Contests & Awards

© Julie Rowan-Zoch

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 500-word essay on why funds would provide encouragement for your writing/illustration career
  • Who: author, illustrator, or translator with at least one traditionally-published book
  • Prize: $2000 grant
  • What: apply for a grant
  • Who: early career illustrators with 1-3 books published
  • Prize: first place $3500, runner up $1500 award
  • What: apply of grant
  • Who: SCBWI members interested in self-publishing
  • Prize: $2500 grant to be used to self-publish a book
Nov. 1 - Nov. 30 Spark Award
  • Who: SCBWI member with a nontraditionally published book
  • Prize: $1,000 plus free tuition to a SCBWI conference