June Middle Grade and Young Adult Opportunities

Welcome to our MG/YA Opportunities post! Marti Johnson and Lexi Donahue are excited to share MG/YA Opportunities each month, we started in April 2021. All opportunities listed are available to anyone with an internet connection.

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.

Click the links to go directly to each list.

To see what’s available all year, and what’s coming up the rest of this year, visit the MG/YA 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 


Debut Review Challenge (free)
May-June reading challenge continues. Hosted by children’s writer Laura Renauld.

Mix & Match Writing Challenge (free)
Every Monday for a month, 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. This new challenge took place in May and June of 2020. If it happens again in 2021, the info will be posted here! Hosted by children’s author Susanna Leonard Hill.

Ann Wylie Master Classes: Write Better, Easier and Faster ($) Tips, tricks and techniques for getting people to pay attention to your messages, understand them faster and remember them longer. June 1 – 29, 2021.

#PitMad (free) Twitter pitch party for unagented authors and illustrators in all genres. June 2021 date to come.  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 committeeJune 3, 2021 from 8 am to 8 pm.

Fitting Writing Into Your Life ($) Get a glimpse into the life of a professional writer and set realistic writing goals for yourself with this online workshop. June 3rd – July 2nd, 2021.

Getting Started in Writing ($) discover your voice, learn the basics of grammar and examine the different types of writing. June 3rd – July 2nd, 2021.

Query Letter in 14 Days ($) With all that time invested, it’s natural to want recognition for your hard work and dedication. Take your writing one step further and tackle the publishing process.  June 3rd – July 2nd, 2021.

Short Story Fundamentals with John DeChancie ($) Whether you are a writing novice looking to cut your teeth or a published professional, the short story is a unique and challenging medium that offers you amazing opportunities. June 3rd – July 2nd, 2021.

Writing the Young Adult Novel with Holly Alder ($) You’ll learn everything you need to know for writing young adult fiction, including what readers look for, the importance of plot, theme, and setting, how to craft entertaining dialogue, and much more. June 3rd – July 30th 2021.

Four on 400 (free) A monthly contest where 1 kidlit writer is selected to receive feedback on the opening 400 words of their manuscript June 4, 2021.

WRITING THE MG/YA ADVENTURE NOVEL ($) In this seminar, we’ll explore the differences between MG and YA, then go over the basic structure of how to make your adventure novel gallop apace! June 8, 2021.

12 Weeks to a First Draft with Mark Spencer ($) In this writing workshop you will tackle the steps to writing a book, learn effective writing techniques along the way, and of course, begin writing your first draft. June 10th – September 3rd, 2021.

Breaking into Copywriting 101 with Naveed Saleh ($) Learn how to become a copywriter by building your portfolio and marketing your services through this online workshop. June 10th – September 3rd, 2021.

Grammar and Mechanics with Kelly Boyer Sagert ($) No matter what type of writing you do, mastering the fundamentals of grammar and mechanics is an important first step to having a successful writing career. June 10th – September 3rd, 2021

Bath Children’s Novel Award ($) International writer competition for unpublished authors of CB, MG, and YA (no graphic novels). Cash prize, shortlist offered opportunity to be introduced to literary agent, most promising longlist winner opportunity to win 18 week online course This website also houses great resources on how to win a contest! June 15, 2021.

2021 Southampton (NY) Children’s Lit Conference ($)
Workshops in Writing Picture Books, Middle Grade & YA Fiction, and Graphic Novels. From the comfort of your own home this year, due to the continuing pandemic. Apply by June 15; conference is July 14 – 18.

Writing & Illustrating for Young Readers (WIFYR) ($)
Originally in Utah, in 2020 this conference was via Zoom. A full week of workshops, classes, and community. More info as it becomes available. June 14-18, 2021

Advanced Novel Writing with Terri Valentine ($) Push yourself beyond your comfort zone and take your writing to new heights with this novel writing workshop, designed specifically for novelists who are looking for detailed feedback on their work. June 17 – October 1st

Creative Writing 101 with Ran Walker ($) Creative Writing 101 combines teaching the key elements of storytelling with developing the protagonist.  June 17 – October 1st

Fearless Writing with William Kenower ($) In this workshop we’ll look at several techniques you can you use to keep yourself in the creative flow and out of the trouble and misery fear always causes. June 17 – October 1st

Fundamentals of Fiction with Jack Adler ($) The basics of writing a novel, including how important it is to choose a great setting, how to build characters, what point of view you should choose, how to write great dialogue, and more. June 17 – October 1st

Form and Composition with Kelly Boyer Sagert ($) From sentence structure to polishing your prose, this workshop will enhance your writing, no matter what type of writing you do. June 17 – October 1st

Jackson Hole Writers Conference ($) Manuscript critiques with authors & editors. Tracks for fiction, creative nonfiction, young adult, and poetry; workshops, talks & craft sessions. June 23 – 27, 2021

