Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Critique-Fest Guidelines

 Critique-Fest Submission Instructions



  • * Critiques are open to SCBWI members only. Please verify your membership before beginning the registration process.
  • * Your manuscript or portfolio MUST be submitted by 11:59 pm on Tuesday December 8, 2020.
  • * Critique slots are filled on a first-come; first-served basis. Registration for the conference plus a critique will close when the critique slots are filled. However, you may still register for the conference only.
  • * Each member may pay for up to TWO critiques. You can have two different submissions or the same submission reviewed by two different critiquers.
  • * You may not edit, revise or substitute your submission, so please be sure to send your best work.
  • * Your critique will include a 15-minute virtual face-to-face meeting on Zoom (instructions to come) and written critique notes which will be emailed after your critique.



  1. 1. Categories: Picture Books, Middle Grade/Chapter Book, Young Adult (all genres, including nonfiction, within these categories are acceptable)
  2. 2. Length: No more than 10 pages per submission.
  3. 3. Format: Doc format only. No PDFs. No art.
  4. 4. Fonts: Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, or Courier only, 12 point
  5. 5. Spacing: Double spaced
  6. 6. Margins: 1-inch on both sides, top, and bottom
  7. 7. For Novels: Submit the FIRST 10 pages ONLY. If you want to submit a synopsis along with your pages, the full submission MUST BE NO LONGER THAN 10 PAGES TOTAL including the synopsis. The synopsis must also follow all formatting guidelines.
  8. 8. For Picture Books: Although a picture book manuscript may have fewer than 10 pages, only ONE picture book manuscript can be included in a submission. NO ART MAY BE INCLUDED WITH PICTURE BOOK MANUSCRIPT SUBMISSIONS.
  9. 9. Personal information. On the first page of your manuscript include in the upper-left corner the following information: First and last name as it appears on your SCBWI membership, the category of your submission, and your email address. For instance: Joanne Rowling
    Middle Grade
  1. 10. How to name your submission: The name of your submission must include the title of the manuscript and your first and last name as it appears on your SCBWI membership. (Example: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by Joanne K. Rowling.)
  2. 11. Additional formatting help: If you need additional help with formatting, see “From Keyboard to Printed Page: Facts You Need to Know” at

NOTE: Failure to follow formatting guidelines could mean that your submission is not accepted.



  1. 1. Categories: Illustration Portfolio, Picture Book Dummy, Graphic Novel
  2. 2. Format: All submissions must be in PDF Format. The total size of your pdf must not exceed 20 MB.
  3. 3. PDF formatting help: If you need help converting your images to pdf, visit: .
  4. 4. Illustration Portfolio: Up to 12 total images
  5. 5. Picture Book Dummy: Full picture book dummy
  6. 6. Graphic Novel: Up to 10 total pages. Those pages can be a first chapter of sketched/ illustrated panels, a “pitch packet” including a synopsis and character sketches, or a combination of both. Any typed pages must follow the manuscript formatting guidelines provided above.
  7. 7. How to name your submission: If you are submitting a portfolio, you should name your document with the words Portfolio Review for and your name as it appears on your SCBWI membership. (For instance: Portfolio Review for Fred Koehler). If you are submitting a dummy or graphic novel, the name of your submission must include the title of the manuscript and your name as it appears on your SCBWI membership. (Example: The World’s Best Book by Fred Koehler.)
  8. 8. Online Portfolio Review: If you would rather have your existing online portfolio reviewed, you may do so. In this case you share the link to your website during the registration process. (See #7 “Uploading Your Submission” below.)

 NOTE: Failure to follow formatting guidelines could mean that your submission is not accepted.



  1. 1. Be prepared. Be sure your submission is formatted and named according to the guidelines above before beginning the uploading process.
  2. 2. Register and pay. Beginning at 9:00 AM on November 7, register for the conference and critique(s) and follow the instructions for paying.
  3. 3. Confirmation email. After you have registered and paid, watch for a confirmation email. You should receive it within 30 minutes. Be sure to check your SPAM folder in case it goes there. If the email does not arrive after an hour, please email for assistance.
  4. 4. Click to continue. Click on the link provided in the email when you are ready to submit. NOTE: Submission must be in before midnight on Tuesday December 8, 2020.
  5. 5. Be prepared to share some info. Be prepared with your name as it appears on your SCBWI membership, the title of your submission, and whether the submission has been professionally critiqued at an SCBWI conference before.
  6. 6. Upload your properly named file (see instructions above).
  7. 7. Online portfolio review. Illustrators providing a link to an online portfolio will paste the link in the space provided.
  8. 8. Confirmation. You will receive a confirmation email that your manuscript was received.
  9. 9. Just in case. If we have any problems accessing your submission, we will contact you directly.



  1. 1. Instructions and notification of assignment and time. You will receive an email close to the event date that will provide Zoom instructions and tell you who will be critiquing your submission and at what time.
  2. 2. Until then . . . If you have any questions, please email .


NOTE: While we do our best to place your work appropriately, we cannot honor requests for specific critiquers or specific time slots