SCBWI

Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Local Critique Groups

EASTERN PA SCBWI AUTHOR & ILLUSTRATOR CRITIQUE GROUPS 

Critique groups can be a key resource in your journey as an author and/or illustrator. I find surrounding myself with creative people inspires me. They help me brainstorm ideas when I’m stuck and see flaws in my work. But they also point out my strengths as a writer and offer me support when I need it most.

But critique groups work best if the group is a good fit and all members challenge themselves to make the experience valuable for others. The group leader’s job is to coordinate and communicate the group’s rules and meeting times so that members come prepared and participate in a way that breeds a positive and supportive community. I hope you find a group that helps you be the best writer and/or illustrator you can be. And I doubly hope you’ll make the effort to be that partner for others.

Here are some RESOURCES  you might find helpful regarding critique groups.

Please Note: You must be an active SCBWI member in order to join an SCBWI Critique Group. Please make sure your membership is up-to-date. Leaders, please make sure to ask any prospective members if they are active SCBWI members before allowing them to join your group.

EPA SCBWI Critique Groups are often held on a monthly basis, in communities throughout Eastern Pennsylvania. Each group is unique, shaped by the talents and focus of the Critique Group Leader and participants.

On this site you will see a list of critique groups throughout Eastern PA. If the group is open to new members, please contact the leader directly. If you do not see a group open in your area or an online group that meets your needs, please contact the Critique Group Coordinator, Heather Pierce Stigall, at scbwiepaCGC@gmail.com the subject line: Critique Groups. I will contact you about other possibilities. If you would like to start your own critique group, I will need the following information:

1) Region: The EPA county where the group will meet or “online” if a virtual group

2) Group name: Optional (The Group Leader can select the name or, once formed, the group can decide.)

3) Genres: List all formats that you would like to critique. BB=Board Book, PB=Picture Book, CB=Chapter Book, MG=Middle Grade, YA-Young Adult, NA=New Adult; fiction/non-fiction, Poetry

4) Writers/Illustrators:Do you want writers/and or illustrators to join?

5) Contact Person: Your name

6) Contact email: Your preferred email address

7) Meeting Place: You can be more general, for example, “Barnes & Noble, Fairless Hills” or “Zoom”

8) Meeting Time: Please give a sense of weekday/weekend, day/evening, and meeting frequency.

9) Open to New Members: Yes or No

10) Additional notes including submission guidelines: Optional (see below for examples)

 

Below you’ll find a listing of critique groups within Eastern PA. We ask that groups help us keep this information current by emailing changes to Heather Pierce Stigall at scbwiepaCGC@gmail.com

ONLINE GROUPS LISTED FIRST, THEN ALPHABETICALLY BY CITY or REGION

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Region: ONLINE – Eastern PA

Group name: Full Steam Ahead

Genres: MG fiction

For Writers

Contact Person: Abbie James

Contact email: Abigail.werner.james@outlook.com

Meeting Place: Zoom

Meeting Time: Monthly; time TBD by members’ availability; meeting will last no longer than one hour.

CLOSED to New Members

Additional notes including submission guidelines: This critique group is for exchanging full manuscripts—for writers who are looking for big-picture feedback on plot, character arcs, and overall consistency across an entire novel. Prospective members should have at least one completed novel to offer for critique and have the time to read and critique one entire manuscript between monthly meetings. Members will focus on one group member’s work each month, so during a month that a member’s manuscript is receiving critiques from other group members, that member will not have anything to critique. Feedback will be given through comments on a shared Google doc. The monthly Zoom meeting will be primarily for the author to ask clarifying questions about any comments received. Members should be serious about working toward publication and able to give constructive feedback in an encouraging manner (e.g. “I” statements; liberal use of smiley-face emojis). I am looking for only two other people to allow group members to cycle through several manuscripts within a (somewhat) short time frame.

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Region: ONLINE – Lehigh County/Eastern PA

Genres: PB

For: Author-Illustrators only.You can focus primarily on one or the other, but you should be comfortable critiquing manuscripts and illustrations.

