Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2023 Critique-a-Palooza Information and Registration


We invite you to the Critique-a-Palooza Celebration on Saturday, January 14, 2023, 7:00 p.m. on Zoom. Whether you’re having a critique during Critique-a-Palooza or not, this event will start your new year off with a bang!


The evening includes:

• A New Year’s challenge from your SCBWI Florida Team

• Keynote from Sarah Baker, SCBWI Executive Director

• Keynote from Vanessa Newton-Brantley, Award-winning illustrator and author

• Rising Kite Awards Ceremony

• Announcement about our SCBWI Florida Regional Conference

• And more!


Just like those being critiqued during Critique-a-Palooza, participants in the Critique-a-Palooza Celebration will be able to submit their work to the editors and agents who are part of our Palooza faculty! 


Scroll to the bottom of this page to register!


Critique-a-Palooza and Palooza Celebration and Awards Ceremony


What is it? Critique-a-Palooza starts with 15-minute virtual face-to-face critiques on Zoom between 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Written critique notes will be sent after the event. Then the Palooza Celebration and Awards Ceremony commences at 7:00 PM. This time of celebration will bring together our SCBWI Florida family—those who had critiques earlier in the day, as well as those who did not—for a time of inspiration and celebration. The festivities will include a keynote from SCBWI’s Executive Director, Sarah Baker, the announcement of winners from our Rising Kite Contests, and a closing keynote by award-winning author-illustrator, Vanessa Brantley-Newton. It will be an evening filled with delight and surprises!


Who will critique? A cadre of agents, editors, and art directors. See our faculty list below!



$85 – 1 critique + admission to the Palooza Celebration and Awards Ceremony

$40 – Palooza Celebration and Awards Ceremony admission ONLY (no critique)

$65 – Additional critiques

Note: Students qualify for a 20% discount. If you are a student, write us at to receive the discount code.  SCBWI Florida “Mirrors & Windows” Scholarships are also available! Please see below on how to apply. 


Note: Critiques must be paid for and your submission (up to 10-pages of a manuscript; a book dummy; a portfolio; or a graphic novel) uploaded at the time of registration. Full submission details can be found here.


What categories? You will submit in one of the following categories: Picture Book, Middle Grade/Chapter Book, Young Adult,  Art Portfolio, Book Dummy, Graphic Novel Dummy. (Please note: Any genre within each category is acceptable—nonfiction, sci-fi, historical fiction, and so on.)


How many critiques can I have? One critique per person. We expect to have 140+ critique slots available, so please register early. (NOTE: If additional spots remain, we will open registration for additional critiques two weeks before the closing date.)


When can I sign up? Registration opens October 26, 2022 at 9:00 AM, and closes December 7 at 5:00 PM. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Your assigned time slot and Zoom instructions will be emailed at least one week before the event. You must upload your submission and pay when you register.


How are critique assignments made? The registration form will allow you to indicate if you are agented and who on our faculty has critiqued this specific submission in the past. A team of volunteers will consider that input, your submission, and the preferences of our critiquers when making assignments. The best matches possible will be made. Our critiquers are all industry professionals and will offer valuable feedback whether they acquire or edit work like yours or not. We cannot honor requests for specific critiquers.


When will critiques be given? Saturday, January 14, 2023 — 15-minute critiques will be assigned between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM. You will be notified of your assigned time prior to the event.


What are the dates to remember?

October 26, 9:00 AM — Registration opens

November 16, 2022 11:49 PM — Deadline to apply for the SCBWI Florida “Mirrors & Windows” Scholarships

November 23, 9:00 AM — Registration for additional critiques (as available) opens

December 7, 5:00 PM — Registration closes

January 14, 2023 — Critique-a-Palooza and Palooza Celebration and Awards Ceremony


What do I do between now and then?

Go to to make sure your SCBWI membership is up-to-date.

Polish your submission.

Review the Submission Guidelines here.

Watch the How to Submit to the SCBWI Florida Critique-A-Palooza video here if you are unfamiliar with the process.

Keep watching for additional information.

Get ready for a lollapalooza of an event!





SCBWI Florida has scholarships available for the Critique-a-Palooza event on January 14, 2023. The scholarships have been designated for underrepresented authors and illustrators who are creating in their own voices. Our goal is to support these own-voice creators on their publishing journeys. These scholarships will cover the cost of one critique.


The deadline for applications is Wednesday, November 16, 2022 at 11:59 PM. 







Wiley Blevins, Editor, Reycraft Books

Alex Borbolla, Editor, Bloomsbury Children’s Publishing

Orlando Dos Reis, Editor, Scholastic

Katie Heit, Editor, Orchard Books, Scholastic

Feather Flores, Editor, Atheneum (Simon & Schuster)

Elise McMullen-Ciotti, Editor, Tu Books (Lee & Low)

Sydnee Monday, Editor, Kokila (Penguin)

Simone Roberts-Payne, Editor, Razorbill (Penguin)

Eileen Robinson, Editor, Charlesbridge Moves (Charlesbridge)

Mekisha Telfer, Editor, Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan)

Ryan Van Cleave, Editor, Bushel & Peck Books 

Millie von Platen, Editor, Astra Books

Andrea Welch, Editor, Beach Lane Books (Simon & Schuster)

Regan Winter, Editor, Disney-Hyperion




Chad Beckerman, Agent, CAT Agency

Regina A. Bernard-Carreno, Agent, Ladderbird Literary Agency

Linda Camacho, Agent, Gallt & Zacker Literary

Karly Dizon, Agent, Fuse Literary

Amy Flynn, Associate Agent, Rubin Pfeffer Content

Morgan Hughes, Agent, Pippin Properties

Jazmia Young, Agent, Curtis Brown

Leslie Zampetti, Agent, Odom Media Management