‘When Steve and I first crossed paths, we were unknowns to each other, setting off on a dark road to – the odds insisted – nowhere. Less than a year later, we emerged blinking into the sunlight as colleagues and confidants, with his expert guidance having enabled me to chisel a completed manuscript from the rough chunks clunking around in my malaria-addled mind. If my book gets published, it will be because Steve taught me how to write the bloody thing. If you get the chance to work with him, consider yourself lucky and get stuck in!’ - Dr Lachlan McIver, author of Martyrs and Madmen
‘Stephen’s reports have given me help with the whole structure and pace of the novel and also in the specifics of character and story development. Equally importantly they have given me encouragement and validation that what I was doing was worthwhile. An unanticipated benefit has been that the reports have also validated my efforts in the eyes of family members. To be able to show them a professional editor’s positive response has been important. They are now a little less inclined to think that writing novels is another of my weird little fads.’ - Owen Gill
‘There is no doubt that Steve’s is the best systematic approach to novel writing I’ve ever come across.’ – Sabine Meier, Writer’s Ink
‘Steve Carver acted as my literary reader and editor on my novel Where's Sailor Jack? Without him, I wouldn't have written what I wanted to write. I finished with a novel I’m proud of, one which has been acclaimed by critics. I’m just finishing my second novel, using Steve again in the same role. He treats his authors firmly but with great respect, encouraging them to find the right creative thought and writing so that the author’s characters resolve the inevitable dilemmas a lengthy novel produces. I cannot thank him enough. I can’t believe there's anybody better for this role. – John Uttley, author of Where’s Sailor Jack? and No Precedent.
‘I could not have taken my story this far without Stephen’s advice. Not only does he suggest changes, but he gives examples of novels similar to yours, so you have something to quote in an eventual query letter to agents. Stephen has always been happy to dialogue via email and keeps in touch during his critiquing process. I cannot recommend his services highly enough. He has helped me create an entirely viable and commercial novel.’ – Jane Markland
‘Dr Stephen Carver has, without question, changed the direction of my publication strategy for the better and forever. His reading of my submitted text was more detailed and attentive than that undertaken by even my closest personal friends and his feedback, if not always comfortable, was astonishingly comprehensive, honest and accurate. My confidence in the value of Stephen's feedback is further confirmed by the fact that I have since commissioned him to undertake reviews of two further books for me.’ – Michael Forester, author of Vicious, Dragonsong and The Goblin Child and Other Stories
‘Stephen has really been a fantastic mentor. I was very unsure of my writing when I started, having has a rather disappointing experience on a previous course, so I was nervous when I first submitted work. Stephen’s feedback, and his interest in my project, soon made me confident enough to finish the first draft of a memoir. He is generous with his knowledge and expertise in writing and publishing, and he always gives heaps of useful feedback. I appreciated his love of the English Language, as well as his sense of humour. The most important factor was that I trusted him absolutely with some very personal material, where his guidance was both sensitive and sensible. I have learned an enormous amount about writing, and his mentoring enabled me to enjoy developing as a writer.’ – Jane Matheson
‘I just wanted to say how brilliantly helpful Stephen Carver has been as an editor of my work. I came to writing fiction rather late in life and he has overseen the publishing of my Three Lives Trilogy and has just finished working on my next book – to be published in March. He has an ability to get on a wavelength with the writer. His advice is never patronising, but immediately helpful with great insights and suggestions. I cannot recommend him too highly for people who are looking for editing, or just advice with their writing efforts.’ – Jane McCulloch, author of The Three Lives Trilogy and The Brini Boy
‘Steve is wonderful at instilling confidence in a writer. He doesn’t do this through empty platitudes and just being personally encouraging; instead he is adept at discovering what is potentially good in your writing and making you feel good about it and wanting to write more. When he picks up something you’ve got wrong or something that could be improved, he challenges you to improve and he does it all in a reassuringly chatty and engaging way. His evaluation was incredibly thorough, and I felt that he wasn’t just doing it for the money but because he was genuinely interested in the book. By the time he had edited and proofread it as well it seemed as if it was his book as well as mine. I would recommend him to anyone who wants to learn how to write or to have their writing appraised professionally. He’s top class.’ – Betty Hasler
‘Steve is not only my tutor, mentor, editor and friend, but he’s also the saviour of my project. Forgive me if it sounds biased, but to me he is probably the best professional editor in England.’ – Arun Debnath, author of Drifters in an Upside-down Land
‘Both in terms of the breadth of his subject knowledge, as well as his skill in communicating with clients, I recommend, without reservation, Steve’s professional services to anyone fortunate enough to secure them.’ – Rachel Clarke
‘Steve’s assessments and critiques of my manuscripts are full of invaluable insights into both the strengths and weaknesses of my writing. He covers all the bases: plot, characterization, story, structure, style, pace, language, point of view, and copy-editing to boot. His reports are packed with relevant and constructive criticism; the kind that encourages me as an author to develop and maximise my writing potential. I unreservedly recommend him.’ – Mark McKay, author of Dancing with Mortality and The Severance Trilogy
‘At long last publication date for my book has arrived. This would never have materialised without your patience and professional input. I will always be indebted to you.’ - Professor Maldwyn Griffith, author of The Historical Jesus: The Origins of Christian Belief
‘Your support has managed to restore the soul.’ – Celeste Penny
‘My previous editor made me believe that copy-editing only slightly improves the quality of the text. But Steve's work was beyond my expectations: the text was thoroughly clean, tight, grammatically sound, yet still maintaining the original voice. I find it difficult to express in words how satisfied I am with Steve's work.’ - Mirza Klimenta
‘Stephen Carver offers a thoughtful and sensitive approach to editing, essential for work based on personal experience covered by the term “life writing”. He’s thorough while not steam-rollering in with suggestions for changes to the tone of the piece. However, when a particular scene hits him as underwritten and lacking drama, he doesn’t hesitate to say so. He's rewarding to work with and keeps a tight schedule. What’s there to complain about?’ - Jane Hayward, author of The Baby Box
‘I found Stephen to be a fantastic manuscript doctor. He made it clear when he would be able to review my story and what I could expect. Not only did he not disappoint, but his friendly communication meant that I got even more benefit because I felt encouraged to ask questions. As for his feedback, I felt that Stephen really “got” my story, picking up the deeper nuisances. His report was thorough, positive and constructive in its critique, and even simple in-line comments on my manuscript like “good” let me know that I had got my point across. I will use Stephen’s services again’. - Nathan Arrowsmith
'I am deeply impressed by the quality of Dr Carver's report. It is clear he has spent a great deal of time considering my text and all his suggestions and recommendations are very helpful. If all your Readers are as good as he is then you must have a very strong group working with you.' – Professor Malcolm McLeod.
‘Stephen’s feedback on three chapters of my novel was a cut above the other feedback I’ve received. Rather than glossing over what’s working well with the novel in sentence or two and then focussing mainly on the negatives, Stephen took the time to really go through the positives and explain why they were good. For a struggling first-time novelist like myself, it’s actually really important for morale to hear about what’s going well, if indeed, anything is going well. Similarly, with the negatives, Stephen really took the time to explain why those aspects of the work needed to change and even more importantly, how they could be changed. He broke down the steps I needed to go through to raise my game and explained them as clearly as possible. And with aspects of my work that are politically or socially sensitive, Stephen made well balanced and helpful comments rather than shrill or barbed ones. I felt well supported by Stephen and that I could trust him with other parts of the novel or the whole first draft in future. I can’t recommend Stephen highly enough.’ – Tom McDonough.