Quick Spark Editing

Editing service from children’s authors offering submission package read-throughs to full manuscript developmental reports

For those wanting submission package read-throughs all the way up to a developmental report on a full manuscript, Quick Spark Editing could be the option for you.

Our small and dedicated team of experienced editors can read through and provide feedback on your manuscript within around two weeks.

How does it work?

Quick Spark Coordinator Melissa Welliver will assess which editor is best suited to give you feedback based on your submitted manuscript’s genre, target age group, and synopsis. She will then introduce you to your editor via email.

You will also be able to send one email with questions about your report directly to your assigned editor, so do give the report a good read through and take your time before emailing them back.

What does a developmental report include?

A developmental report on your full manuscript involves one of our experienced editors reading your manuscript in full and producing a report to highlight the big picture elements. Some areas will, inevitably, need more detailed work and therefore feature more feedback than others.

Developmental editing focuses on the overall story and structure of your novel. This is very different to line editing, which is the next stage after you’ve progressed through the developmental editing process, blocked those plot holes, and solidified the more technical aspects of your manuscript.

Reports provide feedback on each of the following areas:


Anything that jumps out at the editor as they read will go in here. We work with kindness and honesty, so all the best parts of your manuscript will be highlighted alongside the areas the editor has identified for improvement. This is just for an overall summary and the things mentioned here will be dissected in detail in the below sections.


Where would your book fit on a bookshop shelf? Who is your target audience? Our editors all have experience in many different and varied publishing spheres and they have a keen eye for what is working from a commercially viable perspective, and what isn’t. They will let you know which parts of your manuscript to enhance to make it sing, especially from that all-important commercial aspect.


This is where we can feed back on whether your book hits the right goals in terms of length in relation to your target audience. Depending on genre, tone, and age range, your manuscript might need a slight trim or it might need another sub-plot to make it longer.


This section of your feedback centres around your plot and how you have ‘structured’ it. Have you hit all the right beats before coming to your epic conclusion? Have you maybe hit too many plot points, and this is where you could save some word count? Most of us tell stories instinctually and know roughly how to structure a plot. Sometimes it’s good to have a second eye to look over the whole plot, to help you see the wood from the trees.


Is your main character working hard enough in your novel? Are they passive, or do they drive the plot? Is your antagonist enough of an obstacle for them? These questions and more can be answered by our editors.


Remember those story beat things we talked about under structure? Well, now it’s time to see if they come in at the right place, for the right amount of time. Maybe your epic final battle is a little too short for true reader closure? Or perhaps you linger a little bit too long on that sub-plot, and the story would benefit from folding it in more into the main story? Whatever the issue with pacing, you’ll find lots of kind, critical feedback in your report.


So many agents and editors are looking for a strong voice in today’s market, alongside a killer story. Maybe the voice in your novel could be even louder and bolder than you even knew it could be. Our report will help to highlight the things that really work with the voice in your story, versus the things that you might be able to save word count on by cutting.


Intricately linked with narrative, the dialogue section of your report feeds back on the speech and voice of all your major characters. Are you nailing the teen/kid voice with your choice of words, or do you need to add in a little more detail? Can you tell your characters apart by their word choice alone?


Some authors love it, some find it the bane of their existence, but the world you set your story in is as important as plot or even your main character. You need to make sure your world is so believable, your reader feels like they’ve just stepped into it and could get lost there forever. Our report will pick out the details in your writing that will really enhance the reader experience when they read about your world – whether it be a contemporary high school or an evil dragon’s lair.


This will be an overall summary of the strengths of your fabulous novel, plus a breakdown of the areas you can focus on for developing your next draft.

A full developmental edit on a whole manuscript does not include in-line comments on the manuscript itself. Tracked changes and in line comments are usually included in some form for a submission package edit, depending on the project. Please email melissa@write-mentor.com if you need more information.

Quick Spark at a glance…

Who: Our experienced team of editors are here to give feedback on your writing, with the support of coordinator Melissa Welliver.

What: Manuscript developmental reports on novels and picture book texts, and submission package feedback.

Where: Quick Spark services are all conducted via email.

How: Get matched with an editor based on your manuscript’s genre, target age group, and synopsis, and then receive a report and the option to send one email with questions about its content to your editor.

Why: Strengthening your writing and polishing your story gives your manuscript the best chance when submitting to agents and publishers.

Example prices

Rates are on a sliding scale, depending on word count.

Word CountPrice £ (incl VAT)
Up to 20k250
Submission Package
(Letter, synopsis, first 3 chapters or 10k – whichever is shorter)
PB text79

Once you pay for your developmental edit, please follow the instructions in your confirmation email to send your document to Melissa, who will pass it onto your editor.

Fresh eyes on your work are invaluable. When you work with an editor you are working with someone who has a wealth of experience that they can bring to your work and give you insight and new perspectives. Sometimes it’s hard to see the wood from the trees or the comma from the semi-colon in your writing so let us Spark editors do that for you.

Emma Finlayson-Palmer, author & Quick Spark editor

Light your writing Spark

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: