August Picture Book Opportunities

Summer may be vacation time but there are still plenty of learning opportunities this month for picture book creators! Taking some time off? Check out what’s coming up in the fall. To see what’s available all year ’round, 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 


#AuGHOST2021 (free)
is an all-skills, all-inclusive, all-for-fun daily art event. For each day on August, draw or create something “ghosty” that’s inspired by that day’s prompt word and post it online with #AuGHOST2021 It’s fun and friendly! Created by @Sommerjam and @DavePietrandrea.

Children’s Book Conference (free)
Jump-start your creativity and learn the craft of storytelling from the award-winning instructors of Storyteller Academy in this 2-part conference event. Picture Book Writing, Illustration, Graphic Novels, the children’s book industry, assignments, reviews, and critiques. Two Saturdays: August 7 and August 14, 2021, 9am – 5pm; ask organizers for time zone info. All sessions will be recorded. Hosted by Storyteller Academy.

Revise, Receive, Revitalize ($)
Join author Danielle Davis to REVISE a PB manuscript according to your voice and vision, RECEIVE encouragement and inspiration, and REVITALIZE your writing process. Four Saturdays starting August 7, 2021.

Writing a Picture Book Biography That Kids Can’t Wait to Read ($)
In this webinar, author Laurie Wallmark will help you find a focus and approach for your picture book biography. Thursday August 12, 2021 at 7pm Eastern. Hosted by The Writers’ Loft.

Idea Lab ($)
Finding Inspiration for Your Children’s Book Writing with author Cristina Oxtra. Saturday August 14, 2021, 10am – Noon Central. Hosted by The Loft.

Layering in Layers in Picture Books with Wendi Silvano ($)
Saturday, August 14, 2021 at 12 PM Eastern – Wendi will discuss (and show examples of) many different types of layers you can consider adding to help give your picture book manuscript that extra depth and delight. Hosted by SCBWI Maryland/Delaware/West Virginia.

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. Winner receives a $2,000 cash prize and a first time publishing contract with Lee & Low Books. Submission window opened May 1 2021, deadline extended to August 15, 2021.

Prepare to Publish – Self-Publishing a Picture Book with Mark Tuchman ($)
August 18, 2021,
6:00-7:00pm Eastern – A walk-through of the design and art production process involved in preparing a picture book for upload to a self-publishing site. Hosted by SCBWI Pennsylvania-West.

Debut Author Panel (free)
How do you prepare to launch your first book? Panelists will share their experiences and advice. Tuesday August 24, 7pm Eastern. Hosted by The Writers’ Loft.

Rate Your Story Writing Contest ($)
Categories for fiction and nonfiction picture books and novels, prizes including access to industry professionals. Open to members and nonmembers of Rate Your Story. A portion of submission fees donated to worthy causes. Submit between August 1 and August 31, 2021, following submission guidelines. 

Writing Picture Books: From Creation to Publication ($)
Led by Award-winning children’s author Rosie J. Pova. 8 weeks starting August 30, 2021. Hosted by Writing Workshops.


Perfecting The Picture Book II with Carmen Oliver ($)
Six Wednesdays, August 11–September 22, 2021, 7–9pm Central.

Taking Risks in Children’s Nonfiction Writing ($)
Craft Webinar with author Meeg Pincus. Saturday August 21, 2021, 11am – 12noon Central.

Writing About Mental Health: Creating Relevant Literature for Kids and Teens ($)
Creative Connection Panel for kidlit creators who have experienced the challenge of mental illness either directly or indirectly. Moderated by author Nancy Bo Flood. Thursday, August 26, 2021, 6pm Central.

How to Open and Close Picture Books ($)
Craft Webinar with Liz Garton Scanlon. Saturday, August 28, 2021, 11am – 12:30pm Central.


