Nonfiction Picture Books (Advanced), with Della Farrell

June 27th, 2022 - July 24th, 2022

with Della Farrell

Group started

In this intimate workshop, you'll receive a written critique of a picture book manuscript from Associate Editor, Della Farrell at Holiday House Publishing, plus get the opportunity to speak to Della individually in the live group call that follows critiques. You'll also exchange critiques within your group of up to 9 writers. 

How it works

You'll submit your pages at the group start, then spend the next weeks critiquing peer stories. Della 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 Della 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 9, this means you should have at least 8 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: 9 writers

Submissions: Submit one nonfiction picture book. Submissions should be under 3000 words including backmatter.


Members: $96; Non-members: $115

We are pleased to offer a spot free of charge to a writer from a historically marginalized group. Applications for this scholarship have closed.

About Della Farrell

Della Farrell is an associate editor at Holiday House Publishing. She joined Holiday House in 2018 after working as the nonfiction editor at School Library Journal. Della is always on the lookout for can't-put-down, well-researched children's and YA nonfiction. If there is as much back matter as there is main text, she wants to read it. She is particularly interested in middle grade nonfiction on labor movements and climate change. Her list also includes graphic novels for children and teens and YA fiction.

Critique style:
I believe my role as an editor is to help authors and illustrators achieve their vision and make the work the best that it can be. For nonfiction, I’m always looking for the hook and the research and analysis to back it up. I usually focus on big picture edits in an editorial letter with more specific comments in the manuscript. Editing is all about working together, and it’s always my hope that my edits can be just the inspiration a creator needs.


Mon, June 27th- Submissions due
Sun, July 17th - Critiques due
Wed, July 20th, 7-9:15pm ET - Debrief call
Sun, July 24th – Group closes