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Testimonials and Reviews

TLC has helped many people go on to publish their books, but our main aim is to provide honest and useful feedback to help writers think realistically about their work. We thought it might be useful for potential users to read some reviews from previous clients about the way their work was handled by TLC.

TLC is the UK’s longest-established editorial consultancy, pioneering manuscript assessment, and advocating for industry-level editing for all writers. We have helped thousands of writers to develop their work, with hundreds going on to find readerships and accolades: major book deals, theatre tours, poetry prizes, digital serialisation, and more.

At TLC, we meet writers on the page. We look forward to seeing you there.

Find out more about our Editorial Services by clicking here.

“I had such a positive experience with The Literary Consultancy and I felt my work was treated in a professional, respectful and friendly manner from start to finish.

I’ll admit I was nervous about getting honest feedback from an editor, but I needn’t have worried at all. Thalia’s comments were so encouraging and her ideas for improvement were expressed so constructively that I felt inspired to start making the changes. I can already see that the revisions suggested are going to make it into a stronger book.  Thank you to Thalia and the staff at TLC for giving me a much-needed confidence boost.”

Catherine North

“My report was absolutely brilliant.

It was both encouraging but largely critical which was exactly what I had hoped it would be. Claire has provided me with the drive and confidence I’ve been looking for to complete this book.”

Jason Vowles

“I would like to thank you and Anna South for the assessment I received almost a year ago for my novel.

Six months prior to sending my work to you, I was having my doubts about spending the money on a manuscript assessment, but now I look back and think, ‘Thank God I did that; what would I have done if I hadn’t?'”

Carol Baxendale

“Helen’s report was detailed, insightful and constructive.

It is obvious that she read and responded to my novel with true diligence. I really don’t think I could have received better feedback anywhere else. I am sincerely appreciative and feel renewed as I move forward.”

Brooke Hardwick

“My report was so painstaking, so perceptive, and so very, very generous that I feel thoroughly heartened to carry on and attempt a second draft.

To have the encouragement of  a published novelist and academic is a precious thing. I don’t regret a single penny, and I’d do it again like a shot.”

Jenny Kitchell

“Her guidance is incredibly useful and perceptive and I’m looking forward to finding ways to incorporate her suggestions.

Her responses to my questions have boosted my confidence in a way I hadn’t expected and made me refocusing my attention to the areas I need to improve. Everything she has said made so much sense and will strengthen my work.”

Anna Biggs

“Please let Emma know that the feedback she has given me may be the most positive and useful feedback I’ve ever received for a manuscript.

I have used professional readers in the past and have always either been left rather disheartened or a bit underwhelmed by the lack of specific help. Emma really struck the perfect balance between offering positive help and insightful criticism.”

Karun Sandal

“I have to say that some of the questions Natalie has raised in her report are exactly the ones I have been asking myself about the stories.

This is why I decided to send the MS to TLC for an objective assessment, and I am so glad I did. Her comments and suggestions hit the mark.”

Colin Will

“Thank you very much for sending the manuscript assessment, I think it’s excellent, constructive feedback and very encouraging.

I feel more confident taking my writing forward and completing my book.”

Alexi F

“James has managed to put his finger on everything I suspected wasn’t working but couldn’t quite articulate myself.

I am especially grateful for his very specific and rigorous comments and constructive advice on potential directions to go in.”

Judith B

“A manuscript assessment by TLC is like having a masterclass in writing, but with your own novel.

The level of detail and constructive criticism was such that I could focus on, and correct, recurrent errors in my writing style, but I also felt hugely supported by the process. I gained a sense of clarity about where my novel should be going, and drew from the encouragement and guidance I had received.

Bee Johnstone

“Please pass on to Aisha my sincere thanks for her sharp, intelligent criticism.

I have re-read this several times since it arrived yesterday, and I am really struck by the efforts she has gone to in order to get into the mechanics of the book and the quality of her advice. Having been somewhat flying blind, I now have a clear idea of where I need to get this to. Once again, my gratitude to you both and I am sure that I will darken your doors again with the re-work in a few months’ time!”

