Meet the AJC beta reading team
Beta reading is a smart and cost-effective solution to getting honest feedback on your novel, memoir or book manuscript.
Our beta reading team are either professional editors or avid readers with a diverse range of backgrounds and a wide taste in genres.
- General women’s
- Science Fiction
- Short stories
Our beta readers
I’m a part time copyeditor and proofreader, plus full-time public servant. In addition to working, I’m studying a Master of Arts (majoring in Publishing and Editing), and caring for my husband, four children and two dogs.
My approach to beta reading: I’m honest and communicate the manuscript’s positives as well as its drawbacks. I try to articulate how I felt as I read the manuscript, how I wish I’d felt and whether the two align.
Formal Qualifications or Training: Ba App Sci (HMS), Ba Bus (Accy), MTax, CPA, CTA, MArts (completion Nov 2018).
Favourite genres: Romantic comedy, cosy mystery, young adult, science fiction, action, easy reading in general.
Genres I’m also happy to read: Memoir, biography, technical.
Genres/material I won’t read: Erotica, horror.
Favourite authors: LM Montgomery, Ursula leGuin, Tim Stevens, Denise Grover Swank.
Are you an author? No.
Hobbies: Reading, running, baking, crochet.
I’m a professional editor and proofreader. For as long as I can remember, books have been my passion. I was always reading as a child. Anything that I can do to help an author get their book to the best place possible is an achievement for me. I volunteer at the Queensland Writers’ Centre and have a wide range of experience providing feedback across genres.
My approach to beta reading: I believe in approaching every book with an open mind. I think clear and honest feedback is the best way to grow and improve creative work, and that’s what I aim to provide. My approach is to provide feedback covering suggestions for improvement as well as areas of strength.
Formal Qualifications or Training: LLB, BA (German, Criminology), MWEP
Genres I read: Action, children’s, comedy/satire, crime, dystopia, erotica, fantasy, general, historical, LGBTQI+, literary, magic realism, mystery, NA, paranormal, romance, sci-fi, spec-fic, supernatural, thriller, women’s, YA, art, biography, business, cookery, educational, finance, history, medical, memoir, philosophy, poetry, politics, psychology, science, self-help, spiritual, technical. .
Genres/material I won’t read: Horror, anything with gratuitous violence or physical abuse, religious, true crime.
Favourite authors: Jane Austen, Naomi Novik, Bridget Collins, Matthew Reilly, Erin Morgenstern.
Are you an author? I am. I predominantly write poetry, but I also dabble in speculative fiction
Ballroom dancing, singing. Attending live theatre of all kinds is a passion. I speak German. I worked in the childcare sector for many years and currently tutor across maths, English, physics, chemistry and German.
Places I have lived or travelled: Australia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Germany, England, Luxembourg, Austria
*Under 25 yrs
I’m a second year uni student, majoring in Psychology and English with a focus on creative writing. Reading has always been an important part of my identity, starting out as a form of escapism and since settling into a healthy hobby. I love reading fiction for the excitement and emotion. Writing is my creative outlet of choice and I’m fascinated by tropes and story structures.
My approach to beta reading: My goal is to provide honest, constructive and respectful feedback to authors from the perspective of an objective reader. Ultimately, I want what the author wants: for their work to be published to a standard they will be proud of.
Formal Qualifications: Bachelor of Arts (English and Psychology) – current, HSC Advanced and Extension English (2018).
Genres I read: All fiction – middle grade, YA, adult.
Genres/material I won’t read: Religious / self-help nonfiction.
Favourite authors: V.E. Schwab, Neal Shusterman, Derek Landy, Michael Grant, Scott Westerfeld, Leigh Bardugo, Eoin Colfer.
Am I an author? No.
Hobbies: Psychology, pop culture, working my way through a bucket list.
I’m the web content editor for a rugby league website and an associate member of Editors Victoria. I enjoy reading non-fiction (especially sport) and some fiction. I have experience working with emerging writers, understanding and respecting their different voices, and tailoring my feedback to help them improve as writers.
My approach to beta reading: My approach is to offer constructive feedback. I have experience mentoring non-fiction and academic writers, helping them improve their work through a close, collaborative relationship. I believe the writer will be more likely to accept constructive, compassionate feedback than a stringent enforcement of rules.
Formal Qualifications: Graduate Certificate in Editing and Publishing, University of Southern Queensland. Bachelor of Arts (Journalism, Creative Writing, Film Theory), Griffith University (Nathan and Gold Coast).
Genres I read: Non-fiction (autobiographies and biographies), sport (both fiction and non-fiction), comedy, satire, romance, horror, thriller, crime, mystery.
Genres/material I won’t read: Anything exploitative or with cruelty to animals.
Favourite authors: Ben Elton, Dan Liebke, Titus O’Reily, Ben Pobjie, Corey Taylor, William Bruce Cameron.
Am I an author?: I am a freelance sports writer for a rugby league website and The South-East Advertiser (Queensland).
Hobbies / Interests: Playing and watching cricket, watching rugby league, rugby union and basketball, playing video games, writing, reading.
My obsession with reading started early and continues fifty years later. Working in libraries, I became immersed in the world of children’s books and was exposed to novels of every genre. Later, working with adult students, I provided supportive comments to assist them to improve their written assessments and to celebrate their successes. I’ll adopt the same positive approach to beta reading.
My approach to beta reading: I have a deep admiration for writers. I’m aware of the hard work required to produce a completed manuscript. Stories are important, and everyone deserves to tell theirs. Writing is a collaborative process, and when a writer reaches out for support from beta readers and editors, magic can happen!