Contact Person: Melissa Lettis

Contact email: melissalettisart@gmail.com

Meeting Place: Online via Facebook group

Meeting Time: Monthly or bi-weekly – TBD by members

CLOSED to New Members

Additional notes including submission guidelines: If you are interested in joining, please send excerpts from your dummy book and 2 completed illustrations that include text placement (either from the same or a different project). We will critique picture book manuscripts, dummy books, query letters, and illustrations.

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Region: ONLINE – Eastern PA

Genres: PB

For: Both writers & illustrators welcome

Contact Person: Shantell Berry

Contact email: shantelllilliston@yahoo.com 

Meeting Place: Zoom (Can eventually meet at the Lawrence Park Shopping Center Starbucks)

Meeting Time: Monthly (Time decided by group members)

Open to New Members? YES

Additional notes including submission guidelines: If you are interested in joining this group, contact Shantell who will ask you some screening questions to see if you are a good fit for the group. We request that all group members are respectful while commenting, discussing, and providing honest feedback on group members’ work. Please be on time and have critiques completed and submitted by Thursday before the meeting on Saturday. When critiquing other’s work, please point out the areas the member have done well as well as areas of improvement. The standardizing format for submissions is double spaced and 12 point font. Submissions for a children’s book will be up to 1,000 words. The meeting will take one hour and each person has 15 minutes to discuss the critique during the Zoom session.

 

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Region: ONLINE – Eastern PA

Genres: BB & PB

For Writers & Illustrators

Contact Person: Wendy Fry

Contact email: fry.wendy@gmail.com 

Meeting Place: Zoom

Meeting Time: Mondays, 8pm ET, every 2-3 weeks

CLOSED to New Members

Additional notes including submission guidelines:500 words or less read-aloud during the meeting.

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Region: ONLINE – Eastern PA

Group name: Story Sloggers

Genres: MG

For Writers

Contact Person: Abbie James

Contact email: abigail9404@hotmail.com

Meeting Place: Zoom

Meeting Time: monthly; time to be decided by group members

CLOSED to New Members

Additional notes including submission guidelines: Members will email up to 10 pages from manuscript to other group members at least one week before scheduled Zoom meeting. Members will offer written comments on manuscripts and discuss during Zoom.

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Region: ONLINE — Eastern PA

Genres: PB

For Writers and Writer-Illustrators

Contact Person: Karen Tylek

Contact email: ksmuck12@yahoo.com 

Meeting Place: Zoom

Meeting Time: Monthly; Tuesday evenings

CLOSED to New Members

Additional Notes: Deadline to submit manuscripts is a week before each meeting; return written critiques the Saturday before each meeting. Meet via Zoom to ask clarifying questions and have further discussion.

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Region: ONLINE–Eastern PA

Genres: MG and YA (fiction only)

For: Writers only

Contact Person: Kielly Dunn

Contact email: dunnkielly@gmail.com

Meeting Place: ONLINE

CLOSED to New Members

Additional notes including submission guidelines: We do written critiques. Every month, we submit work to a shared Google folder during the first week of the month, then take the rest of the month to write critiques. Up to 2,500 words per monthly submission. We do occasional virtual meetings (every 3 months or so) to check in, get to know one another, and discuss our work.

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Region: ONLINE–EASTERN PA

Group name: BIC Group

Genres: MG fiction, YA fiction

For: Writers

Contact Person: Jeanne Moran

Contact email: authorjeannemoran@gmail.com

Meeting Place: Online

Meeting Time: Monthly on a weekday evening, time and day to be determined by members

CLOSED to New Members

Additional notes including submission guidelines: This group is limited to five serious MG and YA novelists whose goal is publication. Up to 10 pages of a WIP can be submitted a week before the meeting. Critique will be shared verbally and through comments on the returned manuscript.

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Region: ONLINE–EASTERN PA

Group Name: Pen & Paintbrush

Genres: PB (fiction & nonfiction)

Writers/Illustrators: Writers & Author-Illustrators

Contact Person: Sondra Zalewski

Contact email: sondrazw@gmail.com

Meeting Place: Zoom

Meeting Time: Monthly, Tuesdays @ 7:30pm

CLOSED to New Members

Additional Notes: Work for critique is added to a shared Drive folder one week prior to the monthly meeting. Members review and make notes on submissions in preparation for discussion. Following the meeting, detailed written critiques are shared with the author/author-illustratorsWe accept members who are committed to the craft of writing and/or writing/illustrating PBs. Please send a brief bio and link to your portfolio or a writing sample.

