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Manuscript Critique Guidelines
Houston is pleased to offer three ways for you to have a writing critique as well as a portfolio critique. A critique with a Speaker Faculty of two editors and three agents is $40. That will give you a twelve minute face to face evaluation of the work as well as written comments. A critique with one of our well-known local faculty is $25 and will give you the same feedback. For these manuscripts, some will be emailed and some will be printed and snail mailed. And an e-critique with an agent or editor is $35. Carefully read below for your critique format.
Read below regarding formats, addresses, and deadlines.
THE DEADLINE FOR SPEAKER AND LOCAL AUTHOR EMAILED MANUSCRIPTS IS MIDNIGHT SATURDAY, AUGUST 26, 2017. Send to Alicia Salazar using SCBWIcritiques@gmail.comYou may send your ten manuscript pages as an attachment. You may put your cover letter and synopsis in the manuscript attachment or as separate ones. If you are submitting a manuscript and want it considered for the Joan Lowery Nixon award, state that in the body of the email.
For Subject Line: SCBWI Houston. Last name critiquer. Your Last Name. Your First Name
Example: SCBWI Houston.Alexander.Riser.Mary
Example: SCBWI Houston.Alexander.Capelle.Jessica
THE FOLLOWING CRITIQUES ARE TO BE SENT IN EMAIL FORMAT to Jessica:
ALEXANDER CASCARDI K. JONES SOMBERG
FORMAT FOR MANUSCRIPTS:
What to Submit for Manuscript Critique
works. The submission should be treated as if it is a single submission to an editor at a publishing house. Be sure the manuscript is grammatically correct and polished to the best of your writing ability. If you submit more than ten pages, those over the limit will be eliminated.
2) Format ALL manuscripts in 12-point Times New Roman.
3) In the upper left corner of your manuscript: NAME, ADDRESS, CITY/STATE, EMAIL ADDRESS AND GENRE [YA, MG, PB, CHAPTER BOOK, NF]
4) Please use a single envelope for your manuscript. If you are sending by FedEx or Priority Mail, you do not need a separate envelope inside the mailing envelope.
5) The name on your manuscript must match the name you registered under even if you write under a pseudonym.
6) For ALL Picture Books (fiction and nonfiction) and Poetry: Submit only the first TEN (10) pages of your manuscript, or a complete manuscript for a single picture book under ten pages..No synopsis is needed. Do NOT include Back Matter.
7) For ALL Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Chapter Books (fiction and nonfiction): Submit only the first TEN (10) pages, even if it cuts off mid-chapter, plus a ONE-page synopsis.You MUST include the synopsis or we cannot accept your submission.
8) Include a cover letter (no longer than a half page text) addressed to your critiquer. The cover letter and synopsis are in addition to the 10 pages.
9) Illustrators submitting a picture book dummy for critique need to be sure to have at least two spreads in full color and finish. None of the dummy book should be original art. The dummy should be bound in a minimal way so as to not interfere with placement in an envelope (no spiral binding).
The following people will accept picture book dummies to critique: Dominguez, Heschke, D. Jones, K. Jones, Roberto, Rago, Alexander, Duval, Howatt, and Morris.
Agent and Editor Pitches
Manuscript and Portfolio Critiques
1. Decide what you want to accomplish in your consultation…
Ask questions about improving your project?
Get suggestions for marketing?
Remember, these are critique sessions. Though an editor, art director or agent may wish to see a complete/revised
manuscript or portfolio later, it is highly unlikely that you will sell a book just based on this meeting.
2. Be prepared…
To be on time – appointments are booked back to back. If you are late, you still have to end on time.
Arrive early, so you can start on time
Depart graciously and promptly when your time is up – others are waiting, or the editor/art director/agent/
author is scheduled for a workshop or much needed break
Missed appointments can not be made up or receive a fee refund
The word count and/or number of chapters
How your story ends
What is unique about your book/story
To be concise – practice what you’re going to say
To ask the questions you want to ask
To take notes
3. Be professional…
4. Be aware…
That you may have to leave a workshop early or come to a workshop late because of your consultation.
Try to enter/exit as unobtrusively as possible.
Remember writer/illustrator-to-industry-pro etiquette:
Do not ask an editor/art director/agent to take your full manuscript or portfolio home, or to look at it on conference day.
Do not telephone an editor/art director/agent unless invited to do so – mailing addresses are in your registration packet.
You and other attendees at the conference may submit to editors, art directors or agents after the conference.
When submitting, in your cover letter refer to your attendance at the conference, and to your consultation (if applicable). Mention why you think your enclosed work might be of interest, or thank the editor, art director or agent for inviting you to submit it.