Many SCBWI events have a session devoted to the reading of First Pages of manuscripts-in-progress.
Here's how the sessions work:
- You will bring 5 copies of the First Page of one manuscript you wish feedback on. One copy is for the reader, the other copies are for the guest editors/readers.
- Paper clip the copies together and give them to the designated person at the event.
- IMPORTANT: The First Page must be 12-point type, double-spaced, have 1” margins, and begin about 1/3 of the way down the page, starting with the title. Identify the genre in the upper right-hand corner (i.e. picture book, chapter book/easy reader, middle grade, YA, nonfiction, poetry collection.) Do not include your name on this page. Any pages that don’t fit this format may be eliminated.
Pages will be randomly selected and read aloud to the audience.
As many pages as possible are read within the allotted session time.
- The guests will comment on your First Page. Is it compelling? What is/is not working? Would the guests want to turn the page to find out what happens next?
- All pages will be shredded at the end of the First Pages session.
Here’s a comment from a First Pages participant who had the same page reviewed multiple times:
“One editor loved it. Another didn't 'get' it. The third said she'd turn the page to hear the rest. Sure shows how subjective this business is!”