Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Golden Gate Conference Manuscript Submissions




Manuscript Consultation: 
15-minute manuscript critique with a faculty member. All manuscripts will be reviewed by an agent or editor. You will be able to indicate your top 3 preferred faculty and we will do our best to match you. The submission policy is as follows:

– One picture book manuscript of up to six pages in length (1,000 words max, or 1,200 for non-fiction). You may only submit ONE picture book manuscript per paid consultation, regardless of the length.

– Or, for Chapter books and MG/YA novels, up to 10 pages (2,500 words max). You may include a brief one page optional synopsis in addition to your 10 page sample. Note: If your submission is over 10 pages, only the first 10 pages will be forwarded to the faculty reader.




– Although Picture Book authors may submit up to 1,000 words of a manuscript (1,200 if non-fiction), we highly suggest sending the tightest, most polished text possible. Picture book word counts are continually shrinking these days, typically UNDER 500 words. We must make every word count! Avoid comments from faculty such as “Too wordy” and “You could cut out all this description.” Of course there are always exceptions to every rule, so just submit with care. 

– If you are an author who is collaborating with an illustrator on an unpublished work, you as the author may not submit your illustrator’s work for review. A separate portfolio critique would need to be purchased.


Q: Why do novel samples get 2,500 words and I can only submit one picture book per consultation under 1,000 words? 
A: Novels and picture books are two very different storytelling mediums. Picture book texts must “make every word count” as well as share the page with illustrations for very young children. Novels are tens of thousands of words longer, and therefore require a slightly more substantial introduction for a manuscript consultant to provide adequate feedback.

– We will be awarding the annual Golden Gate Writers’ Award (one for a picture book and one for a middle grade or YA novel) during the conference, and entries for the contest will be selected ONLY from those manuscripts submitted for critique.



Format for manuscripts:

– Your name and contact info in the upper left corner of the first page
– Your manuscript’s title centered in the upper middle of the first page
– Text starting half-way down the first page, double spaced
– 1 inch margins all around with name, title and page number in the header or footer
– 12 point Courier, Times or Arial type



What to Send and How to Submit:

Once you have carefully proofed, spell checked and edited all text,
ONE WORD FILE TITLED: [Manuscript Title]-GG19
(Examples: TheHappyBird-GG19.doc or Dragonriders-GG19.docx)

The file will contain: 
1. A cover letter  (optional/recommended)
A synopsis page for MG/YA novels only  (optional)
3. Your manuscript text


IMPORTANT: To submit your manuscript, upload your single Word file using the link provided below. You will need to enter your contact information, select faculty consultant preferences, and upload your file, then click SUBMIT. You will receive an automated confirmation email.




Please upload your manuscript ONLY ONCE. We cannot accept multiple revised uploads. Proof your work carefully and submit when you are absolutely ready (prior to the submission deadline of January 6, 2019).



– REGARDING YOUR COVER LETTER: All submissions are welcome to include an OPTIONAL brief 1-page cover letter on the first page of your Word document followed by the manuscript text. Do not address your letter to a particular agent or editor. “Dear Golden Gate Conference Manuscript Reviewer,” or similar is fine. Much like a query letter, this can be a quick note that includes a pitch/synopsis and any relevant biographical information. Although this is optional, we highly recommend this opportunity to introduce yourself and your work to the faculty reader.


– SPECIAL NOTE FOR AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATORS: Author-illustrators may opt to submit along with the picture book manuscript a PDF with up to 4 illustrated spreads (11×17 with gutter indicated) from the manuscript being reviewed. Final illustrations are not required. You could, for instance, include one finished color spread and three roughs. Please keep the PDF file size as small as possible. If you have a hard copy “dummy,” you may bring it to your consultation.


– DEADLINE: ALL MANUSCRIPTS MUST BE UPLOADED NO LATER THAN JANUARY 6, 2019. If you miss the deadline, you will not get a critique and you forfeit the fee. Sorry, no refunds.


If you have any questions, please email our Manuscript Coordinator, Ariane Erickson at