Formal Qualifications: Graduate Certificate Editing and Publishing (USQ), Graduate Diploma Arts (Library Science) (CSU), Bachelor of Business Communications (QUT).
Genres I read: Literary fiction, historical fiction, humorous fantasy, womens, romance, YA, childrens, thrillers, crime, mystery, sci-fi, dystopia, supernatural, paranormal, comedy, satire, memoir, self-help, philosophy, psychology, religious, spiritual, educational, politics, history, art, literature, poetry, cookery.
Genres/material I won’t read: Erotica, True Crime.
Favourite authors: Margaret Atwood, Jasper Fforde, Kate Grenville, J. D. Robb, Lemony Snicket, Trent Dalton, Charles Dickens.
Am I an author? I am unpublished, but writing my first novel which has elements of history and fantasy.
Hobbies / Interests: I’ve supported people with Autism and other disabilities. I am obsessed with worm farms and compost. I enjoy bush walking with other women, especially if they are loud and sweary. As part of a large close family, I know more than I wish to regarding caring for the elderly, mental illness, divorce and death. I have recently started my own editing business.
Places I have lived: I have travelled to Japan, Canada and America, and have lived all of my life in Brisbane, Australia. Books have taken me to many places both real and imagined.
I have always been an avid reader and have read countless books across a wide range of genres. When the wonderful world of eReading launched I was in heaven. Any book at any time at the touch of a button. My favourite way to spend a Saturday when I was a child was in a book shop.
My approach to beta reading: Is one of gentleness, encouragement, honesty and support. As an aspiring writer myself, I crave other’s feedback, and if I can help just one writer on their path to success, then I am happy.
Formal Qualifications: Associate Diploma of Accountancy. Certificate 4 Bookkeeping
Genres I read: Most genres plus general romance, military romance, young adult, paranormal.
Genres/material I won’t read: Erotica, sci-fi
Favourite authors: Helene Young, Michael J Durant, KA Tucker
Am I an author? I am not published as yet, but I have been writing for over 35 years. The last 12 months I have been studying writing and its various components, and I hope to submit to publishers in a year’s time. I also judge contests from a reader’s perspective.
Hobbies / Interests:
My own writing has always been based around the military, in particular fighter pilots and helicopter pilots, so I have many years of research behind me in this area. My day job is a bookkeeper so I’m familiar with all things accounting related.
I’m a freelance writer and editor with a love for stories. I’ve lived in two countries and five states. A former health services manager turned consumer health advocate, I’m now busy raising three young daughters while studying part-time for a diploma of professional writing and editing.
My approach to beta reading: Because there’s vulnerability in letting others comment on your work, I look for things to praise as well as to query. I consider the pace of the story and its context. I also ask whether a particular action feels authentic for a character — would they really act as described?
Formal Qualifications: (Hons) in Political Studies, Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing (in progress at RMIT), short courses by Editors Victoria including structural editing. Member of the Institute of Professional Editors and the Australasian Medical Writers Association.
Genres I read: Historical fiction, women’s stories, mysteries, drama, YA, memoir.
Genres/material I won’t read: Sci-fi, horror, erotica.
Favourite authors: Diana Gabaldon, Liane Moriarty, Paullina Simons, PG Wodehouse, Jane Austen, Lian Hearn, Kate Grenville, Julian Fellowes, Julian Barnes.
Are you an author? Yes. I write reports, grant applications and web content. Most of this is in the health field. I particularly enjoy translating complex medical information into plain English. Why refer to ‘unanticipated mortality events’ when you mean ‘sudden deaths’?
Hobbies: Reading, swimming, kayaking, bushwalking.
I love story. I love reading, writing and shaping stories. I’ve studied the art of story and created new stories through journalism, ghostwriting, screenwriting, script editing, manuscript assessment, short story writing, speechwriting and editing. While these stories may not always be in my voice, they importantly all have a voice. What is your voice and your story?
My approach to beta reading: I love storytelling and storytellers so I’m already on this ride with you. I’ll be looking for where the story shines and where I want to know more, where it will intrigue me and move me or where you’ve hidden those gems that just need a little more polish.
Formal qualifications: Freelance writer and editor with Gradute Diploma in Screenwriting (AFTRS) and Associate Membership with Institute of Professsional Editor (IPED), Australian Writers’ Guild (AWG), Australian Society of Authors (ASA).
Genres I read: Crime fiction, true crime, thriller, mystery, horror, literary fiction, general, historical.
Genres/material I won’t read: Sci-fi, action, spec-fic.
Favourite authors: Arundhati Roy, David Sedaris, Stieg Larsson, Tim Winton, Christos Tsiolkas, Michael Robothom, Patricia Carlon.
Am I an author: Not published or produced as yet.
Hobbies: Reading, writing, binge-watching, Auslan signing, obsessive researcher, pre-pandemic first responder and community health volunteer.
I’m an accredited editor, mostly in the corporate field. I read avidly and make sure that each book I read is a different genre from the one before. As an introvert, I lose myself easily in the characters. I am involved in theatre and music both as audience member and practitioner, so I appreciate what keeps an audience member/reader involved.
My approach to beta reading: My approach is based on admiration for the courage it takes to write a book and the pleasure of joining the author on their journey. I can put myself in the shoes of the reader, but I can also empathise with the author, which would help me to understand what they are trying to achieve, and to be sensitive in my feedback.