Historical Novel Society ($)
The 2021 conference offers programs by 100+ presenters on writing craft, historical topics, publishing info, and more! June 24 – 26, 2021

Advanced Poetry Writing with Kristina Marie Darling ($) Leave this workshop with a folio of six polished poems, ideal for magazine and literary journal submissions, as well as personalized recommendations for publication and professional development. June 24 – August 6

Freelance Writing for Stay at Home Moms (and Dads) with Terri Valentine ($)  Feel confident in your ability to write, research, and pitch ideas June 24 – August 6

Introduction to Copyediting with Kim Catanzarite ($) Students learn what a copy editor does and how she does it and they will also learn the crucial grammatical rules that will put them at the top of their game. June 24 – August 6

Social Media 101 with Dan Blank ($) You’ll learn how to create a profile on social networks, decide which platforms are right for you, and build a sense of community with others online. June 24 – August 6

Writing the Memoir 101 with Carolyn Walker ($) Teach you how to structure your stories, develop your storytelling skills, and give you the tips, techniques, and knowledge to adapt your own life stories into a chronological memoir. June 24 – August 6

Virtual Writers’ Weekend ($) Writers working in all genres, at all levels, virtually interact with bestselling authors & literary agents in talks, online writing groups & 600 one-to-one meetings for feedback. June 24 – 27, 2021

Winter Thrills, VIRTUAL EVENT ($) A celebration of thriller books, the authors who write them, and the fans who read them. Jun. 28 – Jul. 10, 2021

The Acheven Book Prize for Young Adult Fiction ($) is hosted by Regal House Publishing. It recognizes finely crafted YA fiction. Winners receive $750 and a publishing contract! June 30 – September 30.

THE LOFT COURSES ($) A variety of courses offered in June, but none specifically for kidlit writers.


Retelling the Classics ($) June 5th

Jumpstart Your Writing ($) June 7th – July 12th

Writing in Response ($) June 16th (6 weeks, no live meetings)





Mini-Retreats for the Weekend Warrior with Claire Campbell ($) June 29th

SCBWI WEBINARS (Free for Members)

Low-cost webinars hosted by SCBWI regional chapters, available everywhere.

SCBWI Digital Workshops 4.0 (see note*)
Series of weekly one-hour webinars with renowned children’s book creators, editors, agents, and art directors. Registration opens Monday for Thursday events; replays available for a limited time without prior registration. *Free, but must be a dues-paying member of SCBWI.
June digital workshops:

Creating a Cast of Characters in your Middle Grade Novel with Meg Medina, Newbery Award-Winning Author. June 3, 1pm -2pm Pacific Time.

Writing Chapter Books and Chapter Book Series with Kelly Starling Lyons, June 10, 1pm – 2pm Pacific Time.

Atmosphere: Where Character, Setting, Mood, and Emotion Converge, with Nina LaCour. June 17, 1pm – 2pm Pacific Time.


Low-cost webinars hosted by SCBWI regional chapters, available everywhere.

Triple Scoop Picture Book Revision ReTREAT ($) Saturdays, June 5, 12, 19 at 9:00 am – 12:30 pm Eastern

KidLit Tools Workshop: Five Steps for Crafting a Compelling Nonfiction or Fiction Book Proposal June 5, 2021 1:00pm-2:30pm Pacific 

LA/MS JAMBALAYA KIDLIT – THE VIRTUAL ONE Virtual conference June 11 and 12, 2021, see link for times (Eastern).

Their Voice, Their Perspective: Writing Cross-Cultural Stories Others Deserve with Leah Henderson Thursday, June 17, 2021 at 7pm Eastern

Portfolio Review Webinar with Deborah Warren, East-West Literary June 17, 2021 7:30pm Central 

8-Webinar Series: Summer Springboard for Writers with Meg Eden Wednesdays June 9-July 28, 2021 at 10am Eastern; Each webinar is 30 minutes long. See link for topics addressed.

Like an Onion: Creating Multilayered Characters in a Compact Space with author Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen June 15, 7pm to 8:30pm Central 


Whale Rock Workshop Mentorship Series ($) General Registration Opens June 4th for September-December series

PAL Presentation: Kristi Valiant  Digital Illustration Has Come a Long Way! Saturday, July 17th, 2021 10am – 11am Eastern


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.

Four on 400 (free) A monthly contest where 1 kidlit writer is selected to receive feedback on the opening 400 words of their manuscript (MG and YA writers) June 4, 2021.

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

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.

#write5minutes ($)
Write your children’s book this year 5 minutes at a time in a DIY writing workshop for board books to YA taught by author and editor Anastasia Suen.

Writing Blueprints ($)
On-demand webinars and resources. Each Writing Blueprint takes a particular genre or category of book and breaks the process of writing and revising it into tiny steps. Each step then features a video with an expert instructor describing this piece of the writing puzzle and giving instructions about using the fillable PDF form for that step. From Children’s Book Insider.

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.

Months of a Year Banner Illustrations by Lexi Donahue
Featured Image Line Art by Valenty, Can Stock Photos



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