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


Aug 1-31 Rate Your Story Contest

  • What: submit a PB manuscript or MG/YA novel excerpt
  • Awards: win opportunities for mentorship/critiques/consultation with Lynne Marie, agent-intern & author, books, and other critiques


  • What: submit a flash fiction between 6 to 749 words (previously unpublished) story; protagonist or narrator must be a K-12 teacher
  • Who: any adult
  • Award: $1000 and publication
  • What: submit a sequence of 3 or 4 images with no text based on a prompt suitable to PB or MG audience
  • Who: SCBWI member
  • Prize: All expenses paid trip to NY SCBWI conference plus work shown in Illustrator Showcase


  • What: apply for a cash prize
  • Who: any author or illustrator with a book traditionally published or self published in 2023 promoting compassion and respect for animals
  • Award: $2500 first place, $1,000 honor prize
  • What: pitch your graphic novel projects for middle grade or younger
  • Who: un-agented and agented authors and illustrators
  • Award: interest/ invitation to submit from agents & editors

  • What: design a banner for Kidlit411
  • Who: anyone over age 13
  • Prizes: cash ($175/ $125/ $75 for first, 2nd, 3rd places) plus 9 honorable mentions; an Illustrator Spotlight; use of banner on website, in Facebook group, and in newsletter