Advance Submissions

As part of your registration, you may submit up to two manuscripts (maximum 10 pages each) for faculty readings. For each submission, you have the choice of:

  • a critique of your manuscript by a professional freelance author or editor 


  • a review by an agent or acquisitions editor to consider your manuscript as a possibility for their agency, periodical, or publishing house

You may request a specific agent, editor, or freelancer for each submission. Or let our expert Manuscript Processing Team choose for you.

Manuscripts should be typed, double-spaced, with your name on each page.

They must be original (your work) and unpublished. 

Submissions are limited to a maximum of 10 pages.


A manuscript for advance submission consists of:

What is the difference between a manuscript critique and an editorial review?

When you send in your advance submission, you can choose to either have your manuscript critiqued by a published freelance writer or have your manuscript reviewed by an agent or by an editor of a publishing house or magazine.

Manuscript Critique

If you want an honest evaluation of your writing and the marketability of your project, request a critique. A professional freelancer author or editor will critique your manuscript, offering an overview of the strengths and weaknesses in your writing and possible suggestions for publishing direction. 

Editorial Review

If you feel your manuscript is polished enough to present to an agent or acquisitions editor, request an editorial review to determine whether a publishing house or magazine would be interested in your manuscript or if an agent might want to represent you.

How many pages can I include in my advance submission?

We know you want to send as much of your writing and as many details about your project as you can. But for the purposes of these advance submissions, it's important to limit your submission to a maximum of 10 pages total. That can include a query letter, synopsis/summary, proposal, sample pages, whatever you want to send ... but no more than 10 pages, please.

Most of our faculty members receive a LOT of advance submissions when they arrive at the conference. And if they have to spend hours in their rooms looking over lengthy submissions. they won't be available to registrants while they're here! 

Besides, an agent or acquisitions editor can tell within the first page or two whether they're interested in a project. And a freelance author or editor will be able to give you plenty of helpful tips with a critique of just 10 pages.

If you pique a faculty member's interest with your ten-page submission, he or she may invite you to send more after the conference via email. (Be sure to get a business card so you'll know where to send it!)

How do I know which Agents, Editors, or Freelancers to choose for my two advance submissions?

Peruse the Faculty Members’ bios. Visit the websites of the publisher, magazine, or agency you’re interested in to determine whether you and your writing might be a good fit. Check the Editorial Needs or Freelancer Specialties pages (under the Advance Submissions tab) to see what the faculty members are looking for. This resource will help you determine who you might want to meet with at the conference too.

Still can’t decide? Leave that line blank on the submission form and the Manuscript Processing Team will carefully and prayerfully choose an appropriate agent, editor, or freelancer for your submission.

When will my manuscript be returned to me and where do I pick it up?

Manuscripts are given to editors, agents, and freelancers on Thursday and Friday just before the conference begins. Saturday after lunch, the Manuscript Retrieval team, located in the writers Hospitality Center (Multi-Purpose Room), begins releasing returned manuscripts to their writers. Please note that some critique team members and reviewers may have bigger stacks and will require more time for completing their critique or review.

When you pick up your advance submission, open it right away and look for the faculty member’s review or critique form. If the faculty member wishes to meet with you during the conference, he or she will have written a note to that effect on that form. Mark your schedule with the date, time, and location to make sure you don’t miss your appointment.

If the faculty members who reviewed your submission indicated on their forms that they are interested in meeting with you but they did not specify a date/time, look for them at meals or between sessions. Show them the notes you received and ask if they have room in their schedules for appointments with you. If you make an appointment, mark the date, time, and location on your schedule so you don’t miss it.

If the faculty member who reviewed your Advance Submission is on the Critique Team, find time in your schedule to visit him or her in the Hospitality Center during the afternoon. (No appointment necessary.)

What do I do if the agent and/or editor I chose for my advance submission aren’t interested in my manuscript?

That is a real possibility. It could be that the publisher recently released, or will be releasing, a book or article similar to yours. The editor may be looking for something different and specific to their needs. Keep in mind that the best publishing house or magazine for your project may not be represented at the conference this year. Network with other writers. Talk to the critique team. Find out about other options for your manuscript.

Take advantage of the conference’s professional freelancers on the Critique Team and gain their professional insight in how you can further polish and edit your manuscript.

