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Blue Pencil evaluations

Our highly regarded Blue Pencil evaluation program matches Friend members with published Members for feedback and advice.  Blue Pencil offers a range of options and prices for writing samples, full or partial manuscripts, and illustration portfolios.  Please note that Blue Pencil is available only for CANSCAIP Friends and Members.

Do you have a manuscript or illustration portfolio that needs a professional evaluation?

CANSCAIP’s Blue Pencil program puts you in touch with experienced children’s authors and illustrators, enabling you to:

  • Connect with an expert in your field
  • Receive a personal critique of your work
  • Submit up to five follow-up questions

Blue Pencil evaluators are professionally published children’s authors and illustrators who are Members of CANSCAIP. They also have experience in reviewing, teaching, mentoring and/or editing. 

How Much Does It Cost?

All Blue Pencil participants must have a current CANSCAIP Friend membership ($45 per year). If you are not currently a Friend, please register for membership before submitting your work. 

The following Blue Pencil fee goes to the evaluator/editor after the process has been completed. HST will be added to these fees if the evaluator charges HST.

  • $175 for full text of picture book (up to 1000 words)
  • $200 for ten illustrations
  • $250 for a 28-page or 32-page dummy book (illustration and text)
  • $250 for up to 10 manuscript pages of one work in any genre 
  • $300 for up to 20 manuscript pages of one work in any genre
  • $400 for up to 50 manuscript pages of one work in any genre 

What Do I Receive?

We’ll pair you with a Blue Pencil evaluator who has been published in your genre. After reading your work, your evaluator will submit an evaluation report directly to you by email. This report will take the form of a substantive critique (at least two pages) rather than a line-by-line edit. 

Manuscript reports include discussion of:

  • technical ability, including style and execution
  • character, structure, plot, setting, point of view, voice, dialogue, believability (where applicable)
  • steps to further develop the manuscript

Illustration reports include discussion of:

  • technical ability, including style, execution and suitability for picture books
  • character, expression, action, variety, unity (where applicable)
  • steps to further develop the illustrations
After receiving the evaluation report,  you can respond with up to five follow-up questions that the evaluator will answer. 

What Type of Material Can I Submit?

You can submit material in the following genres:

  • Picture book or early reader: illustration, fiction or non-fiction, dummy (text and illustration)
  • Chapter book or middle grade: contemporary, historical, fantasy, science fiction or non-fiction
  • Young adult: contemporary, historical, fantasy, science fiction or non-fiction
  • Poetry
  • Play 

How Do I Submit?

Please provide the following information in an email to office@canscaip.org:

  • contact information: name, email, phone
  • title of your work
  • genre (e.g., historical fiction, fantasy, non-fiction topic, play, poetry, etc.) 
  • reading level (picture book, early reader, chapter book, middle grade or young adult)
  • number of pages you are submitting for evaluation
  • which Blue Pencil service you are requesting and its price (see above, How Much Does it Cost?)
  • brief notes about your writing or illustrating experience that would be useful for your evaluator to know
  • include Blue Pencil in the email subject line

    Attach your manuscript pages or illustrations to the email. Manuscripts should be in 12-point standard font, double spaced, with one-inch margins. 

    After receiving your manuscript or illustrations, CANSCAIP will email you an invoice for online payment. (Or you can mail a cheque to: CANSCAIP, 720 Bathurst Street Suite 412, Toronto ON M5S 2R4)

    When your payment has been processed, you will be introduced to your evaluator via email, and your Blue Pencil evaluation will be underway. 

    720 Bathurst St., Suite 412, Toronto, ON M5S 2R4

    Email: office@canscaip.org
    Phone: 1-416-515-1559

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