Thomas Pascoe

“I’m so happy I approached the TLC for manuscript assessment this summer.

The report was thorough and thoughtful, and the reader earned every penny I paid: There’s a lot of gold to mine on those pages: guidance and encouragement, as well as ways to improve on my writing. I know that acting on these comments will take my work from a good book to an excellent one, and it’s worth the effort. I’m deeply grateful for this guidance.”

Dr Gulara Vincent

“Thank you for the report which I found extremely interesting and will be very helpful.

I felt that Kate had really understood the book and that her criticisms and comments were all valid and thought provoking, often picking up on issues I myself had concerns over. Her suggestions on how to improve or change or even solve a problem were great – when writing a book sometimes you just can’t ‘see’ it anymore!”

Ruth Banister

“James answered all the questions I raised and gave me some cracking lines to use in the synopsis and I feel really positive and much more confident about The End. I can’t wait to crack on and use his suggestions.

I’m so pleased to have had this opportunity at this stage in my writing. It’s a great resource.”

Jude Brown

“Ashley’s feedback was honest and frank – something I knew I needed if my book stood a chance.

He has given a strong analysis with constructive feedback and recommendations. As a customer I have found value in both Ashley’s work and in TLC’s efforts to assign him as a reader for me. Penny for penny – money well spent.”

Alex Martin

“The editor, Sally O-J, who was assigned to work on my novel, Pharmakeia, went above and beyond the call of duty in her assessment of the manuscript.

She answered, in full, all the queries I had about the narrative and was most insightful, yet encouraging in her constructive criticism. Pharmakeia is a better book because of Sally O-J’s analysis of its strengths and weaknesses.”

Timothy Graves

“I was concerned about finding a reader who could understand not just where my work was, but the direction I wanted to take it in. I needn’t have fretted.

[Jonathan Lee’s] advice gave me the confidence and the perspective to embark on key structural changes.”

Rowan B.

“The editing process with TLC has been a truly wonderful experience. My reader, Karl French, is not only a great editor, he is also very adept at dealing with the anxieties of a new writer.

Karl understands editing – not just how to make a piece of writing the best it can be – he brings to his profession experience, good instincts and commercial awareness. He knows how to strike that balance between editorial objectivity and an understanding of the writer he is working with. I would recommend Karl to anyone who needs a book edited. And I will surely be asking him to edit my next book.”

Tomas Byrne

“As a writer changing discipline – from script to novel – I really needed a professional’s eye and experience to help me hone the manuscript.

I contacted TLC and they matched me with a great editor.   Wise, incisive and constructive, she is.  Honestly. And I’d never have had that introduction if it hadn’t have been for TLC. If you’re serious about your work – get in touch.   Stop wondering if it’ll be worth it. It Is.  Just do it.”

Barbara Murricane

“I just wanted to put down in writing how grateful I am to the fantastic feedback and advice Imogen has provided me with. Both reports are inspiring, motivating and exciting to read.

She has managed to convey everything in a positive manner, while remaining critical and constructive throughout. Truly, I could not have wished for more! Many, many thanks also to you for arranging such a great reader for me. This entire experience has already been absolutely invaluable to me.”

Inga Wolframm

“Thank you for sending Alan Mahar’s report on my novel. As one might expect from an editor and publisher of his experience, it was thorough, professional, illuminating, and exactly right for my needs.

No aspect of my lengthy manuscript escaped his eagle eye, and the book will be much the better for his shrewd critique and the revisions he suggests. All in all, money well spent.”

Peter Thornton

“Thank you, this is exactly the kind of feedback I was hoping for!

It’s especially useful to get some informed insight into the various markets out there and I really feel like it’s helped me to solidify my own thinking in that regard. The points on style and flow are also very useful and give me a clear framework to structure a re-write around.”

John Bertram

“I was really lucky. My MS was read by Helen Gordon through TLC’s ‘free read’ scheme, via my local New Writing North.

