SCBWI

Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2019 Conference Critiques

Austin SCBWI Writers & Illustrators Working Conference 2019

We’re thrilled to offer critiques with our brilliant faculty members at the 2019 Writers & Illustrators Working Conference.

We believe in working on craft as much as possible, so we highly recommend critiques. Getting a critique with a more experienced and established author, editor or agent can teach you things you will be able to use in all your future writing. And it can make the difference in polishing your manuscript before you send it out to agents and editors for consideration. You can sign up for a critique when you register.

We highly recommend you research the faculty BEFORE you sign up for a critique. Faculty members critique different categories of children’s books and have different styles. Read the faculty bios and Q&As to find the best matches for your work.

Add a Critique: If you have already registered for the conference, you will have to email Regional Advisor Samantha Clark to add a critique or get on a waitlist.

Waitlist: If a critique you want is already sold out, don’t worry. Occasionally there are cancellations, so register for the waitlist, and we’ll let you know if a spot comes available.

Cancellations: If you have to cancel a critique, refunds will only be given if the spot is filled before the April 13 submission deadline. Please read our Conference FAQ for more.

What to Submit for Manuscript Critique

Critiques are for the first 10 pages of your manuscript, or your full manuscript in the case of a picture book that’s shorter than 10 pages.

Manuscript pages must be submitted as a Word doc formatted correctly to the industry standard, including:

• typed with black ink on 8 1/2 x 11-inch white paper
• in a 12-point font that’s either Arial or Times New Roman
• double-spaced
• numbered consecutively
• and have margins that are 1-inch on each side of the paper.

For more information on how to correctly format your manuscript, look at SCBWI’s From Keyboard to Printed Page.

For novels, you may include one additional page with a brief synopsis. This page will not be critiqued but it allows the critiquer to get a better idea of your story. The synopsis can be single-spaced, but keep it brief! Think book jacket copy. You want just enough information to introduce the critiquer to your story and what you’re trying to do.

How to Submit Pages for Manuscript Critique

Email your properly formatted pages to P.J. Hoover at ascbwi-critique@outlook.com before midnight Central time on April 13, 2019.

In the subject line, type “Critique Submission for …” and the name of the critiquer.

In the body of the message, type the name of the critiquer, the title of your manuscript, and your name.

Attach your Word doc to your email.

If you have more than one critique, send a separate email submission for each critique, labeled as above.

What to Submit for Picture Book Dummy Critique

Critiques are for a pdf of a picture book, text and images. Maximum file size: 8MB.

Double-page spreads are recommended. (ie: Each single page in the pdf would show the two facing pages of the spread of your book.)

Up to three fully illustrated and colored spreads are standard, with the rest of the dummy being pencil sketches. (If you’ve only got one finished spread, that’s ok. If the entire book is finished out, that’s ok too. The point: submit your dummy.)

Include your name in the file name. Ex: PBDummy_BongosBigBreak_YourName.pdf

For any other questions on format, email Illustrator Coordinator CS Jennings.

How to Submit PDF for Picture Book Dummy Critique

Email your PDF to P.J. Hoover at ascbwi-critique@outlook.com before midnight Central time on April 13, 2019.

In the subject line, type “PB Dummy Critique Submission for …” and the name of the critiquer.

In the body of the message, type the name of the critiquer, the title of your picture book, and your name.

Attach your pdf to your email.

If you have more than one critique, send a separate email submission for each critique, labeled as above.

Other Information About Critiques

Critiquers will read and make notes about your pages prior to the conference. During your one-on-one meeting, they will discuss their notes with you, and you will have the opportunity to ask questions.

Remember, the critiquer is here to help you take your work to the next level. If you feel the critiquer didn’t understand some aspect of your manuscript or dummy, do not use this time to defend your work. Instead, listen to what the critiquer has to say and ask questions that will help with your future writing.

We highly recommend that you research the critiquers before you register for a critique. Note that some of the critiquers are novels-only. You can read the faculty bios here.

Please note: If you sign up for a critique, you will miss some of the breakout session or keynote going on at that time. Unfortunately, that is unavoidable due to a very busy schedule. Critique times may not be changed on the day. If you miss your critique time, we cannot guarantee that you will be able to get another 10 minutes, so please keep an eye on the time. Aim to be in the critique area at least five (5) minutes before your scheduled critique time.

Manuscripts that are critiqued are eligible for Austin SCBWI’s Cynthia Leitich Smith Writing Mentor Award. The winner this year will be mentored by Varian Johnson. If you would prefer not to be included in the award, please note that when you register.