Announcing the Mega Soaring '20s Critique Giveaway!

New here? Ah! We are, too! We are the Soaring ’20s Picture Book Debuts, a collective of authors and illustrators who will launch our first picture books soon.


To celebrate our new website, designed by member Gregory Barrington with an adorable soaring hamster logo by member Julie Rowan-Zoch, we are announcing our first big giveaway …

Soaring parrot by Isabella Kung

Soaring parrot by Isabella Kung

from debut authors and illustrators!

*Because we love you that much.

Whether you are just starting out or you’re a seasoned professional who needs fresh eyes on your work …

whether you write in rhyme or prose …

whether you write fiction or nonfiction …

whether you just write, just illustrate, or do both …

all are welcome to enter!

Enter using the Rafflecopter below that applies to you by 11:59 p.m. PST September 15. We will announce the winners here and on social media on September 17.

Psst . . . SNAG ADDITIONAL ENTRIES by following @soaring20spb on Instagram, liking our giveaway post and tagging a friend in the comments. Please specify whether you would like a manuscript or dummy/illustration critique.

Winners will be chosen randomly and matched with the Soaring ’20s members participating in this giveaway. Click on each name to learn more!

Providing dummy or illustration critiques:

  • Abi Cushman, author/illustrator of SOAKED! (Viking Children's Books, summer)

  • Gregory Barrington, author/illustrator of COW BOY IS NOT A COWBOY (HarperCollins, fall)

  • Kjersten Hayes, author of THE ELEPHANTS’ GUIDE TO HIDE-AND-SEEK (Sourcebooks, spring)

  • John Herzog, illustrator of CLARINET AND TRUMPET (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, summer)

  • Isabella Kung, author/illustrator of NO FUZZBALL! (Scholastic Press, fall)

  • Julie Rowan-Zoch, illustrator of LOUIS (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, fall)

  • Sam Wedelich, author/illustrator of CHICKEN LITTLE: The Real and Totally True* Tale (Scholastic Press, spring)

  • Shelley Johannes, author/illustrator of MORE THAN SUNNY (Abrams, spring 2021)

Providing critiques for picture-book text:

  • Elisa Boxer, author of THE VOICE THAT WON THE VOTE: How One Woman’s Words Made History (Sleeping Bear Press, spring)

  • Kelly Carey, author of HOW LONG IS FOREVER? (Charlesbridge, spring)

  • Mary Wagley Copp, author of WHEREVER I GO (Atheneum, spring)

  • Melanie Ellsworth, author of CLARINET AND TRUMPET (HMH, summer) and HIP, HIP ... BERET! (HMH, fall)

  • Vicky Fang, author of INVENT-A-PET (Sterling Children’s Books, spring)

  • Carrie Finison, author of DOZENS OF DOUGHNUTS (Putnam, summer)

  • Darshana Khiani, author of HOW TO WEAR A SARI (Versify, spring 2021)

  • Angela Burke Kunkel, author of DIGGING FOR WORDS: José Alberto Gutierrez and the Library He Built (Schwartz & Wade, fall)

  • Rajani LaRocca, author of SEVEN GOLDEN RINGS (Lee & Low, summer)

  • Kirsten W. Larson, author of WOOD, WIRE, WINGS: Emma Lilian Todd Invents an Airplane (Calkins Creek, spring)

  • Hope Lim, author of I AM BIRD (Candlewick, fall)

  • Lindsay H. Metcalf, co-editor of NO VOICE TOO SMALL: Fourteen Young Americans Making History (Charlesbridge, fall) and author of TRACTORS ON PARADE: Planting a Movement, from the Heartland’s Farms to the Nation’s Capital (Calkins Creek, fall)

  • Colleen Paeff, author of THE GREAT STINK: How Joseph Bazalgette Solve London’s Poop Pollution Problem (Margaret K. McElderry Books, summer)

  • Joana Pastro, author of LILLYBELLE, A DAMSEL NOT IN DISTRESS (Starberry Books, fall)

  • NoNieqa Ramos, author of BEAUTY WOKE (Versify, spring 2021) and YOUR MAMA (fall 2022)

  • Anna Crowley Redding, author of RESCUING THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE (HarperCollins, spring)

  • Candy Wellins, author of SATURDAYS ARE FOR STELLA (Page Street Kids, summer)

  • Susan Kusel, author of THE PASSOVER GUEST (Neal Porter Books, spring 2021)


Picture books only. Please keep fiction manuscripts under 1,000 words and nonfiction under 2,000 words.

Winners will be contacted with instructions on how to send a manuscript, illustrated dummy, or illustration portfolio. Reviewers may provide comments via email, phone call, or video chat, depending on the reviewer’s preference. All reviewers have agreed to provide their critique within a month.

Good luck!


Check back on the blog throughout the next week to hear from Soaring ’20s authors and illustrators about how critiques have transformed our own work.