The Word Manuscripts


Welcome to The Word

From the Director Dr Robert Horne.

The Word offers assessments of creative writing, especially focusing on commercial literary, literary and historical fiction. We also run an editing service for reports, theses, academic papers, applications and Government documents of all kinds. We know there are many technical experts in the world for whom writing isn't the first choice occupation, and who have to communicate their findings and ideas from time to time. The Word is for you.

The Director of The Word, Dr Robert Horne, has the benefit of eighteen years experience writing documents for the Commonwealth of Australia and also sixteen years in teaching, where he has edited the research essays of innumerable students. He is also the award-winning author of two books of short stories, The Undergrowth and Love the Hurt, as well as the novel Made in Cambodia.

At The Word our aim is to exceed the expectations of clients in terms of detailed feedback; we will tell you what you need to hear.

Assessment Services and Fees


Our assessment service is designed to work around the needs of our clients. Short story and novella submissions cost a little more per thousand words because of the intense attention they will be given. We are happy to assess unfinished manuscripts as long as you give us an idea of where your work is heading. We will comment on characterization, pacing, tone and story structure; let us know if there is particular aspect of your writing you would like us to focus on. If you want to send small chunks of a longer work we are happy to come to an arrangement and for manuscripts longer than 80,000 words we will work out a reduced rate. Please go to the contact page and send us an email with your submission and proposal.

Up to 2,000 words $100
Up to 5,000 words $150
Up to 30,000 words $300
Up to 80,000 words $500

Guarantee: all fiction assessments will be undertaken by an assessor with the minimum educational level of a Doctorate in creative writing.


Copy editing for non-fiction will be quoted based on a rate of $40 per hour.

We edit:

  • reports
  • theses
  • academic papers
  • applications
  • Government documents

Please send your thesis or report and we will return a quote to you within 2 days, generally much quicker than that.

Non-Fiction $40/hr

Guarantee: all non-fiction editing will be undertaken by a Professional Member of the Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd).

Biographical Note

Director - Dr Robert Horne

I have been a reader ever since I was a ten-year old kid looking for something to do in the long summer holidays. My mum directed me to the bookcase where there was a set of Anglophile classics. I started off with Mr Midshipman Hornblower and Tom Brown's Schooldays — the kind of ripping yarns that Michel Palin satirised so beautifully a few years ago. Before long I had progressed to Dickens and the Brontes and was fully engaged between cricket matches in the back yard with my brother. I always loved what we used to call social studies at Primary School — learning about other nations and cultures and their Geography. At High School, English and history and languages came as a natural progression; I couldn't believe my luck at being able to get away with putting on a French accent and filling up a whole subject with that! I started school right at the end of the practice of teaching Latin and three years of that gave me an understanding of the way most European languages worked.

After a BA at Adelaide University, where I mucked around a lot and didn't do my best, the working world beckoned. The Commonwealth Department of Employment and Education was my home for eighteen years. I learnt a lot there but left to do a Dip Ed and ended up teaching English and then Classical Studies at University Senior College for ten years. Talking about Ancient Greek Society, Sparta and Athens, with bright-minded Year 12 students has been one of the joys of my life.

During the teaching years I developed my own writing and finished the Advanced Diploma of Arts (Professional Writing) at the Adelaide Centre for the Arts, with Distinctions in both editing subjects. In the next few years I published two books of short stories The Undergrowth and Love the Hurt. I also did an MA in Creative Writing at Adelaide University before writing my novel Made in Cambodia through a doctorate at the University of Technology, Sydney.

These days I write academic papers as a follow-up from my Doctoral studies, and have had some articles published in the Sydney Review of Books and Mekong Review. I have also appeared at literary festivals as a panelist and commentator. I am working on another novel, but my first priority is editing and manuscript appraisal. My many years of work and study have prepared me well for editing. I love working from home now and taking breaks for walks and the garden. This is a stimulating life, so please send me your work.

Robert Horne



Please send your manuscript to the email address below. We will send you a return email confirming your quote and requesting you to send the fee, in advance, to our bank account.

Please include the following details in your email: your intended audience, the genre you see yourself as working in and the word length of your piece.

The moment the fee is received into the bank account, we will begin work.



Please send your report, thesis etc to the email address below, with some background details and a description of the purpose your work and a time frame for completion. We will respond within two days with a quote. If you wish to proceed we will send the details of the bank account to which to pay in advance.

If you want to send just a chunk of a large item and pay for that much as a trial of our work (say, Chapter One of a report or thesis) we are perfectly happy with that.