Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Formatting and Submitting Manuscripts for Critique

Formatting Your Manuscript: A professionally formatted submission shows that you’re a writer who understands the business of writing and publishing for children. For a formatting guideline, download From Keyboard to Printed Page (PDF).

All critique entries MUST be formatted as described below:

  • Double spaced
  • One-inch margins
  • 12 point Times New Roman Font
  • Your contact information should appear on the first page in the upper left corner and must include:
    • Name
      Note: the name on the submission MUST match the name on your conference registration
    • Address, City, State
    • Email
    • Category [PB, CB, MG, GN, YA]
  • All pages of your submission must be numbered. Place numbers in the upper righthand corner, beginning on the second page:
      Example: PAGE 2, FANNIN/DARKNESS
  • The title should appear in all caps on the first page, centered and about halfway down. See sample first page below.

Example of the first page of your manuscript submission

Submission Guidelines:

You may submit 1 copy of up to 10 pages of 1 manuscript.

  • For Picture Books and Poetry: Submit only the first 800 words of one manuscript.
  • For Chapter Books, Middle Grade Novels, Graphic Novels, and Young Adult Novels: Submit only the first 10 pages of 1 manuscript, even if it cuts off in the middle of a chapter.
  • For Picture Books and Graphic Novels: Please submit your text only. Editors and agents will not be critiquing art. Consider signing up for a portfolio review if you’d like feedback on your artwork.
  • Synopsis: if you are submitting the first ten pages of a chapter book, middle grade, graphic novel, or young adult novel, please include a synopsis. A synopsis should be single spaced and no longer than one page, approximately 250 to 300 words. Picture books do not require a synopsis. For more information on writing a synopsis, we suggest Jane Friedman’s Blog.
  • You do not need to include the word count–just make sure to adhere to the formatting guidelines above.
  • Please save your entry as one document in a Word.docx file including your manuscript and synopsis (if applicable). Please label your file with your last name, title, the critiquer’s last name, and save it as a Word.docx file:
    • LastName_Title_Faculty.docx
    • Example: Fannin_Darkness_Adams.docx

Submitting Your Manuscript:

Manuscripts may be submitted between July 11 and July 18, 2021, but must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, July 18.

  • Send your formatted manuscripts to:
    • In the email Subject Line: Last Name_Title_Faculty
      Example: Fannin_Darkness_Adams
  • Attach your Word.docx document as a separate file to your email (please do not paste your manuscript into your email!)
  • In the body of your email, be sure to include:
    • Name [the name on the submission MUST match the name on your conference registration]
    • Address, City, State
    • Faculty Name


Please contact our Critique Coordinator Vijaya Bodach ( if you have any questions.