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)


Sept. 1-31 SCBWI Emerging Voices Grant 

  • What: Submit your PB, MG, or YA manuscript
  • Who: SCBWI members, writers or writers/illustrators from traditionally underrepresented group, un-agented, unpublished
  • Prize: 2 winners will receive a paid trip & tuition to the SCBWI LA conference, a manuscript critique, and showcase to editors
Sept. 25-27 Pitchwars
  • What: submit your query, first chapter and synopsis of a finished manuscript
  • Who: all categories of writers (children to adult)
  • Prize: obtain a published author mentor who will help you revise your manuscript and present it in an agent showcase in Feb. 2020
  • What: apply for a grant to cover airfare, lodging, or travel expenses associated with researching speculative writing (fiction, poetry, drama, or creative nonfiction)
  • Prize: $1,000 grant


  • What: submit your original, unpublished picture book manuscript (MG-YA novels in alternate years)
  • Who: SCBWI member
  • Prize: tuition to the 2020 LA SCBWI summer conference, 20-min. phone consultation with agent Tracey Adams, 20-min. phone consolation with editor Andrea Welch, Beach Lane Books
Oct. 28 8 a.m.-8 p.m. #DVPit
  • What: Twitter pitch contest for children's and teen fiction/nonfiction
  • Who: for marginalized authors and illustrators
  • Prize: potential requests from agents and editors


Dec. 5  Pitmad
  • What: pitch your complete, polished novel or PB between 8 a.m.-8 p.m. EDT
  • Prize: agent attention and requests for submissions

MARCH 2020

Feb. 17-Mar. 20 A. Orr Fantasy Grant
  • What: submit a full-length middle grade or YA novel in the speculative genre
  • Who: SCBWI members unpublished with traditional publishers 
  • Prize: tuition to LA summer conference, $300, and a manuscript consultation

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