Picture books are so short, it seems like you could jot one down in between scrubbing the dishes and feeding the cat. But writing a well-crafted, marketable picture book that captivates, enlightens, and entertains is tougher than it looks. Each story element needs to fit together like pieces of a grand puzzle.   

If you're struggling with your manuscript, a professional critique can help. I offer online critiques for picture book manuscripts of up to 1,500 words. Writers must be at least eighteen years old.   

Why me?

  • I’ve published over 100 books and 500 stories and articles for children that include picture books with major children's book publishers, such as HarperCollins, Houghton Mifflin, Henry Holt, and Bloomsbury.

  • My books have received numerous awards, including one of Amazon's Best Picture Book of 2013, NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book for K-12, IWLA Book of the Year Award Recipient, a Charlotte Award Nomination, and Rhyme Revolution's Best Rhyming Picture Book of 2016.

  • As a writing instructor for the Institute of Children's Literature for the past 14 years, I’ve reviewed countless manuscripts for hundreds of students.  

  • I’ve taught picture book workshops and critiqued manuscripts for The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) at regional conferences.

What writers say


"There is absolutely no better feeling in the world than getting that first email saying, 'We have accepted your story.' . . . [Thanks for being] such an incredibly dynamic, positive instructor."

"Never before have I had such insightful and inspiring feedback!" ---Micki

"I must say Lori Mortensen 's critique was genius! I love learning from writers.The ideas and revisions are flowing. Thank you!" ---Joanna


"I really enjoy your constructive style of marking. It has helped me immensely toward reaching my writing goal." ---Rachell


"Thanks for your priceless critiques." ---Kristy

"Thanks for the frank, insightful critique." ---Corrine  


What you'll receive

  • Kind, but honest feedback about your work.

  • A detailed letter that celebrates your story's strengths and pinpoints areas that could be improved such as the overall story structure, the opening hook, story tension, character development, underlying themes, and satisfying endings.. 

  • Your edited manuscript where I'll make specific comments and suggestions to help you take your manuscript to the next level.


Critique fees


$150 for a picture book manuscript of 1,000 words or less.

$200 for a picture book manuscript up to 1,500 words.

What to do

First, send me an email to check availability.

Then, click the PayPal button. Once payment is received, I'll send you submission instructions. Allow a week to receive your completed critique as an email attachment.

PayPal Picture Book Critique of 1,000 Words or Less            


PayPal Picture Book Critique of up to 1,500 Words   





Please follow this manuscript format when submitting:

Create a .doc or .docx Word document.

Put contact information in the upper left corner, single spaced.

Include word count with contact information.

Use 1-inch margins.

Include a title in all CAPS five inches down from the top.

Double space your text. 

Use a common 12 pt. font.

Copyright @ 2020 Lori Mortensen - All rights reserved. 

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