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: apply for a spot in a seminar with Editorial, Design, Marketing, Production, Manufacturing and Sales people from Scholastic about the publishing industry
  • Who: for individuals who identify as Black, indigenous, or people of color (BIPOC)
  • When: date of seminar is Feb 28. Apply by Jan. 28.
  • What: submit a 200-word or less story for PB, MG or YA audiences to be judged by kid readers
  • Prizes: AMA phone calls with agents Kaitlyn Sanchez and Jemiscoe Chambers-Black, manuscript critiques, more


Feb. 17 PBPitch
  • What: pitch your picture book idea
  • Prize: agent and editor attention and invitations to query

  • 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

  • What: submit one humorous poem less than 250 lines
  • Prize: cash prizes ($2000 first place, $500 second place, $100 honorable mention)