Welcome back to another month of Picture Book Opportunities! To see what’s available all year ’round, and what’s coming up the rest of the year, visit the PICTURE BOOK SUPPORT resource page.
Fee or free? Here’s a key:
(free) – no fee to enter or to participate
($) – fee to enter or to participate
(*See note) – look for *explanation within the blurb
Kidlit Rally for Black Lives (free)
Award-winning authors Kwame Alexander, Jacqueline Woodson, and Jason Reynolds have organized a Kidlit Community Rally for Black Lives. Thursday, June 4, 2020, 7pm – 7:45pm EDT (For K-12 Students) and 7:45pm – 8:30pm EDT (For Parents, Teachers, and Educators). Facebook Live or Zoom. The Rally will be recorded, and will include ASL interpretation. Hosted by The Brown Bookshelf.
Twitter pitch party for the Christian Book Market (CBM), including #hashtags for specific ages and genres. Thursday, June 25, 2020. (Also scheduled for November 12, 2020.)
#Kidlit Zombie Week (free)
Are you ready to bring your dead manuscripts back to life? Join 6 Ladies and a MANuscript on Twitter (@6and_MANuscript ) for a week filled with inspiration, discussions, and great prizes! June 22-26, 2020
Mix ‘N’ Match Mini Writing Challenge (free)
Every Monday from May 11 until June 22, 2020, write a 100-word children’s story based on that week’s writing prompt, and post it in the comments. Complete all prompts for a chance to win prizes. Hosted by children’s author Susanna Leonard Hill.
New Voices Award (free)
Given annually by children’s book publisher Lee & Low for a children’s picture book manuscript by a writer of color or Native/Indigenous writer. Submission window opens April 1, closes August 31.
A Twitter pitch party exclusively for picture books! Thursday, June 18, from 8am to 8 pm EST.
Picture Book Writing Mini Lessons (free)
Author Julie Hedlund is offering a series of free mini lessons on writing picture books for her newsletter subscribers, to work on your craft during quarantine. Click here for the most recent one, plus links to all the previous lessons.
Twitter pitch party for unagented authors and illustrators in all genres, happening Thursday, June 4, 2020 from 8am – 8pm Eastern Time. Happens on Twitter, but see website for detailed instructions including the #hashtags that will help picture book agents find your pitch. Hosted by Brenda Drake and the PitchWars committee.
ReFoReMo Monthly Mini Writing Challenge (free)
Themed monthly writing challenges the third Tuesday of the month from April through January, with a focus on extending mentor text research from the March ReFoReMo Challenge into writing. This month’s challenge happens June 16. Hosted by our own Carrie Charley Brown and Kirsti Call.
SCBWI Digital Workshops: Slate 2 (see note*)
Second series of special weekly one-hour webinars with renowned children’s book creators, editors, agents, and art directors. Registration opens Monday for Thursday events; replays available without prior registration. *Free, but must be a dues-paying member of SCBWI.
June digital workshops:
June 4, 1 – 2 pm PT: The World Isn’t Flat: World Building for Realistic and Fantasy Stories presented by Tracey Baptiste, Author.
June 11, 1 – 2 pm PT: Character Building for Writers and Illustrators by Vashti Harrison, Author/Illustrator.
June 18, 1 – 2 pm PT: Writing Our Lives: From the Telling Detail to the Evocative Scene by Beth Kephart, Author. (MG/YA, not PB)
June 25, 1-2 pm PT: Telling Their Stories: Writing Nonfiction Picture Book Biographies from Beginning to End by Lesa Cline-Ransome, Author.
Writing & Illustrating for Young Readers (WIFYR) ($)
Originally in Utah, now live via Zoom from the comfort of your own home. A full week of workshops, classes, and community. June 8 – 12, 2020.
Writing for Emergent Readers For writers of picture books and chapter books. With Ann Ingalls. Saturday June 6, 2 – 5 pm CDT.
Characters Drive the Story Along with lessons and exercises, the focus of this class will be on drafting a brand new out-of-the-box picture book manuscript. Six sessions, Thursdays, 7 – 9pm CDT, June 11 – July 16, 2020. With Adam Lehrhaupt.
