SCBWI

Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2018 Houston SCBWI Conference Critique Guidelines

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Critique Guidelines 

Houston is pleased to offer three ways for you to have a manuscript critique.

A critique with an Agent or Editor or Art Director on the Faculty 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 authors is $30 and will give you the same feedback.

The e-critiques are $35 and will be evaluated by Editors and Agents. This format means your manuscript will be emailed to Mary Riser using mary@maryriser.com.  Mary will forward your manuscripts to the e-critique faculty members, will receive the comments, and hopefully have them forwarded back to you at the time of the conference.

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HOW MANY MANUSCRIPTS CAN YOU HAVE?

You may register for one Speaker Faculty critique, and as many local author critiques that match the genre, AND multiple e-critiques that match the genre of your manuscript.

Each critiquer will review only one manuscript for you. You may send the same manuscript to several critiquers or multiple manuscripts to multiple critiquers.

PLEASE DO NOT ASK EVALUATORS TO WORK OUTSIDE THEIR EXPERTISE.

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HOW DO YOU SEND YOUR MANUSCRIPT?

PLEASE READ THESE MANUSCRIPT INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY AS YOUR MANUSCRIPT MAY NOT BE CRITIQUED. FORMAT INSTRUCTIONS FOLLOW BELOW.

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ALL SPEAKER FACULTY CRITIQUES MUST BE EMAILED. THE DEADLINE TO SEND IS MIDNIGHT SATURDAY, AUGUST 25, 2018.

Send to Alicia Salazar using SCBWIcritiques@gmail.com Send your ten manuscript pages as an attachment. You may put your cover letter and synopsis in the manuscript attachment or as separate attachments. 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 namecritiquer.YourLastName.YourFirst Name
Example: SCBWI Houston.Alexander.Riser.Mary

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ALL E-CRITIQUES MUST BE EMAILED. THE DEADLINE TO SEND MANUSCRIPTS IS MIDNIGHT SATURDAY, AUGUST 25, 2018.

Send to Mary Riser using mary@maryriser.com Send your ten manuscript pages as an attachment. You may put your cover letter and synopsis in the manuscript attachment or as separate attachments. These manuscripts will NOT be considered for the Joan Lowery Nixon award.
For Subject Line: SCBWI Houston.Last namecritiquer.YourLastName.YourFirst Name
Example: SCBWI Houston.Alexander.Riser.Mary

The following links will assist formatting manuscript page for those critiquers who want their documents in e-form: 

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TWO LOCAL AUTHORS WOULD LIKE PRINTED MANUSCRIPTS. THESE AUTHORS ARE SANDRA J. HOWATT AND JOY PREBLE. Do not staple pages. Send in an 8 1/2 X 11 inch or 9 X 12 inch envelope. Do not fold pages into a business envelope.

THE DEADLINE FOR PRINTED MANUSCRIPTS IS POSTMARKED BY USPS OR FEDEX OR OTHER BY SATURDAY, AUGUST 25, 2018.

Send to Mary Riser, 19 Spotted Fawn Ct., The Woodlands, TX 77381.  Include a note if you are submitting a manuscript and want it considered for the Joan Lowery Nixon award. Include your cover letter and your synopsis for a chapter book, middle grade or young adult novel.

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LOCAL AUTHORS WHO WANT MANUSCRIPTS EMAILED ARE: CRYSTAL ALLEN, JENNIFER HAMBURG, KIM MORRIS, AND ANA MARIA RODRIGUEZ. THE DEADLINE TO SEND IS MIDNIGHT SATURDAY, AUGUST 25, 2018.

Send to MARY RISER using Mary@maryriser.com Send your ten manuscript pages as an attachment. You may put your cover letter and synopsis in the manuscript attachment or as separate attachments. 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 namecritiquer.YourLastName.YourFirst Name
Example: SCBWI Houston.Alexander.Riser.Mary

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For questions, email Mary Riser using Mary@MaryRiser.com

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MANUSCRIPT FORMATS

1) For each critique submit one manuscript of up to 10 pages. This critique is for the first ten pages of a single manuscript, not a section in the middle and not selections from multiple works. Submit your full manuscript in the case of a picture book with text only for 10 pages or less. 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 as a Word document according to the industry standards using black ink on 8 ½ X 11-inch white paper.
Use 12-point font that is either Times New Roman or Arial (not narrow) and one inch margins on all sides. Double space all text. You do not have to use a separate standard Title Page. Type your title and skip several lines before starting your manuscript. Number your pages consecutively.

3) In the upper left corner of the first page of your manuscript: NAME, ADDRESS, CITY/STATE, EMAIL ADDRESS AND GENRE [PB, CHAP BOOK, MG, YA, NF].

4) The name on your manuscript must match the name you registered under even if you write under a pseudonym.

5) For ALL Picture Books (fiction and nonfiction): Submit only the first TEN (10) pages of your manuscript, or a complete manuscript for a single picture book ten pages and under. No synopsis is needed. Do NOT include Back Matter. You may include a cover letter (no longer than a half page text) addressed to your critiquer. These pages are in addition to the ten manuscript pages.

6) 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 single-spaced synopsis. You may include a cover letter (no longer than a half page text) addressed to your critiquer. These pages are in addition to the ten manuscript pages.

7) Illustrators submitting a picture book manuscript may NOT include illustrations. You are allowed to bring a complete dummy to the in person critique and offer to show it.

For more information on how to correctly format your manuscript, look at From Keyboard to Printed Page SCBWI. It may be accessed from scbwi.org or here. 
For novels or longer works, you should include one additional page with a brief synopsis. This page will not be critiqued but it allows the critiquer to get a better idea of your story. A synopsis is single-spaced and no longer than one page. 

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For more information on how to correctly format your manuscript, look at SCBWI’s From Keyboard to Printed Page.

IF YOU HAVE MORE THAN ONE EMAILED CRITIQUE, EACH SUBMISSION MUST BE A SEPARATE EMAIL AND SUBJECT LINE LABELED AS ABOVE. BE SURE TO SEND CORRECTLY TO ALICIA OR MARY.

PRINTED MANUSCRIPTS FOR SANDRA HOWATT AND JOY PREBLE MAY BE SENT UNFOLDED IN A SINGLE ENVELOPE TO:
Mary Riser, 19 Spotted Fawn Ct. The Woodlands TX 77381

For further assistance in a Cover letter or synopsis or formatting:

 

FOR COVER LETTERS, also known as QUERY LETTERS
http://work.chron.com/write-cover-letter-manuscript-submissions-8565.html
https://www.book-editing.com/editing-articles/garner-query-letter-basics.html

 

FOR MANUSCRIPT FORMATS
https://www.scbwi.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/From-Keyboard_2014.pdf
http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-format-your-childrens-book

 

HOW TO WRITE A SYNOPSIS:
http://www.prokidwriter.com/howtowriteasynopsis.html
https://www.janefriedman.com/how-to-write-a-novel-synopsis/

 

For those who will be mailing in their PB dummies, these are good resources:
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How to make the most of your critique time…
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
To tell…
Genre
Targeted audience
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…
Organized