Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

How to Make the Most of Your Critique Time



Manuscript and Portfolio Critiques

1.  Decide what you want to accomplish in your consultation…

Ask questions about improving your project? Get suggestions for marketing? Remember, these are critique sessions. Though an editor, art director or agent may wish to see a complete/revised manuscript or portfolio later, it is highly unlikely that you will sell a book just based on this meeting.

2.  Be prepared…

To be on time – appointments are booked back to back. If you are late, you still have to end on time. Arrive early, so you can start on time. Depart graciously and promptly when your time is up – others are waiting, or the editor/art director is scheduled for a much needed break. Missed appointments cannot be made up or receive a fee refund.

To tell…


Targeted audience

The word count and/or number of chapters

How your story ends

What is unique about your book/story

To be concise – practice what you’re going to say

To ask the questions you want to ask

To take notes

3.  Be professional…




4.  Be aware…

That you may have to leave a workshop early or come to a workshop late because of your consultation. Try to enter/exit as unobtrusively as possible.

5.  Afterwards

Remember writer/illustrator-to-industry-pro etiquette:

Do Not ask an editor/art director to take your full manuscript or portfolio home, or to look at it on conference day.

Do Not telephone an editor/art director unless invited to do so – mailing addresses are in your registration packet.

You and other attendees at the conference may submit to editors or art directors after the conference.

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