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


FEBRUARY

  • What: apply for an unrestricted cash grant
  • Who: a person who has a child under the age 18
  • Prize: one of 20 $5,000 unrestricted grants (check link above for requirements from last year, same will apply for 2020)
  • What: apply to become an authlete, where you face off with poems written to a prompt, bracket-style, to be voted on by students and other poets, over the course of a month
  • Prize: glory and accolades

MARCH

Mar. 5 #Pitmad

  • What: tweet your pitch for your completed manuscript
  • Prize: agent attention/likes (invitations to query) and editor likes (invitation to query/submit via agent)

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  • Who: SCBWI members unpublished with traditional publishers 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
  • What: submit work in one of seven categories: picture book, chapter books, middle grade, YA, nonfiction, multicultural, translation
  • Who: SCBWI members
  • Prize: work available on secure website accessible to hand-selected group of editors
  • What: submit in conjunction with SCBWI Work-in-Progress award
  • Who: unpublished, SCBWI member over 50 years old
  • Prize: $500 and free tuition to any SCBWI conference in world (travel/hotel not included)

APRIL

  • 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
  • What: write a 150-word spring-themed story for children 12-years and under inspired by a GIF
  • Prize: manuscript, portfolio, and query critiques, signed books
April 22 #DVpit
  • What: pitch your PB, MG, or YA novel
  • Who: self-identified historically marginalized and underrepresented authors & illustrators
  • Prize: agent interest in pitch (likes = invitation to query)

JUNE

June 18 #PBPitch
  • What: tweet your picture book pitch between 8 a.m.-8 p.m. ET
  • Prize: agent attention and likes (invitations to query)

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