CKT Cocoon Club

CKT Cocoon Club logo

The CKT Cocoon Club is our online critique group filled with friendly supportive people who all write for children.

Here you will be able to flex your writing, reading and critiquing muscles. Essential qualities for a children’s author.

Many of our critiquers have signed publishing contracts. Some have signed multiple contracts. Some are just beginning their journey. All have a home here.

Are you looking to find your writing tribe?

Membership with CKT includes access to our online our online critique group, the CKT Cocoon Club.

CKT Cocoon Club logo

Founder, Editor, Reviewer and Author of Creative Kids Tales, Georgie Donaghey and Critique Group Captain, Susan Hili are the Administrators of the group. Should you have any concerns at all, please contact them on email: 

A roster system will be set up on a first come, first listed basis – this will be co-ordinated by the Administrators.

Work will be accepted and submitted per the roster.

Submissions should appeal to children up to 13 years of age.

It’ll be assumed that you’ll research the submission requirements of whichever publishing house you plan to send your finished manuscript to. This includes the word count relevant to the age group you are writing for.

As a guide, word counts will be approximately:

  • Early picture book: up to 300 words.
  • Picture book: up to 600 words.
  • Early readers: up to 1,500 words.
  • Chapter books: 3,000 to 15,000 words.
  • Middle readers: 35,000 to 40,000 words.

For the purposes of this workshop, please submit:

  • Picture books: no more than 700 words.
  • Fiction work: Scenes or chapters up to 1500 words.
  • Any inappropriate posts (offensive language, etc) will be removed by the Administrators.
  • Participants are required to take part in the whole of the workshop – receiving feedback and giving feedback.
  • While participants are not necessarily professional editors, we are all writers and readers with an interest in assisting each other to produce our best manuscripts. Whether to act on feedback received is entirely up to the writer, but please consider feedback options, especially if more than one person comments on the same area of your work.
  • Being able to receive and respond to constructive feedback is yet another skill of writers. The comments are not personal—so you’re not allowed to be oversensitive about things. We’re here to help each other.
  • If you are unable to maintain commitment, please let the group know (this may be just a break or stepping down altogether).
  • If you are taking a break (holiday, sickness, etc), your place on the roster will be given to the next person and you’ll be added to the roster on your return.

The submission cycle will commence each Friday:

  • A new submission will be posted by Friday evening (week 1);
  • The next submission will be posted on the Friday (week 2), and so on.

Upload your submission (Word document) as a Facebook post – this will be a cut and paste of your Word document.

With your submission post, please include:

  • The title of the book/scene/chapter;
  • Draft stage (eg: first draft, fifth, final, etc);
  • Word count;
  • If there is a particular critique focus you require (eg. plot, grammar, reduction of word count, characterisation, etc), please make a note to alert participants to this request at the top of your post.
  • We would also request your name on your work, but this will be provided against your Facebook post.

Some areas you might wish to request assistance with include:

  • Title;
  • Opening/hook;
  • Character development;
  • Story arc/problem/conflict;
  • Dialogue;
  • Language;
  • Grammar;
  • Length and concept;
  • Appropriateness for age group;
  • Theme;
  • Illustration potential.

Please don’t read anyone else’s critique before writing your own. It’s far more useful to receive a variety of fresh perspectives.

For your best critiquing results, we suggest you read the submission early on, mull it over for a day or so and then write your critique.

Type your critique comments directly into Facebook in the comments section under the relevant submission post.

If you download the submission/manuscript onto your computer in order to write the critique, you must delete it when finished. Print outs must also be destroyed.

Feedback is to be honest and provided in a positive, constructive and encouraging manner. We suggest the sandwich technique:

  • Begin with a positive comment/insight;
  • Follow with a constructive criticism including why something doesn’t work and offer alternative suggestions;
  • End with a positive comment/insight.

Your critique/feedback should aim to:

  • Point out the strengths and weaknesses;
  • Address any specific requests the writer has made;
  • Include possible solutions to problem areas;
  • Suggest ideas to improve plot or character;
  • Provide grammatical corrections.
  • If the writer needs clarification on a particular comment received on their work, we suggest this be followed up and responded to via general Facebook posts. In this way, other members may glean an understanding to apply to their own work.
  • Once a submission has been critiqued and re-edited, it may be resubmitted in the writer’s next roster period.

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