SCBWI

Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Manuscript & Portfolio Critiques

Manuscript & Portfolio Critiques are an extremely important part of the SCBWI Sydney Conference and are designed to help you develop your ideas and gain editing insights to enrich and improve your work. There is the additional potential to develop a relationship with a publishing house with the ultimate goal of publication.

This year we are offering a number of exciting options:

 

Manuscript Critiques

Face-to-face Manuscript Critiques held during the Conference with a exciting range of editors, publishers and agents from major Australian and US publishing houses and agencies.

International Online Manuscript Critiques with editors of major US publishing houses or US Literary Agencies. These take the form of a written report that will be delivered by 28 February 2019.

 

Portfolio Critiques

Face-to-face Portfolio Critiques held during the Conference with a range of art directors and publishers from major Australian publishing houses. 

International Online Portfolio Critiques with editors or art directors of major US publishing houses or US Literary Agencies. These take the form of a written report that will be delivered by 28 February. 

 

All critiques are limited in number and tickets sell quickly, so book early to avoid disappointment!

Face to Face Critiques are limited to delegates attending the Conference.
 

 

 


Face-to-face Manuscript Critiques

Face-to-face Manuscript Critiques are held on Monday February 25th and Tuesday February 26th during the Conference and Master Classes with a range of editors and publishers and agents from major Australian and US publishing houses and agencies. At time of booking you will be able to choose your preference from the available assessors and time slots.

Face-to-face critiques are limited to delegates attending the Conference.

 

 

Assessors include:

 

Kate WenbanSenior Editor, Scholastic Australia
Genre: Upper JF, MG

Laura SievekingSenior Editor, Scholastic Australia
Genre: PB, Lower JF

Clare HallifaxPublishing Manager, Scholastic Australia
Genre: PB, MG

Lisa BerrymanAssociate Publisher, HarperCollins
Lisa prefers historical fiction, contemporary, humour; No SciFi or high fantasy
Genre: PB, MG, YA

Maryann Ballantyne
Genre: PB, MG

Essie WhiteUS Literary Agent, Storm Literary Agency
Essie would like Picture Books that represent children’s experiences in a very real and current way, yet are also written beautifully. She loves strong literary writing. She also enjoys non-fiction picture book biographies or creative non-fiction. In regard to MG or YA, she wants authentic gut wrenching material with vivid and real characters. Character and voice will make her love the story or not. No lessons, issues or violence.
Genre: PB, MG on occasion YA

Diane EvansPublisher, Big Sky Publishing
Diane is happy to see any submissions, however, she probably has a slight preference to works that have Australian/educational content or link to strong messages for kids or even non-fiction slant. Probably more MG, but PB with this focus also works.
Genre: PB, MG

Nancy ConescuExecutive Commissioning Editor, Walker Books Australia
Nancy likes inventive Picture Books; smart MG with heart
Genre: PB, JF, MG

Meredith CostainConsultant Editor, Ford Street
Meredith is interested in a variety of styles.
Genre: PB, MG, YA

Mira ReisbergUS Editor and Art Director
Mira would like to see PBs of less than 650 words; quality work
Genre: PB, MG

Brian CookLiterary Agent, The Authors’ Agent
Brian likes any topics; No older YA; No fantasy, SciFi or dystopia
Genre: PB, MG, YA

Linsay KnightPublisher, Walker Books Australia
Linsay is happy to see anything except Sci Fi.
Genre: PB, MG, YA

Eve TonelliSenior Editor, Children’s Book, HarperCollins
Genre: PB, MG

Mary VerneyEditor, Penguin Random House
Mary is interested in a variety of styles.
Genre: PB, MG, YA

Julia MarshallPublisher, Gecko Books NZ
Julia prefers story/character based PBs; No dystopia, issued based picture books.
Genre: PB, JF

Suzanne O’SullivanPublisher, Lothian Children’s Books/Hachette Australia
Suzanne would prefer to see character-driven picture books and illustration portfolios, commercial MG and YA.
Genre: PB, MG, JF, YA

Kimberley BennettCommissioning Editor, Penguin Random House
Kimberley prefers fiction and some non-fiction.
Genre: PB, JF, MG

Victoria Stone—Editor (Young Readers), Penguin Random House
Victoria would prefer to see Non-fiction (aimed at commercial, not education) and middle grade fiction series. She is not interested in Sci/fi and high fantasy.
Genre: JF, MG, YA

 

 

Process of Critiques:

At time of booking you will be able to choose your preference from the available assessors and time slots.

