Free Manuscript Appraisal.

TGLHave you read Book Fun Magazine’s February Edition?

In the Australian Spirit of ‘Having a Go’, and following the theme of my column in Book Fun this month, I am offering one reader a free manuscript appraisal with my editor, Iola Goulton of Christian Editing Services, N.Z. 

All you have to do is provide Iola with a 25 word overview of your manuscript. Send this to her by email at:

We would also like to know why you would like to win this prize. Please leave this answer here on my blog in the comments. 

This contest will be open throughout the month of February. We will prayerfully considering any submission. 

Full details of prize: 

Manuscript Assessment – Iola Goulton. Christian Editing Services. New Zealand.

Manuscripts must be written in English. The winning manuscript must be sent before June 2015.

A manuscript assessment is an appraisal and critique of your novel, providing feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of your plot, plot, structure, characterisation, point of view, dialogue, interior monologue. I may also undertake some basic fact checking or, for historical novels, highlight potential anachronisms.

This will highlight your strengths, and provide you with specific areas on which to focus the revision of your manuscript. This is most appropriate when you have finished writing and revising your first draft, and is especially useful for authors who have doubts about one or more aspects of their writing—there is little point in polishing the spelling and grammar of a passage that needs to be rewritten.

Up to 60,000 words only.

Value AU $275.00

Iola Goulton Headshot
Iola Goulton

I am a freelance editor specialising in Christian fiction aimed at adults and young adults. While I specialise in fiction, I also edit non-fiction on occasion. Non-fiction projects have included memoir, theology and self-help. I love to read, and I read and review around 150 novels a year on my blog,

I hold a Bachelor of Commerce degree majoring in marketing, and have twenty years of experience as a human resources consultant, which has included writing and editing a company newsletter, designing and writing the content for a government website, contributing three chapters to a professional text, and writing and proofreading more client reports than I can count. You can find out more about my services at

I’m not buying anything new until Christmas!

A woman hand carrying a bunch of colorful shopping bagsIt was early June when I made this statement. Having just returned from our third camping trip, it occurred to me that there was a whole lot of ‘stuff’ we had, and a great deal of it was superfluous to our existence. Don’t get me wrong, I love my house and am very grateful for every belonging, but having enjoyed camping so much, and with only the very basics, that I realised that there was nothing more I could possibly need.

The conditions of this grand statement were: no new clothes, shoes, accessories; nothing new for the house; no new toys; not one new anything. Only what was necessary, food and consumables, gifts, and what needed replacing (little boys grow and things break).

You would think this isn’t an overly difficult thing to do, but in week one I found myself having to return a product, purchased without thinking. Two months in, I can honestly say that I still find it difficult. There are new fashions out, and not to mention the sales – oh, the sales!

Here is the amazing upside though – I spend a lot more time at home, because apart from groceries, I don’t need to go to the shops. Tully is working hard for every single thing he wants. We have always required him to do jobs, but I was amazed at how a little thing here and a little thing there added up. Now he really appreciates what he receives because he has worked hard for it.

Lifelong lessons are also being learned. God is teaching me a lot about self control, something that I know for sure I have lacked in my life. He is also feeding the heart I have to give to those in need. I have found it astounding how, when you stop concentrating on your wants, you are more in tune with the needs of others.

I am unsure how I will continue in this endeavor. I live in hope that I get to Christmas without having to take anything else back , (explaining my goal to a shop assistant is a little embarrassing). But then, another great revelation in this experiment is, that a good dose of humility is the starting point of change.

Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment.

This morning I watched a well-known female television personality admit to smoking during her third pregnancy. As the news report unfolded, I clasped my hands over my mouth. ‘What a selfish, unloving thing to do to your child,’ I thought. Then I saw the emotion she displayed as she told of her struggle to give up smoking. Now, THIS was something I could understand. I had seen my husband go through the same struggle, even after a life changing wake-up call. She was so honest about her battle that tears came to my eyes.

It occurred to me that every single person on this planet has struggled with something in life. ‘But I would never do what she did,’ you may say. Well – maybe not, but have you ever done something you know is wrong? Have you ever done something unloving that has affected someone else? I know I have. I know most of us have. I know that not one of us is perfect.

If you think back to the struggles you have faced in your life, did you find the strength to overcome them through the judgment and condemnation of others? Sure, this may have been a part of the initial wake-up call, but if you are like me, once you admitted your wrongdoing, what you really needed was kindness, understanding, and most importantly – HELP.

I believe that this celebrity will overcome this addition, because she is humble, and knows she must. I am certain that she will get the help she needs. I just hope that she also gets the compassion she (and all of us) deserve.

In this human experience, we all require forgiveness. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

In the interest of finishing this blog on a lighter note: here is a video of my dog, Noodle. He is the perfect dog; loving, obedient, faithful, and happy – except for one thing – Toilet Paper. The desire to attack the roll has been Noodle’s undoing ever since he was a puppy. It is something he knows is bad, but cannot help but do. He still struggles with this. We keep the toilet paper behind barriers.

I hope you get a giggle out of this, and realise that, although there is a big difference between the playful antics of a puppy, and the seriousness of addition, our willingness to show compassion is just the same.