What if I’m not sending in a manuscript prior to the conference or bringing a project?

That is perfectly fine. You are free to choose to attend the conference to sharpen your writing skills, to network, or to discover more about the publishing industry.

Preparing Your Advance Manuscript Submission

  • For submitting ONE manuscript, you’ll need one 9x12 envelope and one 10x13 envelope. For submitting TWO manuscripts, you’ll need two 9x12 envelopes and one 10x13 envelope.

  • Please don’t use the bubble packages as they are difficult to open on this end. Thanks!

  • Place each manuscript (see those descriptions above) in a 9x12 manila envelope (Self-adhesive type, if possible. If the envelope has a metal clasp, please cover it with tape and don’t use the clasp. Do not bind, clip, or staple manuscript pages.

  • Tape one Advance Manuscript Submission Form to the outside, top and front of each manila envelope (any color). See sample in submission guidelines form.

  • Do not seal inner manuscript envelopes (9x12).

  • Place both 9x12 envelopes in one 10x13 manila envelope (any color) and mail them together.

  • See the Guidelines for Preparing and Sending Your Manuscripts, available below.

In order to ensure mail delivery, we encourage you to ship via UPS, FEDEX, or other shipping company and use the address below:

Jeremy Bentley
Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference
37 Conference Drive
Felton, CA 95018

If mailing by US Postal Service, please use this address:

Jeremy Bentley
Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference
41 Conference Dr.
PO Box 413
Mount Hermon, CA 95041-0413

Submissions MUST be received no later than April 8.

On each Submission Form, indicate your preference for one of the following:

  • A critique by a published author

  • An editorial review by an agent or an editor

Digital Advance Manuscript Submissions

The following faculty members will be accepting digital submissions:

  • Dawn Anderson

  • Sandra Barela

  • Karin Beery

  • Joseph Bentz

  • Brandilyn Collins

  • Jesse Florea

  • Lindsay Franklin

  • Mona Hodgson

  • Karen Neumair

  • Cynthia Ruchti

  • Amy Simpson

  • Susan Stewart

  • B. J. Taylor

  • Julie Williams

  • Erin Taylor Young

If you wish to submit to any of these faculty members, follow the same guidelines as above but email your submission to John Vonhof at in a single Word document attachment. Have each item start on a new page in the file. If you include a cover letter or book proposal, put them at the beginning of the file. File name should be formatted like this: YOURNAME-Title.doc (or docx). Download the Submission Form-Digital (Word version), fill it in, and email it as an attachment with your manuscripts. 

You will receive your file and comments back in a Word document, so bring a USB thumb drive to Manuscript Retrieval when you come to pick it up.

Important Submission Details

  • There is a two-manuscript maximum for advance submissions. No more than ten pages total per submission.

  • It's important that you follow all of the guidelines for submitting your manuscripts. Scroll down to find the instructions for preparing your advance manuscript submission.

  • Bring extra copies of your manuscript to the conference.

  • If you are unsure who to request to critique or review your manuscript, let the Manuscript Processing Team choose a critique team member, an agent, or an editor for you.

  • You'll find the Instructions for Preparing and Sending Your Manuscripts and the Submission Form below.

  • If you send in your manuscripts and then for some reason must cancel, your manuscript will not be critiqued or returned.

  • All manuscripts must go through the Manuscript Retrieval System for tracking. Please do not allow an editor to hand you your manuscript if it has not been checked back in through the system. Likewise, do not hand your manuscript to an editor for review. Request a signed form from the faculty member and process your manuscript through the manuscript retrieval system in the Hospitality Center (Multi-Purpose Room).

  • Please refer to the Query Letter & Book Proposal Guidelines page if you need help with these two important parts to of a submission package.

Mid-conference Submissions

You may wish to bring extra printouts of your projects with you in case you wish to show them to faculty members at the conference. (You may print files from a flash drive at the Hospitality Center for 10 cents per page.)

If a faculty member expresses interest in seeing something you've written, you will need to get a signed Mid-conference Submission Form from that faculty member and turn it in, along with your pages, through the Manuscript Processing system. Mid-conference Submissions are still subject to the 10-page limit.

If a faculty member expresses interest in seeing your full proposal and/or sample chapters, ask for his or her business card to submit those things directly to that faculty member by email after the conference.