Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

Chapter Book Manuscript Critiques

on September 22, 2014

The Loft Literary Center is now offering manuscript critiques in many genres including middle grade and young adult novels. I was especially pleased to see chapter book critiques offered as it can be hard to find people willing to critique this genre.

Kurtis Scaletta is offering full manuscript critiques (up to 11,00 words) of a chapter book. (ages 7-10). These are not middle grade stories with chapters. Chapter books are a genre themselves and include books such as: Ivy and Bean, and Clementine. If you are unsure, it’s a good idea to read some well-known chapter books such as Magic Tree House series or Junie B Jones and see if your story fits this format.

If you are ready for a chapter book manuscript critique, Kurtis asks that you submit the following:

  • A full manuscript for the first book (up to 11,000 words; required).
  • A short narrative that establishes the framework and expectations for each book in the series (up to 250 words; optional).
  • A list of possibilities for future books in the series (up to 250 words; optional).

In a two week turn-around he’ll offer:

A 1–2 page letter commenting on how to “play to your strengths,” and bolster your chances when you go out for submission. Kurtis will also address concerns related to theme, content, or formatting for this niche area, and then identify some possible next steps for your project. Kurtis will also be available to answer questions by phone or email.

You can find the price and details here.

Also, if you are interested in learning to write a chapter book, I highly recommend Anastasia Suen’s Children’s Novel on-line workshop. Find details for the Children’s Novel Workshop here.  She also offers picture book writing classes–including a non-fiction picture book workshop, a biography picture book writing class, a picture book intensive class and a rhyming picture book class. You can find all those classes here.


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