Helen was only the second person I had dared let read it. I need not have been afraid. Helen’s report was so positive and encouraging I actually enjoyed doing the rewriting she suggested. Then Rebecca and Kavita helped me find an agent. Within a few weeks I was signed up with Jenny Brown Associates in Edinburgh. As a first time novelist, TLC’s sound advice and ongoing support were exactly what I needed. I’m immensely grateful.”

Shelley Sclater

“Just to thank you again and to ask you to pass on my thanks to James Pusey for his attentive and intelligent reading of my story.

I can honestly say that I received more engaged and positive criticism from him on this story than at any time during a two year part time Creative Writing MA. Thanks again.”

Bruno Cassidy

“Please pass on my thanks to the reader for this report. It’s incredibly helpful.

It was really good of him to take so much trouble thinking about my work. Often when you get advice on creative projects, it can be too subjective. But Doug has grasped where I’m trying to go with the work so his suggestions are very insightful and practical.”

Martin Dixon

“Many many thanks for the report. I am delighted with it. It is going to guide and encourage me very much in my writing.

I am honoured to have feedback from Jacob Ross, a writer I have respected for years. The detail of the report answers many of my questions and confirms to me that I am asking myself the right questions about my writing.”

Chris Abuk

“Even though I only just received this, and will be spending a great deal of time studying the content, it is immediately clear that the report is very thoughtful and considered.

There is lots of detail in the critique but most importantly it feels like the reader understood my aims- as well as that he has given advice on how to address the problems identified. This has really boosted my motivation to continue working on the book and helped me understand where to start.”

Wendy Ogden

“Spinoza Street is on the YouWriteOn website, and Tom’s thoughtful insights helped me to do a rewrite which lifted it from position 19 in their chart up to number 13, and has greatly boosted my confidence of (eventually!) finding a publisher for it.”

Francis Goode

“My thanks to Rose Gaete for her report on my novel MW or More than a Dream, which gives me just the kind of advice I was hoping for, together with warm positive feedback that gives me the confidence I need to get back to work on the ms.”

Anthony Paul

“I was amazingly lucky and was assigned Evie Wyld (recently on the 12 best new writers programme on World Book Night).

She absolutely got my novel and was I was doing with it and has pointed out a couple of huge things that I need to change. And she’s right. It will vastly improve on what I have got, making the narrative more straightforward and expanding on elements in the main thread. She didn’t just point the flaws out but gave thoughtful and creative suggestions which I can work with and (after some digestion) I now know exactly where I’m going.”

Sam Roddock

“I know I will go back to this report time and again and try very hard to take the – very helpful – criticism on board.

The fact that the reader was enthusiastic about some of what I had written is a huge boost, so in spite of all the work before me, I am encouraged.”

Dawn Kozoboli

“Your help in identifying what I should concentrate on in revising my work is invaluable.”

TJ Sullivan

“The assessment was delivered at 7.30 am. I sat down to read. By 7.35 am I was seething with anger.

A cup of coffee and a second read through an hour later and I began to calm down. By mid-day I was agreeing with my wife that it was nearly £600 well spent. Now Gar (my travelling companion) is reading the notes and enthusiastically declaring it is a fantastic review with clear advice. It’s now 5pm and I’m compelled to write to you and thank you and the reader so very much. I know what I’ll be doing for the next few weeks.”

Bill Lumley

“Please pass my thanks onto Karl French for his honest and thorough perusal of the text.

There’s plenty here to act upon and think about in the future and his comments are evidently the product of much thought and consideration. An assessment such as this is well worth the money.”

Nigel Hurlstone

“When I first read your report of my piece I wanted to marry you on the spot.”

Carol Topolski

“As a professional non-fiction writer and editor I struggled for years to make the transition to creative writing.

Now TLC has enabled me to take a methodical approach, by providing unbiased, substantive feedback at a reasonable price. I still don’t feel ready to approach an agent or publisher, but for the first time I understand precisely what I must do to get my fiction into print.”

Paul Tyrrell

“I wanted to say thank you (and Tom Bromley) for such thorough, incisive and kind feedback.

