Charlesbridge editors are offering free, 30-minute sessions to participants who self-identify as Black, Indigenous, or people of color (BIPOC) to discuss their manuscripts. During these sessions, the editor will offer specific constructive feedback on manuscripts, cover letters, and the submissions process, as well as guidance about the publishing industry if requested. These sessions are designed to help you refine your manuscript and prepare for submission to publishing houses or agents.
Once submitted, the manuscript will enter our lottery, and if selected, you will be paired with an editor whose expertise best suits your manuscript. They will be in touch to set up a virtual 30-minute feedback session. Video, chat, and voice options are available.
Charlesbridge is now accepting illustrator participants for portfolio reviews. Illustrator participants will meet with a Charlesbridge designer for a 30-minute portfolio review and feedback. Unagented illustrators and author-illustrators may participate.
See the submission guidelines below for more details.
While we are happy to review all types of manuscripts, we want to provide expert review. In order to best serve you, we would love for you to familiarize yourself with the Charlesbridge list to ensure you submit a manuscript most in line with what we publish. Charlesbridge publishes fiction and nonfiction for both the trade market and school and library market. We pride ourselves on quality, diversity, and equity in our work.
In order to participate, please submit the following materials to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Picture book creators:
Middle-grade, young-adult, or longer-nonfiction creators:
How does this work?
We select participants via a random lottery. If you are selected, you will be paired with an editor. That editor will contact you to confirm your participation and set up a review session. This session can be a video call or voice call; chat options are available to d/Deaf and/or mute participants.
Does participating in this program mean Charlesbridge will publish my manuscript?
This is meant to serve as a helpful experience; participation does not guarantee a publishing contract.
How does the selection process work?
We will choose participants at random and in a rolling manner from the submissions we receive. Your submission will remain in the ongoing lottery unless you choose to withdraw it. There is no need to resubmit.
How many manuscripts can I submit for review?
We are accepting only one manuscript per participant.
Can I change my manuscript after being invited to participate?
Certainly—if you are invited to participate and have an updated manuscript, or wish to submit a different manuscript entirely, you may work that out with the editor when they get in touch.
Will I be able to submit my manuscript to an agent or another publisher while it is submitted to this program?
Yes! If your manuscript is accepted by a publisher or offered representation by an agent, you can withdraw it by emailing us.
Can I withdraw my manuscript from review?
Yes. If you wish to withdraw your manuscript at any point, email us at the submissions email. Include your name and the title of your manuscript.
Can I continue to contact the editor after the review?
Unfortunately not. Because this is a one-time experience rather than an ongoing mentorship, participants are asked to be judicious with contact after the review. That said, we love to hear success stories!
If you would like to submit your manuscript for potential publication at Charlesbridge, please follow our submission guidelines here.
If I am an author-illustrator and have a picture book dummy for review, would I apply for portfolio review or an editor feedback session?
An editor feedback session! Portfolio reviews are for reviewing the contents and presentation of a portfolio; completed projects are better suited to an editorial review.
Why aren’t you considering comics or graphic novels?
While we love comics and graphic novels and firmly believe that they deserve a place in traditional publishing, we recognize that editing a graphic novel or comic is a specialized skill. Charlesbridge has published books with graphic novel components and looks forward to publishing more in the future; however, we currently want to support participants with our areas of long-standing expertise.
Are you accepting submissions from white authors who experience other axes of marginalization?
Charlesbridge is seeking submissions from only Black, Indigenous, and other people of color for this program.