Following your booking you can submit your manuscript via the link below. Please take note of the January 14th 2019 deadline and the format for submissions.

Don’t forget to print out your Trybooking ticket as a reminder of your booked assessor and time slot. The schedule for critiques will also be posted on the Conference Notice Board located next to the Registration Table on level 1 of the Novotel Hotel. Please note that we occasionally need to make changes to the schedule due to last minute changes in assessor availability.

 

Bookings and Submission Guidelines:

Critiques are limited to delegates attending the Conference.

Critiques are 15 minutes with a scheduled 5 minute changeover and are only available to attending delegates. Critiques are non-refundable and non-transferable, so please choose carefully.

Each critique costs $80 and places are limited. SOLD OUT!

Following your booking, CLICK HERE to submit your Manuscript. Please take note of the January 14th 2019 deadline and the format for submissions. Unfortunately, submissions that are late or that do not conform to the specifications cannot be accepted. Submissions are closed

 

Your Manuscript critique submission should include the following:

An overview of your project to a maximum of 1 page including your name, email and website (if applicable)

AND IN THE SAME DOCUMENT ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:

An outline of your project idea with synopsis and short writing samples for comment and discussion to a maximum of 10 pages, double spaced in 12pt Times New Roman or similar

OR

An extract of your draft manuscript to a maximum of 10 pages, double spaced in 12pt Times New Roman or similar

OR

A full picture book draft text to a maximum of 10 pages, double spaced in 12pt Times Roman or similar

Please supply your manuscript file as Word or pdf and label including Surname, Title (abbreviate if necessary), Genre (PB, C, YA)

 

 

 

 


Face-to-face Portfolio Critiques

Face-to-face Portfolio Critiques are held on Monday February 25th and Tuesday February 26th during the Conference and Master Classes with a range of art directors, publishers and agents from major Australian and International publishing houses and agencies. At time of booking you will be able to choose your preference from the available assessors and time slots.

Face-to-face critiques are limited to delegates attending the Conference.

 

Assessors include:

 

Laura SievekingSenior Editor, Scholastic Australia
Genre: Portfolio. Laura would prefer to see illustrations combined with text in the form of a PB Dummy.

Essie WhiteUS Literary Agent, Storm Literary Agency
Essie is keenly interested in picture book author/illustrators. She responds less eagerly to heavily digitised material. She likes art that feels authentic, unique and fresh and work that evokes emotion and a sense place.
Genre: Portfolios.

Linsay KnightPublisher, Walker Books Australia
Genre: Portfolios

Nancy ConescuExecutive Commissioning Editor, Walker Books Australia
Nancy likes inventive Picture Books
Genre: Portfolios

Kimberley BennettCommissioning Editor, Penguin Random House
Genre: Portfolios

Diane EvansPublisher, Big Sky Publishing
Diane is happy to see any submissions, however, she probably has a slight preference to works that have Australian/educational content or link to strong messages for kids or even non-fiction slant.  Probably more MG, but PB with this focus also works.
Genre: Portfolios

Lisa Berryman—Associate Publisher, HarperCollins
Lisa prefers historical fiction, comtemporary, humour; No SciFi or high fantasy
Genre: Portfolios

Mira ReisbergUS Editor and Art Director
Genre: Portfolios

Brian CookLiterary Agent, The Authors’ Agent
Genre: Portfolios

Julia MarshallPublisher, Gecko Books NZ
Genre: Portfolios

Sarah Davis—Art Director, Walker Books Australia
Genre: Portfolios

Victoria Stone—Editor (Young Readers), Penguin Random House
Victoria would prefer to see Non-fiction (aimed at commercial, not education) and middle grade fiction series. She is not interested in Sci/fi and high fantasy.
Genre: Portfolios

Suzanne O’SullivanPublisher, Lothian Children’s Books/Hachette Australia
Suzanne would prefer to see Character-driven picture books and illustration portfolios, commercial MG and YA.
Genre: Portfolios

James Foley—Cartoonist, Graphic artist
Genre: Portfolios

 

 

 

Process of Critiques:

At time of booking you will be able to choose your preference from the available assessors and time slots.

