Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Manuscript Critiques and Critique Submissions

The extra Face to Face Assigned Critiques are now sold out. 


Face-to-Face Assigned Critique $45

Choose this option under Conference Extras during your registration. Once slots are full this option will no longer be available.


All full-conference attendees are welcome to participate in the Free Optional Group Critiques (described below). Additionally, full-conference SCBWI members may purchase a total of one paid manuscript critique.


FREE Optional Group Critiques

During online registration, attendees will self-select into one of the following: PB, MG, YA, non-fiction, or illustrator. Participants will be assigned to a critique group by a conference coordinator. Writers will exchange copies via email of the first five pages of their manuscript. Critiques will be exchanged in person at the conference. Groups will be around 5 people each. Illustrators, bring your portfolio. You may register for both a free critique and a paid critique (below). See the link at the bottom of this page for examples of manuscript formatting.


Paid Critiques

Full-conference SCBWI members (from any region) may purchase one paid manuscript critique during registration. You will submit the manuscript after registering, see submission details after the list of paid critique options.


Paid Critique Submission:

For your paid critique, you may submit one:

  • picture book manuscript
  • OR picture book manuscript with dummy (for illustrators only)
  • OR up to 10 pages of poems
  • OR submit a one-page synopsis of a fiction or non-fiction project + the first 10 pages of the corresponding manuscript.

Submit your correctly formatted manuscript via the link below no later than August 12, 11:59 p.m. Eastern/10:59 p.m. Central, with online conference registration completed and all fees paid. See the bottom of this page for manuscript formatting rules and guidelines.


Submit paid critiques to:

All submissions will receive a personal confirmation within 48 hours. DO NOT email enquiring BEFORE this window expires.


Remember to submit your manuscript after registering, before the deadline, and only once. We will not be able to swap manuscripts after you’ve sent your story to us. If your manuscript arrives after 11:59 p.m. EDT/10:59 p.m. CDT on August 12, you will be informed. This fee is nonrefundable.


Manuscript Formatting

Writers who are not illustrators DO NOT need illustrations for their picture books. A correctly formatted manuscript is the only necessary submission. Writer-Illustrators may submit a correctly formatted manuscript with or without a dummy.

1.) Your manuscript must ARRIVE in our inbox ON or BEFORE Tuesday, August 12, 2018. Manuscripts received after that day cannot be accepted.


2.) In the subject line of your email, please include: the type of critique you’ve chosen (i.e. “Face-to-Face: Choose Your Critiquer,” “Face-to-Face: Critiquer is Chosen For You,” or “Written-Only”), as well as your manuscript’s genre (i.e., fantasy, mystery, contemporary) and category (i.e., Picture Book, Middle Grade, Young Adult, Nonfiction). Please name your manuscript file as follows: LASTNAME.TITLE.YEAR and send it in .docx format.


3.) Format ALL manuscripts in a 12-point Times New Roman or Arial font. More formatting questions? Read From Keyboard to Printed Page.


4.) ALL submissions must include a title page with your contact information and the genre of your manuscript (YA, MG, Picture Book, Chapter Book or NF) in the upper left-hand corner.
Please note, it must be only one genre, there is no MG/YA per publishing guidelines. If you are represented by an agent, please note that on the title page as well. The title page does NOT count as one of your ten pages.

5.) The name on your manuscript MUST match the name you registered under for the Conference, even if you write under a pseudonym.


6.) For picture books and poetry: submit up to TEN (10) pages of ONE picture book manuscript regardless of the page count. No synopsis is needed.


7.) For middle grade, young adult, nonfiction and chapter books: submit only the first TEN (10) pages, even if it cuts off mid-chapter, plus a short synopsis no longer than 250 words (one page).


8.) If you have had a critique at a previous conference with one of our faculty, please add that information (who the reviewer was) in your email so we can avoid scheduling you with someone you’ve already met with.