Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Submission Shine: Online Critique Intensive

Date(s) - 01/19/2023 - 01/21/2023
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


n Submission Shine n

l Online Critique Intensive l

January 19-21, 2023


So, you have a handful of manuscripts or illustration styles ready to query. Which one should you lead with? Is your other work strong enough to hook an agent if they request to see more? And what will an agent think about the variety of work you bring? Whether you have multiple submission-ready picture book manuscripts, write across age categories, have a variety of illustration pieces and illustrated works, or a combination of all of the above, Submission Shine is an opportunity to talk with one agent about four submission-ready works AND your writing/illustrating career as a whole. Plus, a webinar to help center your confidence as you begin querying AND additional feedback from a peer critique group of other Submission Shine participants.

Registration includes:

  • n four 20-minute Zoom critiques with one faculty member of your choice
  • n plus one additional 20-minute Zoom meeting with your same faculty member to be used as either a career consultation or an opportunity to pitch additional work
  • n five peer cohort critique group meetings
  • n and access to the webinar “Take Charge of Your Creative Adventure” with Christine Carron of 

Registration closes at 11:59 PM (EST) Wednesday, November 30, 2022.

See the full event schedule here.

 Mix-n-match critique submissions
Choose your critique submission from the following options for each Zoom session:
  • l One full picture book manuscript/dummy with a two- to three-sentence pitch
  • l Ten pages of a novel manuscript* with a one-page synopsis
  • l Six illustration portfolio pieces


For example, a participant could choose to submit

  • Four separate picture book texts;



  • One picture book manuscript (text only); one picture book dummy; six illustration portfolio pieces; AND ten pages of a middle grade novel with a one-page synopsis;



  • Any combination of the above options that best suits your current needs.


For formatting specs, please see below the faculty bios.

*Note: Novelists may choose to submit consecutive 10-page samples of the same manuscript for each subsequent Zoom critique (so it is possible to have up to 40 pages of the same manuscript critiqued over the course of four sessions).

All critique submissions due by midnight (EST) Wednesday, November 30, 2022.

Critiques to be returned on or about Sunday, January 15, 2023. Please review this feedback prior to the Zoom sessions.


Scholarships will be awarded to an underrepresented creator and/or a creator in need of financial assistance.

We are offering two full scholarships for our Submission Shine online critique intensive, which includes four 20-minute Zoom critiques, one 20-minute Zoom career consultation/idea pitch session, five peer cohort critique meetings and access to the webinar “Take Charge of Your Writerly Adventure” with author and process improvement maven Christine Carron (a total value of $400) to be awarded to authors who self-identify as a member of a community that is underrepresented in the field of children’s literature and/or a creator in need of financial assistance. The submissions themselves do not need to reflect experiences within a marginalized community. Our goal, and mission, is to uplift and support the voices of the creators. 


To apply, please email the following with “Submission Shine Scholarship” in the subject line to

  • A brief letter of introduction, explaining why you are applying for the scholarship and a little bit about your creative journey
  • A five-page sample from your chapter book/middle grade/young adult manuscript; OR one full picture book manuscript; OR the first half spread plus the next two full spreads of your picture book dummy; OR three portfolio-ready illustrations


Deadline to apply for scholarships: October 24, 2022

Scholarship applicants will be informed of the decision on or before October 31.

In the event that equally qualified applicants apply, priority may be given to Eastern PA SCBWI members. Please note that if no applicants meet the requirements, Eastern PA SCBWI reserves the right not to award the scholarships for this event.

If you have any questions, please email us at


Karly is an associate agent at Fuse Literary building KidLit universes with stories that matter. She first joined the agency in 2016 as a reader for Tricia Skinner and then was promoted to literary assistant soon after. In 2019, she was promoted to associate agent. Karly has built a career with a strong background as a freelance editor as well as extensive experience with graphic design and marketing. She is looking to develop long-term career authors and nurture their entire writing journey as a strong editorial agent with marketing, social media, and design support. Karly is also the KidLit track coordinator for the San Francisco Writers Conference.


Karly’s clients have won or been nominated for such awards as Kirkus Best Books of the Year, NCTE Notable Books List, SLJ Best Book of the Year, and Kirkus Prize Finalist.


Children’s Fiction

Karly is aggressively building her client list to boost and give visibility to marginalized voices, experiences, history, culture, folklore, and mythology. She believes that children should be able to see themselves reflected and celebrated within the pages of a book, from contemporary to fantastical adventures. Karly loves stories with grand adventures, imperfect characters, but most importantly, a strong voice that hooks a reader within the first few pages. If you can make her cry or laugh out loud, bonus points!


Karly Represents:

  • Picture Books
  • Graphic Novels
  • Middle Grade
  • Young Adult
  • Illustrators


Karly Does Not Represent:

  • Adult fiction
  • Satire
  • Memoir
  • Faith-based 


Submission Guidelines:

Please submit to Karly on QueryManager. If you haven’t received a response on your requested full manuscript after 3 months, feel free to send a message through QueryManager. To view her Manuscript Wishlist (MSWL), click here.



