June 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



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

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. All entries must be submitted between May 1, 2021, and July 31, 2021 11:59 p.m. EDT (Eastern Daylight Time).

#QueerKidlit Mentorships (free)
For pre-published LGBTQ+ writers, illustrators, and writer/illustrators. Mentors will connect with selected mentees at least once per month for a three-month period. Submissions open June 1-15, 2021.

#PitMad (free)
Twitter pitch party for unagented authors and illustrators in all genres, happening Thursday, June 3, 2021 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.

Conquer Your Query with agent/editor Mary Kole ($)
Former literary agent and current freelance editor Mary Kole will break down how to write a compelling query letter, give advice for agent and publisher research, and share some surprising submission dos and don’ts. Saturday, June 5, 2:00 pm Eastern via Zoom. Hosted by The Writers’ Loft.

The Extraordinary Craft and Business of Writing Children’s Picture Books ($)
Six-week online interactive course from the Children’s Book Academy begins June 7, 2021. Lessons, critiques, and submission opportunities. With Literary Agent Kaitlyn Sanchez, Illustrators Chantelle & Burgen Thorne, and Acquiring Editor & Art Director Dr. Mira Reisberg.

Writing Children’s Books ($)
Do you have an idea for a children’s book? In this course taught by Jennifer Malia, you will actively write and revise original picture books or chapters for book-length projects and submit them for review. Six Wednesdays, June 9 – August 18, 2021, 7pm – 9pm Eastern. Hosted by The Muse Writers Center.

Writing & Illustrating for Young Readers (WIFYR) ($)
Utah-based hybrid conference with both in-person and online classes. June 14 – 18, 2021.

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 15. Hosted by our own Carrie Charley Brown and Kirsti Call.

#PBPitch (free)
A Twitter pitch party exclusively for picture books! Thursday, June 17, 2021 from 8am to 8 pm EST.

Writing with Deadlines (free)
Authors Susan Tan and Anna Staniszewski will share tips for writing on deadline and ways to use deadlines to stay motivated during the drafting and revising process. Tuesday, June 22, 7:30 pm Eastern. Hosted by The Writers’ Loft.


Low-cost webinars hosted by SCBWI regional chapters, available everywhere. Webinars for June, 2021:

Triple Scoop Picture Book Revision ReTREAT ($) Saturdays, June 5, 12, 19, 2021, 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


Crafting a Narrative Nonfiction Picture Book ($)
Craft Webinar with Barb Rosenstock. Saturday, June 5, 2021, 11am-12:30pm Central.

Nonfiction Kidlit Confab ($)
A confab IS a NEW WAY OF GATHERING ONLINE to experience inspiration, motivation, gain craft tools and industry insight. See schedule and faculty at link. Saturday, June 12 – Sunday, June 13, 2021, 9am – 7pm Central both days.

Perfecting the Picture Book Part III with Hannah Barnaby ($)
Six Wednesdays, June 9 – July 14, 2021, 7pm – 9pm Central.

Perfecting The Picture Book Part I with Lisa Katzenberger ($)
Six Mondays, June 14 – July 26, 2021, 7pm – 9pm Central.

Beyond Fact-Flinging: Essential Elements to Elevate Info Books with author Heather L. Montgomery. ($) Six Mondays, June 21 – August 2, 2021, 6pm – 8pm Central.

Writing While Latinx, Getting Past the Gatekeepers ($)
Creative Connections Panel with David Bowles, Esther Cajahuarainga, Linda Camacho, Denise Adusei, Sara Fajardo, Nicholas Solis. Thursday, June 24, 2021, 6:30pm Central.


Writing the Rainbow: Crafting Picture Books With LGBTQIA+ Themes ($)
With authors Lesléa Newman, Rob Sanders, Kyle Lukoff, A.M. Wild and Gloria Day. Three weeks, June 1 – 18, 2021.

Deep Dive into Children’s Book Illustration: A Two-Week Artist Intensive ($)
With illustrators James Ransome and Anna Raff. Two weeks, June 4 – 16, 2021.

Crash Course in Children’s Publishing: Everything You Need to Know ($)
With Harold Underdown and Leah Henderson. Ten weeks, June 9 – August 11, 2021.

So You Want to be an Author/Illustrator? ($)
You’ll explore the possibilities of moving from Illustrator to Author/Illustrator, or becoming an Author/Illustrator. Eight weeks, June 24 – August 12, 2021.


#QueerKidlit Mentorships (free)
For pre-published LGBTQ+ writers, illustrators, and writer/illustrators. Mentors will connect with selected mentees at least once per month for a three-month period. Submissions open June 1-15, 2021.

Research and Writing: Children’s Nonfiction for Education ($)
Schools need more nonfiction, which means educational publishers are looking for skilled writers to research, write, and work with an editor(s). Especially RESEARCH! Presented by Lisa M. Bolt Simons. Two Saturdays, July 10 and July 17, 2021, 9am-12noon Central. Hosted by The Loft.

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. Hosted by Stony Brook University.

SLJ Picture Book Palooza (free)
An all-day, free virtual celebration of authors and artists dedicated to the visual dance and extraordinary craft of picture books! Come for a day packed with keynotes, author panels, and illustrator spotlights. Thursday, July 15, 2021, 10am – 5pm Eastern. Hosted by School Library Journal.

SCBWI Annual Summer Conference – The BIG Five-Oh!  ($)
Traditionally held in Los Angeles, the 2021 event, like the 2020 event, will be held online. July 30 – August 1, 2021, with optional intensive workshops for writers on July 29, and for illustrators on August 2. Replays may be watched by registered participants through August 31, 2021.

Picture Book Summit ($)
Full-day writing conference live-streamed to your computer. Early Bird Registration opens June 1, 2021 for October 2, 2021 event. 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.


Picture Book Character A-Z Online Course ($)
This 5-week online course is largely self-paced, with new content and assignments released weekly in our virtual classroom and weekly live office hours via Zoom. July 4 – August 5, 2021

Online Summer Camp in Fiction: Explore, Play, and Inspire ($)
A four day, online intensive centered on mentorship, inspiration, and community with opportunities for learning, feedback, and interaction, and ample self-paced time to make progress on a project. July 8 – 11, 2021

Online Summer Camp in Illustration ($)
A three day, online intensive centered on mentorship, inspiration, and community with opportunities for learning, feedback, and interaction and ample self-paced time to make progress on a project. July 16 – 18, 2021.


Writing Leveled Readers for Education with Sonny Regelman ($)
Six Tuesdays, 7pm – 9 pm Central Time, July 6 – August 10, 2021.

Back Matter for Nonfiction (and Fiction!) Picture Books ($)
Craft Webinar with Laura Gehl. Friday July 16, 2021, 11am – 12:30pm.


For Both Illustrators and Writers

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.

#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.

For Illustrators

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

#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).

Inktober 52 (free)
A weekly drawing challenge for the entire year: one prompt a week, 52 weeks in the year, 52 drawings. Hosted by illustrator Jake Parker.

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.

For Writers

#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.

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.

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 ($)
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.

Months of a Year Banner Illustrations by Blue Ring Media, Shutterstock

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