November Picture Book Opportunities

We had our first snow in the Boston area last week–quite the October surprise! Check out the opportunities–some surprising, some not–for picture book creators this month.

Click the links to go directly to each list.

To see what’s available all year ’round, and what’s coming up in early 2021, visit the PICTURE BOOK SUPPORT resource page.

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 


Black Friday Bootcamp ($)
Online one-day livestream writing conference. 100% of ticket sales go to support First Book and We Need Diverse Books. Link goes to 2019 registration page; watch the Storyteller Academy site for 2020 information. November 27, 2020. Hosted and organized by Storyteller Academy and author Arree Chung.

#FaithPitch (free)
Twitter pitch party for the Christian Book Market (CBM), including #hashtags for specific ages and genres. Thursday, November 12, 2020, 8am-8pm Central Time.

Making Waves: A Pacific Illustrators’ Event ($)
An online event, all for illustrators! Craft-oriented presentations, hands-on intensives, optional critiques, and a juried art show. November 7-8, 2020, 8am – 5pm Hawaii Time, 9 – 6 Alaska Time. Hosted by Alaska and Hawaii SCBWI.

SCBWI/Smithsonian Institution Nonfiction Workshop ($)
SCBWI’s first-ever nonfiction workshop with the Smithsonian will be held online November 6-8, 2020. Registration open with unlimited seating available.


Craft Webinar: Writing a Rollicking Read-Aloud ($)
Join prolific picture book author Tammi Sauer in a craft webinar to explore ways to create a riveting read-aloud! November 8, 2020, 11am – 12:30 pm Central Time.

Exploring Paths to Publication for #ownvoices BIPOC Authors and Illustrators ($)
Award-winning picture book author Andrea J. Loney guides BIPOC kidlit creators to go deep, sharpen craft, and plan a path to publication for your #ownvoices picture book, chapter book, MG or YA novel, or graphic novel. Six Thursdays, 7pm – 9pm Central Time, November 5 through December 17, 2020.

Perfecting the Picture Book II
Perfecting the picture book is not an easy task; let author Carmen Oliver be your guide in this online workshop. Six Wednesdays, 7pm-9pm Central Time, November 4 – December 9 (not 11/25), 2020.

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 November 17. Hosted by our own Carrie Charley Brown and Kirsti Call.

Weekly one-hour webinars with renowned children’s book creators, editors, and translators, via Zoom. Register to watch live, or watch the replay within one month without registering.  Thursdays at 4pm Pacific Time / 7pm Eastern Time. *Free for dues-paying members of SCBWI.

The Exploding Nonfiction Market: Finding Your Opportunities and Inspirations in Informational Books with Melissa Manlove, Senior Editor, Chronicle Books. Thursday, November 19.


Apply for 12×12 Challenge 2021 Scholarships
The 12×12 Challenge? Write 12 picture books in 12 months! Up to 6 scholarships will be awarded: 3 for financial need, 3 for authors of backgrounds underrepresented in the canon of children’s picture book literature. Deadline to apply for scholarship is December 1, 2020. Winners will be announced January 1st, 2020. Regular registration open in January and February, 2021.

Picture Book Palooza ($)
You’ll learn from a whole bunch of amazing writers, agents, editors, receive tons of learning, book giveaways, and have gobs of fun in this fab, low-cost, two-day children’s book weekend extravaganza. Saturday – Sunday, December 5 – 6, 2020, see website for times. Hosted by The Children’s Book Academy.

Rate Your Story ($)
Rate Your Story is a service paid annually (January through December) where writers from all levels can submit their story to receive honest feedback from published authors. Early bird registration for 2021 opens November 1st, 2020 and will close when full; individual critiques are sometimes available to nonmembers using SpeedPass.

SCBWI Virtual Winter Conference ($)
SCBWI’s annual winter extravaganza, usually in New York City, will take place on Zoom in 2021! Theme: Inside Children’s Publishing. No travel! No hotel! Faculty, program, and a full schedule available at link above; scroll to bottom for registration. February 19 -22, 2021

Virtual SCBWI Florida Annual Regional Conference ($)
This year’s theme: Finding Your Place in KidLit and Leaving Space for Others. Keynotes, Panels, Speakers, critiques. Registration opens November 7, 2020.  Event is January 16 – 17, 2021.

Astra International Picture Book Writing Contest 2020 – 2021 (free)
The purpose of this contest is to encourage, discover and honor talented writers of texts for picture books from all over the world; to foster literary excellence in books for young children; and to promote international cooperation and understanding through picture books. Significant cash prizes in addition to option for publication for winners. Submissions open October 22, 2020 through April 30, 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).

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.

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.

Does your local writing organization, SCBWI region, etc. host virtual events that are available to anyone with an internet connection? Would you like them listed here?  Please share the info  in the comments, or use our Contact Form.


  1. Because I am a journalist I’ve been trained to proof read as I read.

    So I found this typo in your latest post. No criticism intended. Just thought you might want to change this one:

    “Weekly one-hour webinars with renounced children’s book creators, editors, and translators, “

    Sheila Schimpf East Lansing, MI



    1. Sheila, thanks! No offense taken. Oof, that’s a nasty typo for the picture book creators. I’ll fix it as soon as I can get back to my computer. I’m a professional editor, this just goes to show we all need someone to read behind us.


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