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


ONGONG


  • 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


JUNE




May 31 - June 30 We Need Diverse Books Walter Grant

  • What: apply for one of ten $2,000 grants (apply by June 30 or first 300 applicants, whichever comes first)
  • Who: diverse, unpublished writer or illustrator (PB thru YA)
  • Prize: $2000 grant

JULY


  • What: Submit a middle grade manuscript reflective of a diverse background, with an emphasis on #ownvoices
  • Who: anyone over age 18
  • Prize: $1,000, a manuscript critique, and consideration for acquisitions
  • What: submit a poem beginning with the word "if" for consideration in a poetry anthology edited by Charles Waters and Irene Latham, for children 4-8 years old
  • Award: publication in picture book anthology to be published by Candlewick
July 6 Picture Book Boot Camp 2020 with Pat Cummings

  • What: apply for a three-session workshop with two editors (from Chronicle & Random House) and an agent (Marietta Zacker) to polish a picture book manuscript
  • How: submit 200 word writing sample, 10 participants will be chosen ($300 fee for workshop)


  • What: submit your unpublished MG or YA manuscript
  • Who: unpublished writers from Australia and New Zealand
  • Award: a publishing contract with advance against royalties

AUGUST

Aug. 1 PEN/Phyllis Naylor Grant

  • What: apply for a grant to help complete a novel-in-progresss
  • Who: writers of a published novel for children or teens who've gotten good reception but not significant sales
  • Prize: $5,000
Aug. 31 Kidlit411 Banner Illustration Contest
  • What: design a website banner for Kidlit411
  • Prize: 1st place: $150 + Illustrator Spotlight & display of banner; 2nd place: $100 + Illustrator Spotlight & display of banner; 10 honorable mentions: Illustrator Spotlight & display of banner
  • What: submit your unpublished picture book manuscript under 1500 words (fiction, nonfiction or poetry) addressing the needs of children of color or Native Americans
  • Who: un-agented writers of color or Native Americans who have not traditionally published a picture book
  • Prize: Award winner: $2,000 plus standard publication contract, Honor winner: $1,000
  • What: submit your unpublished middle grade or YA novel or graphic novel addressing the needs of children of color or Native Americans (MG < 75,000 words, YA < 95,000); submissions must be exclusive
  • Who: un-agented writers of color or Native Americans who have not traditionally published a novel
  • Prize: Award winner: $2,000 plus standard publication contract, Honor winner: $1,000

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