Full Day Intensive: Advanced PB Critique

This session requires pre-conference application and submission.

Friday, Sept 20th 8:45 am - 5 pm

Hospitality Suite


This full-day session is designed for advanced picture book writers to work closely with an accomplished literary agent and other advanced writers through small-group critique of each attendee’s work and targeted instruction based upon these works. 

As a participant, you will have a portion of the day assigned to your manuscript. Within the group setting, you will receive critique from literary agent Sean McCarthy and the other selected writers in the class. Sean will then provide targeted instruction based on your submission, examining structure and revision as essential elements of the picture book process. You will provide critique for each of the other manuscripts submitted to the class, while learning from the targeted instruction for each. Manuscripts will be distributed to attendees in advance.  

The intensive will convene in three 2-hour sessions throughout the day. 


Our intent for the Advanced Picture Book Critique Intensive is to create an environment where attendees can grow in their craft. Giving and receiving critique takes truth-telling and a thick skin. Our goal is to help participants level up their storytelling skills – while also honing their own revision skills – for their current works in progress and future manuscripts. To paraphrase MTV’s The Real World, we want to find out what can happen when authors stop being polite about their own work and start getting real about the possibilities in their manuscripts.


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Sean McCarthy


This session is limited to 6 participants. Up to twelve applications will be considered and participants will be selected by faculty. To apply, participants must:

  • Register for the Carolinas Fall Conference and select the checkbox for APPLY TO ATTEND: Advanced PB Critique.
  • Complete the application and submit your picture book manuscript (up to 700 words). After registering, you will find a link to the application under the MY EVENTS tab of your Member Home. Click the green MEETING INFO button.
  • Agree to the critique policies.


May 1st: Conference registration opens.

July 25th: Application deadline

Aug 12th: Faculty selections announced. Applicants will be billed for payment to participate.

Aug 16th: Paid participants will receive the manuscript of each of the other five participants in the class. You will have one month to read the other manuscripts and prepare your notes for critique.

Sept 20th: Intensive day. The class will convene on Friday of the Fall Conference, beginning at 8:45 am and meeting in three sessions, 8:45 am - 11 am, 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm, and 3 pm - 5 pm.

Please Note

Participants will be in class during Friday afternoon critiques/reviews. If you wish to add a critique or review for the conference, you will need to choose a Zoom meeting offered by designated faculty the week before the conference.


Members $250

Non-Members $280

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Hosted by SCBWI Carolinas