Formal Qualifications: BSc (Hons) and Master in IT Management.
Genres I read: Crime, true crime, thrillers, historical, humour, fiction, Horror.
Genres/material I won’t read: Romance, fantasy.
Favourite authors: Margaret Atwood, Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Gabriel García Márquez, PG Wodehouse, Arnaldur Indridason.
Am I an author? No.
Hobbies / Interests: Music, theatre, dance, fitness.
In my day jobs, I’ve mostly edited classroom materials and government content. As a freelancer, I work in fiction and other areas of personal interest. My background’s as varied as that of most people who work with words, but the words keep finding me.
My approach to beta reading: I go with my first instinctive response. I think about what’s working and keeping me there, and what can be improved. Then I think about the most useful way to convey this to the author.
Formal Qualifications or Training: MPhil (Creative Writing), MA (Writing, Editing and Publishing), BA (English).
Genres I read: Literary fiction, crime, thriller, YA, memoir.
Genres/material I won’t read: Horror, MRA.
Favourite authors: Randolph Stow, Ursula Le Guin, Tom Franklin.
Am I an author? Yes. Short fiction and creative non-fiction.
Hobbies: Bushwalking, reading, cinema, amateur field naturalism.
I am an editor with more than six years of experience in both fiction and non-fiction, a published author and creative writing workshop instructor. I’m also the Editor-in-Chief of an academic literary journal, and a previous a commissioning editor, prior to starting my own editing business. I work with various clients, such as Hardie Grant Books, and have a keen sense of what makes a good, worthwhile read
My approach to beta reading: To ask—does the book achieve what it has set out to do? Does it speak to its target reader? Are there any loopholes/developmental issues that will cause the reader to not suspend their disbelief? Are the characters rich and layered—and real? Does the prose flow, does it show and not tell?
Formal Qualifications: BA (Hons) English Literature with minor in Creative Writing; MA Publishing and Communications.
Genres I read: YA, literary fiction, crime fiction, true crime, academic non-fiction (literature, history, art).
Genres/material I won’t read: Military history.
Favorite authors: Jane Austen, Neil Gaiman, Alice Munro, Haruki Murakami, Milan Kundera.
Am I an author? Yes.
Hobbies: Painting, Writing (poetry, short stories, plays), Soccer, Music, Yoga, Hiking.
I started reading avidly as a young child, and I have continued to devour good books to this day. Through living and working in several countries, I have accumulated a wide variety of different experiences. I have written short stories, some poetry and a children’s book, and recently moved into copyediting. Books are my passion.
My approach to beta reading:
To provide honest but constructive criticism, to give feedback on the overall impression of the manuscript, to highlight any character inconsistencies, wooden dialogue, boring sections, and factual errors. And to point out the good parts.
Formal Qualifications: I am an IT professional with qualifications in project management and business analysis.
Genres I read: Fiction: Action, children’s, comedy/satire, crime, dystopia, erotica, fantasy, general, historical, literary, magic realism, mystery, paranormal, sci-fi, spec-fic, supernatural, thriller.
Non-fiction: Art, biography, business, cookery, educational, finance, history, medical, memoir, philosophy, poetry, politics, psychology, religious, science, self-help, spiritual, technical, true crime.
Genres I won’t read: Horror, sexual abuse, child abuse, LGBTQ+, Mills & Boon, romance.
Favourite authors: John Fowles, Lee Child, Harlan Coben, Douglas Adams, Robert Jordan, James Joyce, J.R.R. Tolkien, Mark Twain, George Orwell, John Steinbeck, Sylvia Plath, Harold Robbins, John Grisham, Robert Harris.
Am I an author? I have written short stories, and had one published in a women’s magazine. I have written some poetry and won a prize in a literary competition. I wrote a children’s book, had it illustrated, and published it in Kindle. I have intentions of writing a novel – but don’t we all?
Hobbies / Interests: Until recently I played the bassoon, which I learned at school, and carried on into adulthood. I played in many amateur orchestras and informal groups, and played in the orchestra pit at several musicals. I am interested in all things scientific; I studied chemistry and physics to first-year university level. My day-job is IT, so I have knowledge of anything computer or software-related.
I am also interested in the stock exchange and have written some programs to advise on the buying and selling of stocks and shares (unfortunately, with limited success). I have a keen interest in gardening, coming from a family of professional gardeners.
Places I have lived: St. Andrews, Scotland, Glasgow, Scotland, London, England, Bath, England, Reading, England, Johannesburg, South Africa, Cape Town, South Africa, Aksai – Kazakhstan, Larnaca, Cyprus, Waterford, Ireland, Dublin, Ireland, Brisbane – Australia
Places I have travelled: Spain – Javea, Barcelona, Calella, France – Paris, Reims, Nancy, Switzerland – Les Marecottes, Lausanne, Geneva, Italy – Tuscany, Luxembourg, Greece – Athens, Crete, Turkey – Istanbul, Kas, Tunisia – Hammamet, Swaziland, USA – New York, Houston, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Las Vegas, United Arab Emirates – Dubai, Lebanon – Beirut, Russia – Moscow, Orenburg, Azerbaijan – Baku, Thailand – Bangkok, Phuket, Bali – Sanur, Kuta, Legian, New Zealand – Auckland, Paihia, Australia –Sydney, Melbourne, Newcastle, Hervey Bay, Rockhampton.
