Picture Book Critiques

I’ve heard people say, “Well, if all else fails in life, I’ll just write picture books.”

This is the quickest way to discover whether someone knows anything about children’s book writing.

Picture book writing is, in my opinion and that of many other children’s writers, the most difficult form of storytelling.

You have less then 1000 words to tell a story that is engaging, marketable, and well-crafted to be bought by adults but read to children. Catch that? You have to appeal to the buying adult and capture the heart of the child at the same time. In around 300-700 words.

It’s not easy, and that’s why I’m here to help.

Here’s what I offer:

  • I will do a line-by-line critique. This includes suggestions for cuts, changes, and comments on what you already have working really well.
  • I will look at the overall plot, the big picture of your story, and respond to what is working and what needs some attention.
  • If you are self publishing, I will point out what is standard in the traditional market (if you’re hoping to contribute quality literature to an established market) and ways you can grow your book to be as good as possible!
  • If you are traditionally publishing, I will include comments related to your work that I know the publishing houses look for (both to acquire and reject).

You will know your strengths and concern areas when I’ve completed my critique. This will come in a one-page critique in addition to changes and comments made to your digital manuscript. And of course, I’ll answer any clarifying questions you might have with the feedback I give. I will have this back to you within two weeks.

Here are my qualifications:

  • My own book, According to Corban, is a winner on the 2017 Gittle List.
  • Books I’ve critiqued have earned Best Seller status on Amazon and won awards on Kindle Direct Publishing.
  • I have been a professional children’s writer since 2008 (but writing since I was a kid!)
  • I have been a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrators (SCBWI) since 2010.
  • I have attended workshops, conferences, and retreats in Los Angeles, New York, Fresno, Sacramento, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Paris and many online seminars. (I believe there’s always more to learn!)
  • I have had personal critiques done by many major publishers and agents.
  • I have successfully published picture books and adult non fiction.
  • I have been professionally editing since 2010.
  • I am a graduate of the Picture Book Academy.
  • You can see my participation in Certificates and Awards.
  • I have taught Creative Writing at the High School level.
  • I am GOOD at cutting out unnecessary words!

Fees and Fine Points:

Please contact me if you would like a picture book critique. My time is limited (I’m still writing my own books, but love helping others prepare their “babies” for the world) and I take these on a first-come, first-serve basis. Once payment is made, I will send you submission instructions.

Manuscripts should be submitted as Microsoft Word (doc or .docx) or Pages (.pages) files. Manuscripts must be 1000 words or less. (The fee doubles for 1000+ words).

Initial critiques are $125. If you would like a follow up critique after you’ve revised accordingly, the fee is $25.

Or, you can purchase a FULL critique package with unlimited revisions for $200.

I look forward to working with you!


Package #1 – Initial Critique with Unlimited Revisions

Critique and Revisions $200

Package #2 – Initial Critique with Revision Options (sold separately below) 

 Initial Critique: $125

Follow Up Critique: $25

Without Marcy Pusey my stories/words wouldn't have had come to life as they have and I would still be struggling with the fear of writing for kids. Marcy is kind, direct, helpful, creative, intuitive, and fair. With her tireless patience, she is forever inspiring me to create my words as an experience. Thank you Marcy for being on my team. You are a gem! And thank you for helping me fulfill a childhood dream of writing kids picture books.
Wendy Van de Poll
Best-Selling Author of The Adventures of Ms. Addie Pants Series