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 $500 & free tuition to any SCBWI conference, in conjunction with the SCBWI WIP grant
  • Who: SCBWI members, unpublished, 50 years of age or older
  • Prize$500 & free tuition to any SCBWI conference


  • What: submit a picture book manuscript
  • Who: SCBWI member with PBs not under contract and/or has not sold a PB manuscript in the last 5 years
  • Prize: $1000 grant

  • What: enter a picture book manuscript under 1000 words, not previously published or under consideration anywhere else
  • Who: anyone over 21
  • Prize: cash prizes $10,000, $5,000, $1,000 contingent on agreeing to giving publisher a one-year priority option to publish the book

  • What: apply for 1 of 7 categories (PB text, CB, MG, YA, NF,  multicultural fiction or NF, translation)
  • Who: SCBWI members, do not submit work under contract
  • Prize: selected works will be showcased in a private website to acquiring editors
  • What: apply for one of 2 $1,000 grants (one for a published, one for un-published illustrator)
  • Who: SCBWI members working on a picture book dummy or portfolio; do not submit a project under contract
  • Prize: $1,000 
Apr. 1- Apr. 30 Volemos Meg Medina Grant
  • What: apply for a $500 grant + a year's SCBWI membership + conference tuition
  • Who: SCBWI members of Hispanic/Latinx/Ibero-American heritage


  • What: apply for a grant to develop of improve your art
  • Who: SCBWI illustrators who have published 1-3 picture books
  • Prize: $2500 grant


  • 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