July 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.

Click the links to go directly to each list.

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.

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 


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

First Five Pages Workshop (free) The first Saturday of each month (except April, August, and December). Enter the raffle for the chance to be one of five randomly chosen writers to receive feedback from writing mentors across three weeks. July 3, 2021.

GRUB STREET offers numerous classes each month. This link will bring you to the complete list. Highlighted below are some of that seemed especially interesting.

6 Weeks, 6 Poems ($) July 7, 6 pm – 7pm Practice a different form of poetry each week.

Building Tension in Fiction ($) July 9th, 10:30am-1:30pm (EST) students will learn how to develop tension at the line level (through word choice and sentence structure), through description and setting, and through pacing.

Building Your Book’s Buzz ($) July 23, 10:30 am – 1:30 pm From organizing a book tour to generating publicity and coordinating reviews, this one-day workshop will focus on strategies and tips geared toward helping small press authors gain greater exposure and support for new books


Online Summer Camp in Fiction: Explore, Play, and Inspire ($) July 8-11

Online Summer Camp in NonFiction: Explore, Dig Deep, Inspire ($) July 12-15

Online Summer Camp in Illustration: A Weekend Intensive in Artistic Inspiration ($) July 16-18

Novelists at Work: Crafting Your Pitch to Sell Your Story ($) July 26-August 20

THE LOFT COURSES ($)The LOFT LITERARY CENTER offer a variety of courses in July, but not all are specifically for kidlit writers.

Loft Writer’s Hour – July Morning Asha Thanki  ($)  July 1, 8 a.m.-9 a.m.

Loft Writer’s Hour – July Afternoon Asha Thanki  ($) July 9,  4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.

Research and Writing: Children’s Nonfiction for Education  Lisa M. Bolt Simons ($) July 10 -July 17 9 a.m.-Noon

The Art of the Opening  Tamara Dean ($) July 10, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

FLASH CREATIVE NON-FICTION Ellen Roscher ($)  July 15-August 19  6 p.m.-8 p.m.

BUILDING SPECULATIVE WORLDS Asha Thanki ($)  July 15 – August 19, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.

Scrivener 101 Nicole Kronzer ($) July 21, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Grounding Yourself in Setting Savannah Brooks ($) July 24, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Worldbuilding: Creating and Populating Worlds on the Page Evan Roxanna Ramzipoor ($) July 24, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Scene + Structure = Story: A Plotting Technique for Genre Novelists Tamara Hogan ($) July 31, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

SCBWI Summer Spectacular Annual Summer Conference ($)
The 50th ANNIVERSARY CONFERENCE will be held online again in 2021, July 31st – Aug 4

SCBWI Regions offer events every day of the month. This link will bring you to the calendar.

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

Camp KidLit Compass ($) July 6-10, 7:00-9:00pm EDT – Camp KidLit Compass, will connect writers and illustrators in Zoom-based cabins, led by top Craft and Industry Counselors. Each casual evening session will be themed around strengthening your creative work as well as building your industry network.

Sensitivity Reader? – Does My ‘Script Need One? ($) July 10, 11:00 am CT – Margeaux Weston is a neurodivergent writer and editor. As a sensitivity reader, she works with creators who want to write authentic characters for young and young adult readers.

PAL Presentation: Kristi Valiant  Digital Illustration Has Come a Long Way! ($) July 17th, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. EDT Kristi Valient creates her illustrations from sketch to finish on her computer, but some of her art directors and editors don’t realize it.

ILLUSTRATOR EVENT: From Concept to Dummy with Claire Lordon ($) July 21, 8:00pm – 9:15pm Israel Time – Join us as we meet with author-Illustrator Claire Lordon, who will share her entire process of  creating a ready-to-submit picture book dummy.

The Writer’s Loft

From Flat To All That: Bringing Greater Dimension To Your Story ($) Chris Tebbetts July 21, 7 pm ET – two-part, hands-on 90-minute webinar. In part one, we’ll look at ways of interrogating the elements of your story and asking them to work harder for you on the page by doing more than one thing at a time. In part two, Chris will share his writer’s toolbox of visual outlining techniques for taking stock of a work in progress to see what’s missing and what doesn’t belong and to put the “vision” in revision.

Get Ready to Write Your Novel ($) Erin Dionne, July 27, August 10, and August 17 ​Have an idea for a novel, but you’re not sure how to start? Stuck in the early stages of a book and don’t know where to go from here? This three-session webinar series can help!


Craft Webinar: Fact, Fiction, and the Middle Grade Novel – A Writer and Editor in Conversation ($) July 14, 6-7:30 pm CT

Writing The Middle Grade Novel Rajoani LaRocca ($) July 20 – August 25

#write5minutes #kidlit Cohort ($)
Take small steps and #write5minutes daily using the e-book lessons with story maps and examples for all 6 children’s book genres (board books to YA) in the 2021 #kidlit Cohort August 1, 2021 – May 31, 2022 with Author and developmental editor Anastasia Suen.

Muslim Storytellers Fellowship (free)
The fellowship will support 16 Muslim storytellers over the course of two years through online and in-person workshops, mentorship, and retreats. Informational webinar June 29, 2021 6pm Eastern. Applications accepted through July 15, 2021. Registration for the webinar, a full program description, and fellowship application materials can be accessed at this link. Funded by a grant with the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art’s (DDFIA) Building Bridges Program.

The OMA Award (*See note)
The new OMA “Out from the Margins Award” will go to 8 early-career creators of children’s books from underrepresented groups, to help launch a new book and enhance a creator’s career with marketing skills and resources. Submissions will open July 2021, with winners announced December 2021. See website for guidelines. *Free, but must be (or become) a member of SCBWI to apply.


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

Readercon 31, VIRTUAL EVENT ($) Readercon is an annual conference devoted to “imaginative literature” — literary science fiction, fantasy, horror, and the unclassifiable works often called “slipstream.”   August 13-15, 2021


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) July 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.

NewPages is the Portal of Independents! News, information and guides to literary magazines, independent publishers, creative writing programs, independent bookstores, alternative periodicals and newsweeklies, writing conferences and events, and more.

Reedsy (free) Weekly writing contests.

#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



  1. Dear Marti and Lexi,
    This collection of MG/YA opportunities is outstanding! Thank you both for pulling it together every month!!!


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