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Region: ONLINE–EASTERN PA

Group Name: PB Chat

Genres: Fiction & Non-Fiction BB & PB

Writers/Illustrators: Writers (author-illustrators are welcome)

Contact Person: Kristen Strocchia

Contact email: kcstrocchia@gmail.com

Meeting Place: we will meet virtually on Zoom or a similar format

Meeting Time: to be determined by members (please let me know your preference when you email)

CLOSED to New Members

Additional Notes: I am looking to start a new critique group for motivated SCBWI members who have been writing & revising manuscripts for several years, read picture books regularly, and are active in the children’s book community. I am especially interested in finding members who are teachers, librarians, or booksellers, or who have young children at home. Interested members should have strong critique skills and be eager to receive constructive criticism on their work. The name of the group, C & A: Critiques & Accountability, was chosen because I hope members will encourage each other to focus on their writing and the structure of deadlines and meetings will keep us accountable.

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Region: ONLINE–EASTERN PA

Genres: CB, MG, YA (Fiction only)

Writers/Illustrators: Writers Only

Contact Person: Emily Fillingham

Contact email: Emily.fillingham@gmail.com 

Meeting Place: ONLINE

Meeting Time: Once a month, depending on availability of members

CLOSED to New Members

Additional notes: We’ll submit work to a shared Google folder during the first week of every month, then take the rest of the month to write critiques.  Feel free to submit complete stories (one per month), sections of a larger work, or revisions from a previous submission. Up to 2,500 words per monthly submission.
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Region: ONLINE–EASTERN PA

Genres: Fiction, Non-fiction, and speculative fiction MG=Middle Grade and YA-Young Adult

Writers/Illustrators: Writers Only

Contact Person: Alyssa Reynoso-Morris

Contact email: alyssareymorris@gmail.com

Meeting Place: ONLINE

Meeting Time: Last Saturday or Sunday of the Month

CLOSED to New Members

Additional notes: We’ll submit work to a shared google folder during the first week of every month, then take the rest of the month to write critiques.  Feel free to submit complete stories (one per month), sections of a larger work, or revisions from a previous submission. Up to 5,000 words per monthly submission.

 

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Region: ONLINE -EASTERN PA/PHILADELPHIA

Genres: PB

Writers-Illustrators only

Contact Person: Kaela Parkhouse

Contact Email: kparkhouse@gmail.com

Meeting Place: Online via Discord

Meeting Time: Once a month on a weekday

Open to New Members: YES

Additional Notes: I am looking for 2-3 SCBWI members who are really into making children’s books and are pursuing publishing. Please email me with a little information about yourself with links to your portfolio or instagram if you are interested in joining this group. Submit work to the group one week ahead of time, and we’ll discuss the projects on the meetup day.

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Region: ONLINE–EASTERN PA

Genre: CB, MG, & YA

Writers/Illustrators: Writers

Contact Person: Alice Berger

Contact email: Alice.berger@yahoo.com

Meeting Place: Online

Meeting Time: N/A

Additional Notes: We’ll submit work to an online forum during the first week of every month, then take the rest of the month to write critiques.  Feel free to submit complete stories (one per month), sections of a larger work, or revisions from a previous submission. Up to 2,500 words per monthly submission.

CLOSED to New Members

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Region: ONLINE–EASTERN PA

Genre: PB & BB

Writers/Illustrators: Both can join!

Contact Person: Caitlin Eslinger

Contact email: Weddcaitlin@gmail.com

Meeting Place: Online

Meeting Time: We would send out manuscripts at the beginning and middle of the month

CLOSED to New Members

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Region: ONLINE–EASTERN PA

Group Name: TBD

Genre: Primarily CB, MG, YA

Writers/Illustrators: Writers

Contact Person: Chris Low

Contact email: chrislowauthor@gmail.com

Meeting Place: ONLINE

CLOSED to New Members

Additional Notes Including Submission Guidelines: We’ll submit work to a shared google folder during the first week of every month, then take the rest of the month to write critiques.  Feel free to submit complete stories (one per month), sections of a larger work, or revisions from a previous submission. Up to 5,000 words per monthly submission.