I’m a professional editor and passionate reader with a science background and extensive experience working with authors. Growing up in country Victoria in a house full of books, I read whatever I could get my hands on: classics, teen fiction, spy novels, crime, family sagas. Lately I’ve grown to appreciate memoir and nonfiction for their windows into time, place and social history.
My approach to beta reading:
I start by aiming to appreciate the author’s project. I look for where the writing delivers and where further work might help the reader. I offer constructive and sensitive feedback.
Bachelor of Science (Honours), majoring in genetics
Postgraduate Diploma of Professional Writing
Accredited Editor (Institute of Professional Editors)
Genres I read: Action, comedy/satire, crime, dystopia, fantasy, general, historical, LGBTQI+, literary, magic realism, mystery, NA, paranormal, sci-fi, spec-fic, thriller, women’s fiction, YA.
Genres/material I won’t read: Violence, sexual abuse, child abuse, erotica.
Favourite authors: Jane Austen, Rohinton Mistry, Barbara Kingsolver, David Mitchell, Annie Proulx, Chris Hammer, Neil Gaiman
Am I an author? I have co-authored a series of children’s books about Australian scientists.
Hobbies / Interests: Travel, sport, history, science, language. Trivia. Learning new things. I write and solve cryptic crosswords. Bushwalking and swimming. I enjoy time with my dog and two cats.
I am a freelance editor with a keen interest in fantasy and worldbuilding. My love of books and storytelling started at a young age. Books often provide me refuge from the outside world, and I spend a lot of my spare time dreaming up my own characters and worlds.
My approach to beta reading: Being a writer myself, I understand the effect feedback can have on a writer. I approach my feedback with the view of nurturing and encouraging while helping to identify areas that need improvement, as well as areas of strength within a manuscript.
Formal Qualifications: Bachelor of Archaeology, Diploma of Education (Primary), Certificate of Professional Editing and Proofreading.
Genres I read: Fantasy, mystery, historical fiction, romance, YA, NA, crime, spec-fic, supernatural, erotica.
Genres/material I won’t read: Horror, non-fic religious, gratuitous violence.
Favourite authors: Isobelle Carmody, Emily Rodda, J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K Rowling, Minette Walters, Agatha Christie, Rose Melikan, Meg Cabot, Kerry Greenwood.
Am I an author?: Not yet published, but I do write fantasy, mystery and romance stories in my spare time.
Hobbies / Interests: I studied archaeology with a particular interest in ancient civilisations, which often helps with my own worldbuilding. I enjoy ballroom dancing, spending time with close friends and family, playing video games, word and number puzzles, reading, drawing/painting and writing.
I have always been an avid and varied reader. My training as a Secondary Arts & Crafts teacher was eclipsed by my mothering of four sons and working alongside my husband in our small artisan furniture business. I am an open minded, instinctive individual. Am considered in the opinions I put forward and diligent in the tasks I undertake.
My approach to beta reading: With an engaged constructive, clear and supportive attitude that will enable the author to see their manuscript has had an honest and thoughtful appraisal
Formal qualifications: Bachelor of Education: Art and Craft.
Genres I read: Children’s, comedy/satire, crime, fantasy, general, historical, LGBTQI+, literary, magic realism, mystery, paranormal, romance, supernatural, womens, YA, art, biography, cookery, history, memoir, philosophy, poetry, politics, psychology, self-help, true crime.
Genres/material I won’t read: action, thriller, horror, erotica, spec-fic, sci-fi, finance, technical, educational, business, medical.
Favourite authors: Helen Garner, Hilary Mantel, Garry Disher, Rachel Joyce, Joyce Carol Oats, Anne Tyler, Elizabeth Jane Howard, Sally Vickers, David Almond, John Boyne, Bernardine Evaristo, Jess Kidd, Angela Carter, AS. Byatt, Daniel Handler, Nick Hornby
Are you an author?
While I do write stories and some poetry. Increasingly I am enthralled and captivated with the processes involved. I don’t consider myself an author.
Hobbies: Reading, writing, gardening and cooking. I have a special interest in the arts and have worked in aged care.
I’ve been an avid reader since I was eight years old and have been writing for over fifteen years. I have a Certificate in Writing a Bestseller from the Australian College of Journalism and am currently working on my debut novel. I adore all things fantasy and sci-fi, predominantly in the YA / NA genres, but am open to reading all kinds of works that whisk me off into a brand new world.
My approach to beta reading: I believe in full honesty and encouragement. As a writer myself, I know how passionate we are about our stories, how terrifying it can be to share our work and how easy it is to overlook little flaws our countless revisions have slipped past.
Formal Qualifications: Certificate in Writing a Bestseller from the Australian College of Journalism.
Genres I read: Fantasy, sci-fi, YA / NA, self-help, erotica.
Genres/material I won’t read: Biography.
Favourite authors: Sarah J. Maas, Sabaa Tahir, Leigh Bardugo.
Are you an author? Yes. I write New Adult Dark Fantasy.
Hobbies: Writing, creating crystal necklaces, lunar magic.
I started beta reading five years ago, reading and writing fan fiction. I now provide feedback for writers around the globe. I’m studying a Diploma in Professional Writing and Editing and spend way too much time reading for pleasure, averaging two or three novels per week. As a former business analyst, I freelance in web content writing and editing.
My approach to beta reading: It’s not about my preferences, but about how the book will play with target readers. A writer myself, I try to give feedback that covers aspects of writing craft, which can affect the reader’s experience, while remaining constructive, encouraging and kind.
Formal Qualifications: I am in my final year of studies for a Certificate IV in Professional Writing and Editing at Victoria Polytechnic. My Diploma in PWE is also underway.
