Contests & Awards

© Danielle Heitmuller

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
February 2024

  • What: Write a short (214 words max) Valentine's story appropriate for children under 12 in which a character is enthusiastic
  • Prizes: manuscript critiques, signed books, and more

  • What: submit your picture book manuscript to win tuition to the Los Angeles SCBWI annual conference  
  • Who: each year the contest alternates for picture book or MG/YA. For 2024, picture book authors; must be SCBWI member over 18 years old
  • Prizetuition to the Los Angeles SCBWI annual conference and a phone consultation with an agent/editor
Feb. 22, 8 a.m.-8p.m. EST #PBPitch
  • What: pitch your picture book idea on Twitter(X)
  • Prize: attention and invitation to query from agents and editors

March 2024

  • What: two $1,000 grants 
  • Who: SCBWI member, one pre-published, and one published, who is working on a portfolio or picture book manuscript
  • Prize: $1000 to help complete your illustration project
April 2024

  • What:  Apply to be chosen as the most promising picture book manuscript, in fiction or nonfiction
  • Who: SCBWI member not under contract and/or not having sold a picture book in 5 years
  • Award: $1000 grant for each winner (fiction/nonfiction)
July 2024

  • What: apply for full tuition to the SCBWI summer conference in Los Angeles
  • Who: writer or writer/illustrator from traditionally underrepresented ethnic or cultural background; with an original work not under contract
  • Award: full tuition to summer conference, access to agents/editors