Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

One-on-One Consultations


One-on-One Consultations

Once again, we are offering one-on-one manuscript critiques and portfolio reviews with our faculty. These are first come, first served based on your registration date. The cost is $35 for each consultation and is nonrefundable. Sign up for an editor or agent when you register. (You many only sign up for one consultation or review—not both.)

Individual manuscript consultations and portfolio reviews will be held during break/work times and critique sessions in the Lotus room (off of the lobby). Each consultation is 14 minutes, no more. We’re allowing 1 minute for passing time.

Faculty Want List (please read their bios, too.)

Assistant Editor Ariel Richardson (Chronicle): board books to picture books and novels.

Agent Danielle Smith (Red Fox Literary): board books to picture books to young adult novels. She has agreed to look at a limited number of portfolios. (Bring these to the retreat, but register for the opportunity.)

Agent Fiona Kenshole (Transatlantic Agency): middle grade to YA. No high fantasy (Game of Thrones/Lord of the Rings). No fallen angels.

Editor Matt Ringler (Scholastic): chapter books and middle grade fiction.

One-on-One Manuscript Critiques

Please remember that a critique is not a pitching session—it’s an opportunity to get a professional’s feedback and suggestions on how to improve and/or market your work. Editor and agent critiquers will tell you if they would like you to send your project after the /retreat. (It’s wise to resist the temptation to count on that happening.)

We cannot guarantee you a written critique, although we have asked our faculty to do so and have given them SCBWI’s gold form as a suggested method.


Here is what you’ll submit by genre:

Novels: submit the first 10 pages in standard manuscript format plus a single-spaced one-page synopsis. For Matt Ringler, only send first 8 pages and a synopsis as above.

Picture books: submit the entire manuscript, in standard manuscript format—maximum 1000 words for fiction, maximum 5 pages. NO illustrations. No dummies. (Dummies may be submitted with Portfolio Reviews.)

Nonfiction: submit the first 10 pages in standard manuscript format plus a single-spaced no more than one-page proposal, which includes whether the book is for a trade or educational publisher, your target readership/audience, how you see the book being used, what sets the book apart from others in the market, your credentials, and resources used.


  • Send one copy in standard manuscript format (double-spaced, 12-point type, standard margins (1 to 1¼ inches), pages titled and numbered) – do not fold or staple; paper clips are fine.
  • Each manuscript first page needs name, address, phone number, and email. (This is standard.)
  • Do not send a picture book dummy.
  • Do not send a cover letter.
  • Mail flat in a 9×12 or 10×13 envelope – do not send by registered mail
  • Send to:

One-on-One Manuscript Consultations

SCBWI Oregon

PO Box 990

Mulino, OR 97042-0990

  • Manuscripts MUST be postmarked by September 10th. If you do not meet the deadline to mail in your manuscript, you will have lost your $35. We will not accept email submissions.
  • If you do not follow instructions, you WILL be disqualified and will forfeit your consultation fee.

One-on-One Portfolio Reviews

Please remember that a portfolio review is not a pitching session, it is your chance to get feedback and suggestions on how to improve and/or market your work. Our agent critiquer will tell you if she would like you to submit art after the retreat. (It’s wise to resist the temptation to count on that happening.)

Portfolios:  Limit your portfolio to 10-12 printed images.  No originals, please. Please limit the size of your portfolio to 11” x 14".

Suggestions of what to include:

-Children in motion
-Different views of the same character
-Work that shows a character moving through a story
-Work that shows a cohesive style
-Start with your strongest piece and end with your second strongest piece
-Name and contact info on each piece
-Postcards and business cards

Bring your portfolio to your appointment. We can not store it for you.

Your Consultation Appointment

Appointments are often booked back to back, so please arrive early and depart promptly and graciously when your time is up. Missed appointments cannot be made up, nor can fees be refunded.

Be prepared to answer questions critiquers commonly ask:
Manuscripts: What is your story about? (One to three sentences for both picture books and novels.) What is the genre? Who is your audience? How does the story end? What makes your book/story unique?
Portfolios: Which do you consider to be your best piece and why? What media do you use. What is your background?

After Your Critique

Attendees may submit material after the retreat, according to the information provided on the submissions information sheet in your packet and any other instructions received during sessions. When you submit, refer to your attendance at the retreat, and to your consultation, if applicable, and mention why you think your work might be of interest. Do not call the editor/agent unless invited to do so.