Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Crushing the Critique Group: Tips and Tricks for Long-term Success

Date(s) - 11/14/2022
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm


Crushing the Critique Group: Tips and Tricks for Long-term Success 

90 minute Webinar

Monday, November 14, 2022, 6:30 PM Eastern/5:30 PM Central/4:30 PM Mountain/3:30 PM Pacific

  • SCBWI Members: $15
  • Non-members: $25

***Registration for the webinar and critiques will close 5 p.m. on November 12th, 2022.***

Optional Written Critique following live webinar (Manuscripts MG and YA, First pages)

  • Query: $25  
  • Manuscript critique (up to 10 pages from one project/book): $70
  • Picture Book critique $70
  • Portfolio Critique $70
  • First Pages $25

Ideas don’t flow in a vacuum. It’s our interaction with the world and a team approach that rocket good ideas into marketable, memorable, read-worthy books. But how to get that critical help needed? Through a critique group, of course! This panel of experts will share their know-how on organization, format, membership criteria, frequency, and various negotiables. They will debunk the mystery behind macro and micro manuscript analysis and suggest how to incorporate relevant, effective feedback that leads to significant–and more efficient–revisions. They will provide testimony about how their personal critique group experiences have propelled them toward a success unlikely to have been achieved on their own. The panelists share specific, actionable strategies and insider information which will lead to long-lasting and more-precious-than-gold critique partnerships.


About the Presenters:



Malcolm Newsome is the author of the upcoming picture books DEAR STAR BABY (Beaming Books, April 2023) and SYDNEY’S BIG SPEECH (HarperCollins, Winter 2024) as well two forthcoming picture books to be announced soon. He lives in Illinois with his family.





Ann Marie Stephens is the author of numerous picture books including Scuba Dog, Arithmechicks Add UpArithmechicks Take Away, Catastrophe! and forthcoming titles in both the Arithmechicks and CATastrophe! seriesShe is an award-winning elementary teacher and mentor with over 30 years of classroom experience. Ann Marie has received several grants for her inventive literacy projects and has taught dozens of original education-based workshops. She was acontributing writer for Kwame Alexander’s The Write Thing, and a co-writer for Scholastic’s Trait Crate Plus. Represented by Emily Mitchell at Wernick and Pratt Agency, Ann Marie is a seasoned presenter for both children and adults. When she isn’t writing or teaching, she’s off scuba diving somewhere tropical. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @AMStephens_ and on Facebook, Ann Marie Stephens (AMStephensAuthor).


Joan Waites is an award-winning illustrator of numerous trade and educational titles. She is the author-illustrator of five picture and board books, with forthcoming titles releasing in October 2022 and 2023. A former adjunct faculty member of the Corcoran Museum School of Art and Design’s aspiring artists programs, she continues to teach art enrichment for children and adults. She is a member of SCBWI, The Children’s Book Guild of Washington D.C., and the National Art Educators Association.





Ann McCallum Staats is an award-winning author of several children’s books including her newest High Flyers: 15 Inspiring Aviators and Astronauts which is part of the Women of Power series. She writes in a wide variety of genres including picture book and nonfiction. For example, her Eat Your Homework series pairs fun topics like math, science, and history with delicious recipes. Hailing from British Columbia, Canada, Ann holds a master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). She loves to read, write, and travel and once spent five years teaching in the United Arab Emirates. Ann has been a member of her cherished critique group for over 5 years.



Wendy Shang is the author of numerous books featuring Chinese-American characters, including: THE GREAT WALL OF LUCY WU, winner of the Asian Pacific-American Librarian Association award, and the American Girl 2022 Girl of the Year books. Wendy’s most recent book is THE SECRET BATTLE OF EVAN PAO. She has been with her current critique group since 2008, whom she met through SCBWI.







To register, fill out the form below. SCBWI members MUST be logged in to get the discounted rate. Registration for the webinar and critiques will close 5 p.m. on November 12th, 2022.

International members only: If our payment system isn’t processing your credit card or PayPal payment, email to request an alternate method of payment. Please include your name and address in your request.

A recording of the webinar will be available for 30 days after the live event. The recording will be for registered attendees only, so if you can’t make the live event, you can register to view the recording.

Access information for the live webinar will be sent on the morning of the webinar and access information for the recording will be sent out the following day. Those who purchase critiques will receive submission instructions via email on the day after the live webinar.

NOTE: Please do not sign up for coveted and limited critique slots if you are unable to make the deadlines outlined. We will be unable to issue refunds for missed deadlines.