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Region: ONLINE–EASTERN PA

Group Name: The Highlighters

Genre: Mostly PBs, but some members also write poetry, MG, and CB

Writers/Illustrators: Writers

Contact Person: Becky Scharnhorst

Contact email: beckyscharnhorst@gmail.com

Meeting Place: ONLINE

CLOSED to new members

Additional Notes: We send manuscripts out at the beginning of every month and sometimes in the middle of the month.

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Region: ONLINE–EASTERN PA

Group Name: WNYR – Writing Non-Fiction for Young Readers

Genre: All categories of NF (birth to YA)

Writers/Illustrators: Writers

Contact Person: Rani Iyer

Contact email: iyerani@gmail.com

Meeting Place: ONLINE

Open to new members? YES

Additional Notes: The group will have a max. of 10 writers. It is open to published & non-published writers. The critiques will be submitted via online forum.  All members submit once per month during open period of submission (kept open for a week to 10 days). If you miss submitting critiques or new materials, you must drop out. Members can submit revisions or parts of longer work. Word limit for submission is 2,000 words max, from single manuscript. NO critiques in November or December but restarts promptly on Jan 2. Min of three members, max of 10 required to run this group.

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Region: ONLINE–LANCASTER/EASTERN PA

Group Name: Java & PB

Genre: PB

Writers/Illustrators: Writers

Contact Person: Katie Caprino

Contact email: kathryncaprino@hotmail.com

Meeting Place: ONLINE

CLOSED to New Members

Additional Notes: we send manuscripts out at the beginning of each month

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Region: BERKS COUNTY

Group Name: Reading Writers

Genres: MG and YA

Writers/Illustrators: Writers

Contact Person: Lorraine Storms

Contact Email: lryanstorms@gmail.com

First Meeting place: Currently online; once restrictions are lifted, Panera Bread, Reading

Meeting Time: Contact Lorraine for details

CLOSED to new members?

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Region: BUCKS COUNTY (Newtown, New Hope)

Genres: PB, CB, MG, YA

Writers/Illustrators: Both

Contact Person: Barbara Clark

Contact Email: bnknclark@gmail.com

Meeting Place: Northampton Library, Richboro

Meeting Time: Tuesdays, during the day; monthly

Open to New Members? YES

Additional Notes: Members email manuscripts to all group members one week prior to meetings.

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Region: BUCKS COUNTY (Warrington)

Group name: Pencilvania Children’s Book Writer Critique Group

Genre: PB, MS, Poetry (Open to any children’s book genre)

Contact Person: Ali Pichardo

Contact Email: apichardo56@gmail.com

Meeting Place: Wegmans, Warrington, PA

Meetings: Fridays; weekly

CLOSED to new members. Ali Pichardo is happy to share her tips on how to start your own group.

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Region: CHESTER COUNTY (West Chester)

Genres: Mainly kid lit, but all genres welcome

Writers/Illustrators: Both

Contact Person: Lesley Grigg

Contact Email: mail@lesleygrigg.com

Meeting Place: West Chester, PA

Meeting Time: Weeknights

CLOSED to new members

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Region: CUMBERLAND COUNTY (Harrisburg)

Genres: PB and CB

Writers/Illustrators: Writers

Contact Person: Susan Sempeles

Contact Email: write.now@comcast.net

Meeting place: New Cumberland Public Library, New Cumberland, PA

Meeting Time: Saturday afternoons; monthly

CLOSED to new members

Additional notes: Members meet in person, however meetings are taking place over Zoom until at least summer 2022.