Don’t forget to print out your Trybooking ticket as a reminder of your booked time and assessor. The schedule for critiques will also be posted on the Conference Notice Board located next to the Registration Table on level one of the Novotel Hotel. Please note that we occasionally need to make changes to the schedule due to last minute changes in assessor availability.

 

Bookings:

Critiques are limited to delegates attending the Conference.

Critiques are 15 minutes with scheduled five minute changeover and are only available to attending delegates. Critiques are non-refundable and non-transferable, so please choose carefully.

Each critique costs $80 and places are limited. SOLD OUT!

 

 

 

What to bring:

A portfolio of work

OR

If a writer-illustrator an illustrated picture book dummy with text.

 

 

 

 


International Online Manuscript and Portfolio Critiques

This year we are offering the unique opportunity to book International Online Critiques with their choice of available publishers, editors, art directors and agents from major US publishing houses or and US Literary Agencies. These Critiques will be submitted by email prior to the Conference and are available for both manuscripts and portfolios. These take the form of a written report that will be delivered by 28th February 2019.


 

International Online Critique Assessors include:

 

Moe FerraraLiterary Agent, Bookends Literary
Becoming a literary agent was fitting for the girl who, as a small child, begged her dad to buy her a book simply because “it has a hard cover.”  She attended college as a music major, earned a JD from Pace Law School, then worked in various roles throughout the publishing industry. Moe was thrilled to join the BookEnds team in May of 2015 as an agent. Moe is interested in books for middle grade, young adult, and adult readers in most genres, especially science fiction, fantasy, contemporary, romance, and light horror. The right contemporary or paranormal romance (sans-vampires of course) will spark her interest. She’s LGBTQ friendly across all age groups. She is also interested in select narrative nonfiction titles in the areas of LGBTQ studies, musical theatre, and classical music.

A Pennsylvania native, she is mum of a rambunctious corgi who is a master at stealing treats. When not reading, she is an avid gamer and always awaiting the next Assassin’s Creed or Destiny release. You can follow her on twitter: @inthesestones.

Genre: MG, YA—Limited Number Manuscript Critiques

 

Alexandra PenfoldAgent at Upstate Crow Literary, USA
Alexandra has been working in publishing for over a decade. Formerly an Editor at Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, she specializes in young picture books, middle-grade fiction, and young adult. Prior to becoming an editor, Alexandra was a children’s book publicist. She worked on media campaigns that appeared in USA TodayNewsweekUS News and World Report, and NPR’s All Things Considered. She’s the co-author of New York a la Cart: Recipes and Stories from the Big Apple’s Best Food Trucks.

Genre: PB, MG, YA – Limited Number Manuscript Critiques

 

Ammi-Joan PaquetteSenior Agent at Erin Murphy Literary Agency, USA
Ammi-Joan Paquette is a senior agent with Erin Murphy Literary Agency, representing all types of children’s and YA literature. She is also the author of many picture books and novels for young readers, the most recent of which is are The Train of Lost Things, the Princess Juniper series, and the Two Truths and a Lie series, co-written with Laurie Thompson. Joan is particularly drawn to richly voiced, unforgettable characters and settings, as well as tightly-paced, well-plotted stories with twists and turns that keep you guessing right until the end. Visit her on the web at: ajpaquette.com

Genre: PB, MG, YA—Limited Number Manuscript Critiques

 

Brett Duquette Senior Editor, Little Bee Books | Yellow Jacket imprints of Bonnier Publishing USA
Brett Duquette, Senior Editor Little Bee Books, has been an children’s book editor for nearly 10 years. He specializes in picture books, board books, middle grade fiction, and nonfiction with a particular affinity for wacky, wonderful language and characters who make bold choices. Before his career in publishing, Brett received an MFA in Creative Writing from Rutgers University after which he had a brief but lovely career as an English professor. Above all, Brett loves great sentences and thoughtful choices. He is always looking to champion voices that are under published in the industry or under-represented in our communities.

