Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Editorial Critiques

Post-Retreat “Distance” Editorial Critiques

Two editors (TBA) have agreed to provide written critiques to attendees after the retreat. The plan is that you will use what you’ve learned on the retreat to improve your manuscript and will have a few weeks after the retreat to revise your pages and send them in for an editorial critique. All manuscripts will be emailed to Assistant Regional Advisor, Lindsay Eland, who will forward them on to the editors. Editors will send a one-page critique to Lindsay, who will then forward them on to the individual writers via email.

SCBWI members $35    Non-SCBWI members $50

NOTE: Only those who have attended the entire retreat are eligible to receive an editorial critique. Please have cash or check for the appropriate amount ready on or we will not be able to fulfill your request.

Things to Note

*    Submission instructions and a sign-up form will be provided in your retreat packet.

*    You will be able to select a first and second choice for your editorial critique but please note that we cannot guarantee your first choice. We can only guarantee that you will receive a critique from one of the editors. You may indicate on the form that you don’t want a critique if you do not get your first choice and we will refund your fee.

*    You will be notified via email about your editorial critique 2-3 days after the retreat.

*    Deadline for RECEIPT of manuscripts (via email to Lindsay Eland): May 30 by 8pmNO EXCEPTIONS

*    You can expect to receive your editorial critique via e-mail around July 11.

Editors Bio's

Katherine Harrison, Assistant Editor, Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers @KidlitKat

Katherine edits picture books, middle grade and young adult fiction. She’s worked on books by Carl Hiaasen, Cynthia Voigt, R.J. Palacio, and Markus Zusak among others. Some of her recent projects include Morris Award finalist Love and Other Perishable Items, Texas Bluebonnet nominee Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin, and The Tyrant’s Daughter, which went on sale this February and is already racking up accolades and starred reviews. A former International Relations major, Katherine is especially drawn to multicultural voices, and as a bluegrass guitarist, she’s drawn to stories that feature music. She’s also seeking edgy contemporary YA, humor, wilderness survival stories, and nerdy characters who are into science. Above all Katherine is on the lookout for fresh literary voices that kids can relate to. AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR NOTE: Katherine is happy to read and critique picture book dummies and/or manuscripts with several sample illustrations, but will focus primarily on the text. 

Erica Finkel, Assistant Editor, Abram Books for Young Readers and Amulet Books 

Before working in children's editorial, Erica worked as a production editor (also at Abrams), earned an MA in Publishing and Writing from Emerson College, taught English to elementary schoolers in France, and got a BA in English at Tufts University. Her first acquired picture book, Fraidyzoo, is an ALA Notable book and a Junior Library Guild selection. She has assistant edited a variety of middle-grade and young adult novels, including the bestselling Origami Yoda series by Tom Angleberger and The Infinite Moment of Us by bestselling author Lauren Myracle. Some of her favorite children's books include The Little PrinceGraceling, Eleanor and ParkOkay for Now, The Scorpio Races, and The Eleventh Hour. She's particularly interested in contemporary fiction and fantasy—and a dash of romance doesn't hurt. AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR NOTE: Erica is happy to read and critique picture book dummies and/or manuscripts with several sample illustrations. 

Joanna Cardenas, Assistant Editor, Viking Children’s Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House 

Though she acquires and edits books for all ages, she has a soft spot for picture books, chapter books, and middle-grade novels. She is looking for humorous, clever, and unexpected picture book texts; voice-driven middle-grade stories with emotional range; and contemporary realistic YA. Joanna is not the best fit for romance or high fantasy. A few of her projects include The Saturday Boy by David Fleming, Brave Chicken Little by Robert Byrd, and Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book) by Julie Falatko. Joanna has also provided support for such projects as Tea Rex by Molly Idle, the Llama Llama series by Anna Dewdney, and the EllRay Jakes chapter book series by Sally Warner. Prior to Viking, Joanna was an editorial intern for the west coast office of Writers House. She also worked as a bookseller for five wonderful years.