Australia West

Rottnest Critiques 2024

SCBWI Members! Do you have an unpublished children's manuscript? An illustration project-in-progress? Or maybe a portfolio of illustrations nobody's ever seen?

Have you always wanted to sit down one-on-one with a seasoned industry professional and get some honest, expert feedback on your work?

Well, now's your chance. Read on to find out how to take part.

About the Critiquers

This year we have two guest critiquers:

Sam Forge, Associate Publisher Allen & Unwin

Samantha Forge is a professional editor, having worked in publishing for many years, including at Text Publishing, Black Inc. Books, Lonely Planet, Penguin Books, Kill Your Darlings and the Centre for Youth Literature.

She is currently the Associate Publisher of Books for Children and Young Adults at Allen & Unwin.

Alex Allan, CEO, Fremantle Press

Alex Allan is the CEO of Fremantle Press and an experienced publisher and creative leader, currently working in higher education. with international board experience and financial responsibility for global teams and products, content development for print and digital, organisation design and people management. She lived and worked in the UK for many years, before returning to Australia, where she has worked in advancement at UWA, and as the Children's Publisher for the recently formed Welbeck ANZ. Alex is passionate about literacy and reading, especially children's books.

All critiques will come with written feedback forms for you to keep. Your critiquer will make notes on such things as plot, structure, voice, presentation of folios, consistency of work, composition and marketability, as well as positive aspects of your work and any areas that need attention.

Critique Schedule

There will be 8 x one-on-one critiques and 6 x written critiques available with each publisher.

One-on-one critique sessions are 15 minutes long, and will take place during the Rottnest Retreat on Friday 7 June.

Written critiques will be emailed by the end of June.


One-on-one Critiques: $85

Written Critiques: $65

PLEASE NOTE: Payments must be made by direct deposit to the SCBWI Australia West bank account, and bookings are not final until payment has been made. Account details for the deposit will be provided after you book.

How to Book

Registrations for critiques open at 7:00 pm SHARP, Monday 25 March.

Click the link below to book your ticket through TryBooking.


Once your place is confirmed, you will be contacted by Sandi Parsons, who will provide detailed instructions for submitting your work.

These critiques are very popular and demand may exceed supply.

Slots will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis. If you are unable to secure a critique, you can opt to be put on a waitlist in case of a cancellation.

What to Send

To participate in a critique, you need to send your material in advance. Please do not send any material until your place is confirmed and you have received your instructions from Sandi. Material must be submitted by the deadline advised. No late materials can be accepted.


You will be required to submit the following in advance: up to 10 double-spaced pages from one story only (e.g. if sending a picture book MS for critique, you may send only one, even if it is only a couple of pages long) plus a 1-page synopsis including brief author bio details (e.g. 1/3 page bio + 2/3 page synopsis), making 11 pages in total.

You may use your time to discuss this story and/or ask general questions.


Illustrators have a choice of focus in their critique: they can request feedback on their portfolio OR a work-in-progress.

A portfolio review provides feedback on 10 illustration samples you submit.

A work-in-progress review provides feedback on an uncontracted, unpublished illustration project (e.g. a picture book, a graphic novel, an illustrated chapter book).

For a portfolio review:

Submit in advance:

  • Your name, 100-word bio, your website address (if applicable) and contact details.
  • Digital copy of portfolio containing up to 10 sample illustrations.

Bring with you on the day:

  • Hard copy of portfolio. Portfolios must consist of a standard A3 folder containing no more than 10 pages of sample illustrations. Please do not include original artwork - prints only. Sample illustrations must be participants' own artwork.

For a work-in-progress review:

Submit in advance:

  • Your name, 100-word bio, your website address (if applicable) and contact details.
  • Your rough illustrations as a storyboard and/or a dummy book (pdf format)
  • Between one and three finished illustrations from your project (pdf format)

Bring with you on the day:

  • Hard copies of your storyboard and/or dummy
  • Hard copies of your 1-3 finished illustrations (prints only, no originals)


Deadline for Submission of Materials: Tuesday 30th April.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations made up to 14 days prior to the event will receive a 75% refund. Cancellations made after this date will not receive a refund.

Anti-Harassment Policy

SCBWI is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience in its events and activities. Please review the official SCBWI Non-Discrimination / Anti-Harassment Policy before booking.

Acknowledgement of Country

SCBWI Australia West recognises the cultural significance and sad history that Wadjemup (Rottnest Island) holds for Aboriginal people and acknowledges the Whadjuk Noongar people as Wadjemup's traditional custodians.

Read more about the history of Wadjemup and steps toward reconciliation.


For more information about this event, please email Critique Coordinator Sandi Parsons.