Advanced Picture Books, with Talia Benamy (Cohort 2)

June 3rd, 2022 - July 2nd, 2022

with Talia Benamy

Group started

Apply for this group by March 2nd at 11:59pm PT. You must be an Inked Voices member, and you must meet one of the following for this advanced group: 1) traditionally published or under contract; 2) agented (or previously agented in the past 2 years); or 3) querying and getting requests for additional manuscripts. APPLY.  

In this intimate workshop, you'll receive a written critique of a picture book manuscript from Talia Benamy, Associate Editor at Philomel Books/Penguin Young Readers, plus get the opportunity to speak to Talia individually in the live group call that follows critiques. You'll also exchange critiques within your group of up to 6 writers. 

How it works

You'll submit your pages at the group start, then spend the next weeks critiquing peer stories. Talia will submit her notes near the critique deadline. After critiques are complete, we host a 2-hour group debrief, in which each writer gets individual time with Talia to dig into feedback, brainstorm next steps, and discuss any writing questions. 

Our goal with these events is to help writers become stronger storytellers. That said, each opening pages event we offer also comes with a submission opportunity.

About the group workshop format

Participants should be sure they have at least 1 hour to give for critiquing each person's manuscript (plus reading time). Because this is a group of 6, this means you should have at least 5 hours available for your peers' stories.

This makes for an intense workload for the few weeks of peer critique. However, we've also found that this format accelerates learning because you are able to read a professional's feedback on each story you have read and critiqued, and you will listen to each one-on-one in the debrief. Many writers have told us that listening and learning from the professional's notes to others has been just as beneficial to their learning as the feedback on their own work.


Who this workshop is for: This workshop is an advanced group best suited for agented, published, and querying writers and writers.

Focus: Children's - Picture Books - Fiction - Children's - Picture…

Group size: 6 writers

Submissions: Submit one picture book. Fiction submissions should be under 900 words; nonfiction should be under 1500 words.


Members: $96; Non-members: $115

About Talia Benamy

Talia Benamy is an editor at Philomel Books/Penguin Young Readers, where she focuses on everything from picture books to middle grade and young adult novels. She has worked on books by Chelsea Clinton, Sonia Sotomayor, Temple Grandin, Jane Yolen, Abigail Harrison, Lisa Graff, Ruta Sepetys, Dev Petty, Sarah Brannen, and Terry Border. She sees books as having the amazing power to shape the way kids see the world around them and their place in it, and she looks for manuscripts that have the potential to do just that.

Talia critiques by doing what she believes an editor’s main responsibility is: bringing out the best in what’s already there, rather than trying to change too much or overhaul entirely. She looks for what’s working best in the current manuscript and tries to draw that out to its fullest degree, hopefully letting the author’s own voice and vision shine through in the end.


Fri, June 3rd - Submissions due
Mon, June 20th - Critiques due
Tues, June 28th, 5-6:40pm ET - Debrief call
Sat, July 2nd - Group closes