August 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 


ICL Middle Grade Mystery ($) It’s a mystery! Kid’s love a good mystery and so do we. Submit the first 1,000 words of your unpublished middle grade mystery novel aimed at 8-12-year-olds and see if you have what it takes to draw us in and make us wonder, “Whodunnit?”

Rate Your Story Writing Contest ($)
Categories for picture books and novels, prizes including access to industry professionals. Open to members and nonmembers. A portion of submission fees donated to worthy causes. August 1-31, 2021. Lots of exciting writing prizes!

Writers’ Police Academy ($) The Writers’ Police Academy offers the hands-on, interactive and educational experience for writers to enhance their understanding of all aspects of law enforcement and forensics. The event features police, fire, and EMS training at an actual police academy. Aug. 6-7, 2021

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

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

Dialog in Fiction and Nonfiction: A Talk about Talking ($) August 6th Explore the ways in which dialogue is different from spoken language, how it can move a story forward, and what makes dialogue zing.

Exploring Magical Realism – Remote! ($) August 14th, 10:30am-1:30pm (EST) This seminar will give you a chance to try your hand at magical realism. 

Belonging and Alterity: Writing Race, Culture & Identity ($) August 20th, 2:30-5:30 pm (EST) This seminar is intended to highlight Writers of Color and encourage directly writing about race, culture and identity (intersectionally, including gender, sexual orientation, ability, nationality, etc) during these times.


All online courses waitlisted for August, but take a look for some terrific September courses!

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

How to Write Believable Dialogue Rachel Zarrow ($) August 3rd-24th, 2021, 6 pm – 8 pm

Generative Writing Exercises to Get Your Words Flowing Ruby Brunton ($) August 7th, 2021, 9 am – 1 pm

Developing Authentic Characters Savannah Brooks ($) August 14, 2021, 10 am – 4 pm

Idea Lab: Finding Inspiration for Your Children’s Book Writing Cristina Oxtra ($) August 14th, 2021, 10 am – 12 pm

You’ve Finished Your Book; Now What? Savannah Brooks ($) August 21, 2021, 10 am – 4 pm

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. August WEBINARS are PB focused. Keep an eye out for fall webinars!

The Writer’s Loft

No new events in August. Check back for September!


Mini-Retreats for the Weekend Warrior with Claire Campbell – A Writer and Editor in Conversation ($) Saturday, August 21, 2021, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM CT

Writing About Mental Health: Creating Relevant Literature for Kids & Teens ($) August 26, 2021 6 pm – 7:30 pm CT

#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.

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


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) August 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.

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



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s