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

ONGONG


  • 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
 

JUNE

  • What: design a logo for Kids Comics Unite, the online community of kid lit graphic novel creators
  • Prize: $500, one-year subscription to Kids Comics Insider, free attendance to 2022 Kids Comics Intensive
JULY

  • What: enter your picture book manuscript addressing the needs of children of color or Native nations
  • Who: writers of color and Indigenous/Native writers who are residents of the U.S. and over 18, no previously traditionally-published picture books; un-agented
  • Prize: publication contract + $2,000; Honor award $1,000
  • What: enter your MG or YA manuscript addressing the needs of children of color or Native nations
  • Who: writers of color and Indigenous/Native writers who are residents of the U.S. and over 18, no previously traditionally-published picture books; un-agented
  • Prize: publication contract + $2,000; Honor award $1,000

AUGUST

  • What: apply for a grant to develop of improve your art
  • Who: SCBWI illustrators who have published 1-3 picture books
  • Prize: $2500 grant
Aug 16, Nov 22, Mar. 1, 2022 Searchlight Writing for Children Awards 
  • What: A UK-based rolling competition for aspiring authors writing for children or young adults with the aim to create opportunities for emerging authors of children’s fiction. Three categories: Best Bedtime Story (submissions open 10th May, close 16th August), Best Novel Opening for Children or YA (submissions open 20th August, close 22nd November) and Best Short Story for Children or YA (submissions open 1st December, close 1st March 2022).  
  • Who: writers 16 years or older
  • Fee: £9 (Best Bedtime Story), £11 (Best Novel Opening), £10 (Best Short Story)
  • Prizes: publication in anthology and £500 cash in each category


2022

  • 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

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