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Region: DELAWARE COUNTY 

Genres: PB

Writers/Illustrators: Writers and writer/illustrators

Contact Person: Kristin Weldon Peri

Contact Email: kristinweldonperi@comcast.net 

Meeting place: temporarily online

Meeting Time: Sunday evenings; monthly

OPEN to new members? YES

Additional notes: Ideal Membership:

We are looking for one or two more members who have been actively learning about and writing picture books for the past few years, and are pursuing traditional publishing. Must be committed to attending our monthly meeting (online for now/in Delaware County if/when we return to in-person), submitting work consistently, and giving constructive feedback. Please contact Kristin if you are interested in joining, including a brief bio along with your Twitter handle and a link to your website if you have one. Each member is responsible for providing written and verbal feedback to all other members at the monthly meeting.

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Region: KING OF PRUSSIA/MALVERN

Group Name: WWFC – Will Write for Cheesecake

Genres: PB/CB

Writers/Illustrators: Writers/Writer-Illustrators

Contact Person: Robin Jordan

Contact Email: Robinamjordan@gmail.com

Meeting Place: Barnes and Noble, Wayne

Meeting Time: Weekday, during the day; monthly

CLOSED to New Members

Additional Notes: Notes: This is a critique group for experienced and dedicated authors.

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Region: LANCASTER

Genres: all genres

Writers/Illustrators: Illustrators

Contact Person: Sheri Hansen

Contact Email: sherichansen@gmail.com

Meeting Place: Prince Street Café

Meeting Time: Monday evenings; please email Sheri for specifics

CLOSED to New Members

Additional Notes: This is a new group open to any illustrator who is looking for group feedback, professional community, and the fun and challenge of developing our art ideas together.

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Region: LANCASTER

Group Name:

Genres: PB, CB, MG, YA

Writers/Illustrators: Yes

Contact Person: Eva Polites

Contact Email: evapol@comcast.net

Meeting Place: Panera, Fruitville Pike, PA

Meeting Time: Tuesdays

CLOSED to New Members

Additional Notes: Let’s get together!!!

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Region: LANCASTER COUNTY (Lititz-Area)

Genres: PB, CB, MG, YA – Fiction & Nonfiction

Writers/Illustrators: Writers & Writer-Illustrators

Contact Person: Pradeep Velugubantla

Contact Email: pradeep.velugubantla@gmail.com

Meeting Place:  Lititz Area Mennonite School

Meeting Time: Sunday afternoons; monthly

Open to New Members? Contact Pradeep Velugubantla

Additional Notes: We share our work-in-progress by email a week before our monthly in-person meeting. When we meet, we offer verbal and written feedback to the author in the form of encouragement and constructive critique. Our guidelines are available on request. Our group is limited to six active members. Please Contact Pradeep Velugubantla for information on membership availability.

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Region: LEHIGH VALLEY/ NORTHAMPTON COUNTY

Genres: PB, CB, MG

Writers/Illustrators: Yes

Contact Person: Andree Santini

Contact Email: andreesantini@gmail.com

Meeting Place:  Currently online until we return to Barnes & Nobles, Freemansburg Ave., Bethlehem, PA

Meeting Time:  Once per month, usually on a Monday evening

Open to New Members? YES

Additional Notes: Members email manuscripts or dummies to all group members one week prior to meetings. Group size will be limited to 5 committed members. If you’re interested in joining, please send a brief bio, website link if you have one, and sample of your work to Andree.

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Region: LYCOMING COUNTY/WILLIAMSPORT

Genre: PB, CB, MG, YA  Fiction and nonfiction

Writers/Illustrators: Writers only

Contact Person: Tammy Burke

Contact Email: deirsprite@gmail.com

Meeting Place: James V. Brown Library, Williamsport

Meeting Time: Monday evenings; monthly

Open to new members? YES

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Region: MONTGOMERY COUNTY 

Group Name: Write On!