Genre: PB, MG, board, Nonfiction—Limited Number Manuscript Critiques

 

Kat BrzozowskiEditor Swoon Reads/Feiwel & Friends
Kat Brzozowski is an Editor at Swoon Reads/Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan. She acquires YA for Feiwel & Friends and edits crowdsourced YA manuscripts for Swoon Reads. Previously, she was an Editor at Thomas Dunne Books, a division of St. Martin’s Press. She has worked on a wide range of young adult fiction, including new Fear Street books in R.L. Stine’s best‐selling series, which has sold over eighty million copies worldwide; Romancing the Dark in the City of LightThe Weight of FeathersIn Real Life, and Firsts. Kat is looking to acquire young adult fiction across a wide range of genres, especially contemporary, realistic YA with a strong hook; dark, contemporary fiction (not too issues-y), mysteries, suspense, and thrillers; and sci-fi that’s mostly rooted in this world. She is especially interested in YA with crossover appeal. When she’s reading YA, she looks for a strong sense of voice, multi-dimensional characters, and realistic dialogue.

Genre: YA—Limited Number Manuscript Critiques

 

Kait FeldmannAssociate Editor, Arthur A. Levine Books
Kait Feldmann is an Associate Editor at Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic, where her focus is on picture books and international publishing. She joined Scholastic in May of 2014 and gained editorial experience assisting Executive Editors Tracy Mack, Michael di Capua, Cheryl Klein, and Andrea Davis Pinkney. A few of the titles she worked on include Newbery Honor-winner Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan, The Marvels by Brian Selznick, and Ice Cream Summer by Peter Sís. Kait is a strong advocate for diverse representation and is always looking for meaningful, character-driven stories with humour and heart. She is building a list of picture books and graphic novels and am looking specifically for diversity at the creator level, including LGBTQ+, genderqueer/non-binary, disabled, and POC/Native. She prefers character-driven narratives with humour and heart; like a little whimsy, light layers of magic; and am a fan of dark humour.

Genre: PB, Graphic Novel—Limited Number Manuscript Critiques

 

Taylor NormanEditor Chronicle Books
Taylor has been at Chronicle since 2011. She is passionate about picture book and middle grade fiction. She looks for three key factors in the books she acquires: very strong writing, an honest voice, and no condescension. She publishes books that employ and encourage new perspectives, make readers think, connect people and ideas thoughtfully—and treat readers with respect. She is the editor Dave Eggers, Jon Scieszka, Adam Rex, Colin Meloy, Garret Weyr, Kathryn Ormsbee, Laura Veirs, and K.A. Holt, among many others.

Genre: PB, MG—Limited Number Manuscript Critiques

 

Karina GrandaSenior Designer, Little Brown Books for Young Readers / Hachette (Children’s)
Karina Granda is a Senior Designer at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers where she designs and art directs Young Adult, Middle Grade, and Picture Book projects. She has worked on numerous high-profile books including New York Times bestsellers: The Magic Misfits series by Neil Patrick Harris, The Cruel Princeby Holly Black, Love & Gelato and Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch. Karina previously worked at Simon & Schuster where she also worked on Picture Books and heavily-illustrated projects such as Snail Has Lunch, Buck’s Tooth, and the new additions to and repackages of the Frank Asch’s Bear Book and Moonbear series. When not art directing and designing, she likes to take walks around her Bushwick neighborhood, visit museums, watch reality TV, and read Yelp reviews for her next eating adventure. You can find her work at karinagranda.com

Would like to see MG & YA fantasy and Humour.

Genre: Portfolios—Limited Number Portfolio Critiques

 

Rachel DiebelEditor, St. Martin’s Press
Rachel Diebel is an assistant editor at St. Martin’s Press, and holds a Masters in Publishing from Pace University. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in Brooklyn.

Rachel acquires adult women’s fiction and YA for Wednesday Books, the YA imprint of St. Martin’s Press. She is interested in acquiring across most genres, but particularly contemporary YA with a compelling hook and an emphasis on queer and own voices narratives, strong and complicated friendships, and found families. She also loves romantic comedies, mystery, and fantasy, especially contemporary fantasy/magical realism that stands out from the crowd and features diverse voices. She is drawn to unique voices and character-driven narratives in any genre.

Rachel prefers to see: Contemporary, romantic comedy, fantasy (particularly contemporary fantasy/magical realism), thrillers, mystery, grounded scifi, historical fiction.

