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 n 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?'

Great question! I'm glad you asked!



I have edited manuscripts for Larrikin House, and currently have 2 picture books out, with a third due for release in February. 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 got to share hundreds of books with young children and see 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:

  • age-appropriateness

  • 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

  • marketability

While highlighting the strengths of the text, Emily will also offer suggestions for improvement.

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 emilyssmithauthor@gmail.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.


*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.