Conference FAQs



Parking for the event is at the Red Hawk Parking Deck on the MSU campus, a short walk from the School of Communications and Media.

NJ SCBWI  will provide parking passes, the day of the event, for all attendees who use the parking garage. Passes are limited to one per attendee and we cannot replace lost passes.

There are no trains running to the Montclair Heights Train Station the day of the event.



The MSU campus catering department will provide a light breakfast and a boxed lunch for all attendees. There will be gluten free and vegan options.  Please plan accordingly.

What is A Round Table?


A Round Table session is an excellent way to get feedback on your work, and also learn from hearing what the editors or agents think about other people’s manuscripts, too. Each Round Table includes an industry professional, either an editor, agent, or art director.

 Illustrators: Bring one piece of art to display to the art director and your fellow tablemates. The art director will provide feedback followed by fellow illustrators at the table, if time allows. If there is time left over at the end of your table's critiques, attendees may use that time to ask the art director questions.

 Writers: Bring 9 copies with 500 words of a single manuscript with you. Put your name on the paper, include a title and indicate the genre (picture book, chapter book, middle grade, young adult, non-fiction, graphic novel).

 Use standard manuscript formatting:

  • Double spaced lines
  • Times New Roman or Courier font
  • 12 point font size
  • One-inch margins all around
  • Half-inch indents for each new paragraph, single column of text.
  •  If your text rhymes, put each rhyme on a new line.

 All Round Table pages will be read aloud by a volunteer reader followed by feedback from the editor/agent and fellow authors at the table.

 Each person has approximately 10 minutes of feedback time including the reading. If there is time left over at the end of your table's critiques, attendees may use that time to ask the editor or agent questions.

Round Table Assignments: If you signed up for a Round Table you will be given your assignment at registration. 

What is An On-the-spot Critique?

Please note that you can ONLY sign up for one critique. EITHER a One-on-on OR an On-the-spot critique.


On-the-Spot Feedback slots are limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

You may use the 15 minutes to share ms pages, a query letter, or illustrations--about 5 minutes for the faculty member to read/view your work and 10 minutes for feedback. A good estimate is 5-10 pages. Portfolios can include up to 12 images.

What is a One-on-One Critique?


A one-on-one critique is a 15 minute critique with the editor or agent of your choice on a first come, first served basis. If you are interested in a one-on-one critique, you MUST sign up for one when you register. They sell out fast!

How do I upload my materials for critique?

Once you register for the event and pay for your critique, go to your member homepage. Under events, you should see your critique. When you click on this, you should have a link to a google form where you can upload your work.

Some additional one-on-one facts:

  • A one-on-one is an additional $120 registration fee.
  • You send your project by the deadline BEFORE the event.
  • Critiques consist of 15-pages plus a 1-page synopsis for novels (middle grade/young adult) or the entire manuscript/PDF dummy for picture books (typically no more than 500 words).
  • For graphic novels, include 15 pages of panels (or the text for 15 pages of panels) and a 1-page synopsis.
  • For portfolios, include a single, multi-paged pdf with 10-15 of your illustrations and your name clearly on each page of the pdf. For your critique the day of the event, you may want to bring a printed version of your portfolio. See the Portfolio Showcase guidelines for more details about what a portfolio should look like.
  • In conjunction with your one-on-one, you’ll also receive written feedback (post event).
  • An exclusive submission window for faculty (post event).
  • By signing up for an event, you are personally responsible for all technical aspects involved such as uploading your manuscript or portfolio in the correct format by the deadline and bringing any materials you need to the critique, such as a copy of your manuscript, dummy, or portfolio.

How is this different than an on-the-spot critique?

While both types of critiques require registration, for an on-the-spot critique you will not submit your work ahead of time, nor will you receive written feedback after the event. Instead, you will bring your project to your critique session and talk about it with the editor or agent of your choice on a first come, first served basis.