Genres I read: Romance (contemporary and new adult), comedy, drama, rural and small-town, noir/gumshoe, particularly with a female protagonist, women’s fiction, relationship-based or character-driven fiction, young adult, memoir.
Genres/material I won’t read: horror, violence, child abuse.
Favourite authors: Kate Canterbary, Eve Dangerfield, Penny Reid, Kylie Scott, Barbara Kingsolver, Tim Winton, Vikram Seth, Kerry Greenwood, James S A Corey.
Are you an author? Yes, I’m a writer and online-published fan fiction author. I’m yet to publish original fiction.
Hobbies: writing, sewing, reading.
I’m a part-time newbie freelance editor, plus a trained environmental/science educator meeting children’s literacy and related educational needs. I’m heavily involved in my daughter’s school, plus the wider community – volunteering weekly at my local Environmental Education Centre, school and community libraries. I’ve also trained in graphic art and publishing, using these skills to produce newsletters for the local Catchment Association.
My approach to beta reading: I always keep a notebook beside me, day and night, so I can jot notes on queries or thoughts that come to me as I read. I’m passionate about books and stories and I’ve never failed to finish reading a book I’ve begun!
Formal Qualifications or Training: Bachelor of Science (Australian Environmental Studies), Postgraduate Diploma in Geographic Information Systems and Graduate Certificate in Environment (specialising in Education for Sustainability). Short courses in writing, editing, etc.
Genres I read: Historical fiction, crime, mystery, general fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, romance, chick lit, historical non-fiction, biographies, science, educational reference, medical reference.
Genres/material I won’t read: Erotica, overly religious or spiritual self-help, horror.
Favourite authors: Rachael Treasure, Rachael Johns, Kate Morton, Fleur McDonald, Fiona McIntosh, Di Morrissey, Monica McInerney, Freda Lightfoot, Nick Earls, Nikki Gemmell.
Are you an author? No, but I write, edit and produce newsletters, etc.
Hobbies: Reading, recycling/repurposing, arts and crafts (painting, papercrafts), photography, producing goods and information for others.
I have a curious and analytical mind, a love of language, and a passion for books. I’m a part-time editor with a background in law. This experience gives me an eye for detail, as well as an ability to see the big picture. I have experience writing technical and creative non-fiction documents, and I enjoy reading a wide variety of books.
My approach to beta reading: is to provide clear, considered and constructive feedback that will give the author an insight into the reader’s experience and help them to achieve their writing aims.
Formal qualifications or training: Graduate Certificate in Editing and Electronic Publishing (Macquarie University, 2016, won course prize for outstanding achievement), Bachelor of Laws with Honours (University of Adelaide, 2011).
Genres I read: Adult fiction, literary fiction, historical fiction, non-fiction history, biographies and memoirs, crime and mystery, fantasy, science-fiction, YA, true crime, self-development, educational.
Favourite authors: Graeme Simsion (and Anne Buist), Anthony Horowitz, Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler), Alan Bradley, Jane Austen, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Richard Fidler, Alexandre Dumas.
Genres/material I won’t read: Horror, erotica, romance.
Are you an author? No.
Hobbies: Cooking, reading, dancing and watching classical ballet, listening to classical music, visiting art galleries and museums.
I have a passion for both reading and writing. I am a voracious reader and reviewer for a wide range of genres. I write contemporary romance and am part of a network of writers who share and critque work. I am a member of the Australian Romance Writers Association and judge their writing competitions. I love a fantastic story and helping writers achieve that.
My approach to beta reading: Sensitivity with honesty. I understand the author wishes to improve their work. As a writer, I know the benefit a pair of fresh eyes and perspective can offer. But at the end of the day, I just love reading and will be completely invested in your work.
Formal Qualifications or Training: Social worker, lawyer, author.
Genres I read: General fiction, women’s fiction, romance, paranormal, historical fiction.
Genres/material I won’t read: Horror, sci-fi, erotica.
Favourite authors: Kate Morton, Hannah Richell, Lucinda Riley, Belinda Alexandra, Rachael Johns, Kelly Rimmer.
Am I an author? Yes. Two published novels of contemporary romance.
Hobbies: Reading, running, walking, spending time with my family.
I am a writer and writing coach with twenty years’ media experience in reporting, edting and sub-editing. I have a Master of Arts (Writing & Literature) Deakin Uni. I have a good eye and ear for a story and can spot gaps and inconsistencies. I’m also an active member of the LGBTQIA+ community.
My approach to beta reading:
I look for what the author feels is lacking as well as following my own instincts. I trace each character and story arc from inception to end and ascertain if anything is missing in its journey. I check facts and consider inconsistencies and focus on engagement and believability.
Formal Qualifications or Training: Master of Arts (Writing & Literature), Graduate Diploma Professional Writing, University Certificate Information Management, Diploma Applied Science (Horticulture).
Genres I read: LGBTIQ+, general fiction, historical (Australian), women’s, lesbian erotica, YA, memoir and bio, garden self-sufficiency, gardening, travel memoir,
Genres/material I won’t read: Violence, thrillers, horror, abuse (unless part of memoir/biog).
Favourite authors: Sarah Waters, Jeanette Winterson.
Am I an author? Published journalist and an unpublished author of YA, travel memoir, lesbian memoir.
Hobbies: Filmmaker and screenwriter, horticulturist, gardener (organic, self-sufficient, permaculture, retro and vintage collector, swing dancer, musician (classical, woodwind, orchestra, concert band), mental health, first aid.
