I work with authors to develop, revise and complete their manuscript. I have thirty years’ experience mentoring emerging and established authors. I offer conversations and written feedback that enable authors to hone and develop their craft and discover new techniques. I’m particularly focused on structure, narrative pacing, and language techniques. As a mentor I support writers to realise their vision for the manuscript, to stay on track, keep to deadlines, and to finish the work. I work with authors to prepare their work for submission to agents and publishers, and to bring the manuscript to a publishable standard.


These rates include reading time. Reading times vary because sometimes a work is a rough, early draft, other times the work might have gone through a series of close edits. Manuscripts are very varied and individual. A working estimate is up to 10K words— two-three hours, 35K words —eight hours, 70K words — sixteen hours

‘Your Own Personal Yoda? Q&A with writing mentor Dr Jane Messer’, by Jacqui Brown Women’s Ink, Winter 2021


Jane understands how a story works on almost a visceral level. Her sensitive insights come from a place of sound professional experience and her own authentic responses as a prolific reader and writer. She’s supportive, encouraging and realistic too. From big-picture structural issues to small but significant details my manuscript has advanced leaps and bounds under her guidance. Jane cheered me on from the sidelines and held my hand when ti came time to ‘kill my darlings’ – exactly what I needed a mentor to be.

Jennifer castles, author and submissions editor and ASA Mentor recipient

It was wonderful to work again with Jane, and her mentoring has been significant in helping me identify and clarify the themes, characters and narrative of my first novel. Her feedback and insights are concise and detailed and she puts an incredible amount of effort into each step of the mentoring and review process. I value her input tremendously and can’t wait to enlist her services again! 

Nathalie Sutherland, emerging writer, editor, seattle/sydney

Can I just say, I loved working with Jane. Her non-nonsense, honest and encouraging approach freed me to give everything a go with results I couldn’t have dreamed up. I mean, who would have thought I’d have had short nonfiction shortlisted for publication and long fiction in progress by the time we finished our work together? Thank you Jane! A thousand times over, thank you.

Kylie hough, emerging writer and ASA Mentor recipient

It was only through Jane’s vision and patient inspired teaching that saw me develop from a very green young aspiring writer, to an author with stories published in both Australian and international journals, such as IslandAntipodes and Wasafiri.

Michelle Hamadache, author and editor

Jane recognised my vision immediately and was ambitious for me, and incredibly supportive. She’s helped me work through the kinds of technical inconsistencies I wasn’t able to see clearly, being in the thick of the story. She taught me much about structure, and the importance of killing off darlings, and of being a disciplined and decisive editor of my work. Her advice and expertise in putting together pitch and proposal documents and creating a tight synopsis were also fundamental I believe, in getting my novel seen by agents and publishers.

Cassy Cochrane, emerging author, voice coach and actor

Jane has a deep understanding of craft, in particular, focalisation, plot and character development; all skills gained from years of teaching and reading many kinds of manuscripts. She is an astute and highly intelligent reader. She is concise and constructive in her feedback. She is an extremely ethical and generous person, a creative problem-solver, an empath. All wonderful qualities in a writer and mentor. I would strongly recommend Jane as a mentor to other writers. I feel extremely privileged to have had Jane’s caring and unwavering support for my writing over many years.

Mary-Ellen Mullane, author and children’s TV commissioning producer, ABC

Jane Messer’s clarity, generosity and immense knowledge are the best combination of skills in a mentor. Her openness to students and colleagues from minority communities and genuine care for the emotional well-being of her students and mentees has had a direct and positive impact on my productivity as a writer, teacher and researcher. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to learn from her wise counsel and to develop my own skills with her guidance.

Dr Roanna Gonsalves, author and creative writing teacher