Beta Reader Service – Senior Beta Reading Team

Meet the AJC Senior Beta Reading Team

Our senior beta reading team are all professional editors and avid readers with a diverse range of backgrounds and a wide taste in genres. Beta reading is a smart and cost-effective solution to getting honest feedback on your novel, memoir or book manuscript.

Read about our  Beta Reading Service or meet our  Young Beta Reading Team.

Alicia

I’ve always been a passionate reader. From reading with Mum as a toddler before bed, to now where I read with every spare moment I can grasp, books have always been a big part of my life. I decided I had to do something with them as a career, and I have now worked in the publishing industry for over two years.

My approach to beta reading: My wish is for every manuscript to be the absolute best it can be, and I take my part in that seriously. I spend time with the story everyday, taking notes as I read – and not just on criticisms, but on the parts that made me laugh, cry or gasp.

Formal Qualifications: Associate Degree in Professional Writing and Editing (RMIT), Bachelor Degree in Writing and Publishing (Melbourne Polytechnic)

Favourite genres:  Fantasy, science-fiction, memoir, contemporary (in MG, YA and Adult)

Genres I’m also happy to read: Creative Non-fiction, Romance, Horror

Genres/material I won’t beta read: Academic material

Favorite authors: Melissa Marr, Leigh Bardugo, Maria V. Snyder, Brandon Sanderson, Jay Kristoff

Am I an author? Yes, I have had two short stories published. I also write YA Fantasy, yet to be published.

Hobbies: Video-gaming, reading, writing

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Alix

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 beta read: Erotica, horror.

Favorite authors: LM Montgomery, Ursula leGuin, Tim Stevens, Denise Grover Swank.

Are you an author? No.

Hobbies: Reading, running, baking, crochet.

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Andrew

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)

Favourite genres: Non-fiction (autobiographies and biographies), sport (both fiction and non-fiction), comedy, satire

Genres I’m also happy to read: Romance, horror, thriller, crime, mystery

Genres/material I won’t beta read: Anything exploitative or with cruelty to animals

Favorite 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

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Angela

I love exploring language, in all its glorious forms. I’m happiest when I’m reading and surrounded by books, pages and paper, and get very excited by masterfully crafted narratives. I’m a freelance editor and mum to two young children who devour books faster than I do.

My approach to beta reading: I carefully consider the integrity and credibility of a manuscript. I aim to offer respectful and constructive feedback to help an author meet their goals. Becoming entirely enveloped in what I’m reading means I’m acutely aware of the emotions it elicits and how it might be received by others.

Formal Qualifications: BA (Hons) Linguistics and English, TESOL Certificate, Diploma of Editing and Publishing (Macleay), Accredited Editor (IPEd)

Favourite genres:  Literary fiction, history, biography, classics young adult, travel, fantasy, reference, cookery

Genres I’m also happy to read:  Popular psychology

Genres/material I won’t beta read: Horror, erotica

Favorite authors: Jasper Fforde, Philip Pullman, Robert Macfarlane, Isabelle Allende, Kazuo Ishiguro, Sarah Waters, Alexandre Dumas, JK Rowling, Deborah Harkness

Am I an author? No

Hobbies: Cooking, walking, collecting words, reading, exploring the outdoors with my children

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Beth

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.

Favourite Genres: Historical fiction, women’s stories, mysteries, drama.

Genres I’m also happy to read: Young adult, memoir.

Genres/material I won’t beta read: Sci-fi, horror, erotica.

Favorite 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

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Carly

I’m a full-time freelance editor with a teaching background and dreams of owning a bookstore to grow old in. My biggest clients are textbook companies and therefore a chance to read anything else is a welcome relief. I run my own editing business during the day and spend my spare time crafting or reading.

My approach to beta reading: I feel it’s important to leave any personal agenda at the door and figure out what the author’s own vision is. I use a combination of general impressions, assessments of the strengths and weaknesses and suggestions for improvement to form an honest evaluation of the story.

Formal qualifications: Graduate certificate editing and electronic publishing; Graduate certificate food writing; Certificate professional editing and proofreading; Structural (fiction) editing for editors.

Favourite genres: General and literary fiction, memoir, comedy, historical fiction, YA, dystopian.

