper, the editorial consultation can be based on material read prior to meeting. For example, you may have a synopsis and a chapter outline, or one or two chapters that you'd like some feedback on, perhaps some early jottings you are playing with. Our editors will read your work, make brief annotations on the work, and prepare a brief summary of feedback points to be discussed at the consultation.

Sessions usually last for one hour (longer by arrangement) and can be held face-to-face or by phone/Skype.

A fee is charged to cover the consultation time and any reading time required prior to the meeting. Please contact us for further information.

If you'd like to extend your editorial consultation with more ongoing guidance, we suggest you consider our mentoring service.



Laurel Cohn will be in Kyogle for the Kyogle Writers Festival. You can book a 45-minute face-to-face session with Laurel to discuss your work. There are two types of consultations available:

1. Manuscript feedback

A 45-minute consultation can help you understand what is working well in your manuscript, and what may need further development in order to capture the curiosity and attention of a publisher/agent or general reader. Feedback is based on the first 4000 words of the manuscript. You will receive a brief written summary of the key points which will be discussed face-to-face.

Suitable for writers of adult fiction and non-fiction, middle-grade and YA. For picture books, feedback is given on a full manuscript.

Fee: $220 ā€“ covers reading time + preparing notes + 45-minute consultation.

2. Synopsis feedback

Will your synopsis entice the interest of an agent, publisher, funding body or judge? A 45-minute consultation will provide advice and guidance on how to hone your synopsis, making sure it communicates what it needs to in the clearest possible way. Feedback is given on a synopsis of up to 500 words, and you will receive a brief written summary of the key points. The consultation is also a chance to discuss issues that may arise from the synopsis about the larger work.

Suitable for writers of adult fiction and non-fiction, picture books, middle-grade and YA, edited collections and short story collections.

Fee: $180 ā€“ covers reading time + preparing notes + 45-minute consultation.

For bookings and enquiries, email Laurel Cohn.



Through our mentoring service we aim to create positive, supportive and encouraging relationships with writers to help them achieve their writing goals.

There is no one-size fits all. Mentoring sessions can be tailored to your circumstances. You may have a work-in-progress and want on-going feedback to make sure you're on the right track. You may want help to structure not only the work itself, but your writing practice. Perhaps a regular deadline will help you to move forward with your writing project. If so, you can opt for weekly, fortnightly or monthly sessions, for example. Or, if you need more flexibility, you can check in with your mentor as the need arises over an extended period of time. It is good to know there is someone who can guide you along the way offering personalised feedback.

While there is flexibility in the mentoring process, there is a structure to the sessions negotiated between writer and mentor. In most cases, the mentor and writer will together decide on a writing goal for each session. Work is sent to the mentor to read prior to the session. The mentor makes annotations on the work and prepares talking points. Wherever possible, these are sent to the writer in advance of the session.

Sessions usually last for one hour (longer by arrangement) and can be held face-to-face or by phone/Skype. Fees are charged to cover the mentoring session and any required reading time. Please contact us for further information.