Contests & Awards

© Jennie Poh

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 query & first 250 words to enter into a 64-spot elimination contest
  • Who: MG, YA, NA and adult writers who haven't competed in an agent round in a major contest in the last four months
  • Prize: Attention/requests from agents
  • What: apply for one of five $2,000 grants to support your career
  • Who: unpublished diverse writers or illustrators, U.S. residents
  • Prize: $2,000 grant


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  • What: submit your unpublished PB manuscript to Lee & Low Books
  • Who: unpublished writers of color and Native nations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  • Whatsubmit your unpublished MG/YA manuscript to Lee & Low Books
  • Who: un-agented and unpublished writers of color and Native nations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


Fall Submission window TBA Author Mentor Match
  • What: Apply to get a published/agented author as a mentor for your complete MG or YA
  • Who: unpublished and un-agented MG and YA authors
  • Prize: a customized mentorship for your manuscript to get it to a query-ready condition


  • 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  • Who: anyone who is previously unpublished (including self-published)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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