Contests & Awards

© Troy Cummings

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)


  • 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  • Who: unpublished writer or writer/illustrator over 50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
April 25 #DVPit
  • What: Twitter pitch party for children's & teen's books
  • Who: Marginalized writers and authors
  • Prize: agent attention and requests

  • What: submit a mockup of a PB manuscript that resonates with readers of diverse backgrounds or experiences; may not be agented or under submission elsewhere
  • Who: legal residents of US or Puerto Rico over 18, unagented and unpublished 
  • Prize: $1500, trip to NY offices of LBYR; mentorship by Artist mentor, possible consideration for publication 


July 16-18  Pitch Wars 
  • What: pitch your YA, MG, or adult ms in an effort to get a mentor to help polish your ms for an agent round
  • Prize: mentorship on your novel and the chance to grab the attention of agents


  • What: submit a work of fiction in English with universal appeal of Jewish content for readers between 8-13
  • Who: anyone who is previously unpublished (including self-published)
  • Prize: $1000 

Sept. 15-Nov. 15 SCBWI Emerging Voices Award
  • What: submit your complete manuscript
  • Who: writers from traditionally underrepresented groups
  • Prize: paid trip and tuition to LA SCBWI conference & opportunities for editors to review your MS


Dec. 6 #Pitmad
  • What: Twitter pitch party from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EDT
  • Prize: Snag requests from agents
Nov. 15-Dec.15  SCBWI Spark Award
  • What: enter your non-traditionally published book
  • Prize: a seal, plaque, display at SCBWI conference of choice, publicity, and free conference tuition
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