“I have known Nicola O’Shea for sixteen years, ever since I worked with her at HarperCollins. From the moment I met her she stood out as someone special with a keen intellect, a soothing maturity and an incredible capacity to enhance the narrative thread of a story and help an author tell their tale. I admire her skills so much that several times I have tried to employ her in-house, but she says she is too happy in her freelance business! Any author who gets to work with Nicola O’Shea is in one of the best pair of hands in publishing.” – Cate Paterson, Publishing Director, Pan Macmillan Australia

“Working with Nicola has been one of the great pleasures of my career. I have found her a sympathetic editor who works from the perspective of what I am trying to achieve. I always feel that we are on the same team – working together to make a book the very best it can be for the enjoyment of readers.” – Belinda Alexandra, author of Sapphire SkiesGolden Earrings, Tuscan Rose, Silver Wattle, Wild Lavender, White Gardenia

“The writer’s big hope is for collaboration with an editor who is not only very good at the nuts and bolts of their craft, but who can clue in quickly to what fuels the story – the ideas that decide its pace and rhythm, linguistic nuances, and ultimate form. This level of engagement established, everything can be up for enquiry and discussion, and the honing of the final work is a joy. In all these regards, Nicola is the best.” – Kim Westwood, author of Daughters of Moab and The Courier’s New Bicycle

“I have had the privilege and pleasure of working with Nicola O’Shea for eleven years and during that time Nicola has edited a variety of children’s books from titles for younger readers to those for young adults. Every job that Nicola takes on is handled with enthusiasm, enormous skill and integrity and utter professionalism. Always sensitive, attuned and diplomatic, Nicola treats every job equally and approaches each one with the utmost care and sensitivity, lavishing her intelligence and years of experience on every manuscript and helping all authors to realise the potential that is inherent within their book. Nicola is my number one choice as an editor for my children’s list with many of my authors requesting her as their editor. I regard Nicola as a key member of the HarperCollins Children’s team and attribute much of our success to her enormous contribution.” – Lisa Berryman, Associate Publisher Children’s Books, HarperCollins Publishers Australia

I‘m in awe of Nicola’s editing skills. She’s like the ‘fairy-godmother-housekeeper’ who searches into every dark corner of your house, magically whisking away all the clutter, dust and accumulated rubbish to find a lost jewellery piece or two. And when she’s done, you welcome visitors inside without feeling like you should apologise for the mess.” – Sheryl Gwyther, author of Sweet Adversity 

“Nicola took my skeletal first draft and turned it into a suspenseful mystery. My initial draft told all. It was one dimensional and quite predictable. Working with Nicola was a crash course in novel writing. I remember staring in awe at her pages and pages of editing notes, wondering what kind of brain can do that? What kind of brain can hold a story with parallel strands in their head, reposition all the events of the plot and place it all back together without losing a strand, without making one big ugly mess? I took her detailed structural edit in hand and reworked, filled out, cut, layered, fell in love with my characters and found magic. I hope to work with Nicola now for the rest of my days, and if she dies before me, I will recommend her brain be dissected and studied, so future generations aren’t disadvantaged, so her wisdom can be passed on … because, let’s face it, every writer needs a Nicola O’Shea in their lives.” – DM Cameron, author of Beneath the Mother Tree

“Nicola O’Shea has worked with me over some years and several books. She knows how to talk to writers in despair, but also to tell it like it is. And, too, what must be faced if the story is to be dug out of the mire of a shaggy, baggy first, second or even third draft. Until I decided to write full-time, I’d not fully grasped how fragile the process can be. And that’s after having been a producer, working with writers all the time. I know now that I absolutely need a clear, calm, forensic eye to be cast over what I write. And I need to go on believing – through the times when the words will not behave – that I can get there, that I can finish the story in a satisfying way. And I really, truly, cannot do that by myself all the time. Editing, in the end, is everything. And that editorial eye, that other point of view, is so precious. Especially when you know it’s coming from someone who likes the process of story generation, and is non-judgemental.” – Posie Graeme-Evans, author of Wild Wood, The Island House, The Dressmaker, The Innocent, The Exiled, The Beloved

“Working with Nicola on Document Z was an engaging and stimulating experience. Importantly, it was also a challenging one, with many of the manuscript’s problems confronted. Throughout, Nicola was an indispensable judge of tone, pace, language and sentence-making, and her attention to detail saved me from more than a few factual mistakes. Her suggestions for cuts, rearrangements and new material proved invaluable when it came to giving the story its proper drive. Through her insights, I was able to see the work in new ways, and by the end of the process I felt that we’d squeezed the most we could from Document Z. I’d happily recommend her services to anyone.” – Andrew Croome, author of Document Z (winner of 2008 Vogel Literary Award; shortlisted for 2010 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book, SE Asia/Pacific region; winner of UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing at the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards 2010)

“I use an editor for one reason: to get a better book. A quality book demands a quality editor so I need someone skilled and experienced enough to be able to find the flaws in my work and articulate them to me – convincingly. And since I am as touchy about my work as the next author, I want someone who can do that with kindness and humour. They are the reasons I approached Nicola O’Shea to edit my books. They also are the reasons why she is so much in demand.” – Desmond Kelly, author of Death of a Friend; The Room Upstairs; Thirteen Stories

“When I had a manuscript which I could no longer improve I sent it to Nicola and in a few short weeks I received back the same manuscript with her detailed suggestions.  She clearly had a thousand-yard view of the overall story, with a micro sense of exactly which scene needed to move, which character needed to be filled out, and which darling needed to be killed.” – Gilbert Mane, author of The Revelation of the Elders, The Warriors of the Elders and The Flight of the Elders

“Engaging Nicola for a structural edit of my debut novel was a watershed decision – I wouldn’t have a book deal without her brilliant revisions. Her input ramped up my story by several gears and at the same time made it more believable. She is also a pleasure to work with. I plan to work with Nicola the rest of my writing career.” – Sara Donovan, author of Love By Numbers 

“As someone with no writing experience, I am forever grateful for the structural work by Nicola on my autobiography. Nicola saw what I was trying to achieve and provided amazing insight, turning my story from a chronological report to one that succeeded in conveying the right themes, emotion and interest to the reader. The result – a publishing deal. I cannot recommend Nicola highly enough.” – Belinda Neil, author of Under Siege