My clients attract Australian book publishers and literary agents accepting submissions.

Read what some of my writing mentoring clients say about how I’ve helped them to reach or get closer to a publisher-ready standard with their work.

Australian publishers, like book publishers everywhere, are hungry for great stories that are told well. Literary agents who are looking to accept submissions are searching for the same thing. Sounds simple, right?!

But anyone seriously figuring out how to get a book published knows that writing a book is not as easy as reading a great book makes it seem.

I love working with serious writers, whether they’re published or not.

Age, writing experience, and publishing history don’t matter when you are obsessed about your work in progress and are determined to make it publisher-ready.

When mentoring clients find me, they’re typically struggling with some aspect of their work in progress. They’re looking for a sounding board, some constructive feedback, and a sense of how their project might appeal to an Australian publisher or literary agent who is accepting new submissions.

(Most of my clients aim first for Australian publishers or Australian literary agents accepting submissions because they are Australian, though now being based in Brooklyn, New York, I have an increasing number of US clients too.)

While it’s gratifying to see many of my clients clinch book deals with Australian and US publishers, it’s possibly more meaningful to know that I’ve helped them grow as writers.

In the following testimonials, some of my clients describe the difference they feel working with me has made to their writing lives.

Virginia Peters

“One of the most important hours I have ever spent talking about my writing.”

– Author, Have You Seen Simone? (Black Inc, 2014), about her work in progress | Memoir

Tracy Crisp

“Virginia’s frank but gentle guidance was crucial in helping me to finish a manuscript that I could submit to publishers with confidence.”

– Author, Surrogate (Wakefield Press, 2017) | Fiction

Richard Hensley

“Six months later, I read my work and I can’t believe it’s the same writer.”

– Writer | Fiction

Sally Rynveld

“Virginia’s searching questions and frank feedback were just what I needed to tighten the book’s focus and cut out irrelevant material.”

– Co-author, A Good Life: The Story of Guy Winship and Good Return (Ginanderra Press, 2018) | Non-Fiction

Lily Brett

“Virginia has edited all of my novels and most of my nonfiction since 1997. I love working with her and I recommend her without hesitation.”

– Author, Lola Bensky (2014) Winner, Prix Médicis Étranger 2014 | Fiction / Non-Fiction

Maryanne Moodie

“Virginia was instrumental in my negotiations with my American publisher on my first and second book deals. After receiving an initial offer, Virginia helped me understand the process….”

– Author, On the Loom: A Modern Weaver’s Guide (Abrams, 2016) and Weave the Rainbow (Norton) (forthcoming) | Non-Fiction

Katrina Lawrence

“Thank you for all of your wise and considered and kind advice.”

– Author, Paris Dreaming (HarperCollins, 2017) | Memoir

Laura Garber

“Thank you for the thoughtful and constructive criticism.  It has been helpful and I am glad I chose to use your service….”

– Writer | Memoir

Jenny Ackland

“I can’t recommend Virginia enough to anyone looking to improve their work and in their efforts to be a published author.”

– Author, The Secret Son (Allen & Unwin, 2015) and Little Gods (Allen & Unwin, 2018)| Fiction

Cass D.

“Exactly what I needed to progress and to help me craft the best work possible for my story. All your suggestions are very constructive and give me a lot to work with. I also appreciated your appreciation of the things I did well.”

-Writer, about her Agent-Readiness report | Memoir

Jane Cafarella

“I wanted someone who was a published writer, an experienced editor, who understood loss, and who would tell me the truth. I found all this in Virginia –and more. Virginia is intelligent, compassionate, and unflinching in her mission to help you find your story and the best way to tell it.”

— Writer, about mentoring with me | Memoir

Jane Hutcheon

“Virginia’s detailed manuscript assessment gave me both the motivation and a framework to move forward in the final months of my writing.”

– Author and Television journalist, China Baby Love (ABC Books, 2017) | Memoir

Joe Novella

“Awesome feedback. Your suggestions really hit the mark on some of the challenges I have writing this story. Loved your feedback on the narrator, and you’re spot on about the voice…”

– Writer | Fiction

Jamie Brisick

“…She was a great editor and confidante as I worked through early drafts of Becoming Westerly. She knew how to both push and encourage….”

– Author, Becoming Westerly (Allen & Unwin, 2015) | Non-Fiction

Guy Hull

“Virginia has been an absolute joy to work with and she has delivered on her every promise. ”

– Author, The Dogs that Made Australia (HarperCollins, 2018) | Non-Fiction

Fiona Higgins

“Virginia is an expert editorial ‘curator’ and a godsend for a first-time author.”

– Author, Love in the Age of Drought, The Mothers’ Group, Wife on the Run, Fearless | Fiction / Non-Fiction

Frank Chalmers

“… I find Virginia not only correctly identifies issues but also offers clear, concrete ideas on how to resolve them. That’s rare and valuable.”

– Author, Conviction (Allen & Unwin), (forthcoming in 2022)| Fiction

Dr Carrie Hayward

“I am so grateful for Virginia’s knowledge and her mentoring around my whole writing project. She is just lovely to work with!”

–  Clinical Psychologist, Author, The Woman Who Lost the Sun (Ocean Reeve Publishing, 2020) | Non-Fiction

Dr Steven Lin

“Virginia’s editing was strong but necessary for publishers to appreciate how my manuscript could be turned into a published book.”

– Author, The Dental Diet (Hay House, 2018) | Non-Fiction

Cassandra Pybus

“Over a couple of years, Virginia has given me immeasurable help with my writing and shepherded my book TRUGANINI to considerable publishing success.”

-Author | Truganini (Allen & Unwin 2020) | Non-Fiction

Alex Smee

“Virginia gave me back my perspective. After losing the narrative in my ever growing memoir, she showed me how to dig down to find the stories that were hidden in my pages…”

– Writer | Memoir

Brad Hutchins

“Virginia’s editorial advice was priceless. She gave me an idea of how to shape the book and helped me solidify ideas to focus on for chapters…”

– Author, Game, Set, Cash! (Black Inc, 2014) | Non-Fiction

Sharon Connolly

“Virginia’s editorial input, advice about submission materials and strategies for approaching publishers were wise, and ultimately effective. Thanks to Virginia, I have a publishing deal.”

Sisterhood of Jesters (forthcoming in 2022) (Upswell Publishing) | Non-Fiction

Ingrid Du Vernet

“Working with Virginia has been an invaluable experience. Not only is she professional and efficient, but she has a way of immediately identifying what doesn’t work on the page and coming up with wonderful suggestions to make it work. If you want to work with someone who will tell you what you want to hear, Virginia isn’t for you. But if you want to work with someone who tells you what you need to hear, then working with Virginia will be the best decision you’ll ever make.”

– Writer | SF trilogy

Carolyne Lee

“Virginia mentored me through writing the query letter and synopsis for my memoir. I had a draft of each to start with, but Virginia was able to push me to make them much much better. Because of her extensive experience in publishing, she knows exactly what is required in these documents. She also gave me invaluable advice in helping me resolve some structural issues in the work. This was my first memoir and so it was always going to be a challenge to place it, but it was finally accepted by Australian Scholarly Publishing, a result with which I’m very happy.”

– Author, Choosing To Live, Choosing To Die: A Memoir Of My Husband (forthcoming in September 2021) (Australian Scholarly Publishing) | Memoir

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