I didn’t have toys as a child, I had books. A love of reading and learning has shaped my life. My first degree was a BA (Hons) in English literature, my most recent one (2020) a multidisciplinary PhD in how we do, can, and should value water. I love being part of the process of discovering and developing new writers in all genres.
My approach to beta reading:
The time and effort a writer has put into a manuscript inspires me to expect a good read. With this in mind, identifying areas for improvement is a crucial service for the writer’s benefit – bearing in mind the need to encourage them, not overburden them with criticism.
Formal Qualifications or Training:
Diploma of Hospitality Management (TAFE Tas, 1984)
Bachelor of Arts – English Literature (Hons) (UTas, 1995)
Bachelor of Fine Arts (UTas, 2001)
Advanced Diploma of Accounting (TAFE Tas, 2003)
Graduate Certificate of Professional Accounting (UNE, 2007)
Master of Commerce (UNE, 2009)
Graduate Certificate of Editing and Electronic Publishing (MQ, 2017)
PhD (UNE, 2020).
Genres I read: literary fiction, crime, thrillers, mystery, art, history, literature, philosophy, self-help, nature writing.
Genres/material I won’t read: Romance, sci-fi, dystopia, erotica.
Favourite authors: Janet Evanovich, Jeanette Winterson, Sara Paretsky, Barbara Kingsolver, Dervla Murphy, Harumi Murakami, Robert Macfarlane, Heather Rose, PG Wodehouse.
Am I an author? I have a history of uni-related publications (articles), one travel memoir unpublished, two chapters of my PhD published and working on two more, with an idea for a book to develop the theme of my PhD further.
My work history in mainly in the hospitality industry (working worldwide in pubs, restaurants, cafes, 5-star hotels and European camping grounds), and as a bookkeeper/tax accountant in small business catering to a range of large and small, local, national and international clients.
In my personal life, I have twenty years’ experience in rescuing wildlife (primarily brushtail possums), a lifetime of living with cats and dogs, including now fostering cats.
I live self-sufficiently on 16 acres of bushland. I have been off the electrical grid since long before it was fashionable.
Interests include bushwalking, yoga, playing piano and guitar, crafts (knitting and crochet mainly, plus others as inspiration hits), also travel when global pandemics allow.
I’m a reader, writer, editor, workshop presenter, public speaker. I’m also a founder member of a book club of nearly forty years (we are fashion starters!), and a member of writers’ group. I read anything and everything.
My approach to beta reading: As a writer I know feedback is invaluable. It should, though, be couched in a supportive, constructive manner. Writers’ egos are usually fragile and writing is a very personal business; we bare our souls. I’ve learnt a great deal from having others read and comment on my own work.
Formal Qualifications: TAFE editing. Numerous editing and writing workshops.
Genres I read: General fiction, literary fiction, memoirs, autobiographies, some chick lit, the classics, sci-fi, poetry.
Genres/material I won’t read: none.
Favourite authors: Sebastian Faulks, Ian McEwan, William Dalrymple, Donna Tartt, Tim Winton, Amitav Ghosh, Kate Grenville, Geraldine Brooks, Liz Byrski, Hanya Yanagihara, Jane Harper.
Am I an author? Yes.
Hobbies: Reading, yoga, walking with my dog, films, talking.
I am a strong reader with post-graduate experience in critiquing literature. I like to give constructive feedback, and I like to be punctual. As an editor, I believe I have developed a broad knowledge base. I find language (English and other languages) particularly interesting, and enjoy the nuances that writers use to reveal their stories.
My approach to beta reading: I listen to the intention of the author, make notes on characters and world development as I read, consider problem areas, and note things I particularly like or enjoy. My aim to is to give good, honest feedback in a thoughtful way.
Formal Qualifications: Master of Arts by research (Indonesian literature), Graduate Certificate in Editing and Electronic Publishing, IPEd accredited editor.
Genres I read: Fiction: action, children’s, comedy/satire, crime, dystopia, fantasy, general, historical, LGBTQI+, literary, magic realism, mystery, NA, paranormal, romance, sci-fi, spec-fic, supernatural, thriller, womens, YA. Non-fiction: Art, biography, business, cookery, educational, finance, history, medical, memoir, philosophy, poetry, politics, psychology, religious, science, self-help, spiritual, technical, true crime.
Genres/material I won’t read: Sexual abuse, child abuse, erotica.
Favourite authors: This week, my favourite authors are Haruki Murakami, Paulo Coelho and Jane Austen. (I’m not sure I would answer the same next time).
Am I an author? No, although I do enjoy writing (without the pressure of being an author). I have many story titles and some stories without titles. I regularly write stories in my head and put very few on paper. And so, no, I am not an author, but I do write.
Hobbies: Apart from my research into Indonesian literature, I also studied Japanese and Chinese as part of my undergrad, and I continue to study languages. I love to read. I also enjoy painting, gardening, and caring for my grandchildren. I work in a school in learning support and as assistant to the Head of Teaching and Learning. I have two dogs and many fish (some of whom are my best friends).
I run a freelance editorial services business and a site promoting books and art for adults and kids. I write, edit, illustrate and design for clients and for myself. As an author, I know what it’s like on the other side of the manuscript.
My approach to beta reading: English literature studies gave me an excellent grounding in book structure, language use, tone and genre. A lifetime of incessant reading means I quickly gain a feel for a work, its characters, plot pacing and integrity. It’s a pleasure to use these skills to help other writers develop their books.
