Emily S. Smith
Children's Author - Storyteller - Editor - Presenter
Picture Book Manuscript Assessment Service
So you've written a picture book manuscript! Well done you!
You've taken that big step, maybe even shown it to some very supportive family members and friends, but now you're wondering 'Is it any good? Could this actually be published? What on Earth do I do now?'
The picture book market is chocka-block with both established authors and aspiring authors, and you need to make sure your work is the best it can be before you put it in front of a publisher.
I can help with that.
'But what qualifications do you have, Emily?'
I have edited manuscripts for Larrikin House (as a freelance editor), and currently have 3 picture books published by Larrikin House. As a member of the Hunter Writers Centre children's writers group, I have been critiquing picture book manuscripts for over 6 years, and assisted in editing stories in the Hunter Writers' Centre's 'Slippery, Slimy, Feathered and Furred' anthology that was released in December 2021 (as well as having one of my stories included).
I have also enjoyed 16 years as an Early Childhood Teacher, where I read hundreds of books with young children and saw first-hand the types of stories they love (and those that were met with 'Not that one, Emily!').
What's involved in a Picture Book Manuscript Assessment?
A picture book manuscript assessment by Emily includes both a written report and a copy of the manuscript with edits and suggestions added. These two items will cover:
the novelty and appeal of the idea, and the message being conveyed
readability – does the text flow well?
dialogue – does it feel authentic?
rhyme and meter (for rhyming texts)
character likability and relatability
changes in point of view (head-hopping)
general grammar and spelling
length of text
While highlighting the strengths of the text, Emily will also offer suggestions for improvement.
Humour and fun are Emily's specialities.
As part of the assessment process, you also have the option of a 30-minute Zoom with Emily, at a mutually agreed upon time, where you can ask questions and seek clarification once you’ve received and reviewed the report.
Cost of Assessment: $90
How to book and submit
To book a manuscript assessment, please shoot through a query email to email@example.com
I will give you a time frame for the completion of the assessment based on my current workload and schedule.
After the initial contact, you will need to have your manuscript ready to go in an MS Word format. Your document should be formatted to industry standards, as follows:
The author’s name and the title of the manuscript to appear in the header of each page.
Line spacing: 1.5 or double with an indent to indicate new paragraphs
Font: Times New Roman or Calibri
Size: 12 pt
Margins: minimum 3 cm all round (Word default margins are fine)
Page numbers: consecutive from beginning to end
After the written assessment, I will email to organise a time for the 30-minute Zoom meeting.
M. Birthisel - Author
Emily is the Queen of editing! I had hit a wall with parts of my manuscript and couldn’t go any further. Looking at it with fresh eyes Emily knew exactly what it needed and how to do it. I was blown away with how quickly she understood my story and the end result I was aiming for. Her critiques were delivered in such an encouraging manner and it really enabled me take my story to the next level, especially with humour. Emily is an expert in all things picture books and a master of rhyme and meter. I will definitely be sending my future stories her way!
S. Speedie - Author
Emily’s assessment was fantastic! Her expertise in rhyme and metre as well as in writing humour, meant she was the perfect person to assess my manuscript. She knew exactly what I was wanting to achieve and how to get there. Emily provided feedback in a very timely manner, and every bit of feedback was not only delivered in a very encouraging way, but it was spot on. She really helped me get the best out of my manuscript. I will definitely be calling on Emily again with future manuscripts and would highly recommend her.
*While I will do my best to assist with helping you to improve your manuscript, please be advised that this does not mean you will be guaranteed a publishing contract.
The children's book publishing industry is a tough nut to crack.
No refunds after the assessment process has occurred.