Carolinas 2023 Fall Retreat

Manuscript Critique Submission


A professionally formatted submission shows that you understand the business of writing and publishing for children. All critique entries MUST be formatted as described below:

Double spaced. Novels in verse may use 1.5 spacing.

One-inch margins

12 point Times New Roman Font

Contact information: Place on the first page in the upper left corner and include:

Name (MUST match the name on your retreat registration)


Category (PB, CB, MG, GN, YA)

Page numbers: Place numbers in the upper right corner, beginning on the second page:

PAGE #, Last Name/TITLE

Example: PAGE 2, Russell/HOW TO SCARE A CAT

Title: All caps, centered at mid-page. Story begins below the title.


Picture Books and Poetry: Submit only the first 800 words of one manuscript. Please submit your text only. Editors and agents will not be critiquing art. Consider registering for a portfolio review if you’d like feedback on your artwork. (Please note: Illustration notes ARE included in your word count.)

Chapter Books, Middle Grade Novels, Graphic Novel Manuscripts, and Young Adult Novels: Submit only the first 10 pages of one manuscript, even if it cuts off in the middle of a chapter.

Synopsis: if you are submitting the first ten pages of a chapter book, middle grade, graphic novel manuscript, or young adult novel, please include a synopsis. Your synopsis should be single spaced, 500 words or less, and no longer than one page. 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.

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:


Example: Russell_How to Scare a Cat_Dyksterhouse.docx


Manuscripts may be submitted between Sunday, September 3rd and Sunday, September 10th, 2023 at 11:59 pm ET. 

Submit to:

In the email Subject Line: Last Name_Title_Faculty

Example: Russell_How to Scare a Cat_Dyksterhouse

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 (MUST match the name on your retreat registration)

Faculty Name

Type of Meeting: CRITIQUE

PLEASE NOTE: Critique faculty are only asked to respond to the SCBWI Gold Form questionnaire.


After Critique Registration closes (September 3rd), you will receive a link via email to schedule your session.

Critiques/Consults/Reviews will be held Friday, Nov 3rd, 3 pm – 6:15 pm.

Check in at the Critique/Consult/Review desk 10 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment.

Sessions are booked back to back–if you are late, your session will still end on time.

Missed appointments cannot be rescheduled.

Because we have guaranteed your payment to our faculty, missed appointments cannot be refunded.

Editors and agents provide submission opportunities to all attendees as part of this retreat. Do not ask an editor or agent to take your full manuscript or to look at it during the retreat.

Another attendee has paid for the appointment right after yours. Please be considerate of this and exit the meeting when time is called.


Please contact our Critique Inbox if you have any questions.

Feeling jittery? That’s totally normal. Check out Linda Sue Park’s advice on receiving critique.

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