Not interested in: Horror, YA nonfiction, dystopia, strictly romance

Genre: YA—Limited Number Manuscript Critiques

 

Jennifer UngEditor, Simon Pulse, Simon & Schuster
Jennifer Ung is an editor at Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster, working on YA fiction including When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon, Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman, and American Panda by Gloria Chao. When she’s not reading or talking about books, you can find her waxing poetic about food, playing uselessly complicated board games, and thinking of appropriate ways to incorporate dog memes into professional emails. Follow her on Twitter @JenPanda.

Jennifer prefers to see: Contemporary realistic YA

Not interested in: historical, SFF

Genre: YA—Limited Number Manuscript Critiques

 

Rachael SteinEditor, Sterling Children’s Books / Sterling Publishing
Rachael Stein is an editor at Sterling Children’s Books, an imprint of Sterling Publishing, where she works on books for kids of all ages. Before joining Sterling in September 2018, she was at Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, where she was lucky to work with some amazing and award-winning authors and illustrators, including Linda Sue Park, Gary D. Schmidt, and David Wiesner. If she’s not reading, she’s probably biking, eating, or working on her latest sewing project. Follow her on Twitter: @rachaeljstein.

Rachel is happy to look at all genres, though she especially like mysteries, contemporary, SFF, and anything featuring marginalized voices/stories

She is not interested in historical fiction.

Genre: picture books, chapter books, MG, YA; fiction, please–Limited Number Manuscript Critiques

 

Mekisha TelferAssociate Editor, Roaring Brook Press, and imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group
Mekisha Telfer is an associate editor at Roaring Brook Press (Macmillian), where she is building a list of picture books, middle-grade, and young adult novels. She got her start in publishing in 2014 as an editorial assistant with Simon and Schuster BFYR/Salaam reads, and has also worked briefly at Glasstown Entertainment. Some titles she’s had the privilege of working on include the New York Times bestselling series To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han, Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi, The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi, and Stuart Gibb’s Moon Base Alpha series. Mekisha is committed to supporting unrepresented voices and is always on the hunt for character-driven stories with a mix of humor and heart.

Mekisha is happy to see high concept contemporary and sci-fi/fantasy; She is also interested in nonfiction.

She is not interested in books about spies, assassins, or music and theater—otherwise she’s open to anything!

Genre: MG and YA—Limited Number Manuscript Critiques

 

Laurent LinnArt director, Simon and Schuster, Books for Young People
Laurent Linn began his career as a puppet designer/builder in Jim Henson’s Muppet Workshop where he was Creative Director for the Sesame Street Muppets, winning an Emmy Award. Currently, at Simon & Schuster, Laurent art directs picture books, middle grade, and teen novels by creators including Tomie dePaola, Debbie Ridpath Ohi, Bryan Collier, Raúl Colón, and Taeeun Yoo. Laurent is on the SCBWI Board of Advisors and is also the author/illustrator of Draw the Line, a YA novel the New York Times calls “Epic.” Instagram, Facebook, Twitter: @LaurentLinn, and www.LaurentLinn.com.

Genre: Portfolio—Limited Number Portfolio Critiques

 

Saho Fujii—Art Director, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Saho is an art director at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. She has designed a wide range of books including picture books, board books, activity and novelty books, middle grade and young adult novels. She currently oversees the LBYR’s picture book list. She has worked with many award-winning illustrators including Jerry Pinkney, Sophie Blackall, Javaka Steptoe, Molly Idle, Bryan Collier, Mordicai Gerstein and John Rocco. She lives in New York City. http://sahofujii.squarespace.com

Saho would prefer to see a wide variety of subjects such as people (kids and adults), animals, nature, buildings, vehicles and etc.

Genre: Portfolio—Limited Number Portfolio Critiques

 

Saba Sulaiman— Associate Agent, Talcott Notch Literary Services
With a double major in Economics and Middle Eastern Studies at Wellesley, Saba studied modern Persian Literature at the University of Chicago, sheworked editing on its academic journal. With editorial experience with various newspaper and magazine publications and Sourcebooks, she became a literary agent at Talcott Notch. She is interested in representing young adult realistic YA books and Middle Grade: anything that’s smart, accessible and written with flair. She is also interested in non-fiction: humour. She is interested in diversity, in all its various forms. Bonus points if your book contains multicultural perspectives, and themes of immigration, displacement, and cultural adjustment.

Saba would like to see Realistic contemporary fiction, humor, inclusivity. She is not interested sci-fi/fantasy at this time.

