Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Manuscript and Portfolio Critiques

If you signed up for a distance critique for Big Chill 2018, please read these instructions for how to send in your work.

Deadline: August 28, 2018, at 7 p.m. CST

The process will be entirely electronic. Send your work to Louisiana/Mississippi Co-RA Sarah C. Campbell at No editor/designer will see this email, nor any text you write in the email.

Submission Material:

  • Middle Grade or YA novels: Send a cover letter, 20 pages of the manuscript, and a 400-word synopsis. (total of 22 pages in a single document)
  • PB: Send a cover letter and the full text. (must not exceed 21 pages). Do NOT send a dummy (another word for a document that includes words and illustrations arranged as they will be when published).
  • Illustrator’s Portfolio: Send a cover letter and a link to an illustrator’s portfolio of up to 20 images. (If you do not have your own website, you may use a cloud storage link such as Google Drives or Dropbox.) Cover letter is limited to one page. 

You will attach one document to your email. It is up to you the order in which you place the elements of your document. My recommendation to you is that your cover letter be page 1 and that you begin your manuscript on page 2. If you are submitting pages from a MG or YA novel and they would not make sense without having read your synopsis, you would want to place your 400-word synopsis on page 2 and begin your manuscript on page 3. (If you send in these elements in separate documents, all attached to the email to me, I will send them back. I need one document.)

It would help tremendously if you use the following format for the filename:


For example, I would name my file as follows for a critique with editor Susan Dobinick on a manuscript titled Infinity: Dobinick.Campbell.Sarah.Infinity. Sending a .pdf file is also acceptable. Each program adds the letters after the final period to indicate the type of document: examples, .doc, .docx, .pdf.

For each manuscript/portfolio, the editor/designer will complete a Gold Form review.

If you know you will need assistance in sending your work electronically, please line up help from a family member or friend at least a week before the deadline. Being unprepared for the requirements will not earn you an extension to the deadline. Also, if your work is ready prior to the deadline, please go ahead and send it. Being slammed with submissions on a single day makes for a cranky Co-RA. *those who read this far into the instructions get rewarded with rhyming prose.