Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Critique Fest Frequently Asked Questions

Some FAQ we’re getting about Critique Fest

Will this critique be a checklist like in the annual Southern Breeze writing contest?

No, you will receive a written critique based on the SCBWI Gold Form, which is the same form we’ve used at in-person critiques in the past.

Is this like the contest where only some manuscripts will be sent to the agents/editors in the second round? Or does the manuscript go to both the author and the agent/editor at the same time?

Everyone who signed up for the author AND agent/editor critiques will have their manuscript go first to the author, then their written comments will come back to you. You’ll have a few weeks to revise, then you’ll send the improved manuscript in again to go to the pro. The goal here is to help you sharpen your manuscript into submission-ready shape in a timely manner.

Can I pick who critiques my manuscript?

Sorry, no. The regional team is familiar with the works of the critiquing authors and with what the agents/editors represent. Every effort will be made to appropriately match your manuscript to the best critiquer. Keep in mind that the critiquers, too, have expressed their interests as to what they’d prefer to critique and the maximum number of critiques they can do. 

Does sending my manuscript to an agent or editor automatically put them under obligation to consider taking it on?

No. Offering a critique is a different “hat,” so to speak. However, if an agent or editor asks you to submit your work to him/her afterward, you may certainly choose to do so.

When’s our annual spring conference?

Critique Fest replaces our annual spring conference. We chose this critique-focused format for 2021 because SCBWI members currently have a wealth of online opportunities to participate in webinars on craft, writing, revising, and other aspects of children’s literature. Not only is SCBWI offering free online programming, other regions offer inexpensive webinars, too. To find these, go to, log in, and check the menu listings for” SCBWI Digital”

What about the annual Southern Breeze contest?

We will still have our annual free contest. The submission window for that will be in June.

I still have questions. Who should I email?

For any additional questions or concerns, please email Sharon and Lisa at