Contests & Awards

© Susi Schaefer

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

Most Popular Twitter Pitch Parties

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

What I Gained from Contests (Besides my Agent)

Draw This! 
  • What: monthly illustration challenge with a prompt, due 20th of each month
  • Who: SCBWI members
  • Prize: winning pieces featured in SCBWI's monthly newsletter


  • What: apply for emergency funds during the pandemic
  • Who: people of color in the children's publishing industry (agents, editors, authors, illustrators) who've been furloughed or lost their jobs
  • Award: emergency funds


  • What: enter a picture book manuscript under 1000 words, not previously published or under consideration anywhere else
  • Who: anyone over 21
  • Prize: cash prizes $10,000, $5,000, $1,000 contingent on agreeing to giving publisher a one-year priority option to publish the book  
Apr. 1- Apr. 30 Volemos Meg Medina Grant
  • What: apply for a $500 grant + a year's SCBWI membership + conference tuition
  • Who: SCBWI members of Hispanic/Latinx/Ibero-American heritage


May 4 #APIpit, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. ET
  • What: Twitter pitch party for complete manuscripts  
  • Who: self-identifying writer/illustrator of Asian or Pacific Islander descent
  • Prize: attention of agents and editors & invitations to submit work
May 20 #Pitdark, 8 a.m.- 8 p.m. ET
  • What: Twitter pitch party for MG, YA, NA, Adult work with "darker" themes (horror, dark fantasy, murder mysteries, etc) 
  • Prize: attention of agents and editors & invitations to submit work


  • What: apply for a grant to develop of improve your art
  • Who: SCBWI illustrators who have published 1-3 picture books
  • Prize: $2500 grant


  • What: win an award for a book of poetry published in English
  • Who: SCBWI member with a book of poetry published in 2019, 2020, or 2021 (Verse novels not eligible)
  • Award: $1,000