PLEASE NOTE: Submissions for Saba must be in Dec 1, 2018 as she will be going on Maternity leave and needs to review them before she leaves.

Genre: MG and YA—Limited Number Manuscript Critiques

 

Olivia ValcarceAssistant Editor, Scholastic, Inc (US)
Olivia Valcarce is an Assistant Editor of middle grade and young adult books at Scholastic, Inc (US). She is the editor of Blizzard Besties by Yamile Saied Méndez and the She Dared series by Jenni L. Walsh, as well as the co-editor of Amber & Dusk by Lyra Selene, all forthcoming. She loves deeply imagined worlds, inclusive feminist narratives, and high-concept, page-turning plots. She lives in New York City, and you can follow her on Twitter at @OliviaValcarce.

Olivia would prefer to see contemporary or fantasy.

Genre: MG, YA—Limited Number Manuscript Critiques

 

Tricia LinEditor, Aladdin Books, Simon & Schuster
Tricia joined Aladdin Books at Simon & Schuster in 2016. She acquires picture books and middle grade novels for Aladdin, as well as young adult for Simon Pulse. At Aladdin, she has had the privilege of working with wonderful authors such as Kate Hannigan, Barbara Dee, and Kevin Sands. When she isn’t reading, you can find her writing, watching movies, or trying to talk people into playing board games with her. Tricia holds a Bachelor of Arts in Politics from New York University. Follow her on Twitter at @triciaelin

Tricia is happy to see fiction any genre; Not chapter books

Genre: PB, MG, YA—Limited Number Manuscript Critiques

 

Orlando Dos Reis—Editor, Scholastic Press
Orlando grew up in the Hudson Valley in New York before moving far away to study children’s literature at Virginia Tech and Kansas State University (where he wrote his thesis on Harry Potter!). After graduating,  he was a managing editorial intern at Bloomsbury USA, before becoming an Assistant Editor for Abrams Books. In 2017  he joined Scholastic Press as Editor. He’s interested in Middle grade and YA fiction, fantasy and science fiction.

Genre: MG, YA—Limited Number Manuscript Critiques

 

Jessica AndersonEditor, Christy Ottaviano Books, Holt & Co
Jessica Anderson, assistant editor at Christy Ottaviano Books, an imprint of Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, works on a wide range of picture books, middle grade and YA fiction. She is on the lookout for lyrical picture book biographies, quirky middle grade fiction, and gritty contemporary realistic YA. She is the editor of the YA debuts Wrong in All the Right Ways by Tiffany Brownlee; The Spaces Between Us by Stacia Tolman; and Black Girl Unlimited by Echo Brown, as well as the picture book biographies Brave Ballerina: The Story of Janet Collins by Michelle Meadows, illustrated by Ebony Glenn, and Samuel Morse, That’s Who! by Tracy Nelson Maurer, illustrated by El primo Ramón.She holds a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature from Columbia University.

Jessica would like to see PB bio; Narrative MG/YA Non-Fiction about women in Science; Literary YA; Magical realism in MG or YA; No SF/Dystopian; No MG humour/horror

Genre: PB(NF),YA (F&NF)—Limited Number Manuscript Critiques

 

Stephanie Fretwell-HillLiterary Agent from Fox Literary
Stephanie started her publishing career in 2004 at Walker Books Ltd. in London, where she sold foreign language rights. Working in a design-led company with legendary artists such as Helen Oxenbury and Lucy Cousins sparked her love of illustration, while her sales role gave her an international perspective on children’s publishing.

In 2011, Stephanie moved back home to the United States, where she joined Peachtree Publishers as an editor. During her four years there, she acquired fiction and non fiction picture books, middle grade, and young adult titles. Her acquisitions received such honors as YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults, Bank Street Best Children’s Books of the Year, Parents’ Choice Awards, and numerous starred reviews from major trade magazines.

Stephanie represents both authors and illustrators of board books, picture books, middle grade, and young adult. She will consider stories in any genre, but looks for a strong voice, rich and multi-layered plots, and stylish, classic, or quirky illustrations. Most of all, she loves anything that really makes her laugh.

