July Picture Book Opportunities

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.

Click the links to go directly to each list.





Fee or free? Here’s a key:
– no fee to enter or to participate
($) – fee to enter or to participate
(*See note) – look for *explanation within the blurb



Children’s Book Boot Camp 2020 (CBBC) ($)
5 weeks, 3 sessions, 1 goal: To get your children’s book published! Work with Melissa Manlove of Chronicle books, Martha Rago of Random House, and Marietta B. Zacker of Galit & Zacker Literary Agency. Open to 10 participants only, 200-word sample and/or 3 illustrations needed to apply. For more information and to apply, email “write2me [at] patcummings.com”. Applications due by July 6, 2020. Hosted by author Pat Cummings.

Intensive Picture Book Writing Workshop ($)
Author Anastasia Suen leads and instructs a cohort of adults in a year-long online intensive writing workshop for fiction and nonfiction picture books in poetry and prose. Enrollment opens July 20, 2020 for five days. Modules will go live on a rolling basis, with scheduled check-ins and critiques.

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.

OPEN CALL for new children’s poetry anthology!
Irene Latham and Charles Waters, a.k.a. I & C Construction Co., are calling for submissions for their new children’s poetry anthology celebrating the power of imagination, to be published by Candlewick. See complete details and instructions on their blogs, linked above. Submissions must be received by 11:59 pm Pacific Time, Friday, July 3, 2020.

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.

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 July 21. 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.
July digital workshops:
July 2, 1-2 pm Pacific Time: Submissions Studio: Writing Queries, Strategizing Submissions, and 10 Ways to Translate “No” to “Yes!”
by Deborah Halverson, Editor.
July 9, 1-2 pm Pacific Time:
Straight Through the Heart: How to Make Readers Fall in Love with Your Characters by Tiff Liao, Editor, Henry Holt (MG/YA, not PB)

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.

Writing Picture Book Biographies from the Inside Out ($)
After spending months or years in research, collecting facts and details about their subject, how does an author transform those raw materials into a layered narrative? In this six-week online class, author Donna Janell Bowman leads an introspective and pragmatic deep-dive into writing picture book biographies from the inside out. Six Sundays: July 5, 12, 19, 26, Aug 9, 16 2020, 4pm-6pm CDT.


Writing STEM Picture Books Join author Melissa Stewart for a lively presentation that digs deep into the expository nonfiction writing process. Saturday, July 11, 2020, 2-3:30 PM CDT

Law for Authors/Creative Artists  Join law professor and literary agent Jacqui Lipton for a three-hour workshop that builds a foundation for those interested in both self-publishing and traditional publishing. Saturday, July 18, 2020 2:00-5:00 PM CDT

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.


DVcon (free)
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_.

Storyteller Academy ($)
Online courses taught by a variety of professionals, related to writing and illustrating for children.
Term 3 courses include:
Writing Picture Book Manuscript with Jim Averbeck
Drawing in 3D with Alex Leon
Picture Book Wordsmith with Carter Higgins
Picture Book Production with Arree Chung
Picture Book Masters with Melissa Manlove
Term 3 courses start August 22 and end October 24, 2020. Hosted by Arree Chung.

The Craft and Business of Illustrating Children’s Books ($)
This lively, fun, game-changing course is for: writers wanting to illustrate their own books; writers wanting to improve their writing by understanding the illustration process; beginning illustrators; professional illustrators wanting to move into new markets. Starts August 31, 2020. Presented by The Children’s Book Academy.


Writing for Educational Publishing Educational publishers and content developers require a steady stream of writers to create K–12 programs for today’s learners. K-12 publishing professional Sonny Regelman’s workshop can help you get started. Six Wednesdays, 7:00 – 9:00 pm CDT August 5 through September 9, 2020

Write. Submit. Support. for Picture Book/Chapter Book Writers Join author Hannah Barnaby for a six-month exploration of your literary life.   Six Monthly Sessions, Sundays 2:00-5:00 PM Central Time, August 23, 2020 through January 10, 2021.


Color Collective (free)
Weekly Twitter challenge for illustrators where you make work based on a single color.

Ditty of the Month Club (DMC) (free)
Practice writing in rhyme and submit your poem. A new challenge each month, plus interviews. Hosted by Michelle H. Barnes on Today’s Little Ditty website.

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.

#kidlitart (free)
Every Thursday, 9pm Eastern Time (2am UTC), Twitter chat for children’s book illustrators & friends. Moderated by author/illustrators @RubinPingk and Charlene Chua (@charlenedraws).

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.

#PBChat (free)
Every Wednesday, 9pm Eastern Time (2am UTC), Twitter chat about picture books, featuring special guests & topics. #PBChat. Hosted by children’s writer Justin Colón.

Penny’s Two Cents ($)
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.

Picture Book Study Hall ($)
Marcie Colleen hosts this month-long online critique group for writers who have multiple picture book manuscripts to revise. New session starts each month.

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.

“Is my idea any good? Is my character likeable? Is my story the right length? Should I add back matter?” You’ve got questions. Your critique group has suggestions! Don’t have a critique group? Find or start one today. Try KidLit411, Penny’s Two Cents, Picture Book Study Hall, SCBWI, InkedVoices, Scribophile, and may others.


  1. Hello – – – Thanks for these! Could you include a link for the Children’s Book Boot Camp 2020 (CBBC)? I tried googling it, but to no avail. Thanks!


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