Visual Storytelling for Picture Book Authors Join author and illustrator Carter Higgins for an exploration of visual storytelling across multiple formats beyond the picture book—from icons and logos to film titles and Instagram Stories. Saturday, June 13, 2020, 2 – 5 pm CDT.
Building a Bio that Breathes Join award-winning picture book biography author Nancy Churnin for this six-week online course where you will learn the necessary ingredients for a winning book and how to assemble them into a biography with a beating heart. Mondays, 7 – 9 pm CDT, June 15 – July 20, 2020.
REGISTER IN JUNE, HAPPENING LATER
A two-day virtual online writers conference in late summer or fall for authors & illustrators who identify with a marginalized community. Pre-register here to receive more information as it becomes available; follow on Twitter at @DV_con and @DVpit_.
Mentorships with published picture book writers and illustrators for unpublished picture book writers and illustrators. Check @JustinRColon on Twitter on June 1 for application info. Applications open June 1 – June 14, 2020. Mentorships run from August 1 – November 1. Hosted by children’s writer Justin Colón.
SCBWI Summer Spectacular Annual Summer Conference ($)
In light of the ongoing health crisis, this year’s summer conference has been moved from downtown Los Angeles to the digital realm. Hosted on Zoom with recordings available through the month of August. July 31 – August 4, 2020.
THE WRITING BARN COURSES ($)
Nonfiction Picture Books 101 Author Meeg Pincus covers the basics to help you start writing and publishing nonfiction picture books or middle-grade books. Sunday, July 19, 2020, 2:00-5:00 PM CDT.
Picture Book Bio II Discover how to transform a real-life story into a picture book biography manuscript that stands out for all the rights reasons. With author Rob Sanders. Tuesdays, 7:00-9:00 PM CDT, July 21- August 25, 2020.
HAPPEN EVERY MONTH
Color Collective (free)
Weekly Twitter challenge for illustrators where you make work based on a single color.
FireButtChallenge (free) (#FiBuCha)
About once a month, without warning, a #FiBuCha notice goes out on Twitter. You have 24 hours to write a new PB draft or revise an existing one. Grab a writing partner to keep yourselves accountable. Hosted by children’s authors Michal Babay and Katie Frawley.
Illustration Friday (free)
Weekly challenge for illustrators with a new theme each week.
Making Picture Book Magic ($)
A 4-week course with short, daily lessons. Options for working with a small class or on your own. New enrollments begin the first of every month. Taught and hosted by children’s author Susanna Leonard Hill.
Monthly Twitter Writing Challenge (free)
Participants agree to aim for 500 words or 1 hour of editing each day for a month. Five hundred words? That’s a whole picture book. Founded by author Kristy Acevedo.
Penny’s Two Cents ($) (New!)
Picture book author Penny Parker Klostermann offers video chat sessions, small-group webinars, and packages that include feedback on picture book manuscripts. Contact Penny here to schedule.
SCBWI Draw This! Challenge (See note*)
Monthly challenge for illustrators with a new theme each month. Submit by the 20th for next month’s gallery. *No application fee, but must be a dues-paying member of SCBWI.
SCBWI: Tomie De Paulo Master Class (see note*)
To honor the memory of Tomie De Paulo, beloved author/illustrator of hundreds of picture books, SCBWI is making available a three-part master class he recorded with Lin Oliver. *Free, but must be a dues-paying member of SCBWI.
SCBWI: YouTube Channel, The Vault (free)
SCBWI has over thirty years of video archives featuring speakers at their annual conference–authors, illustrators, editors, agents, and publishers. Every Tuesday and Thursday starting in May, SCBWI will be releasing videos from this archive to their new YouTube channel, The Vault.
PICTURE BOOK TIP
Want to know how to write picture books? Read them! Read as many books as you can find, ideally published in the past five years, in whatever genre you’re writing–fiction, nonfiction, humor, drama, concept books, biographies. Keep lists of what you’ve read so you have comparison titles (comp titles) for your finished manuscript.