Genres I’m also happy to read: Science fiction.

Genres/material I won’t beta read: Nothing.

Favourite authors: Jeffrey Eugenides, Tim Winton, Elizabeth Gilbert, Liane Moriarty.

Am I an author: No.

Hobbies: reading, writing, weaving, embroidery, gardening

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Connie

I’m a qualified freelance editor and longstanding YA reviewer for a YA blog. I love editing as well as mentoring authors to help their work shine. I’m currently writing a YA novel and have first-hand experience of the challenging yet fulfilling writing process. I buy far too many books, read a wide variety of genres and have been part of a book group for 17 years.

My approach to beta reading: I love to offer insights and productive feedback to authors. I’m not a critical person by nature and will always see the best in someone’s work whilst making honest suggestions for improvement. I know the struggle authors face and the considerable contribution constructive feedback can make.

Formal Qualifications: Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing (RMIT), Bachelor of Social Work (Monash University).

Favourite genres: General Fiction, YA, Fantasy, Thriller, Sci-fi, Contemporary Realism, Romance, Memoir

Favourite authors: Melina Marchetta, Jane Harper, Alex Miller, Ellie Marney, Jane Austen, John Green, Jennifer Donnelly, Cath Crowley, Maggie Stiefvater, Louisa May Alcott, Jandy Nelson, Harper Lee, Liane Moriarty.

Genres/material I won’t beta read: Extreme graphic violence, paedophilia.

Are you an author? Yes. Emerging author.

Hobbies: Reading, keeping fit, paddle boarding, eating chips and watching Netflix.

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Edwin

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

Favourite genres:  Crime, true crime, thrillers, historical, humour, fiction

Genres I’m also happy to read:  Horror

Genres/material I won’t beta read: Romance, fantasy

Favorite authors: Margaret Atwood, Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Gabriel García Márquez, PG Wodehouse, Arnaldur Indridason

Am I an author? No

Hobbies / Interests: Music, theatre, dance, fitness

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Fiona

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)

Favourite Genres: Literary fiction, crime, thriller, YA

Genres I’m also happy to read: 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

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Geraldine

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.

Favourite Genres: YA, literary fiction, crime fiction, true crime, academic non-fiction (literature, history, art).

Genres I’m also happy to read: N/A.

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.

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Jacalyn

I’m a freelance writer and editor with years of experience in marketing. However, my passion is books. I read my first manuscript during an internship at a publisher. What a magical experience! Getting one of the first glimpses of what could be the next big thing and helping the author is an amazing feeling.

My approach to beta reading: Most of my working life has been training or assisting writers with their work. So I believe it’s so important to give feedback and guidance that encourages growth, not causes them to doubt their abilities. I don’t so much focus on rules; I focus on how writing makes me feel.

Formal Qualifications: Bachelor of Arts (Professional Writing), Bachelor of Creative Arts (Hons).

Favourite genres: General fiction, YA, sci-fi, drama, thriller/suspense.

Genres I’m also happy to read: Historical fiction, fantasy, chick lit.

Genres/material I won’t beta read: Child abuse, sexual violence.

Favorite authors: Please don’t make me choose!

Am I an author?: I write short stories but I haven’t been published.

Hobbies: Reading, painting and watching my stories.

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Jonathan

I am a student at The University of Adelaide majoring in both English Literature and Chemistry. My studies have developed my skills in analysis as well as creativity, so I can see both the analytical scientific side and the conceptual creative artistic side of writing. Having grown up reading everything from the Redwall series to Aristotle’s Poetics, I know a good story when I read one.

My approach to beta reading: A closet author myself, I have an understanding of what it is to write. My approach is one of clear constructive feedback, showing the reader’s experience and helping the author to improve their work.

Formal Qualifications: Year 12 English Literature (2015). Bachelor of Arts with Bachelor of Science, majoring in English and Chemistry (anticipated completion 2021)

Favourite genres: Fantasy, adventure, science fiction, literary fiction

Genres I’m also happy to read: Mystery thriller, dystopian, biographies, memoirs, self-development, educational, true crime, general fiction

Genres/material I won’t beta read: Erotica

Favorite authors: Lemony Snicket, Alan Bradley, Brian Jacques, Eoin Colfer, Robert Louis Stevenson, Jane Austen, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien

Am I an author? Yes. I write adventure/sci-fi fiction. I like hand to hand combat and chivalry.

