Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Manuscript Submission Guidelines + Best in Show Participation NOW CLOSED

The deadline for Manuscript Critique Submission has  passed. The critique option is now closed. Thank you.

Best in Show Participation: You will automatically be included for the Best in Show writers’ contest when you have registered for the conference AND paid for a written critique. Winner will be selected by our panel of critiquers. Prize valued at $200!

There are a limited number of manuscript critiques available for attendees at an additional fee of $50 at the time you register for the conference. A waitlist will be accessed on a first-come first-served basis.

The manuscript must be submitted no later than July 13.

The written critique will be available for pick-up at the end of the conference. If you cannot stay until the end, a friend can pick it up for you, or you can give the manuscript coordinator, Kathy Urban, a large 8 ½ x 12-inch, $1.50 stamped and self-addressed envelope before you leave the conference.

While we can guarantee a professional critiquer or reviewer, we cannot guarantee a critique with an editor, agent, or specific person. However, we will consider your preferences in the manuscript survey that you will submit. You will not know your critiquer until you pick up your submitted manuscript at the end of the conference day.

The critique fee is non-refundable. If you miss the July 13, 2019, electronic submission deadline or cancel out of the conference,  you will not receive a critique.

Manuscript Submission Guidelines

Read the guidelines and follow them exactly or your manuscript will not be accepted. All submissions must be received by July 13, 2019.

1. Register for the conference BEFORE you submit your manuscript.

2. Click on the MANUSCRIPT SURVEY by July 13th to provide details about what you’re submitting and to indicate critiquer preferences. We will do our best to select your top choices but cannot guarantee placement with any one individual. Complete the manuscript survey after registering for the conference but before submitting your manuscript.

3. For Picture Books: No synopsis required. Please do not submit a dummy book, photos, or illustrations. See # 5 below for required formatting instructions.

4. For Chapter Books, Middle Grade, and Young Adult: At the top of page one, write “Synopsis: (Title of manuscript here),” followed by the single-spaced one-page synopsis. After the synopsis, include the first 10 pages of the manuscript, even if it cuts off mid-chapter. Send as one (1) Word document.

5. Format the manuscript (PB, CB, MG, and YA):

  • ● Use 12-point Times New Roman or Arial.
  • ● First page of manuscript:
  •         – In the upper LEFT corner put your name, address, telephone number, and email address.
  •         – In the upper RIGHT corner put the genre and word count (for the entire manuscript).
  •         – Halfway down the center of the page put the title of your manuscript in CAPS with “By Your Name” underneath. Then double-space the manuscript, starting on the next line. You may submit a maximum of 10 manuscript pages. Please click here for a sample first page.
  •         – Beginning with page 2, number the pages consecutively in the upper right corner and put your last name in the upper left corner. A header works well for this.
  • ● The default margins set in Word are acceptable. If you are setting margins manually, use a 1-inch or 1.25-inch margin on each side of the page.
  • ● The name on your manuscript must match the name you registered under even if you write under a pseudonym.

Email the manuscript to Kathy Urban as follows:

● In the subject line, put SCBWI with the manuscript genre (PB, CB, MG, or YA) in parenthesis and then the name of the manuscript. It should look like this:

SCBWI (MG) The Name of the Manuscript

● Send the email to Kathy Urban. She will notify you when it arrives. If you don’t hear from Kathy within three days, please email her to confirm she received your file.

Program subject to change without notice.

Thank you to John Ledda for our gorgeous conference masthead!