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)


  • What: submit your unpublished work for children
  • Who: writers or writer-illustrators from underrepresented backgrounds, over 18, un-agented SCBWI members
  • Prize: paid trip and tuition to SCBWI LA conference, manuscript consultation, and exposure to 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


Feb (specific date TBD) Author Mentor Match
  • What: submit 50 pages of your completed MG, YA, or adult WIP 
  • Prize: obtain a mentorship from a published/agented author to help get your WIP query-ready for traditional publishing

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  • Who: SCBWI members unpublished with traditional publishers 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
  • What: apply for one of two $1000 grants for a work in progress
  • Who: illustrators (one published, one un-published) & SCBWI members
  • Prize: $1,000 grant to help complete your project
APRIL 2020

  • What: apply for a $1,000 grant to develop a picture book manuscript
  • Who: any SCBWI member who are not under contract or who have not sold a picture book in 3 years
  • Prize: $1,000 grant

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