Hobbies / Interests: I enjoy motorbikes, riding and working on them. I also enjoy cooking, snorkling, reading theology books, and playing video games.

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Kellie

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.

Favourite genres: Romance: contemporary and new adult, comedy, drama, rural and small-town. Other: noir/gumshoe, particularly with a female protagonist. Women’s fiction.

Genres I’m also happy to read: relationship-based or character-driven fiction, young adult, memoir.

Favorite authors: Kate Canterbary, Eve Dangerfield, Penny Reid, Kylie Scott, Barbara Kingsolver, Tim Winton, Vikram Seth, Kerry Greenwood, James S A Corey.

Genres/material I won’t beta read: horror, violence, child abuse.

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.

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Kelsey

I’m a freelance journalist and editor who spends the majority of my time reading fantasy novels and studying fitness. As former Managing Editor of Cosmopolitan magazine – and lifelong girl power advocate – my primary interest is in stories with female lead characters and, of course, the odd bit of erotica.

My approach to beta reading: I like to give honest but sensitive feedback on how events and characters made me react, focusing strongly on believability and offering suggestions that may have come to mind during reading.

Formal Qualifications: BA Hons (English and Linguistics); Subbing and Indesign course w/ Alliance/Walkley Foundation Training for Journalists; Professional Editing and Proofreading Course w/The Sackville Academy.

Favourite genres: Fantasy, science fiction, paranormal erotica, YA

Genres I’m also happy to beta read:  Traditional romance, chick lit, literary fiction

Genres/material you won’t beta read: Crime, horror, biographies, non-fiction.

Favorite authors: Robin Hobb, Terry Goodkind, Gena Showalter, Nalini Singh, JR Ward, Paullina Simons.

Hobbies: Reading, fitness, yoga, writing.

Are you an author? Journalist.

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Leanne

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

Favourite genres:  Women’s fiction, romance, historical fiction

Genres I’m also happy to read:  Most genres, excepting below

Genres/material I won’t beta 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

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Lainie

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.

Favourite genres: Fiction: historical, crime, mystery, general fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, romance, chick lit. Non-Fiction: historical, biographies, science, educational reference.

Genres I’m also happy to beta read:  Medical reference.

Genres/material I won’t beta 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.

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Lauren

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).

Favourite genres: Adult fiction, literary fiction, historical fiction, non-fiction history, biographies and memoirs, crime and mystery.

Genres I’m also happy to read: Fantasy, science-fiction, YA, true crime, self-development, educational.

Favorite 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 beta 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.

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Margaret

I’ve been devouring anything in print for most of my reading life. I’ve worked in libraries for forty years — the ideal place for book to lead to book. I’m now a freelance writer and editor and manage community publishing projects.

I read widely and constantly. I would read manuscripts with an eye for originality of voice and approach, and an ear for a delight in language the writer wants to share.

Formal qualifications: Diploma of Social Science in Librarianship and RMIT Associate Degree in Professional Writing and Editing

Favourite genres: Literary fiction, short stories, murder mysteries, creative non-fiction, books for children from birth to twelve.

Genres I’m also happy to read: Romance

Genres/material I won’t read: For adults: None. For children: Gross out humour (poos, wees and falling down)

Favorite authors: Mohsin Hamid, Penelope Fitzgerald, Margo Lanagan, Rebecca Stead

Are you an author? Yes. I’ve co-written three books for babies, and I write about books for literary journals.

Hobbies: Patchwork and crane-watching

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Margie

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. I’m currently reading The Handmaid’s Tale as I missed it last time round.

Margie

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.

Favourite genres: Literary fiction, memoirs, autobiographies, some chick lit, the classics.

Genres I’m also happy to read: Sci-fi, poetry.

Favorite authors: Sebastian Faulks, Ian McEwan, William Dalrymple, Donna Tartt, Tim Winton, Amitav Ghosh, Kate Grenville, Geraldine Brooks, Liz Byrski, Hanya Yanagihara, Jane Harper.

Genres/material you won’t beta read: None.

Am I an author? Yes.

Hobbies: Reading, yoga, walking with my dog, films, talking.

