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Kaaren established Just So Words in 2009 as a freelance editing and writing service now based on the NSW South Coast, just a couple of hours from Canberra. Kaaren Sutcliffe is an Accredited Editor, published author and versatile writer with over twenty years’ experience writing and editing and working with authors and a range of agencies. She has editorial colleagues who can help if she has too much work, or if a specific genre perspective is required.

Do you wish to retain ownership and a sense of pride in your work? The philosophy of Just So is to support authors to achieve their vision —it’s your work, not ours — and our aim is to help you to maximise the potential of your work and bring it as close as possible to your vision.

We offer a full range of editorial support, delivered with a guiding and mentoring approach. Our aim is to support you with the current piece and leave you with extra skills and insights for the next thing you write. By working with us, your work should be of submittable standard.

Range of services

What do you need help with? Or maybe you’re not sure. Sometimes it is hard to let your story or draft book go. How do you know whether it is any good? Who will give you honest and constructive feedback? Is it the best you can make it?

Just So can help. As a published author of twelve books (eleven fiction and one non-fiction) and many other book-length reports, Kaaren is an experienced writer of both fiction and non-fiction. She is also a trained coach and mentor, always delivering honest and constructive feedback in a personal and friendly atmosphere.

Just So offers the full range of editorial support for fiction authors, encompassing:

  • Manuscript assessment / writing project overview and review
  • Structural editing / review
  • Copyediting
  • Proofreading

How will you know what you need? Ideally, we’d start with a conversation and an example of your work in progress, then we’d decide collaboratively which service/s you’d like to access, the approach, timeframe and budget. Like we said at the start, it’s your work; you drive the process and we help.

Request a quote

Initial contact by email is useful, via

Manuscript assessment

For new or emerging writers, we usually recommend a manuscript assessment to start with. For this service you send a hard or electronic copy of the full manuscript and we’ll read it right though, make comments on the manuscript, and provide you with a detailed report covering all the key elements of fiction writing. We will also comment on style and voice, layout, content, structure and order, and apparent suitability for the intended audience. Ideally, you will also send a draft synopsis so we can assess whether you have achieved your intended vision for the story, as well as comment on any additional potential.

What we really like about this approach is that it is quite affordable, usually costing in the range of $800 to $1100 for a full novel, depending on the length and complexity of the manuscript, and you receive a ton of feedback and constructive comments. The task of rewriting remains firmly with you, the author, and you learn from the process and retain ownership of your work. There is no point us taking your money for a detailed copyedit until we’re all sure the draft book is as well structured as it can be. As well as a light edit, overview report, and discussion of the report, as a bonus you receive a one-hour zoom or phone call to discuss the report, and a review of your draft synopsis. A coherent and compelling synopsis is essential if you intend to submit your manuscript to agents and publishers — and it is really good training to ensure you can encapsulate and articulate the essence of your work.

If you are still drafting your novel and want to know how it is shaping up, we offer a mini or part manuscript assessment and only change you for the number of chapters reviewed. And you still get the one-hour discussion via zoom or a phone call.

Structural editing

We can help you with structural editing — where we agree what needs to be done to meet your vision, and we edit and move things around and suggest a new flow and coherence. In other words, we do more of the work than you in the rewrite. If we have started with a manuscript assessment, this step is often not required. It depends how much of the work and any rewriting you would prefer to do yourself. A structural edit is more expensive, and we would agree an estimated time and budget, based on seeing the manuscript.


If you are a more experienced writer (or naturally brilliant) we can move straight to a copyedit. Usually, we like to see a couple of chapters and will provide a firm up-front quote based on how much needs to be done. We will provide an example of a few edited pages so you can confirm you are comfortable with our style, and we have a shared understanding of what the edit will entail and how the resultant work will look and feel. Of course, the price depends on the length of the manuscript and how much needs to be done — but as an author herself Kaaren always tries to keep things affordable.


If the manuscript is polished and almost ready to go, we can provide a comprehensive and forensic proofread. As above, we like to see a sample chapter or two so we can see how much needs to be done, then we can provide an accurate time estimate and firm up-front quote.