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Manuscript Reading Service

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About the program

The Manuscript Reading Service is an opportunity to have your manuscript read by a professional writer who will provide you with a detailed evaluation of content and technique, as well as suggestions for further development of your work. Manuscript readers will also attempt to answer any specific questions the author has regarding the manuscript. Please note that this is not intended to be a copyediting service (for definitions of the various types of editing, check out https://www.editors.ca/hire/definitions-editorial-skills). Rather, the intent of the Manuscript Reading Service is to offer general feedback on the quality of the writing.

The WGA staff will endeavour to match your manuscript with a professional writer or editor whose experience most closely suits the manuscript you submit. All genres are eligible for this program. This is a blind service, so the reader’s name will not appear on the evaluation.

Depending on the availability of suitable readers, the service typically takes six to eight weeks.

Reading Fee

All fees for this service are paid to the manuscript reader. The Manuscript Reading Service is subsidized for Writers' Guild of Alberta members (see below). Non-members are able to use the service, but would have to pay the full reading fee without subsidy (e.g. for a manuscript of 20,001 – 50,000 words submitted in the same year, a non-member would have to pay the full $300 to cover the reader’s fee).

How to submit

Manuscripts must be submitted according to the following guidelines:

  • Printed manuscripts should be typed and printed in black ink in a readable 12 pt. font, on 8 ½ by 11-inch paper, single sided.
  • Pages must be display page numbers and be numbered sequentially.
  • Emailed manuscripts must be a Word or PDF file.
  • Submissions must be in English.
  • Prose manuscripts should be double-spaced.
  • Include a cover sheet with the following:
  • Author name
  • Author contact information
  • Word/page count of manuscript
  • Genre of manuscript (e.g. literary fiction, creative nonfiction, science fiction, young adult novel)

The author’s name must not appear on the manuscript itself.

If you have any specific questions you wish the reader to address, please type them on a separate sheet of paper.

To pay the fee, please call 780.422.8174 (1.800.665.5354 toll free Alberta) to make a credit card payment or mail a cheque.

Submit by mail:

Manuscript Reading Service c/o The Writers’ Guild of Alberta 11759 Groat Road NW Edmonton, AB  T5M 3K6

Please do not submit the only copy of your manuscript. Keep a copy for your files.

Submit by email: [email protected].

Please note that not all readers will read electronic manuscripts, and some may only read shorter electronic manuscripts. Manuscripts submitted electronically will be returned with electronic comments and will not be printed. Submitting in print is recommended for long manuscripts.

Fee Structure

Manuscript and Size

Subsidized Fee*

Unsubsidized Fee*

   

PROSE

  

Under 3000 words

$75.00

$150.00

3001 to 6000 words

$90.00

$180.00

6001 to 10,000 words

$105.00

$210.00

10,001 to 20,000 words

$120.00

$240.00

20,001 to 50,000 words

$150.00$300.00

50,001 to 80,000 words

$175.00

$350.00

80,001 to 100,000 words $415.00**$590.00
100,001 to 130,000 words$475.00**$650.00
   

POETRY

  

Up to 24 pages

$75.00$150.00

25 to 64 pages

$105.00$210.00

65 to 100 pages

$150.00$300.00
   

DRAMATIC SCRIPTS

  
Up to 29 pages

$75.00

$150.00

30 to 60 pages

$105.00

$210.00

61 to 100 pages

$150.00  

$300.00

 

*All fees for this service are paid to the manuscript reader, plus a matching subsidy amount contributed by the Writers' Guild of Alberta (up to a maximum subsidy of $175). For example, if the author submitting the manuscript pays $150 for an evaluation on a prose manuscript of 20,001 - 50,000 words, the manuscript reader receives an honorarium of $300.

Please note: the WGA is only able to subsidize one manuscript submission per member per year. Members are welcome to submit more than one manuscript per calendar year, but subsequent submissions would not receive the subsidy and as such the fee would be double (e.g. for a second manuscript of 20,001 – 50,000 words submitted in the same year, the author would have to pay the full $300 to cover the reader’s fee).

**If your manuscript is longer than 80,000 words, the WGA will subsidize up to $175 of the manuscript reader’s fee with the difference being paid for by the author. Hence the increase in fee for the 80,001 to 100,000 word and 100,001 to 130,000 word tiers for longer manuscripts.

We are unable to accommodate manuscripts that exceed 130,000 words.