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Mary

I’m a qualified editor who mostly copy-edits or proofreads non-fiction, history or memoirs. I’m a prolific reader of mixed genres and reading is my main pleasure for relaxation. I must read every day; I hate giving away books, and I love buying them.

My approach to beta reading: Each author is different – each manuscript, therefore, can’t be compared with another. However, the character development, the ‘page-turning’ effect of the narrative, the prose, dialogue and descriptions should all, in turn, keep the reader satisfied and this is what I’ll be looking for. I enjoy reading new authors and particularly debut authors; currently, I’ve read three this month.

Formal Qualifications: HBD Nursing, BN, BA Hons, Diploma of Editing and Proofreading (ECU).

Favourite genres: History, memoirs, non-fiction, crime, adventure.

Genres I’m also happy to read: YA.

Genres/material I won’t beta read: Sci-fi, alt history, fantasy, porn.

Favorite authors: Tolkein, Hillary Mantell, Stieg Larsson, Peter Fitzsimon, Paul Ham.

Am I an author? Yes. Non-fiction and academic writing, currently compiling.

Hobbies: reading, knitting, gardening, walking, glamping, birdwatching, history and writing an oral history project for Bridgetown’s 150th anniversary of its gazettal.

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Melanie

I’ve spent many years as a collaborative writer of paranormal fiction and have since developed an avid interest in a wide range of genres. I enjoy authentic characters who complement a solid story that explores unique perspectives in both written and on-screen formats. When I’m not busy with work or family, I write fiction and poetry and take frequent trips to the cinema.

My approach to beta reading: I value transparency and will offer my thoughts honestly but with optimism. Character development, authenticity of voice and motivations behind character action interest me, and I’m always looking for solid storylines and fresh perspectives and style. Genre matters little when a story is told well by engaging characters.

Formal qualifications: Graduate RMIT Professional Writing and Editing.

Favourite genres: Literary, Paranormal, supernatural, YA and general fiction.

Genres I’m also happy to read: Thriller.

Genres/material I won’t read: Historical fiction, self-help, religious.

Favorite authors: Christos Tsiolkas, Maxine Benebe Clarke, Glen Duncan, Markus Zusak, Hugh Howey, Laurell K Hamilton.

Are you an author? Yes. YA, literary, paranormal, poetry.

Hobbies: Writing, reading, movies.

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Merridy

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.

Favourite genres: General fiction, children’s and YA, fantasy, humour, creative non-fiction, poetry.

Genres/material I won’t beta read: Violence, forensics, gore, horror.

Favorite 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.

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Robyn

I’m a professional writer and editor specialising in government, business and the not-for-profit sector. I’m based on Norfolk Island where I also work 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.

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Steph

I have been a passionate reader ever since I can remember. I’m also a “bookstagrammer” and review the published books I read on Instagram. Outside of reading I work in the not-for-profit sector, and enjoy spending my time volunteering, indulging in music and films, and hiking.

My approach to beta reading: My approach is always a positive one. I will come to each manuscript with an open mind, and also keep in mind the target audience. I will look for the great ideas and themes that sustain the incredible work of writing a book, and provide thoughtful advice on what could be changed.

Formal Qualifications: Bachelor of Arts and Diploma of Languages at the University of Melbourne

Favourite genres:  Literary fiction, historical fiction, fantasy (including YA fantasy), speculative fiction, memoirs

Genres I’m also happy to read: YA fiction, crime, sci-fi

Genres/material I won’t beta read: Romance

Favourite authors: Philip Pullman, Kate Atkinson, Roxane Gay, Ian McEwan, Sarah Perry, Jeanette Winterson, Melissa Lucashenko, Sara Douglass.

Am I an author? No, although I do enjoy writing for fun.

Hobbies: Reading, hiking, watching films, playing piano.

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Stephen

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.

Favourite genres: History, sociology, religion, philosophy, biography, literary fiction, crime fiction.

Genres I’m also happy to read: Anything except erotica

Genres/material I won’t beta read: Erotica

Favorite 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.

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Terence

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)

Favourite genres: Science fiction and fantasy

Genres I’m also happy to read:  Horror, supernatural, urban fantasy and wider speculative fiction

Genres/material I won’t beta 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

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