It’s the kind of thing you just don’t get unless you’re signed up to an agent, and there’s a lot I can learn from in there; plus it’s encouraging too. So thanks again; it’s made me want to return to the blank page.”

Caroline Martel

“I felt I must thank you for your critique on Stepp into my Lyff. It was by turns generous and brutally frank.

Dead right. You have obviously read the piece very closely, and this has made your observations very appropriate and useful. Thanks again.”

Martin Smith

“It is gratifyingly obvious you took considerable time and trouble to read my work closely – you have provided me with a large number of valuable suggestions which I shall follow closely.”

Keith Turner

“This is my first attempt at a novel and having recently completed it, it is uncanny at what the reader Tim Clare picked up on with only the first 50 pages.

I am overwhelmed at how detailed and useful the feedback is and also at how positive it is overall. This is such a boost for me.”

Judith Brown

“I’d like to express my thanks to your reader for his thorough and spot on evaluation of my manuscript.

He has exposed weaknesses I was completely unaware of, and now that I am aware of them, my mind is thinking of original ideas to overcome them. It’s been only a few hours since I’ve begun to digest the feedback, but already I’ve thought of ideas I never would have thought of, and while there are significant changes to be made, I am delighted to be set the challenge to make them. He also highlighted strengths that I had been under-utilizing, and exposed awkwardness in the theme that I feel I can improve. I now feel I am heading toward something that I fear I mightn’t have been heading toward before – a more original, interesting, and well developed piece of work.”

Eoin Mulvihill

“Your pointers concerning the book’s strengths were very encouraging … I will keep your observations in mind as I complete the remainder of the manuscript.”

Brighid Rose

“Antonia highlighted all of my concerns and most importantly of all, she raised some very big concerns that I was not aware of.

This kind of advice is invaluable and is exactly why I chose your service. Antonia has explained things that I would never have worked out for myself. I’m guessing that rejection letters from publishers never go into this kind, or any kind of detail. “Not good enough” doesn’t really help anyone. Antonia has helped me iron out some major problems, and, although I still have a long way to go, Antonia has removed some big obstacles on my journey.”

Spencer Boston

“Thanks for your invaluable advice – your service is worth the money as standard rejection slips give you no idea why a submission has been turned down.”

Kevin Odgen

“In many cases you gave me good suggestions to re-work and re-angle specific poems, which was helpful.

Above all it was good to get the poems out into the air to breathe. You make the point that it needs a hard graft to get poems out into the world and wonder if I have the wherewithal. I do think I really had my money’s worth in your detailed response to the work I submitted.”

Nick Hobson

“It must be every writer’s ambition to hear a stranger’s view on their work, a view bound to be more meaningful than that of a friend.”

Jonny Griffith

“Please pass on my gratitude to the reviewer for their penetrating review, kind comments and critical, yet supportive analysis;

and for spotting and making suggestions on a dilemma that I have as yet been unable to resolve – the potential audience for my book! So, I’ve sufficient to go on to reorganise my material, and the exercise has been very worthwhile. I really appreciate the choice of reviewer, and thanks to ye on a service well provided.”

Michael O’Boyle

“Like most authors who turn to TLC, I wish I had done so years ago. Your feedback was like a warm bath in comparison to the cold bucket of water of a rejection.”

Margaret Gullan Whur

“What a marvellous assessment!

And its value to me will increase with every project. Your comments on technique are more concise and clearly expressed than any textbook I’ve ever encountered…my heartfelt thanks for the time and effort you put into reading my manuscript and reporting with such candour. I owe you a huge debt.

Susan Poole

TLC is the UK’s longest-established editorial consultancy, pioneering manuscript assessment, and advocating for industry-level editing for all writers. We have helped thousands of writers to develop their work, with hundreds going on to find readerships and accolades: major book deals, theatre tours, poetry prizes, digital serialisation, and more.

At TLC, we meet writers on the page. We look forward to seeing you there.

Find out more about our Editorial Services by clicking here.