Genres: BB, PB, CB, MG, Poetry

Writers/Illustrators: Writers & Illustrators are welcome to join

Contact Person: Sally Silverman

Contact Email: sallysilverman@comcast.net

Meeting Place:  via Zoom

Meeting Time:  Monthly; first Tuesday of each month; 7-9 PM

Open to New Members: YES

Additional Notes & Submission Guidelines: Submissions via Word document due the week before each meeting

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Region: MONTGOMERY COUNTY (Schwenksville/Royersford/Pottstown/possibly King of Prussia)

Group Name: PA Kid Lit Life

Genres: BB and PB

Writers/Illustrators: Writers (author-illustrators welcome)

Contact Person: Vicenta Montgomery

Contact Email: TheLilyPadMom@gmail.com

Meeting Place: virtual meetings most of the time; in-person meetings approx 2-3 times/year in location local to Schwenksville/Royersford/Pottstown area OR King of Prussia if we have a member from Philadelphia

Meeting Time: Monthly meetings probably on Thursday (day or evening; time to be determined by group)

CLOSED to New Members

Additional Notes/Submission Guidelines: I am looking for 2-3 SCBWI members who have a strong interest in pursuing publishing and have been actively learning about writing childrens’ books. Must be committed to attending our monthly meeting online, submitting work on a monthly basis and/or willing to give constructive feedback to each member of the group who has submitted something prior to the meeting for review. Please email me with a little information about yourself if you are interested in joining this group. Please also indicate what day/time works best for you as I have a little flexibility in the day of the week meetings will be held. I look forward to meeting anyone who is as excited about going on this writing journey as I am.

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Region: MONTGOMERY COUNTY (Royersford/Limerick/Collegeville/Norristown/King of Prussia)

Genres: PB (fiction and non-fiction), CB, MG, YA

Writers/Illustrators: All welcome

Contact Person: Steve Silbiger

Contact Email: silbigers@gmail.com

Meeting Place:  Wegman’s Grocery Store, Collegeville, PA

Meeting Time:  Wednesday evenings; monthly

CLOSED to New Members

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Region: MONTGOMERY COUNTY

Group Name: Bucks-Mont Children’s Writers

Genres: PB, CB, MG, YA

Writers/Illustrators: All writers

Contact Person: Wendy Greenley

Contact Email: wendy@wendygreenley.com

Meeting Place: Barnes & Noble, North Wales, PA

Meeting Time: Mornings; twice per month

CLOSED to New Members

Additional Notes: Manuscripts are exchanged a week in advance online. Comments and manuscripts returned at the meeting. Group size is limited. No “drop ins.”

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Region: MONTGOMERY COUNTY

Group Name: Main Line Writers Group

Genres: PB, CB, MG

Writers/Illustrators: Writers

Contact Person: Sarah Heaton

Contact Email: thebestsarahinthewholewideworld@hotmail.com

Meeting Place: Rosemont, PA

Meeting Time: Weekday days; monthly

CLOSED to New Members

Additional Notes: Submit to the group 1 week ahead of time. We meet in person to discuss each other’s work.

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Region: PHILADELPHIA–CENTER CITY

Genres: Picture Book

Writers/Illustrators: Writers

Contact Person: Lois Wickstrom

Contact Email: reluctantspy@gmail.com

Meeting Place: Currently online (location TBD once safe to do so)

Meeting Time: Group 1–Friday evenings, monthly; Group 2–Tuesday evenings 1-2 times/month

Open to New Members: YES

Additional Notes: If you are interested in joining this group, please contact Lois. Once we have a few members we can determine the best time/day to meet.

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Region: PHILADELPHIA COUNTY / NW PHILLY

Genres: PB/MG

Writers/Illustrators: Both

Contact Person: Sarah Claxton

Contact email: sarah.adler.claxton@gmail.com

Meeting Place: Zoom, in person at Avenues Cafe in Mt. Airy when possible

Meeting Time: First Wednesday monthly, 9:30am

CLOSED to New Members

Additional notes including submission guidelines: If you are interested in joining this group, contact Sarah who will ask you some screening questions to see if you are a good fit for the group. We are looking for members who have been actively learning about and writing picture books for the past few years, and are pursuing traditional publishing. We request that all group members are respectful while commenting, discussing, and providing honest feedback on group members’ work. Manuscripts/dummies will be sent via email one week in advance of the meeting. Each member is responsible for providing written and verbal feedback to all other members at the monthly meeting.

