“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.

Go to fees to find out addition­al infor­ma­tion for various kinds of critiques. Or go to the submis­sion form if you are ready to show me what you have!

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.

Thanks for your interest in F1rst Pages.
Acceptance of new submissions is currently on hiatus while we attend to our backlog of existing submissions.