Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators



Critique Guidelines



• You must be registered for the full conference or Saturday/Sunday conference option to receive a critique.                


• Your manuscript, portfolio, book dummy, or graphic novel MUST be submitted within 48 hours of registering and paying for your critique.


• If you are NOT ready to submit your work when registering for the conference, you may come back at a later time to register and pay for a critique as long as critique slots remain available.


• Critique Early Bird Registration for SCBWI members opens February 8, 2023, 9:00 a.m. and is limited to 1 critique per person.


• If critique slots are still available on March 27, 2023, we will open registration for 1 additional critique (total of 2 per participant) at 9:00 a.m. 


• Registration closes April 11, 2023, 11:59 PM OR sooner if all critique slots are filled prior to critique registration closing date. Slots are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.


• A submission may only be uploaded once. Send your best work the first time. There will not be an opportunity to edit or revise your manuscript.


• There are a limited number of critique spaces available and no additional spaces will be added after all slots are filled.


• You must be present at the conference for your face-to-face critique.


• Set a reminder on your calendar, set an alarm, and arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled time.


• There will not be any virtual critiques. Only face-to-face critiques.



• Cost (SCBWI Members only): $65.00


• Includes: A 15-minute face-to-face meeting at the conference and written critique notes.

You will receive your written critique notes during your face-to-face meeting with your critiquer.


• Time: Critiques will be scheduled between 4:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 20, 2023.

You may not request a specific time or ask to be paired with a particular faculty member.


• AvailabilityThere are 112 total slots available for critiques.



1. Categories: Picture Books, Middle Grade/Chapter Book, and Young Adult (Please note: Any genre within each category is acceptable—nonfiction, sci-fi, historical fiction, and so on.)


2. Length: No more than 10 pages per submission


3. Format: Doc or Docx formats only. No PDFs. No art


4. Fonts: Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, or Courier only, 12-point


5. Spacing: Double spaced (back matter, synopsis, author notes, etc. ALL must be double spaced)


6. Page numbers: Make sure each page is numbered in the upper right-hand corner of each page


7. Margins: 1-inch on both sides, top, and bottom


8. 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 and the synopsis must be double spaced.

• For novel formatting guidelines without a synopsis, CLICK HERE.

• For novel formatting guidelines with a synopsis, CLICK HERE.


9. 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.


• For picture book formatting guidelines, CLICK HERE.

NOTE: Guidelines for Picture Book Dummies are below.


10. Personal information:

• On the first page of your manuscript include, in the upper left-hand corner, the following information:

  • First and last name (as it appears on your SCBWI membership)
  • Your address
  • Your phone number
  • Your email address

All this information above  should be flush left, single spaced, regular type.

Please remember the rest of your manuscript must be double spaced.

  • Then add your category and genre flush right.

See the guidelines mentioned above for examples of this and more.

Here is an example:




11. How to name your submission document:

The name of your document must include:

  • The title of the manuscript
  • Your first and last name as it appears on your SCBWI membership


See below  no spaces are used between the words.


NOTE: Failure to follow formatting guidelines 
will mean that your submission will not be accepted. Please read each direction carefully.



1. Categories: Illustration Portfolio, Picture Book Dummy, Graphic Novel

2. Format: SCBWI Florida recommends that illustrators submit their work digitally to ensure that critiquers have ample time to review and evaluate.

• If you choose to bring physical copies of your work instead, please note that the only time the critiquers will have to review and evaluate your work will be during your 15-minute critique.

• Digital submissions must be in PDF Format.

• The total size of your pdf must not exceed 20 MB.

 • PDF formatting help: If you need help converting your images to a PDF, CLICK HERE.


3. Illustration Portfolio: 

• Up to 12 total images

• Instead of a PDF portfolio, illustrators may submit their website portfolio for the critiquer to review.


4. Picture Book Dummy:

• Full picture book dummy

• You do not need to double space text in your book dummy, but if you have additional word document pages (for example, if you had back matter and were including that with your submission), you would need to double space that. Any typed pages must be double spaced, this includes author notes, back matter, etc.

• All pages must be numbered in the upper right-hand corner of each page


5. Graphic Novel

• Up to 10 total pages.

• Those pages may be a first chapter of sketched/ illustrated panels

• A “pitch packet” including a synopsis and character sketches, or a combination of both. 10 pages max for the entire document.

• Any typed pages must follow the manuscript formatting guidelines provided above and must be double spaced.

3. 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.

DO NOT USE SPACES BETWEEN YOUR TITLE, YOUR NAME, AND LAST NAME – see below- no spaces are used between the words 


If you are submitting a dummy or graphic novel, the name of your submission must include:

  • The title of the manuscript 
  • Your name as it appears on your SCBWI membership

 • DO NOT USE SPACES BETWEEN YOUR TITLE, YOUR FIRST NAME, AND LAST NAME – see below- no spaces are used between the words 



NOTE: Failure to follow formatting guidelines will mean that your submission will not be accepted. Please read each direction carefully.



1. Be prepared. 

• Be sure your submission is formatted and named according to the guidelines above before beginning the registration process.


2. Register and pay. 

Beginning at 9:00 a.m. on February 8, 2023, register for a critique and follow the instructions for paying.                                                      

Note: You must be registered for the full conference or Saturday/Sunday option to receive a critique.


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. Then click the link in the email to continue. 

• Click on the link provided in the email to upload your manuscript/art to be critiqued.


5. Be prepared to share some info.

Be prepared with your name (as it appears on your SCBWI membership), the title of your submission, whether you are agented, and whether the submission has been critiqued by any of this year’s faculty members.


6. Upload.

• Upload your properly named file (see instructions above).


7. Confirmation.

• You will receive a confirmation email that your submission was received.


8. Just in case.

• If we have any problems accessing your submission, we will contact you directly.



1. Notification of assignment and time.

• You will receive an email on or before May 10, 2023 with the name of your critiquer and your assigned critique time.

2. Until then . . .

• If you have any questions, please email


NOTE: The best matches possible will be made. Our critiquers are industry professionals and every one of them will offer valuable feedback.

Please remember we cannot honor requests for specific critiquers or specific time slots.