General Guidelines

  1. These are guidelines. Once groups are set up they are free to change their guidelines to suit their particular needs. For example, some groups prefer to communicate and share their work through Facebook instead of Dropbox. Any changes to the group guidelines should be done in consultation with all members and the agreement made by majority rule.
  2. Nominating a Facilitator: The members run each group according to the Guidelines. All members are equal. Each group will include one member who has indicated that they are happy to help with the initial set up of the group. This member will be asked by the Online Critique Group Coordinator to act as the Group Facilitator by setting up a Shared Dropbox Folder for group communication. The facilitator will be the contact person between the group and the Online Critique Groups Coordinator. After the initial set up, the facilitator can be changed to suit the needs of the group in consultation with all members and the agreement made by majority rule.
  3. Regular Group Participation: All group members are expected to participate in critiquing regularly, according to the schedule worked out by the group. However, it is recognised that is not always possible and there may be times of emergencies, sickness and holidays etc.
    •  If you are unable to write your critique when it is due notify the group and post it online the following week or as soon as possible by arrangement with the group.
    •  If you do not have manuscript/illustration work to submit for your allocated submission time you will miss your turn until the next allocated time. Notify your group as soon as possible so it can become a Lottery Week for other members. However, you can contact the group to see if a member would like to exchange manuscripts with you in-between times.
    •  If you are unable to participate for an extended period notify your group as soon as possible, giving the approximate time you will be absent.
    •  This time should not exceed 2 months unless agreed to by the group.
    •  During your absence your scheduled week/s will become a Lottery Week/s for the other members.
    •  If you are unable to return to the group within the agreed time you may be asked to leave the group to allow another member to participate.
    •  If the group feel a member is not giving as much as he/she is receiving they can ask the facilitator to issue a warning with a timeframe for improvement.
    •  Members who are unable to maintain the commitment of manuscript and critique submission should let the group know that they need to step down.
  4. Adding New Members
    •  If a member leaves the group the remaining members can request the Online Critique Group Coordinator to add another SCBWI member to replace them. The group can nominate a member or have someone allocated to the group from the SCBWI Critique Group Waiting List. The Group Facilitator should contact the Online Critique Groups Coordinator so this can be facilitated through the SCBWI website online.
  5. If Issues arise in a group
    •  Issues are to be worked out amicably between the members concerned or they can ask the Group Facilitator to mediate on the issue.
    •  Issues concerning the whole group will be decided by the group or the Group Facilitator based on a majority ruling.
    •  The Group Facilitator will be the contact person between the group and the Online Critique Groups Coordinator. 


Critique Submissions

  1. Manuscripts: Manuscript critique submissions should include word counts and be less than 1000 words for picture books and less than 2000 for text extracts. (Approximately 4-10 double spaced New Times Roman/Ariel 12pt pages.)
  2. Illustrations: Illustrators might prefer to post pdf or jpeg versions of the illustration and in a separate Word document supply any appropriate additional information or questions. Group members can respond with their Critiques on copies of the Illustrator's Word document.
  3. Submission cycle:  Each group will work out a submission schedule according to the needs of the group. Each member of the group, in a six week rotation, will be allocated a week to submit work to be critiqued. That person posts their work on-line on the Sunday of that week and receives feedback from all the other members by the following Sunday. Once members receive all feedback they delete that version of their work from the site. The rotation frequency can be varied fortnightly/monthly according to the needs of each group.
  4. If members download the manuscript or illustration onto their computer in order to write their critique, they must delete it when they have finished.


How to Submit

  1. Members post their manuscript/illustrations into the group Shared Dropbox Folder (or other online forum agreed by the group) on the Sunday of their allotted submission week.
  2. To keep files organised please include Your Name and Title of story/illustration (abbreviated if necessary) in the document name:
    e.g. NameofWriter_Title
    e.g. Anne_Horse’s Tale
  3. For a manuscript include:
    •  name
    •  title
    •  correct format (e.g. Word Document, double spaced, New Times Roman/Ariel) and word count
    •  notes at the top of your submission if you want a particular critique focus (e.g. plot, grammar, reduce word count, characterisation, etc.)
    •  brief synopsis or notes if necessary for understanding the extract and what draft it is  e.g. first draft etc (optional)
  4. For an illustration include:
    •  name
    •  title
    •  notes in a separate Word document if you want a particular critique focus (e.g. composition, narrative, characterisation, etc.)
    •  brief synopsis or notes if necessary for understanding the context
    •  a separate jpeg or pdf version of the illustration if preferred


Click HERE to download a pdf copy of the On-line Critique Group Guidelines.