I love books. I love writing them. I love reading them. And I love helping other writers bring their stories to life. I have over 16 years experience of writing and editing commercial fiction. I've been a mentee to aspiring writers for the past four years, with all my mentees finding agents within a year of working with me.
I also teach creative writing workshops in my local area and work regularly with Faber Academy as an editor for their manuscript assessments.
How I can help
I'm so excited to be able to offer help to those who need it. My own journey to publication had all the bumps in the road and rejections most people experience. It took me over ten years of submitting to agents before I finally got that yes that kicked off my career. When I look back now on my early query letters and submissions, I cringe at how wrong I got it. My titles were too long, my synopsis not concise, my query letter too rambling, and my opening chapters not good enough.
It was only in 2018 that I started to really consider what I'd been doing wrong, and it was in April of that year that I signed with an agent. Within a year, I had publishing contracts with Transworld, Penguin in the UK and Penguin in the US, along with several foreign rights deals.
Since then, I've had two further deals with Transworld (PRH), and in 2021 I was offered a two-book publishing contract for my romance books with an imprint at Orion. Alongside Transworld (PRH), I have books coming out this year with Bookouture.
Navigating the submissions process is extremely hard. Throughout our writing careers we've all had praise and reassurance from friends and loved ones, coupled with the hard knocks of rejections from agents. What I'm offering is a fresh look at your manuscript or submissions package with thorough feedback that looks at your external plot, your internal struggles of the characters, your prose, pace, tension and much more.
Having worked on my own novels, mentored writers, and worked with Faber Academy on manuscript assessments for over a year, I have a wealth of experience to help sharpen and polish your novel.
Submissions package appraisal
Whether you feel ready to submit for the first time, of if you're happy with your full manuscript but have had nothing but rejections from agents, then I can help. I'll look at your query letter, full synopsis, and opening three chapters and will provide careful and thorough feedback on how you can make all three aspects of your package more appealing to agents and get that yes you deserve.
Full or partial manuscript appraisal
I will read your full manuscript or partial manuscript and provide a written report in the form of a structural edit that will include:
Plot: How realistic is the plot and the events that happen throughout the novel, and whether the characters behaving in ways realistic to their personalities. I'll look at any plot holes and how they can be addressed.
Pacing and tension: How well you keep the reader turning the page, areas where the pace or tension start to lag and suggestions of how you can increase tension and pace.
Characterisation and Character development: how likeable or appealing your character is to the reader, and their internal development throughout the novel.
Structure: Is the opening kicking off with the excitement to grab the readers' attention? Is a prologue needed or not needed? I'll also consider whether the events of the novel unravel in the best order for pace and character arc.
Style: If your writing style fits the genre and allows for a smooth read of the story. Are there clunky paragraphs and sentences, too much description or too little to paint the best picture of your scenes?
Voice and tense: For duel narrative stories, do your characters stand out enough? Have you chosen the best tense for your novel and is it consistent?
Setting: Have you set the scene in a way that pulls the reader into the story?
If you have a particular area of concern with your manuscript, please let me know in your initial query. Please note that this is not a proof reading service. My appraisal will look at the novel as a whole rather than grammatical and spelling areas, although I will highlight errors when I see them.
I accept psychological suspense, psychological thrillers, crime, police procedural, romance and women's fiction (or any genre for proof-reading only). I'm unable to help with literary fiction, science fiction, cosy crime, fantasy, or historical novels.
Submission package - £175
(query letter, synopsis and opening three chapters up to 10,000 words)
Partial manuscript appraisal - £260
Full manuscript appraisal - £320
(up to 90,000 words)
If you wish to discuss a mix of the services I've outlined above, I'm happy to quote you a bespoke cost.
Please send an initial query email to Lauren@Lauren-North.com. Once we've agreed the services and price and I have your work, my aim is to return with my appraisal in two weeks for a submission package and four weeks for a manuscript appraisal. I will be clear in the initial enquiry emails of my availability and timings, and I'm happy to discuss an express service where available for a small additional charge.
I'm looking forward to helping you achieve your dreams and seeing your books out in the world.