Picture Books, with Alyssa Eisner Henkin

September 20th, 2022 - October 21st, 2022

with Alyssa Eisner Henkin

Group started

In this intimate workshop, you'll receive a written critique of a picture book manuscript from literary agent Alyssa Eisner Henkin from Birch Path Literary Agency, plus get the opportunity to speak to Alyssa individually in the live group call that follows critiques. You'll also exchange critiques with your workshop peers.  

How it works

You'll submit your pages at the group start, then spend the next weeks critiquing peer stories. The agent will submit their notes near the critique deadline. After critiques are complete, we host a live group debrief over Zoom, in which each writer gets individual time with the agent 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, this workshop 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: Writers are expected to be at an intermediate level of picture book writing craft or above. Writers may have achieved this through self-study of books and exercises, or organized instruction such as classes, workshops, or webinars. Writers should be familiar with elements of craft such as characterization, plot, internal arc, and pacing, in order to offer craft-rooted feedback to their peers.

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

Group size: 9 writers

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


Members: $101; Non-members: $121

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

About Alyssa Eisner Henkin

Alyssa grew up outside of Philadelphia, PA, where her earliest years were spent reading and acting out classic children’s book series. After graduation from Penn and The Radcliffe Publishing Course, Alyssa landed her dream job in editorial at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. She proceeded to spend her twenties there learning the industry from the wisest of colleagues. In late 2006, she heeded her inner entrepreneur and became a literary agent. The next fourteen year at Trident Media Group were spent building a list of bestselling and award-winning kidlit authors.

In early 2021, Alyssa took the ultimate entrepreneurial leap and launched Birch Path Literary, named for the fabled thoroughfare in her beloved Anne of Green Gables. The agency provides a compass to guide authors and illustrator through the intricate, everchanging and ultimately verdant publishing landscape. Alyssa represents R.J. Palacio, Julie Berry, Ruth Behar, Lisa Greenwald, Jen Bryant and many other talented kidlit authors and illustrators. She is currently seeking more author-illustrator who marry wit and whimsy, more conversation-starting nonfiction, and more YA (and the occasional adult) romcom brimming with regional and ethnic flavors.

I enjoy rolling up my sleeves and offering a macro view of where I think the book will fit in the market and what its strengths are along with a micro view line by line view of how voice, pace, and the concept overall can be improved. One client recently called me an “optimistic reality check”! That pretty well sums up my critique philosophy. I will be candid, specific, and kind!


Tues, Sept 20th- Submissions due
Tues, Oct 11th - Critiques due
Tues, Oct 18th, 7:30-9:45 pm ET - Debrief call on Zoom
Friday, October 21st - Group closes