Limited Number of Portfolio Critiques and Manuscript Critiques

 

Diane EarleyArt Director, Charlesbridge
Diane Earley is the Art Director at Charlesbridge Publishing where she art directs and designs a variety of titles from picture books to young adult novels. In her 25+ years with Charlesbridge, Diane has designed hundreds of books and worked with many wonderful illustrators, including Peter H. Reynolds, Wendell Minor, Christine Davenier, Grace Lin, and Don Tate. Diane is especially interested in books about diversity, history, and science. She loves creating fun nonfiction books which appeal to children who don’t necessarily like nonfiction. She would prefer to see portfolios including animals and historical artwork but is open to looking at all types of portfolios.

Genre: Portfolios—Limited Number Portfolios

 

Jessica MacLeishEditor, HarperCollins
Jess is an Editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books, where she works on a list of mostly YA and middle-grade fiction, encompassing all genres: sci-fi, fantasy, contemporary realistic, speculative, humour, what have you. She particularly enjoys books that inspire some kind of emotional reaction, whether it’s laughing, crying, or laughing so hard she eventually starts crying. Some of the authors she’s worked with include Neil Gaiman, Walter Dean Myers, Kwame Alexander, Fred Aceves, Amy Giles, Sally J. Pla, and more.

Genre: YA, MG—Limited Number Manuscript Critiques

 

Susan Mallory ShermanCreative Director, Charlesbridge Publishing
Susan Sherman has been designing children’s books since 1977. She is presently creative director at Charlesbridge Publishing, in Massachusetts. She has been Art Director of Children’s Trade Books at Houghton Mifflin, Creative Director at Little, Brown and Company, as well as running her own graphic design business, Ars Agassiz. She has taught at the Radcliffe Publishing Program, has been a member of the Rhode Island School of Design’s Illustration Department Thesis Review committee, and has given workshops on children’s book illustration at the University of Southern Maine and Maine College of Art.

She has been fortunate enough to have worked with Frané Lessac who illustrated the recent book by Traci Sorrel, We Are Grateful; with Rafael Lopez on The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred; on ¡Esquivel!, illustrated by Duncan Tonatuih; as well as with David Macaulay on his Caldecott winner, Black and White; Allen Say on The Boy of the Three-Year Nap, a Caldecott honor book; Lois Lowry’s Newbery: Number the Stars; and several of Chris Van Allsburg’s books, including the Polar Express.

Susan received a bachelor of fine arts from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1974, and a master of liberal arts degree in archeology from Harvard University in 2002.

Limited Number of Portfolio Critiques and Manuscript Critiques

 

Olivia ValcarceEditor, Scholastic
Olivia Valcarce is an Editor of middle grade and young adult books at Scholastic, Inc (US). She is the editor of Blizzard Bestiesby Yamile Saied Méndez and the She Dared series by Jenni L. Walsh, as well as the co-editor of Amber & Duskby Lyra Selene, all forthcoming. She loves deeply imagined worlds, inclusive feminist narratives, and high-concept, page-turning plots. She lives in New York City, and you can follow her on Twitter at @OliviaValcarce.

Olivia is interested in contemporary or fantasy.

Genre: MG, YA—Limited Manuscript Critiques

 

Maria MiddletonArt director, Candlewick USA and Walker Books UK
Maria T. Middleton is the Art Director for Imprints at Candlewick Press and Walker Books US. She began her career at HarperCollins and has spent more than a decade designing award-winning children’s books for publishers like Abrams Books and Random House. Maria works on a variety of projects for kids of all ages, most notably: The Stars Beneath Our Feet by David Barclay Moore, The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty, and Inkling by Kenneth Oppel. Maria is drawn to out-of-the-box thinking, hand-lettered typography, and quirky but lovable characters. She’s a southerner at heart, a New Yorker by choice, a fan of serial commas, strong coffee, and the color red. You can find her at mariamiddleton.com and follow her on Instagram and Twitter @mariatmiddleton.

Genre: Portfolio—Limited Number of Portfolio Critiques

 

 

Process of Critiques:

At time of booking you will be able to choose your preference from the available assessors.

Each of the assessors has a unique area of interest and expertise, so please carefully read the bios and research the assessors to determine their suitability to assess your work.

Tickets are available on a first come basis and places are limited.

Following your booking you can submit your manuscript or portfolio images via the link below. Please take note of the January 14th 2019 deadline and the format for submissions. You will receive a written critique by 28 February.