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Region: PHILADELPHIA (Rittenhouse/Fitler/Grad Hospital/Logan Sq area)

Genres: PB

Writers/Illustrators: writers & illustrators

Contact Person: Michael Toledano

Contact Email: michaelstoledano@gmail.com

Meeting Place: Fitler Square Park when the weather is nice; Over Google Meets when weather is lousy

Meeting Time: Once a month during the week. Ideally sometime between 10am-3pm

CLOSED to New Members

Additional Notes: Please contact Michael for more information

 

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Region: PHILLY–ONLINE

Group Name: Philadelphia Picture Book Critique Group

Genres: PB

Writers/Illustrators: writers & writer-illustrators

Contact Person: Kristen Rashid

Contact email: kristenrashid@gmail.com

Meeting Place: Google Meet (for now)

Meeting Time: Monday evenings, monthly

CLOSED to New Members

Additional Notes:

We are looking for one or two more members who have been actively learning about and writing picture books for the past few years, and are pursuing traditional publishing. Must be committed to attending our monthly meeting (online for now/in Philadelphia when we return to in-person), submitting work on a monthly basis, and giving constructive feedback. Please contact Kristen if you are interested in joining, including a brief bio along with your Twitter handle and a link to your website if you have one. Manuscripts/dummies will be sent via email one week in advance of the meeting. Each member is responsible for providing written and verbal feedback to all other members at the monthly meeting, with an optional mid-month written critique exchange.

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Region: PHILLY—WESTERN SUBURBS

Group Name: Lancaster Ave Writers’ Group

Genres: MG and YA

Writers/Illustrators: Writers

Contact Person: Laura Parnum

Contact e-mail: lparnum@msn.com

Meeting Place: Panera Bread, Wynnewood, PA

Meeting Time: usually Thursday evenings; monthly

CLOSED to new members. This group is currently closed to new members.

Additional notes: Members submit 10-30 pages (one member at a time) on a rolling basis every two weeks for critique. We use an online critique format, adding comments to Word documents, which we share using Slack. We also use Slack to communicate questions, comments, suggestions, tools, and writerly resources (such as contests, conferences, and news). We meet once a month to catch up in person, discuss updates in our writer lives, and enjoy one another’s company!

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Region: POCONO MOUNTAINS

Genre: My writing focus: Board Books, Picture Books. (Group Genre: OPEN)

Writers/Illustrators: ALL WELCOME!

Contact Person: Kelly Jean Gillow

Contact Email: kellygillow@countryhomelearning.com

Meeting Place: Country Home Learning & Art Center, Brodheadsville, PA

Meeting Time: Thursday evenings; monthly

Open to New Members? YES

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Region: SCHUYLKILL COUNTY

Genre: PB, CB, MG,

Writer/Illus: Writers, Illustrators and writers/illustrators

Contact Person: Valeria Wicker

Contact email: wickerillustrations@gmail.com

Meeting Place: To be discussed, preferably Pottsville or Orwigsburg public libraries

Meeting Time: Once per month

Open to New Members? YES

Additional: Members should have basic knowledge in children’s literature, structural components such as story arc, current illustration and industry trends. Each member will be forwarding their work by email at least one week before the meeting. Writers/ illustrators may forward their dummies if possible. Illustrators only: JPEG images 200dpi or less. Must be willing to read all members work, provide feedback and commit to attend most meetings.

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Region: SOUTHERN WAYNE COUNTY

Group Name: Writer Forge

Genres: All genres welcome! [At present, the group mostly consists of PB, MG, and YA writers]

Writers/Illustrators: Yes [Again, mostly writers at this time.]

Contact Person: Kristen Strocchia

Contact Email: kcstrocchia@gmail.com

Meeting Place: online only at this time

Meeting Time: Once Thursday per month.

CLOSED to New Members

Additional Notes: Manuscript submissions due to group the Monday before we meet. Approximately 20-minute for each member to listen to and discuss feedback. Critique notes emailed after meeting.

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That’s it for now, if you didn’t find a group in your area or you’re interested in starting one, please email EPA Critique Group Coordinator Heather Pierce Stigall at heatherstigallcm@aol.com

Thanks and talk to you soon!

Happy writing & illustrating,

Heather Stigall

Critique Group Coordinator Eastern PA SCBWI