“I have plugged away for a decade trying to improve my writing so I could be a published author of children’s books. I went to all the conferences. I worked in critique groups. I took informative classes. And along the way I submitted my manuscripts (268 rejections). But I wouldn’t give up …” (read full testimonial)
—Jessica DeHart, PB Author, Alabama
Submitting Your Children’s Book Manuscript for Critique
You’ve done everything possible to get your manuscript into shape and you’d like another opinion from a professional editor. You find yourself stuck on character development, creating suspense and conflict, struggling with pacing and progression, viewpoint, or trying to figure out how to balance your narrative and dialogue. You are wondering if you are “showing” vs. “telling” or you may still be trying to find the right style, sound, and tone of the piece as it relates to your target reader.
Or could it be your beginning that plagues you?
Perhaps you are ready to submit or have already submitted to agents and editors and received encouraging feedback only to find the story is still not there yet.
On this website you will find information on critiques for picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels and young adult novels. Click on your particular tab to find out more. Once you have decided to submit, you can fill out the submission form and attach your manuscript and that will lead you to payment or other options. (You may attach multiple submissions) Once I receive everything, I will contact you.
I also accept children’s nonfiction and there is a special tab in the sidebar devoted to it.
If have never received a critique before or just want to clarify your definition of a critique, please go to What is a Critique Anyway?
I offer three kinds of services for authors — a Full Critique, Just-a-Read, and The Concept. For writers of children’s nonfiction, all of these options are available and include looking at the work from a research perspective.
In a Full-Critique, I will look at all the elements that bring your story together – plot, storyline, use of suspense and conflict, voice, dialogue, pacing and progression and more, in addition to some developmental editing or line-by-line editing as I deem necessary. If your manuscript does need this kind of detail, then I will edit, line-by-line, up to the first 10 pages of your manuscript and in some cases I may rewrite to provide specific examples relating to my comments, and this could occur throughout the manuscript. With this option, I will deliver a written critique, as well as help you explore your manuscript from a marketing perspective and address any questions or concerns you have about my comments and publishing in general, by phone.
With the Just-a-Read option, I will look at all of the same elements mentioned above and we will discuss by phone. There is no written critique and although I do take the market into consideration, there will be no in-depth discussion of this. This option is for writers who want to know if they are going in the right direction and if their story works or how to get out of particularly sticky place.
The last option is “The Concept”. I’ve included this because so many writers want to know if their concept is worth pursuing. This option is for those who have a plot or storyline fleshed out and perhaps have written a few chapters, and before they go any further want to get know if it is worth it to continue. You are only required to submit a synopsis and we can talk about whether a written response or a phone call is better for your schedule.
In addition to considering a critique, check out the new Kid’s Book Revision (KBR) Online Tutorial where you can get the benefit of working with two editors simultaneously to develop a manuscript on a flexible schedule.
An important thing to keep in mind is publishing is a business and here you will find great resources for you to explore – publisher links, workshops, books, industry and writer’s sites - helping you become a stronger writer as you build your writing career.
One last thing…If you want a serious, honest, and professional critique of your work you are coming to the right place. If you cannot take criticism or are easy to take offense, this is not the right place. Besides my own experience at Scholastic and Harcourt, having relationships with other editors, agents, and publishers gives you the benefit of many years of publishing and although no one can guarantee you’ll get published, I can critique your work and give you the tools to help you increase your chances.