Winning Writers has engaged contest judge Annie Mydla to provide expert private critiques of your children's picture books, published or unpublished. Annie has read hundreds of self-published children's books in her work as assistant judge for our North Street Book Prize. She also provides critiques of books for adults in our Critiques for Books and Manuscripts service. Annie is assisted by Paweł Zagawa and Ewa Stachyra.

Says Annie, "A truly fine children's book successfully brings together an array of visual and textual elements. My experience reading for the North Street Book Prize allows me to appreciate both the broad view and the individual components, critiquing your book for maximal balance and appeal." You can read Annie's insights about what makes a prizewinning book in her guest blog post for the Alliance of Independent Authors.

Please submit a digital copy of your work. You may upload it as two files if your book and cover are separate files. It is acceptable to leave identifying information on your documents. We will keep your submission private, and we will provide your critique for your personal use (i.e. please don't publish our critique without our permission).

You can expect your critique to be 500-1,000 words long. It will include the following sections as relevant:

  1. Critique summary
  2. Technical execution (layout, spelling and grammar, technical consistency, font, accessibility)
  3. Structure and content (character, plot, theme, internal consistency, structure, pacing, intended audience)
  4. Use of images (technical quality, themes, style, consistency)
  5. Use of language (register, tone, imagery, relation to themes, rhyme and meter, as applicable)
  6. Recommendations and conclusion
  7. Exercises to unlock creativity

You may also submit up to 3 specific questions to be answered by Annie within her critique.

We seek to provide perspectives that will provoke new ideas and directions for future drafts. Please allow 4-6 weeks for your critique to be completed. After delivery, we will welcome one round of follow-up questions from you.

Price: $90. Your satisfaction is guaranteed. If our critique does not deliver value for you, you can request a prompt refund from

From a satisfied customer:

"Thank you very much for the critique, I found it quite helpful. I learned a few things, which is always nice - especially about narrative circularity and pacing. The couple of ideas for reworking the dialogue were brilliant. I appreciate your help!" -Terry Ann Marsh

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