The Manuscript Appraisal Agency, established in 1996, provides a professional manuscript development service for both first-time and experienced authors. This service includes manuscript assessments, mentorships and editorial services. We use senior, experienced publishing industry personnel to work with your manuscript. Our work is widely supported by the publishing industry, literary agents and writers associations as a professional service for writers.

MA_quote_1Our commitment to our clients is to provide the most considered objective assessment of a manuscript and a commercial evaluation of it from a publishing perspective.




Kit Carstairs - Manuscript Appraisal AgencyKit has a background in book and magazine publishing, academic research, marketing and broadcasting. She has almost a decade of experience working with a wide variety of content including:  fiction (adult and children’s), general non-fiction (craft, gardening, home improvement, general DIY, food titles, natural history, general reference, photography) as well as working with corporate (marketing and sales material, business reviews and papers) and academic content (research publications and thesis).

Having worked both as a freelance editor and as an in-house editor and project manager in publishing, Kit has a comprehensive understanding of the importance of content development and the need for authors to be proactive in developing manuscripts that represent their full potential.

Kit lives and works in the beautiful Upper Blue Mountains, about 2 hours out of Sydney, Australia.


Manuscript Appraisal Agency- BrianCookBrian established The Manuscript Appraisal Agency in 1996 and was proactive in the growing industry of manuscript appraisal and development.

Brian started in publishing in 1969 and has worked for Australian and international publishers in all areas of publishing, from sales and marketing to managing and directing editorial units in adult and children’s fiction and non-fiction lists, and buying and selling rights around the world.  Brian understands the world of publishing and the cooperative nature of the roles played by various parties.

In July 2014 Brian Cook sold The Manuscript Appraisal Agency to Kit Carstairs, who brings with her a wealth of experience in contemporary publishing and hands-on content development.  Kit knows about writing and what writer’s need to develop their work.

Brian now focuses on his successful literary agency, The Authors’ Agent.


The MAA engages a team of publishing industry professionals including editors, publishers, authors, sales & marketing directors, book retailers, journalists and lecturers – no matter which of these groups your appraiser fits into, you can be sure that we have a professional with an expertise in your genre.

We have a team of more than 30 specialised assessors, allowing us to match the appraiser’s particular experience to your manuscript.

In order to maintain objectivity our appraisers remain anonymous to the writer. This is also due to our assessors working across the industry. They continue to do this work because of their passion for comprehensive content development, but need to remain anonymous due to other industry commitments they have made.


We accept the following types of manuscripts for appraisal:

  • Children’s books
  • Illustrated novels
  • Fiction for all age groups (including literary, YA, sci-fi, thrillers, fantasy, crime, historical, romance, chick lit, the list is endless…)
  • Non-fiction
  • Series concepts and themes
  • Poetry
  • Academic



  • Established for almost 20 years, The MAA was one of the first of its kind to offer manuscript development services to authors and writers.
  • Recommended by publishers, literary agents and writers’ centres.
  • All assessments are produced by highly experienced publishing and writing industry
  • Offers objective and insightful feedback to help you take your writing to the next stage in its development.
  • We know how brutal the world of publishing has become and what is needed to have a chance to be seen and read by literary agents and publishers.