Formal Qualifications: BA Hons (English Literature), Dip Ed, Grad Dip Psych Studies.
Genres I read:: General fiction, children’s and YA, fantasy, humour, creative non-fiction, poetry.
Genres/material I won’t read: Violence, forensics, gore, horror.
Favourite authors: Ursula Le Guin, Alexander McCall Smith, Alain de Botton, Michael Bond, Lian Tanner, Jandy Nelson, TS Eliot, AA Milne.
Am I an author? Yes. I write and publish humorous novels about guinea pigs.
Hobbies: Books, yoga, upcycling, travel, swimming, photography, guinea pigs.
I love storytelling in all its forms, and ever since primary school I’ve wanted to work with other storytellers. I love the unique approaches to narrative offered by every medium, but of course Novels were my first love. I am currently working on multiple written projects of my own.
My approach to beta reading: As a reader, I find what I don’t notice is often as important as what I do. The part of a story that sticks in your mind most upon first read can often tell you as much about the story as something you felt and only realise upon reflection. When beta-reading I try to examine a story from as many angles as possible.
Formal Qualifications: Bachelor of Screen Media.
Genres I read: Sci-Fi, cyberpunk, fantasy, YA Fiction, post-apocalypse.
Genres/material I won’t read: Child Abuse.
Favourite authors: Douglas Adams, Neil Gaiman, Derek Landy.
Am I an author? I am as of yet a largely unpublished author. I have written a full length manuscript and several short stories, although they are mostly in early stages of development.
Hobbies: Video games, film, TV, writing, tech, online culture and systems.
I’m a professional writer and editor specialising in government, business and the not-for-profit sector. Previously based on Norfolk Island, I worked as a casual teacher. I enjoy writing children’s stories and love travelling to meet people and experience different cultures. I’m trying to learn Spanish!
My approach to beta reading:
Growing up, I was known as the girl who was always reading. I recall walking to the local library on my own at five years of age. I love a good story, be it true or fiction, especially when it resonates in some way. But more than that, I love coaching/guiding an author to make their story something special.
Formal Qualifications or Training: Cert IV Training and Assessment, B Ed (Upper Primary/Lower Secondary), Grad Dip (Ed Counselling), Post Grad Cert Editing and Electronic Publishing.
Favourite genres: Creative nonfiction and science fiction.
Genres I’m also happy to read: Autobiography , memoir.
Genres/material I won’t beta read: Pretty open to considering all genres.
Favorite authors: Thea Astley, Andrew Miller, Geraldine Brooks, Richard Flanagan, Tim Winton.
Am I an author? Yes
Hobbies: Writing children’s stories, learning Spanish, travelling, enjoying time with family and friends.
I’ve read widely since childhood. My mother would shout at me to put out the light and go to sleep. She enjoyed romance novels, my father preferred adventure stories. I grew up reading both. I love books that tell a clear story with strong plot and characters. As I’ve got older my reading tastes have broadened. Crime fiction is still my favourite.
My approach to beta reading: I am honest, thoughtful, my remarks always considered. My approach is that of a reader and a writer. Suggestions are constructive and outline my emotional and intellectual response to a story and will address areas that work well as well as areas for improvement.
Genres I read: Crime fiction, thrillers, mysteries, romance, historical, fantasy, women’s, general.
Genres/material I won’t read: Science fiction, violence, erotica.
Favourite authors: Peter Temple, Garry Disher, Jon Cleary, Ian Rankin, Ruth Rendell, Ann Cleeves, Michael Robotham.
Am I an author? Yes. I had my first short story published this year. I’m currently working on a trilogy.
Hobbies: I’m a keen gardener, love crosswords, patchwork and my feline family.
I’ve been a committed reader for well over half a century, and I have the useful ability to read on three levels simultaneously: as an author, as an editor/assessor and as a reader. I have been reviewing and writing appraisals for decades so I’m good at articulating my responses.
My approach to beta reading: I read on three levels, and can consciously put myself in the shoes of author, editor and
Formal Qualifications: 400+ books published and many years of working as an editor and manuscript assessor.
Genres I read: Children’s books, chick-lit, picture books, creative nonfiction, memoir, sci-fic, fantasy, romance, erotica, historical, cross-genre etc.
Genres/material I won’t read: Highly technical non-fiction, left-wing political stuff, plotless lit-fic, porn (which is not the same as erotica), nastiness, and extreme horror with gratuitous gore.
Favourite authors: Diana Wynne Jones, Margaret Mahy, Monica Edwards, Elizabeth Marie Pope.
Am I an author? Yes. I write children’s books, YA, fantasy, historicals, how-tos, romance, saucy “soft” erotic romance, picture books, reading scheme and verse.
Hobbies: Gardens, flowers, dogs, cats, donkeys, horses, cows, goats, cooking, walking, names and naming, gemstones, costumes.
The projects I’ve worked on range across the globe, including educational textbooks, biographies, fantasy and science-fiction stories, and gaming books. I’ve worked as associate editor and reader for Aurealis magazine for 10 years and was previously lead editor and publisher for 21D magazine. In my time for these two magazines, I screened and edited pieces for publication and provided constructive feedback to authors.
My approach to beta reading: I try to get inside the head of the writer, to see what they’re attempting with their writing and make suggestions to improve the overall sense of the story. As a fan of roleplaying games – writing and telling stories with a group – I take an almost directorial approach to stories.
