Contests & Awards

© Yvonne Mes

Submitting your work to contests and awards is a great way to get your work noticed. Here's a list of submission opportunities for children's writing and illustrating. We normally only list contests that do not require an entry fee. 

Also, check out these other compilations of contests:

Ongoing Contests & Awards

Twitter Pitch contests & 1st Five Pages Workshop by Adventures in YA Publishing

James Cross Giblin Scholarship for Highlights Foundations courses

Four on 400 (every month, deadline 5th day of each month)

  • What: Comment on the contest announcement on the 4th of each month for a chance to submit your first 400 words of an MG or YA ms
  • Prize: Winner's entry will be posted on blog & critiqued by four members of The Winged Pen

Good Articles on Contests

A Guide to Twitter Pitch Contests by Literary Agent Carly Waters

What I Gained from Contests (Besides my Agent)


Ongoing Hook Line and Sinker Challenge

  • What: Submit parts of your PB, MG, or YA work in four rounds, beginning with your first line
  • Prize: anonymous feedback on each round; winner gets 30 min consultation with author Cynthea Liu
  • What: Write a holiday story about a holiday surprise, less than 250 words and post it on your blog
  • Prize: Goodies to be announced (in the past, they've included books, critiques, classes)
  • What: submit your published magazine work from this year in one of four categories: fiction, nonfiction, illustration, poetry
  • Who: SCBWI members
  • Prize: recognition via plaques and honor certificates
  • What: award for authors & illustrators of non-traditionally published books
  • Who: SCBWI members
  • Prize: a seal, publicity, free tuition & appearance at SCBWI conference


Jan. 8-13 Writing with the Stars Mentorship

  • What: apply for a mentorship with picture book authors and illustrators, to take place between Feb 1-April 30, 2018
  • Who: unagented and unpublished PB authors & illustrators
  • Prize: free 3 month mentorship with noted authors & illustrators
Jan. 31 Indigenous Writing Award (Canada)
  • What: enter to win monetary awards for indigenous writers in Canada
  • Prize: 5 awards for unpublished works totaling $10,000 and 3 awards for published works totaling $15,000


Feb. 22 #PBPitch
  • What: Pitch your PB ms on Twitter, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST
  • Prize: attention from editors and agents

Mar 20 Templar Publishing Illustration Competition

  • What: submit your cover, 1 spread & storyboard for a dragon themed book (either fiction or nonfiction)
  • Who: illustrators
  • Prize: first prize: £750 plus possible publication, £500 and £250 2nd and 3rd prizes

Mar 1-31 SCBWI Work-In-Progress Award
  • What: submit your PB, CB, MG, YA, nonfiction or multicultural fiction manuscript
  • Who: SCBWI members
  • Prize: works presented to hand-selected group of editors

  • What: apply in conjunction with SCBWI Work In Progress Award application
  • Who: unpublished writer or writer/illustrator over 50
  • Prize: $500 plus free tuition to any SCBWI conference worldwide
  • What: submit your dummy or portfolio
  • Who: illustrators who are SCBWI members
  • Prize: two $1,000 prizes, to a published & pre-published illustrator


  • What: Submit one humorous poem under 250 words
  • Prize: $1000 first prize, $250 2nd prize, ten $100 honorable mentions

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