Editors and agents give author appraisals to raise funds for charity

Editors and agents give author appraisals to raise funds for charity

Helen Huthwaite, editorial director at HarperCollins, has launched a project to provide manuscript services for aspiring authors in order to raise £30,000 for charity.

A selection of authors, agents and editors will donate their services to give budding authors the "rare chance to get a professional appraisal of [their] novels from an industry insider". The project is part of a fundraising scheme for Huthwaite's Challenge 30 initiative - a year-long campaign which aims to raise £30,000 for S.A.L.V.E International to build a home for children living on the streets of Uganda. Huthwaite launched the campaign when she turned 30-years-old in March 2015 and has since carried out a challenge a month to "prove that hitting the big three-oh isn't all that bad."

For the latest fundraising push, a chosen industry professional will read and review a synopsis of a book submitted by an aspiring author along with the first 3,000 words of the manuscript. They will also provide an "honest and constructive" in-depth report, giving editorial guidance on content and advice on how to improve material and where the proposal fits in the current market.

Participating editors include Martha Ashby, editor at HarperCollins, El Ashfield, fantasy editor at HarperVoyager, Natasha Harding, commissioning editor at Avon and Catherine Richardson, senior editor at Pan MacMillan.

The agents offering up their services are Diana Beaumont, Christine Green and Claire Wallace, and the authors include Gill Paul, Allie Spencer, Jo Bartlett and Adrienne Dines.

Huthwaite said: “I have been overwhelmed with the support from across the industry for the Challenge 30 campaign this year, particularly as we come into the Christmas period – the publishing world is a wonderful place. The time and skills that authors, editors and agents are donating will make a real difference where it matters most, with all profits from our Christmas gifts going directly to help children living on the streets of Uganda. I couldn’t be more grateful to everyone who has offered their support for this crucial work.”

The price to receive a critique from an author is £60 and prices for editors and agents are £70. Services can be ordered from the Challenge 30 website and donations can be made here.

Huthwaite’s Challenge 30 campaign includes other fundraising activities including marathons, swims and triathalons. The campaign has so far raised £16,326 and will run until February 2016.