Formal Qualifications: Bachelor of Applied Science (Honours) – Microbiology/Biotechnology (La Trobe University Bendigo), Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing (Centre for Adult Education, Melbourne), Certificate III Customer Contact (Sunraysia TAFE), Certificate III in Education Support (Bendigo TAFE)
Genres I read: Graphic novels or gaming texts (board games, roleplaying games, miniature games), LGBTQI+, literary fiction, general fiction, historical, romance, YA, NA, children’s, thriller, crime, mystery, action, spec-fic, sci-fi, dystopia, fantasy, horror, supernatural, paranormal, erotica, comedy, satire. Non-fiction: Self-help, philosophy, psychology, medical, science, technical, educational, history, art, literature, cookery.
Genres/material I won’t read: Memoir, biography, religious, spiritual, politics, finance, business, poetry.
Favourite authors: Neil Gaiman, China Mieville, Ben Aaronovitch, N K Jemisin, Tamsyn Muir.
Am I an author? I have written for a few roleplaying game books and publications, and I write and develop my writing skills when I get the chance.
Hobbies / Interests: Game design (board games, roleplaying games, miniature games), gardening, cooking, sustainability, science communication, education, mythology
Places I have lived: Regional Victoria and Melbourne.
I am an avid and passionate reader, who appreciates the power that literature has to transport us to different worlds and immerse us into the lives of various characters. I have recently completed a Bachelor of Arts, in which I majored in History, while also taking electives in Literature, Art History and French. I am interested in pursuing a career in editing and publishing.
My approach to beta reading:
I aim to provide encouraging and thoughtful feedback that would allow writers to feel supported and their work appreciated. I keep an open mind when reading manuscripts, as I am aware that I am not necessarily the target reader.
Formal Qualifications: Bachelor of Arts (History major, the University of Melbourne)
Genres I read: Literary fiction, general fiction, women’s fiction, historical fiction, short stories, fantasy, YA, Art, biography, cookery, educational, history, memoir, self-help.
Genres I won’t read: Violence, sexual abuse, child abuse, erotica and horror.
Favourite authors: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry James, Amor Towles, Isabel Allende.
Am I an author? (explain): No.
Hobbies / Interests: I am passionate about history, languages, art and fashion. I also love travelling, visiting museums, art galleries and historical sites, listening to music, cooking and trying new coffee shops.
Places I have lived or travelled: I lived in London for six months, during which I undertook an exchange program at King’s College London, as a part of my undergraduate degree in History. I have also travelled to various other countries in Europe, as well as to the United States.
I have been a keen reader since early childhood. I read a wide range of material. I enjoy non-fiction, particularly history and sociology. I also read a lot of fiction, from 19th and 20th century fiction to contemporary works.
My approach to beta reading: As a lay person I believe that I can read and assess writing “in the shoes of the average reader”, so to speak. As my wife is a writer (of both fiction and non-fiction) I appreciate the importance of making comments positive and constructive.
Genres I read: History, sociology, religion, philosophy, biography, literary fiction, crime fiction, general fiction.
Genres/material I won’t read: Erotica.
Favourite authors: Charles Dickens. Fyodor Dostoevsky. Albert Camus. Lionel Schriver.
Am I an author? No, except for the occasional short story.
Hobbies / Interests: I play drums and percussion.
I have been an avid reader from a young age and often spent most of my time lost in the fictional worlds I was reading, a habit that continues to this day. I’m a freelance editor and have previously volunteered for Lateral Magazine. During the day, I work as a clinical trial coordinator and enjoy talking about books with anyone who will listen.
My approach to beta reading:
I approach beta reading with an open mind, as I appreciate the time and effort it takes to create a fictional world. My reports will be honest and reflect the thoughts that come to mind, especially on how the story made me feel and believability of the story and characters.
Formal Qualifications or Training: PhD in Biological Sciences, Writing Editing and Publishing Course (Curtin University), Associate Member with IPEd.
Genres I read: Literary fiction, romance/chick-lit, YA, fantasy, crime, thriller, cookery, general fiction, historical fiction.
Genres/material I won’t read: Non-fiction, dystopia, child abuse.
Favourite authors: Penny Reid, Sarah J Maas, J.K. Rowling, Dervla McTiernan, Ben Aaronovitch, Samantha Young.
Am I an author? No.
Hobbies / Interests: Reading, cooking, baking cakes, yoga. I’m a scientist at heart.
I’m an indie author and book reviewer publishing through my personal website, podcast and Aurealis Magazine, which gives me a wide exposure to the best and worst of the current science fiction and fantasy markets. My qualifications in archaeology and writing/literature give me a unique perspective on effective worldbuilding and an eye for the details that make a fictional world both vibrant and real.
My approach to beta reading: There’s no value to either cruelty or dishonesty in beta reading. I understand that writers inject a lot of emotional well-being into their work, but also that readers look for quality above all else. I close this gap between writer and reader expectations in a supportive but honest environment.
Formal Qualifications: Master’s of Writing and Literature, Bachelor of Archaeology (hons).
Genres I read: Sci-fi, fantasy, horror, supernatural, urban fantasy and wider speculative fiction.
Genres/material I won’t read: Erotica.
Favourite authors: Terry Pratchett, Brandon Sanderson, Trudi Canavan, Mur Lafferty and Stephen McCranie.
Am I an author? Yes, I self-publish short fiction and am working towards novel-length releases.
Hobbies / Interests: Singing Opera, orchestral performance, historical re-enactment, archery, horses, gardening and baking.