Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

1-on-1 Consultation Instructions 2021

One-on-One Manuscript, Picture Book Dummy, and Portfolio Consultation Instructions

We must receive your submission by May 21st at!

Individual critiques will take place via zoom. Some faculty will be doing consultations the weekend of June 19-20. Please pay attention to the individual’s instructions. Each interview is 14 minutes, no more. Please remember that a consultation is not a pitching session, it is your chance to get feedback and suggestions on how to improve and/or market your work. If your critiquer is an editor or agent, she will tell you if she would like you to send the project after the conference. But don’t count on it.





Individual consultations will take place over zoom. The link will be sent June 7th-11th.

1. Select the manuscript consultation option and your consultant when you register.

2. We cannot guarantee you a written critique, although we have asked our faculty to do so.

3. These are first come, first served during registration. However, we ask you to not choose an agent/editor appointment if you had one last May, and unless you:

– have had a previous critique at an SCBWI conference or retreat
– participated in a Great Critique session
– are in a critique group
– are a PAL author, or
– have attended two or more SCBWI conferences

This will provide the best critique experience for everyone. If we discover you are not qualified for an editor or agent appointment we will place you with another faculty member at our discretion.

4. Make sure you read the guidelines in your chosen faculty member’s bio.

5. Email your manuscript as an attachment to us at BY Friday, May 21st – No exceptions! Each manuscript:

– first page needs your name, address, phone number, and email. Use standard manuscript format (double-spaced, 12-point type, standard 1-inch margins, pages titled and numbered) on succeeding pages.
– should have your name, book title, and page number. (This is standard. Check out standard manuscript format.
Do not send a cover letter.
– Fill in the subject line with Faculty Name/Your Name/Title and email to:

If you do not meet the deadline to email in your manuscript, you will forfeit your consultation.

If you do not follow instructions, you WILL be disqualified. No refunds.

6. Select your consultant when you register. We’ll send your appointment time with your zoom link between June 7th and 11th.

No manuscript  = no appointment = no refund. We’ll have your appointment time emailed with the zoom link.


Individual consultations will take place over zoom. The link will be sent June 7th-11th.

Dan Yaccarino, Diana Toledano, Christa Heschke, Erin Casey, and Minju Chang will accept picture book dummies along with manuscripts from writer/illustrators. Please review the following guidelines:

1. Select the picture book dummy option and your consultant when you register.

2. The dummy should include the full story, be illustrated with sketches throughout, with two finished illustrations in place (not separately or at the end). You must also submit the manuscript WITH your dummy. The manuscript can be formatted as described above.

4. Submit both via Dropbox using these instructions: PB Dummy Consultation Submission Instructions

5. Manuscript and dummy must be received by May 21st. No exceptions!


Individual consultations will take place over zoom. The link will be sent June 7th-11th.

Dan Yaccarino, Diana Toledano, and Sarah Hokanson will do individual portfolio critiques.

1. Your SCBWI Illustrator Gallery will serve as your portfolio for this consultation.
See instructions here: Portfolio Consultation Instructions

Tip: We strongly recommended you limit your gallery to 10-15 images. Suggestions of what to include:
– Children in motion
– A character with a problem
– 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

2. Select your consultant when you register. We’ll send your appointment time with your Zoom link between June 7th and 11th.


1. Be prepared…

– Consultations are booked back to back. Missed appointments will not be rescheduled or receive a fee refund.
– Open zoom 5 minutes early, so you can start on time and we don’t have a large amount of people in the virtual waiting room.
– Depart graciously and promptly when your time is up – others are waiting, or the editor/agent is scheduled for a much needed break.
– To be concise.
– To answer questions your critiquer might ask:

“What is your book/story about?” in one to three sentences—especially if you’ve submitted a novel.
“What’s the genre for your story?”
“What are you focused on in your portfolio?”
“Who is your audience?”
“How does your story end?”
“What is unique about your book/story?”

2. Be professional…

– On time
– Courteous
– Responsible

3. Afterwards…

– Remember writer/illustrator to editor/agent/art director etiquette.
– You and other attendees at the conference may submit to the editor/agent/art director after the conference. Otherwise do not contact the faculty unless invited to do so – submission addresses and instructions are in your registration packet.
– Refer to your attendance at the conference, your consultation – mention why you think your enclosed work might be of interest.
– Follow any other instructions received during sessions and listed in the submission information in your registration packet.

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