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


Sept. 27-Oct. 1 Pitch Wars
  • What: apply for a mentor for your manuscript, submit a query, 10-page sample, and synopsis (List of Mentors)
  • Who: un-agented writers of MG, YA, NA, adult
  • Prize: a mentor will work with you to prepare your pitch and manuscript for an agent showcase in February 2020

Oct. 1 -3 Fall Frenzy Writing Contest

  • What: write a kid lit-aged (board book to YA) story/poem/piece up to 200 words based on a fall-themed photo prompt
  • Prizes: win critiques, books, and other prizes from authors, agents and editors

Oct. 20 #Divpit

  • What: Twitter pitch party for children & teen fiction/nonfiction
  • Who: for self-identifying historically marginalized authors & illustrators
  • Prize: attention from agents & editors with invitations to query
  • What: submit three sequential images illustrating the theme "silver lining" either in full color for PB audience, or B&W for MG audience
  • Who: SCBWI members
  • Prize: free tuition virtual SCBWI winter conference

Oct. 29 #PBPitch
  • What: Twitter pitch party for picture book creators (illustrators and authors)
  • Prize: attention from agents & editors with invitations to query

  • What: apply for one of 15 mentorships with award-winning book creators (12 writers, 3 illustrators)
  • Who is eligible: anyone who personally identifies with an underrepresented community or working on a book with a diverse protagonist
  • When to apply: Oct 1-30, 2020
  • What: apply to win full tuition to the 2021 SCBWI LA conference plus expert consultations
  • Who: SCBWI member with a MG or YA manuscript
  • Prize: tuition to 2021 SCBWI conference, 20 minute consultation with agent Tracey Adams, 20 minute consultation with a MG/YA editor


Aug 16- Nov. 1 Call for Joy: Short Story Submission Call for Black Male & Black NonBinary Writers

  • What: submit a short story aimed at the middle grade audience that centers joy and features and centers Black boys <3000 words
  • Who: Black male/nonbinary author over 18, un-agented, not traditionally published
  • Award: inclusion in a soon-to-be-announced MG anthology that will center the joy of Black boyhood, edited by Kwame Mbalia

Nov. 1 The Suzie Grant for Moms Who Write

  • What: Apply for a $500 grant 
  • Who: mothers with at least one child
  • Award: three grants given every six months

Nov. 1 Jane Yolen Mid-list Author Grant

  • What: one of two winners to share a $3,000 grant
  • Who: SCBWI members who have published two PAL books but have not sold anything in five years
  • Prize: a $3000 grants shared between two winners

Sept 15- Nov 15 SCBWI Emerging Voices Award
  • What: apply to one of ten grants
  • Who: unpublished writers or illustrators from underrepresented group
  • Award: paid trip and tuition for LA SCBWI summer conference, manuscript consultation, and publicity

Dec. 3, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. EST #Pitmad

  • What: Pitch your manuscript on Twitter (PB, MG, YA, adult)
  • Prize: attention from agents & editors with invitations to query


  • 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

Template developed by Confluent Forms LLC; more resources at BlogXpertise