Contests & Awards

© Leeza Hernanez

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


July 30-Aug 6 KidlitNation Critique Raffle

  • What: Buy raffle tickets for the chance to get critiques from agents and editors. Proceeds will fund scholarships for diverse writers and illustrators to attend the SCBWI-IL conference

Aug 2- Aug 6 Pitch Wars 2017

  • What: Win a mentor for you MG, YA or NA novel
  • Prize: A mentor and attention from agents

July 1 - Aug 15 Undiscovered Voices (EU only)
  • What: Enter to win a spot in an anthology for new writers & illustrators sent to agents, novels for children age 5 to YA (no picture books)
  • Who: non-agented SCBWI members living in EU countries
  • Prize: inclusion in an anthology sent to UK editors & agents and some US editors & agents
  • What: Apply for a scholarship to attend the SCBWI Prairie Writers and Illustrators Conference in November
  • Who: writers & illustrators of underrepresented racially diverse background who have never been to the conference 

  • What: submit 2-3 sequential illustrations
  • Prize: receive a critique from Charisma Rodriguez, Associate Art Director at Houghton Mifflin
  • What: Apply for a $5000 grant for your writing or illustrating endeavors
  • Who: anyone with a child under age 18


  • What: submit 3 panels of narrative art including 3 characters with a mystery theme, either color for young audiences or B&W for MG audiences
  • Prize: a trip to the NY SCBWI in 2018
  • What: enter your unpublished, unagented PB manuscript addressing the needs of children of color
  • Who: writers of color who are residents of the U.S. over age 18
  • Prize: $1000 plus publication contract

Sept. 1-Oct. 31SCBWI PJ Library Jewish Stories Award

  • What: enter your new PB manuscript with a Jewish theme
  • Who: SCBWI members
  • Prize: $2500 plus tuition to the NY SCBWI conference
Oct. 26 #PB Pitch
  • What: Pitch your picture book manuscript between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Oct. 26
  • Prize: Agent attention and requests

Oct. 31 Lee & Low New Visions Award
  • What: submit an unpublished, unagented MG or YA manuscript
  • Who: writers of color who are residents of the U.S. over age 18
  • Prize: $1,000 plus publication contract

  • What: Submit a published MG or YA book featuring a diverse main character or addressing diversity in a substantial capacity
  • Who: diverse writers

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