Submission Shine 2024: Online Critique Intensive

Jan 11, 2024 - Jan 13, 2024

Online event

Event Description: So, you have a handful of manuscripts or illustration styles ready to query. Which one should you lead with? Is your other work strong enough to hook an agent if they request to see more? And what will an agent think about the variety of work you bring? Whether you have multiple submission-ready picture book manuscripts, write across age categories, have a variety of illustration pieces and illustrated works, or a combination of all of the above, Submission Shine is an opportunity to talk with one agent about four submission-ready works AND your writing/illustrating career as a whole. Plus, a webinar to help center your confidence as you begin querying AND additional feedback from a peer critique group of other Submission Shine participants.


Registration Opens: Friday, September 1, 2023

Registration Closes: Tuesday, October 31, 2023--or when all spots are filled (whichever comes first)

No refunds after October 21, 2023.

Scholarship information

Event schedule

Mix-n-match critique submission specifications

Registration includes:

--four 20-minute Zoom critiques with one faculty member of your choice

--plus one additional 20-minute Zoom meeting with your same faculty member to be used as either a career consultation or an opportunity to pitch additional work

--five peer cohort critique group meetings

--and access to the webinar “The Next Big Step: Reaching Out to Agents with literary agent Mary Cummings

*All critique submissions due by 11:59 PM ET on Tuesday, October 31, 2023.

*Critiques to be returned on or about Sunday, January 6, 2024. Please review this feedback prior to the Zoom sessions.

Meet the Faculty

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About Jem

Before Jemiscoe "Jem" Chambers-Black joined Andrea Brown Literary Agency in 2020, she was an assistant director for film and television. Her love for books prevailed, and she went back to school to study English Literature and creative writing in fiction and earned her MFA. She represents adult fiction, YA, MG, picture book authors, illustrators and select adult nonfiction. She is especially looking for diverse voices.

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About Nicole

Nicole Geiger has worked in just about every capacity in the publishing industry in her thirty-plus years plus career. As VP and Publisher of Ten Speed Press/Tricycle Press then VP and Publisher of Random House/Tricycle Press, Nicole was responsible for up to thirty children’s titles annually. In 2011, she founded Nicole Geiger Publishing, a consultancy for publishers, where she helped launch AMP! Comics for Kids and Beyond Words’ children’s publishing in partnership with Simon & Schuster. She currently manages the publishing program of Yosemite Conservancy, acquiring, producing, and marketing a curated list of both children’s and adult titles. As a literary agent with Full Circle Literary, Nicole focuses on fiction and nonfiction for board books through middle grade. Curious, commercially minded, and very editorial, Nicole is looking for strong voices that tell stories for all children, and would like to add an author/illustrator of picture books to her client roster. Her clients include writers Carmen Bogan, Sara Fajardo, Michael Genhart, Laurel Goodluck, Eileen Kennedy-Moore, and Charlotte Offsay; graphic novelists Mercedes Acosta and Cameron Mukwa; and illustrators Ashleigh Corrin, Bridget George, Jonathan Nelson, and Cheryl Thuesday. She is well known for making her clients stretch to create their best work.

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About Ian

I started my career as a multiple award-winning writer of picture books, non-fiction (adult and middle-grade), and graphic novels. I sold my first book at age 21, and have been working as a professional in the publishing industry ever since. Over the course of my now 25-year career (which makes me feel old typing that), I have worked in every capacity of the writing life. I have been a copy editor, magazine editor, freelance journalist, publishing assistant (Harper Collins), as well as writing for commercials, TV, and film (solo projects and as a script doctor). As a creative Director/agent, I enjoy reading anything that is dedicated to joyful storytelling. Great stories come in all forms: joyful children’s books, vibrant graphic novels, joyfully-researched adult non-fiction that finds fresh perspectives, and fiction that has been written with a pure love of words. I can (and will) talk story development for hours. I graduated in 1996 from Columbia University where I majored in film-writing.

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About Tanya

Tanya McKinnon is the founder of McKinnon Literary where she represents New York Times bestsellers and award-winning non-fiction, children's books, and graphic novels. She specializes in non-fiction that addresses cultural issues as well as gender, race, class, ethnicity, and sexuality. She is most drawn to work that pushes political and cultural boundaries. This can be in categories such as history, sociology, psychology, anthropology, medicine, cultural criticism, memoir, popular culture, journalism, and sheer whimsy. She's also drawn to character-driven literary fiction.

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About Sarah

Sarah Stephens is a children’s book enthusiast in every sense. She has worked as an editor, author, and indie bookseller, and before that she was a book-loving child. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz, Sarah moved to Rhode Island and got her first editorial job at Houghton Mifflin in Boston. When East Coast winters grew too long for the California native, Sarah returned to the San Francisco Bay Area where she continued her editorial career at Chronicle Books and then Lucasfilm Licensing. Though she eventually left the office for the flexibility of freelance, Sarah never left children’s books. She has continued her work as a freelance editor and authored numerous original (Maiden Voyage, Bug Girl, Rescue Dogs) and licensed (Curious George, Star Wars, DC) titles. As an agent, Sarah is looking to champion books that make her laugh out loud, delight her with new wonders or quirky surprises, or speak deep truths—books that make her want to say “yes.” She is interested in elevating the voices of marginalized individuals, amplifying stories that need to be heard, and connecting children to nature. She likes authors and illustrators who know their craft and tell their own unique tales with humor, heart, and integrity. Though she enjoys everything from board books to YA, if forced to pick favorites, picture books, early chapter books, and middle-grade fiction would be top of the heap.

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About Charlotte

Charlotte Wenger is a literary agent in the Boston area with Prospect Agency. Prior to joining Prospect, she was an associate editor at Page Street Kids. She has her Master of Arts in Children’s Literature from Simmons College (now University) and has since mentored a number of their MFA in Writing for Children students. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and exploring New England outside the city, occasionally crafting, and randomly breaking into song. Charlotte represents authors and illustrators of children's books - ranging from board books through YA, but especially picture books. You can find her online at or on Twitter at @WilbursBF_Char.