Contests & Awards

© Kathryn Ault Noble

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)


Aug 27-29  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. Note new schedule.
  • Prize: mentorship on your novel and the chance to grab the attention of agents
  • What: submit your unpublished PB manuscript to Lee & Low Books
  • Who: unpublished writers of color and Native nations
  • Prize: $2,000 and standard publication contract; 2nd place $1,000
  • Whatsubmit your unpublished MG/YA manuscript to Lee & Low Books
  • Who: un-agented and unpublished writers of color and Native nations
  • Prize: $2,000 and standard publication contract; 2nd place $1,000
  • What: apply for a $5000 grant to work on your writing or art
  • Who: anyone who has at least one child under age 18; half the recipients are people of color
  • Award: unrestricted cash to support your creative endeavors


Sept. 17 2018 SCBWI Narrative Art Award

  • What: submit three illustrations from the same story illustrating dilemma/ conflict/ resolution with three different characters, depicting a narrative of misunderstood monsters
  • Who: SCBWI member illustrators, color for PB age or B&W for MG age
  • Prize: All expenses paid trip to NY SCBWI annual meeting

Sept. 30 Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award
  • 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  • Who: anyone who is previously unpublished (including self-published)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 

Oct. 1-31 We Need Diverse Books Mentorship

  • What: apply for one of 11 mentorships with award-winning book creators (3 PB, 3 MG, 3 YA, 1 MG/YA NF, 1 illustrator)
  • Who: diverse writers or illustrators with completed manuscripts featuring diverse main character or subject matter
  • Prize: Mentorship

Oct. 15-21 Author Mentor Match
  • What: Apply to get a published/agented author as a mentor for your complete MG or YA (Sign up now to enter to win a query & 1st page critique from a current AMM mentee)
  • Who: unpublished and un-agented MG and YA authors
  • Prize: a customized mentorship for your manuscript to get it to a query-ready condition
Oct 25 #PBPitch
  • What: Twitter pitch party for PBs
  • Prize: agent attention and requests for your manuscript

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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