Advanced Picture Books, with Celia Lee

November 8th, 2022 - December 9th, 2022

with Brooke McIntyre

Group started

In this intimate workshop, you'll receive a written critique of a picture book manuscript from Celia Lee, executive editor at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, plus get the opportunity to speak to Celia individually in the live group call that follows critiques. You'll also exchange critiques with your workshop peers.  

Who may apply

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.  

How it works

You'll submit your pages at the group start, then spend the next weeks critiquing peer stories. The editor 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 editor 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: This workshop is an advanced group. Please see "Who May Apply" above for the application and rules.

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

Group size: 8 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 Brooke McIntyre

Celia is an executive editor at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, where she
works with creators on all things illustrated, from picture books and early illustrated
chapter books and middle grade to graphic novels for all ages. Authors and illustrators
she’s partnered with include Joyce Wan, Melissa de la Cruz, Hilary Leung, Colin
Kaepernick, Muon Thi Van, Kathryn Hahn, and Victo Ngai. She previously worked at
Scholastic, where, in addition to editing, she helped start their employee diversity
committee as well as coordinated their partnership with We Need Diverse Books.
Celia served for two years as a member of the Children’s Book Council
(CBC) Diversity Committee and is a mentor for POC in Publishing. She studied English
Literature and Art History at Virginia Tech and earned a MS in Publishing from NYU.

Celia’s critique style can be best described as child-centered. With every manuscript she tries to keep the child reader in mind and how they might experience the story for the first, second, or thousandth time (because a great picture book is worth reading and rereading!). So things like read-aloudability, pacing, and an understanding of what gets kids excited at this age will always be front-of-mind.


Tues, Nov 8th - Submissions Due;

Tues, Nov 29th - Critiques Due;

Tues, Dec 6th, 4-6:15 pm ET - Debrief Call

Fri, Dec 9th - Group closes