Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

First Pages Sessions

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!”