Competitions for children's and YA book writers, open now

Open contests for children's and YA book writers

Is your children's book manuscript ready to send off? Are you sure? Then here you go: a list of competitions and agents who are open to submissions RIGHT NOW.

This listing is only a guideline; please refer to the websites for each individual competition.

Children's Book Contests
 associated with 
Winchester Writers'  Festival 

£8 per entry fee

Picture books

Submit: text of 600 words for children 3-6

Deadline: 13 May 2016

Conditions: ONE entry per person; fee of £8 per entry, additional £5 for adjudication

Prize: 1st prize: Editorial meeting with Little Tiger Press to discuss the winning submission, either in their offices in London or via telephone (travel not provided). 2nd & 3rd prize: books

Children's funny fiction

Deadline: 13 May 2016

Submit: opening chapter or section (maximum 1000 words) of a humorous work for children and a one-page synopsis of the remainder

Conditions: £8 per entry, additional £5 for adjudication

Prize: Editorial meeting with Stripes Publishing, an imprint of Little Tiger Press, to discuss the winning submission, either in their offices in London or via telephone (travel not provided)
2nd & 3rd prize: books


Skylark Soaring Stories

Deadline: 13 May 2016

Conditions: £8 fee per entry

Submit: first 2000 words of a work of fiction for readers aged 8-12 OR 12+. Please specify the audience you are writing for and include a one-page synopsis of your story. Please give the word-count of the finished novel if complete. Double-spaced, not previously published.

Prize: 1st prize: One-to-one consultation with a literary agent at Skylark Literary on story development (based on the sample and synopsis entered) of at least one hour – either in person if the winner can travel easily to London or over the phone if not – plus £75 towards travel expenses (or to be kept by the winner if they don’t need to travel).
2nd prize: One-to-one telephone consultation on sample and synopsis of 30 minutes, plus £50.
3rd prize: One-to-one telephone consultation on sample and synopsis of 20 minutes, plus £25.
Three runners-up: One or two paragraphs of written feedback on their sample and synopsis.


Deadline: 6 June 2016

Submit: first 4000 words of an already finished novel and a synopsis

Conditions: £10 per entry; debut children's fiction writers 16+ permanently resident in U.K. only

Prize: £500, Arvon course, mentoring by Marjacq Scripts


Twitter #PitMad  

 9 June 2016

Submit: 140-character Twitter pitch to be read by literary agents and editors that day. 

Conditions: Only three pitches a day per person. The pitch must include the hashtag #PitMad and the category (#YA, #MG, #A, #NA, #PB etc.) in the tweet. 

Prize: Interest from literary agents. 


Twitter Picture Book pitch

Date: Thursday 16 June 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST (or 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. U.K. time)

Submit: 140-character Twitter pitch to be read by literary agents and editors that day.

Conditions: Pitch only one time before 2 p.m. and one time afterward 2 p.m.

Prize: Interest from literary agents and editors.


Library Journal Indie E-book Awards [USA]

Open to YA e-books self-published in English.

Deadline: 31 July 2016

Submit: self-published YA e-book 

Conditions: Writer must be 18+ and hold copyright to book. Further conditions here.

$1,000. All winners and honorable mentions also receive: a full Library Journal review in print and online; promotional ad in Library Journal’s December “Best of Books” issue; recognition at LJ Self-Published Ebook Awards reception at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.


Montegrappa Scholastic Prize

No deadline has been announced for this year's prize but it has been confirmed that it will open this year. Deadline probably in October 2016. Follow site for more details.


Bath Children's Novel Award

Deadline: 20 November 2016

Submit: first 3,000 words plus one page synopsis of novels written for children or young adults; chapter, middle grade and young adult novels

Conditions: £22 fee per novel, children’s novelists of any nationality and perspective

Prize: First Prize: £2,000 Shortlist Prize: one writer will win £500 of editorial services from Cornerstones Literary Consultancy 


Mslexia Children's Novel Competition

Deadline: 19 September 2016

Submit: first 3,000 words of your completed children’s novel. To qualify, your book must total at least 15,000 words.

Conditions: Fee £25 per novel. Writer must be a woman. Unpublished novelists, book written in English

Prize: £5,000; Five finalists will receive an invitation to a special networking event with  literary agents.



  1. Thank you for the info. It was really helpful and guess what? I'm going to submit my novel - who knows I might- just might be lucky?? Thanks once again.

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