 

Bookings and Submission Guidelines:

All critiques are non-refundable and non-transferable, so please choose carefully.

Each critique costs $80 and places are limited. SOLD OUT!

 

Following your booking, CLICK HERE to submit your Manuscript or Portfolio. Please take note of the January 14th 2019 deadline and the format for submissions. Unfortunately, submissions that are late or that do not conform to the specifications cannot be accepted. Submissions are closed.

 

Your Manuscript critique submission should include the following:

An overview of your project to a maximum of 1 page including your name, email and website (if applicable)

AND IN THE SAME DOCUMENT ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:

An outline of your project idea with synopsis and short writing samples for comment and discussion to a maximum of 10 pages, double spaced in 12pt Times New Roman or similar

OR

An extract of your draft manuscript to a maximum of 10 pages, double spaced in 12pt Times New Roman or similar

OR

A full picture book draft text to a maximum of 10 pages, double spaced in 12pt Times Roman or similar

Please supply your manuscript file as Word or pdf and label as: FirstName_Surname_Title (abbreviate title if necessary)

 

Your Portfolio critique submission should include the following:

A portfolio of work consisting of up to 10 images. Please supply your portfolio images as jpg 72dpi and label as: FirstName_Surname_sequential numbers up to 10. Maximum size for images is 2mb per image.

OR

If a writer-illustrator and prefer, illustrated picture book dummy with text

 

 

 

 

 


Helpful Hints for Face to Face Manuscript and Portfolio Critiques

Manuscript and Portfolio Critiques are designed to help you develop your ideas and gain editing insights to enrich and improve your work.

Ask yourself why you want a critique. If it is to be published, you may need to readjust your expectations. If, on the other hand, it is to have an honest assessment of your work, you will learn from your assessor what is and isn’t working. You will need to be as open to criticism as to praise, as hard as that may be.

The value of a critique is to have fresh eyes from an industry professional peruse your work. Avoid submitting work to be critiqued if it just isn’t ready. It is better to spend time perfecting your work as best you can so the critique you receive will be more useful and relevant.

 

If you do have the chance to have a critique:

• Be calm, respectful and ready to listen

• Remember to keep an open mind and leave emotions at the door

• Prepare and rehearse a pitch out loud (Think one-minute summary)

• Be prepared to take notes and bring a highlighter.

• Ask for clarification if you don’t understand any points

• Leave your full manuscript at home. (If an agent or editor asks to see your work, they’ll let you know how to submit)

• Be your genuine self. Remember that agents, editors, and award-winning authors are people, too. They appreciate a friendly chat.

• If you know who your Critique Assessor is prior to the conference, familiarise yourself with books agented by or edited by that person or company. You’ll gain insight into their tastes and be ready with conversation starters if the opportunity presents itself. (Go to their website, Google them or ask other SCBWI members)

• Enjoy yourself.

 

Here are a few things to avoid doing:

• Don’t stalk the editor or agent. Let them go to the restroom in peace

• Don’t wear or bring gimmicks in the hopes of getting noticed

• If you are asked what your book is about, don’t whip out your manuscript. Revert to your rehearsed elevator pitch (Think one or two minutes, tops)

• Don’t call yourself the next J.K. Rowling, Stephanie Meyer, Rick Riordan, etc. Be original

• Don’t disrupt a critique in progress and don’t exceed your own time limit

• Don’t record a speaker’s session without first asking

 

What to do after you receive your critique:

A critique gives you honest and direct suggestions on how you can strengthen your writing. The suggestions give you an insight into a professional’s point of view and therefore it is worth your while to take their suggestions seriously.

• Take some time to think about it

• Read the critique or your notes again

• Think about the rationale behind the suggestions.

• Ask yourself why they were made and how they would improve the work

• Discuss them with other writers or illustrators

• Incorporate the suggestions into your work and compare the before and after results

• Remember the suggestions can be about the story itself or to do with marketability.

• In the final analysis it is your decision to accept or reject any suggestions offered.

Good Luck!

Deb Abela

 

#SCBWISyd

 


Terms and Conditions

SCBWI is a not-for-profit volunteer run organisation and all proceeds from these tickets are committed to Event expenses. Unfortunately we are unable to provide refunds, but we will allow transfer of Conference ticket to another eligible SCBWI member.

 Illustrator Showcase and Critique tickets are non-transferable.