Lynk Manuscript Assessment Service




Lynk Manuscript Assessment Service began life as the official Manuscript Assessment Service of the National Book Council (NBC). The distinguished Australian poet, Thomas Shapcott AO, established the service during his tenure as Executive Director of the NBC, from 1992 to 1997.

When Tom Shapcott departed as head, the NBC discontinued its manuscript assessment service – whereupon Lynk was born.

Lynk is very well established with publishers, literary agents and the Australian Society of Authors as a reputable and professional service for writers. A comprehensive team of published authors and book editors from across Australia act as Lynk’s assessors for the manuscripts submitted. Our team of assessors consists of specialists in all genres and areas of writing in both fiction and non-fiction. All of our assessors share a strong writing background and a passionate commitment to good writing.

Our aim is to provide a thoughtful and comprehensive evaluation of your manuscript, offering constructive critical comment so that your work may be developed to its full potential. A highly favourable report may be shown to publishers, but does not constitute a formal recommendation. Where appropriate, a Lynk Letter of Recommendation will accompany the report. We are also happy to give some follow-up, post assessment advice.

Numerous authors who have used Lynk have gone on to secure book publishing deals.

The quality of our service is rigorously maintained.

The Director

Sean Doyle is the director of Lynk. He is the author of several publications, including Beyond Snake Mountain, a travel narrative about India; and Barbed Wire and Lobster Bisque, the biography of a Czech post-war immigrant to Australia.




After completing an Honours degree in English Literature at Sydney University in 1984, Sean spent the next few years travelling and living overseas – mainly in Asia, but also in the Americas and Europe. During this time he taught English in Barcelona and Copenhagen.

He then returned to Australia, settled down, and took a job as a journalist.

Some years later, in 1997, Sean entered publishing. He worked as an in-house editor with several companies in Sydney for seven years, project-managing over 70 books through the entire editorial production process. He has extensive experience with manuscript assessment, development and editing, and is equally comfortable working with both fiction and non-fiction, across a wide range of genres.

His association with Lynk dates back to 1998, when he started doing assessments for the then-director, Liat Kirby (see below).

Sean is a registered mentor with the NSW Writers’ Centre in Sydney, and is a member of the NSW Society of Editors.

Sean also presents one- and two-day workshops on Writing and Editing, which often lead to participants seeking some follow-up assistance with their manuscripts. This process usually starts with an assessment of their work, following which Sean may develop a mentoring relationship, working closely with the author on fine-tuning the text, and giving ongoing feedback and advice as the work rises to a professional standard.

He now lives in Northern New South Wales with his wife and two children.










Liat Kirby, a Melbourne-based poet, was the first director of Lynk following its ‘liberation’ from the National Book Council in 1998. She expended an enormous amount of energy and passion on behalf of emerging Australian writers during her six-year term as director of Lynk. During that time, 17 new authors secured publication after having their work assessed by Lynk. Liat now devotes herself to writing. Click here for details of her wonderful book of poetry, Curving my Eyes to Almonds, published by Papyrus Publishing.

In 2004, Liat decided it was time for a life change and a move overseas, whereupon Jan (Johannes) Scherpenhuizen took over the position of director. Jan had worked with Liat since the early days of Lynk, assessing all manner of manuscripts from mainstream and genre fiction to non-fiction works focusing on philosophy, religion, psychology and esoterica. He maintained the professional standards and exemplary systems established by Liat. Jan is an author, reviewer, illustrator and editor. Click here for his biographical details and to view samples of his writing and illustration.
Jan’s partner, Kay Gibbons, helped him with the running of Lynk. Kay is also a singer/songwriter, author, painter and muse.
Click here to view samples of her artwork and her CD.