Australian & NZ Book Coaches and Writing Mentors: Fiction

Australian & NZ Book Coaches and Writing Mentors: Fiction

Need some help with your literary fiction, thriller, romance, historical, fantasy, children’s book or genre-bending manuscript?

The right writing mentor can help you improve your manuscript, right through to helping you grow as an author.

From manuscript assessments to encouraging you to work through plot holes and strengthen characters, a book coach (sometimes also called a book doctor, book doula, writing mentor or author whisperer), might be just what you need to take your manuscript and author career to the next level.

FYI: If you need a book coach for non-fiction, business books or memoir, the list of Australian non-fiction book coaches is here.

The list below comprises Australian and New Zealand book coaches – and ‘editors on steroids’ – (specialising in fiction books and authors). The list will be added to and changed over time.

P.S. Though I’m in no way a fiction coach, I may be able to help you with other types of advice about author marketing/PR and literary agent, publishing and self-publishing questions, as well as refer you on to others with specific knowledge. You can also check out the on-demand course on Bold Authors that may be of assistance too.

Disclaimer: Being on the list does not mean I recommend these writing mentors, that’s because I haven’t been able to work with them all individually. Each coach has a specialty, level of experience and style that may suit a particular type of author/book, but not necessarily you and yours.  Please do your own research, seek recommendations from your writing community and show due diligence when selecting who to work with. Check their terms and conditions too so you know what your options are if things don’t work out.


Book Coaches Australia & NZ List – Fiction


Joanne Fedler – Story Solutions

Fiction: Literary fiction, Trade fiction (and non-fiction)

  • Offering: Virtual (anywhere)
  • Specialties: Structural editing reports, Manuscript assessment, Mentoring, Beta Reading, Pitching literary agents/trad publishers (in exceptional cases), Self-Publishing Assistance, Writing community, Editing, Motivation
  • About Joanne’s author services: Author of 14 books (literary, commercial fiction, memoir, self-help), published by Allen & Unwin, Penguin, Hay House, Hardie Grant and Harper Collins (750000 copies sold worldwide). I work with women writers.
  • Author clients include: Kerry Taylor, Lisa Myers, Lisa Benson


Kaitlan Sharpe – Ghost writer, Loads of Books

Fiction: Children’s books, Romance, Literary fiction, Trade fiction (and non-fiction)

  • Offering: Virtual (anywhere), face-to-face (Adelaide, SA)
  • Specialties: Beta reading, proofreading, ghost writing, editing, self-publishing assistance, Amazon KDP category and keyword assistance
  • About Laurel’s author services: A South Australian, ghost writer with a Bachelor of Communication and Professional Writing and Bachelor of Letters (Creative Writing), I help writers’ polish their work and unearth their
  • Author clients include: Sarah Coffey, Nova 919,  Philip Johns


Laurel Cohn – Laurel Cohn Editing and Manuscript Development Services

Fiction: Children’s books, Junior fiction, Middle grade, Young adult, Romance, Speculative fiction, Thriller, Literary fiction, Trade fiction, Memoir, Narrative non-fiction

  • Offering: Virtual (anywhere), face-to-face
  • Specialties: Manuscript assessments, editing, mentoring and consultations
  • About Laurel’s author services: Since the late 1980s Laurel has been helping writers of all types prepare their work for publication. Her approach is informed by an understanding of the tricky emotional terrain of the development process, and the importance of clear and practical guidance. Laurel has a PhD in literary and cultural studies.
  • Author clients include: Lynton Burger, Claire Dunn, Dina Davis


Louise Guy – (note: booked up for 2024)


Lu Sexton – Wordsmith & Writing Coach

Fiction: Literary fiction, Trade fiction

Offering: Virtual (anywhere)

  • Specialties: Manuscript assessments, mentoring, editing
  • About Lu’s author services: I work with first-time novelists to help them build their confidence, refine their craft and get to the finish line. Qualifications: Diploma Professional Writing and Editing (2012), IPED accreditation.
  • Author clients include: Simon Taylor, Tina Popa, Nichola Scurry


Nadine Davidoff – Nadine Davidoff Editorial Services

Fiction: Literary fiction, Trade fiction, Memoir, Narrative non-fiction

  • Offering: Virtual (anywhere), face-to-face (Melbourne, VIC)
  • Specialties: Manuscript assessments, editing, writer mentoring, pitching literary agents and traditional publishers
  • About Nadine’s author services: Currently work as a freelance editor / mentor; previously in-house at Random House Australia and Black Inc. My expertise is in developmental / structural editing of fiction and narrative non-fiction.
  • Author clients include: Melissa Manning, Natasha Sholl, Ella Baxter 


Rose Mascaro – Heart Writing

Fiction: Experimental fiction, Literary fiction, Postmodern technique, Travel fiction (and some non-fiction)

  • Offering: Virtual (anywhere), face-to-face (Sydney, Central Coast NSW)
  • Specialties: Teaching of writing craft, holistic and academic approach to book mentoring, book copy editing, developmental/structural editing
  • About Rose’s author services: Rose is a writer, editor, experienced teacher and book mentor with a master’s in creative writing from UTS, Sydney. She works with heart-led, experimental writers who benefit from her diverse literary knowledge and intuitive approach..
  • Author clients include: TBA