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: submit a kid lit poem or story under 200 words based on a photo prompt
  • Who: un-agented writers
  • Prizes: critiques and other goodies from authors & agents

  • What: a Twitter pitch party for middle grade or younger graphic novel manuscripts
  • Who: un-agented writers or illustrators
  • Prize: editor or agent interest 
  • What: submit your bannerdesign for Kidlit411's website
  • Who: illustrators over age 13
  • Prizes: Cash ($150/$100 for top places), an Illustrator Spotlight, use of your banner on our sites for 1 month in 2022
Oct. 28 #PBPitch
  • What: a Twitter pitch party for picture book manuscripts
  • Prizes: agent and editor interest in your manuscript


  • What: apply for a $5000 grant for art or writing
  • Who is eligible: creative people who are parents of children
  • Award: $5000 grants

  • 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