Alice Fugate joined The Joy Harris Literary Agency in 2021. Originally from Atlanta, GA, she graduated from Rhodes College in Memphis, TN with a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing. Prior to joining JHLA, she was an associate agent at Trident Media Group, where she worked for two and half years. Alice works primarily in the children’s book space, across all formats and genres, fiction and nonfiction, with a strong focus on picture books and middle grade. She also enjoys working on select adult projects, including stories about the American South, historical fiction, and works that explore faith, religion, music, world cultures, or nature (these topics are great for kids’ books too!). She’s drawn to literary or well-written commercial projects that have a classic but fresh feel with distinctive, surprising voices from diverse backgrounds. In children’s books, she loves animal fables, fairy tale retellings, comedies of manners, light fantasy, magical realism, adventure tales, heartfelt contemporary, and narrative nonfiction. She’s not the best fit for stories involving aliens, outer space, paranormal romance, gross or slapstick humor, or novels told in verse. In everything, Alice looks for wit and whimsy.


Sean McCarthy founded his own full-service literary agency in 2013 after working at Overlook Press and Sheldon Fogelman Agency. His clients include Ezra Jack Keats Book Award winner Hyewon Yum, Mark Fearing, Dana Wulfekotte, Heather Ayris Burnell, Bob McMahon, Margaret Chiu Greanias, and Junghwa Park, among others. Sean graduated from Macalester College with a degree in English-Creative Writing, and is grateful that he no longer has to spend his winters in Minnesota. He is drawn to flawed, multifaceted characters with devastatingly concise writing in YA, and character-driven stories or smartly paced mysteries and adventures in MG. In picture books, he looks more for unforgettable characters, off-beat humor, and especially clever endings. He is not currently interested in message-driven writing or query letters that pose too many questions.

Stefanie Molina is an agent at Ladderbird Literary Agency. Prior to becoming an agent, she spent her career advocating for marginalized folks in publishing as a technical editor at a national laboratory, senior editor at the literary journal F(r)iction, and book coach and editor for women of color. She is Asian Latina (Mexican, Japanese, and Irish) and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, both from the University of California at Davis. Aside from reading, she enjoys hiking, swimming, baking, and playing the piano. Her favorite place in the world is Yosemite National Park. Stefanie is looking for BIPOC stories, inclusive of intersectional identities. She especially adores adventurous stories and works that incorporate food, animals, the outdoors, and intergenerational relationships. She’s open to cookbooks and baking books, picture books, MG, YA, and Adult; her favorite genres include contemporary fantasy, mystery, thriller, character-driven horror, empowering historical
fiction, and coming-of-age stories. Bonus points for steamy romance in any Adult genre!


Sera Rivers is a literary agent at Speilburg Literary. She represents picture books through young adult novels, including graphic novels, and is actively seeking stories by authors and illustrators who identify as BIPOC, LQBTQIA+, and other underrepresented and marginalized identities. She is especially looking for: GN by author/illustrator creators only; MG/YA —horror; psychological thrillers; speculative fiction, (no high fantasy); LGBTIA+ romance; tough topics. Select PB—historically excluded stories; tough topics; horror (author/illustrator only for horror). She does not represent adult fiction/nonfiction. Sera holds an MFA in writing for children from Simmons University. She worked as an editor in educational publishing for seven years and launched Avenue A Books, a children’s book imprint at Center for Responsive Schools. Now, as an agent, Sera provides editorial feedback to help clients get their manuscripts submission ready. At this time, Sera only accepts queries through referrals, conferences, and pitch events. Check out her full MSWL and status updates at

Peer Cohort
  • Groups will consist of 4 members, each of whom have registered to work with the same faculty member.
  • The peer cohorts will meet for five 30-minute sessions throughout the event to provide feedback on each other’s work.
  • Participants may choose to submit one of the same submissions as for the faculty or an additional fifth submission (for peer group review only).

with process improvement maven Christine Carron

All participants registered for Submission Shine will receive live access and recording links for this webinar.

Critique Specs

1. Send each submission as a separate document, but attach all four submissions to the same email.

2. For all submissions, format your work in 12 point font, with one-inch margins, and double spacing.

3. Please include your name on every page of your work as a header or a footer, as well as identifying information on page one: first & last name, email address, title, genre. If your work is a translation into English, please also provide the original title, language, and author’s name on page one, as well as the English rights status if known.

  • For picture books, send one full manuscript* plus a 2- to 3-sentence pitch in the same document (as a PDF or DOC or DOCx)
  • For chapter book/middle grade/young adult, send up to 10 pages of your manuscript, plus a one-page, single-spaced synopsis. (US Letter paper size-Include synopsis in the same document; please don’t send two documents for the same manuscript; as a PDF or DOC or DOCx)
  • For a dummy/portfolio pieces [Portfolio=Six or fewer portfolio ready illustrations/sketches medium resolution JPG to be reviewed.]  Send your JPGs as separate files

4. Please SAVE YOUR FILE as either Webinar Faculty Last Name_Your Last Name_TITLE OF MANUSCRIPT OR Webinar Faculty Last Name_Your Last Name_PORTFOLIO

    Example: Fugate_Strocchia_PURPLE CARROTS

5. Then send your submission files to Kristen at The subject should read: Webinar Faculty Last Name_Your Last Name_SUBMISSION SHINE.

6. You will receive a separate email with instructions for the peer cohort critique group meetings.


This event is fully booked.