Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Manuscript Format/Crits

Formatting Your Manuscript:

It takes a lot of time to organize your manuscripts to be submitted to agents/editors etc after you have sent it to us. WE are all volunteers, so there is only much we can do to help you. SO, PLEASE FOLLOW DIRECTIONS BELOW.


1. Check the event page for specific due date(s).

2. Time to submit may vary, but is in Pacific Time on the due date.

3. Use 12 point font, Times New Roman

4. Make sure you have your contact info in your document and your pages are numbered.

5. Please only submit 10 pages plus your title page (so a total of 11 pages)

6. Please look at the format below and make sure your pages use the same format.

7. Picture books – if it is under 1000 words, you may submit the entire manuscript. If you are sending in graphics, please create a dummy and send a PDF file with a reduced file size. It is for one PB manuscript.

8. There is no need for a cover letter or intro letter when submitting work for critiques. This is not a query. The agent/editor only wants your manuscript.

Email submission as an attached document to: 

Questions need to be sent to The email above is just for manuscripts.

Name your file with the name of the agent you are submitting to first, followed by your name, your age group target, your genre, and title of your work.

For example: AgentName(the on you’re submitting to)-Yourname-AgeGroup-Genre-title of your manuscript.doc

Example: JennyBent-CynthiaMun-MG-Fantasy-Witches.doc (this would be my submission file name if I were to send in my middle grade fantasy manuscript titled Witches to Jenny Bent who was the agent giving the workshop.)

Please send Word doc unless you are an illustrator and including graphics. Most agents prefer Word since it is easier for them to add comments. If you send a PDF, then make sure to reduce the file size.

Manuscripts for professional critiques follow a strict structure. The format outlined below is what is expected in the industry. Please follow it for your manuscripts so that you look like a professional who is knowledgeable about the industry. This is for novels and picture book text. For illustrators, what is expected is a picture book dummy or portfolio of work online.



Join a Nevada SCBWI Critique Group!

Critique groups are a great way to improve your craft and meet other members. Here is a list of ongoing groups in Nevada that are open to new members. Please be sure to contact the critique group’s leader to confirm the time and date of the next meeting.

Northern Nevada

Middle Grade -Young Adult Novelists – Picture Book Writers & Illustrators — Meets every Saturday (except for holidays and always check this page before you come for any cancellations) from 3-5pm. Please contact Kim Harnes: kimharnes at gmail dot com.

Bring your pages, a smile, and grab a coffee, and we’ll sit down to meet up and read our pages or look through illustrations. Everyone is given seven minutes to read and seven minutes for critique if we have a big group that day, but if it’s smaller, we’ll read an entire chapter.

Southern Nevada

(Las Vegas & Boulder City areas)

All Critique Groups are open to SCBWI Members-only creating works for children and young adult.

SCBWI Vegas Einstein Critique Group — It meets on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Einstein Bros. Bagels. All Genre. Please contact Shannon Cangey

SCBWI Picture Book Critique Group — This critique group for illustrators, authors and author-illustrators meets every other Saturday via Zoom. Request to join the closed Facebook Group or contact for more information.

SCBWI Boulder City Critique Group All Genre. Las Vegas Wordworms meets on the 3rd Tuesday of the month at 6:30pm at a private residence. For more information, please contact Lisa Hallet.

SCBWI Vegas Summerlin Critique Group – This middle grade and YA writing group typically meets on the last Wednesday of each month. Dates of 2018 are: 8/29, 9/26, 10/24, 11/28, at 5:00pm at Coffee Bean on S. Town Center Dr. and the 215. Generally, this is limited to 6 participants. Please contact Stephanie Espinoza Villamor (emailto: forestjournal at yahoo dot com) for more information.

We’re always looking for leaders to start new critique groups in your area. If you’re interested in starting one, please let me know.


Critique Group Leaders:

Shannon Cangey – A former singer/dancer, Shannon Cangey has now turned her creative energy toward writing Picture Books and Middle Grade novels. Her work is inspired by her Midwestern childhood, her background in the Arts, and the bedtime stories she makes up for her son every night. Shannon’s work has been featured in the Henderson Libraries’ anthology Impressions, and she is a judge for the annual Teen Writing Contest hosted by ThinkArt!. As part of her job at Nevada Ballet Theatre, Shannon writes the Academy’s annual Spring Concert, turning fairytales into mainstage productions. You can find Shannon up early on twitter as part of the #5amWritingClub (@ShannonCangey), or through her website,

stephanieespinozaStephanie Espinoza has lived in the Las Vegas area since she was six weeks old. She graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a degree in Film and from San Jose State University’s online program with a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science. Stephanie has always loved books and stories, especially for young people. She worked as editor of a youth magazine in college and later in the children’s department of the public library. Stephanie is currently an academic librarian at the College of Southern Nevada, where she helps students and continues to write for the library’s news blog and social media. Her writing interests outside of work include middle grade and young adult novels, both realistic fiction and fantasy. Her stories have appeared in local publications such as CLASS! Magazine, and the Henderson Libraries’ creative writing anthology, Impressions. (Summerlin)


lisaLisa Hallett – Boulder City – Thanks to the unending knowledge and inspiration infusion she constantly receives from the writing community, Lisa, a long time SCBWI member, has moved beyond writing and revising her own grocery and to-do lists. She has settled into the world of writing chapter books and middle grade novels, and recently wrote a cover story for a regional magazine. Her critique group is magical, because when they meet, sprinkles from the clouds of creativity and encouragement plink down onto the table splattering shiny puddles of insight into their writing. (Boulder City)