Writing Picture Book Biographies that Shine ($)
Join award-winning picture book biography author Donna Janell Bowman for a six-week masters-level class. Optional workshop add-on. Six Sundays, September 5, 12, 19, 26 and October 3, 10, 2021 4pm to 6pm Central Time, via Zoom.

Smart Dummies (free)
Complete a picture book dummy in 30 days. September 1 – 30 each year. Join the Facebook group for notifications. Hosted by writer/illustrator Dani Duck.

Writing for Children: Create A Picture Book! ($)
Join author Kelly Bingham for a six-week intensive including lectures, critiques, storyboards, and more, to take you from idea to query letter. Six weeks starting September 15, 2021. Hosted by

2021 Illustrator Day: Graphic Novels! ($)
presentations, an optional graphic novel assignment, critiques, and a portfolio showcase. September 18 & 19, 2021. Hosted by California: San Francisco/South SCBWI. (Included here because GN PB formats are on the rise.)

Picture Book Palooza 2021 ($)
Panels include: Writing Kids Books With Heart and Soul, Non-Fiction Meets Informational Fiction, What Agents Do & How to Get One, Jewish, Muslim and Christian Kidlit, The Magical World of Graphic Novels, Meet Fabulous Indie Publishers. Live & recorded September 18 & 19, 2021. Proceeds fund scholarships. Hosted by The Children’s Book Academy.

Why Back Matter Matters ($)
Join award-winning author Laurie Wallmark in a craft webinar that explores the importance of back matter in nonfiction picture books. Saturday, September 18, 2021, 11am-12:30pm Central. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

Grow With the Pros! ($)
Agent Jennifer March Soloway on Beginnings & Endings: Intriguing Hooks + Surprising Last Pages = Reader Satisfaction.
Saturday, September 18, 2021, 11am – 12pm Eastern Time.
Hosted by SCBWI Indiana.

Crash Course in Children’s Publishing: Everything You Need to Know ($)
With Harold Underdown and Leah Henderson. Ten weeks, September 22 – December 11, 2021. From the Highlights Foundation.

Manuscript Workshop: Writing for Children ($)
Instructor Sarah Aronson welcomes all writers who are actively working on manuscripts for kids and teens, picture books through young adult. Unlike the writing for children introductory class, this advanced course will not offer weekly exercises or lectures, but will focus entirely on the participants’ own work in progress. Ten weeks starting September 22, 2021. Hosted by

Children’s Literature Mentorship Workshop ($)
Noted children’s authors, editors, and master instructors Phyllis Root, Gary Schmidt, Kathryn Erskine, and Shelley Tanaka team up for this unique online mentorship program designed for picture book, middle grade, and young adult authors. September – December, 2021. Hosted by Whale Rock Writing Workshops.

Write. Submit. Support. for Nonfiction Writers ($)
Join author Rob Sanders for a 6-month program designed to expose you to an array of nonfiction forms, deepen your existing manuscripts, and/or get you brainstorming new projects, as well as sharpen/hone your researching and interview skills. Six monthly sessions, Sundays, September 2021 – February 2022. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

Write. Submit. Support. for Picture Book/Chapter Book Writers ($)
Join author Hannah Barnaby for a 6-month exploration of your literary life! Write. Submit. Support has successfully ushered writers through personal challenges times to keep up with their writing goals and publishing goals. Six monthly sessions, Sundays, September 2021 – February 2022. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

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

Submission-Ready with Heart: A Hands-On Workshop for Author/Illustrators ($)
3 week online course with live Zoom lectures on Tuesday evenings, 1:1 sessions scheduled at your convenience, Focused studio time on Thursday evenings. October 19 – November 11, 2021. From the Highlights Foundation..


For Both Illustrators and Writers

KidLit Social (free)
A free educational hangout for kidlit writers featuring guest speakers, news, 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month: 8pm Eastern, 7pm Central, 6pm Mountain, 5pm Pacific. Replays available here. Sign up for guest notifications here, and get a free ebook: The Ultimate Children’s Writing Cheat Sheet.” 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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