August Picture Book Opportunities

Welcome back! Almost every month, I stumble across a contest, challenge, or other event that I did not know about in time to include in the list. Do you know of any that aren’t listed here? Please share them in the comments, so others can find them. Thanks!

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 


#AuGHOST (free)
Daily drawing event on Twitter and Instagram, created by @Sommerjam and @DavePietrandrea.

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.

How to Write, Illustrate, and Sell your Kidlit Creativity (free)
Free workinar with publishing professionals on How to Write a Marketable Picture Book, Easy Peasy Fun No-Fail Drawing Techniques, How to Develop a Marketable Illustration Style, and How to Sell Your Kidlit Writing & Art. Try out CBA before committing to a course! Saturday August 15, 4pm Pacific/7pm Eastern. Register here. Presented by The Children’s Book Academy.

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.

Picture Book Challenge Week (free)
Free LIVE Online Training from the amazing instructors at Storyteller Academy! Try out Storyteller Academy before committing to a course! Join the challenge here.  August 10 – 15, 2020, 10-11 am Pacific Time.

Picture Book Look (free)
I don’t usually list podcasts, but this new offering is near and dear to the Writers’ Rumpus family. Hosts Kim Chaffee and Kirsti Call share some of their favorite picture books and chat with their creators to get a behind-the-scenes look into their creative process. Launches Tuesday August 11, with a new episode every Tuesday.

Picture Book Mini Summit (free)
Join the Picture Book Summit team for “What Is Voice? Picture Books with Great Voice.” A chance to try out Picture Book Summit for free, ahead of the October event. Replay available to registrants. Register here. Wednesday August 5 at 8pm ET/5pm PT.

Rate Your Story Writing Contest ($)
Categories for picture books and novels, prizes including access to industry professionals. Open to members and nonmembers of Rate Your Story. A portion of submission fees donated to worthy causes. Submit between August 1 and August 31, following submission guidelines. 

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 August 18. Hosted by our own Carrie Charley Brown and Kirsti Call.

So You Want to Write for Children (free)
Do you have a story idea for a children’s book? Have you wondered about how to become a children’s author? Join author Rosie J. Pova via Zoom for an introduction to the craft and business of children’s writing. Monday, August 31, 2020, 7pm – 8pm Central Time. Hosted by Writing Workshops.

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
Crafting Picture Book Stories with Arree Chung
Picture Book Masters with Melissa Manlove (NEW COURSE)
Term 3 courses start August 22 and end October 24, 2020. Hosted by Arree Chung.

Online courses taught by a variety of professionals, related to writing and illustrating for children.

Craft & Community: A FREE Evening of Picture Book Presentations Gain insights and ah-has from this FREE evening of writing craft and community featuring presentations by some of The Writing Barn’s “Write. Submit. Support (WSS)” program writers. Tuesday, August 11, 6-8pm Central Time. (free)

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, 7-9pm Central Time, August 5 through September 9, 2020

Understanding Visual Storytelling in Picture Books Join author and illustrator Carter Higgins for a six-week exploration of visual storytelling in picture books. Each week’s class will focus on one element or principle of design. Six Thursdays 7-9pm Central Time, August 6 through September 10, 2020.

Perfecting the Picture Book I Author Lisa Katzenberger presents a lesson each week complete with hands-on exercises to provide writers with the practical tools they’ll need to advance their craft. Six  Mondays 7-9pm Central Time, August 17 through September 28, 2020. 

What’s the Big Idea? Nonfiction Structures That Sell Facts are fun, but they don’t make a trade book. What is the magic equation for making trade nonfiction books work? Join author Heather L. Montgomery to learn how to find a structure for your nonfiction book. Saturday August 22, 2-4pm Central Time.

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.


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_.

Picture Book Summit ($)
Full-day writing conference live-streamed to your computer. Theme for 2020: Finding Your Voice. Founded and hosted by Katie Davis of ICL (Institute for Children’s Literature), Julie Hedlund of 12 x 12, Emma Walton Hamilton of Just Write Children’s Books, and Laura Backes of Children’s Book Insider. Register here. Saturday October 3, 2020.

Smart Dummies (free)
Complete a picture book dummy in 30 days. September 1 – 30 each year, registration open August 15 – September 7. Join the Facebook group for notifications. Hosted by writer/illustrator Dani Duck.

Writing Picture Books: From Creation to Publication ($)
Award-winning children’s author Rosie J. Pova will cover the essential elements and steps in the process of creating picture books, from generating story ideas to finishing a first draft, picking a catchy title, to revising and submitting. Eight weeks beginning Monday, September 14, 2020. Hosted by Writing Workshops.


The Heart and Humor of Amy Krouse Rosenthal: Using AKR’s Body of Work to Enhance Our Own Explore the work and techniques of the late Amy Krouse Rosenthal with author Marcie Colleen. Six Tuesdays, 7-9pm Central Time, October 13 through November 24, 2020.


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).

KidLit Distancing Social (free)
A free educational hangout for kidlit writers featuring guest speakers, news, every Thursday: 5pm Pacific, 6pm Mountain, 7pm Central, 8 pm Eastern Time. Replays available here. Presented by Children’s Book Insider.

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. SCBWI has been releasing videos from this archive to their new YouTube channel, The Vault, every Tuesday and Thursday starting this past May.

Did I miss anything? Please share any upcoming online opportunities in the comments. Thanks!


  1. Thank you for gathering all of this valuable information! Stay tuned for this year’s #ReVISIONweek announcement. This year’s challenge will run from September 9-16, 2020. Enrollment will be the first week of September. We are scaling the challenge down so that it is doable despite these upside-down times. We plan to provide a week of support, inspiration, and revision magic. OH, and prizes! Always prizes!


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