September 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 


WriterCon 2021 ($) A 3 day conference, not specific to YA/MG Sep 3, 2:00 PM – Sep 6, 5:00 PM PDT

ICL Middle Grade Mystery ($) (Submissions August – October 31st) 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 Submit the first 1,000 words of your unpublished middle grade mystery novel aimed at 8-12-year-olds and see if you have what it takes to draw us in and make us wonder, “Whodunnit?”

#PitMad (free)
Twitter pitch party for unagented authors and illustrators in all genres. Happens on Twitter, but see website for detailed instructions including the #hashtags that will help MG/YA agents find your pitch. Hosted by Brenda Drake and the PitchWars committeeSeptember 2, 2021 from 8 am to 8 pm.

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. September 4, 2021.

Middle Grade & Young Adult Virtual Conference ($) Spend the weekend learning techniques for honing your craft from seven different published authors*, then (if you choose) pitch your novel via query letter to a literary agent specifically looking for material in the middle grade and young adult genres. September 15 and 16, 2021.

#FaithPitch (@Faith_Pitch) (free)
Twitter pitch party exclusively for the Christian Book Market (CBM). Check Twitter account for full details, hashtags, and rules. Hosted by publisher Little Lamb BooksSeptember 30,  8am to 6pm CT/9am to 7pm ET

The Acheven Book Prize for Young Adult Fiction ($) Deadline September 30 is hosted by Regal House Publishing. It recognizes finely crafted YA fiction. Winners receive $750 and a publishing contract! (Submission window 6/30-9/30)

If you are interested in exploring writing a young adult and middle grade book with characters and stories that are inclusive of many identities, then this class is for you. ReVISIONweek  Wednesday, September 30th – October 6th October

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

Writing Inclusive YA/MG Fiction – Remote ($) (September 16th + 5 Thursdays) If you are interested in exploring writing a young adult and middle grade book with characters and stories that are inclusive of many identities, then this class is for you. 

Jumpstart Your YA Novel: Online ($) (September 22, 2021) No matter where you are in the drafting process, this course is for anyone looking for the tools and motivation to get their YA or Middle Grade novel out of their heads, and onto paper.

HIGHLIGHTS FOUNDATION COURSES ($) Take a look for some terrific September courses!

Line Editing Your MG or YA Novel (and Creating Your Book’s Style Guide!) ($) Highlights Foundation September 22-November 10

Creating an Image System That Works for Your Verse Novel ($) September 29-October 27 An image system is the family of images (metaphors, similes, symbols, etc.) an author chooses to showcase in their verse novel.

RELATIONSHIPS IN CONTEMPORARY MG AND YA NOVELS ($) September 30 – October 21 Learn why relationships matter, how to make them shine, how to show your reader about these relationships rather than tell, and how to balance the many relationships your protagonist has in the course of a book.

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

Middle Grade Round Table (free) Mix and match story elements from each book to create a new story featuring a mix of characters, settings, and conflicts.

Children’s Writing for Beginners ($) September 14-October 19, 6 p.m.-8 p.m. This introductory class will explore the adventurous world of writing for children through a mix of writing activities and classroom discussion.

Writing About Race & Identity In Children’s and Young Adult Literature ($) September 15 – October 20, 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Explore character, culture, compassion, and empathy with other writers of young adult and children’s literature through course readings, creative writing exercises, and one-on-one teaching artist guidance—aimed to help you incorporate diversity in your work while avoiding the pitfalls of appropriation and insensitivity to marginalized communities.

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!

Intensives and Mentorships ($) 09/11/2021 – 04/09/2022 9:00 am – 12:00 pm All Intensives and Mentorships for 2021/2022 Season will be announced here closer to September 2021.

First Pages with Agent Joyce Sweeney ($ non-members) 09/12/2021, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Please join us on ZOOM with Joyce Sweeney of the Seymour Agency for a First Pages Critique. Note that we will endeavor to read everyone’s, but it is not guaranteed that your page will be read. This is a chance to hear an editor’s reaction to an opening, as if it landed on her desk. It is an educational session, and we learn from each critique, even if it is not our own.

Webinar: The Importance of Backstory: Crafting Deeper Characters in Your Novels By Understanding Backstory Wounds with Author Janet Fox ($) September 14, 7-8:30 pm. This workshop  will explore the nature of backstory wounds and how to develop and use them to create fully rounded characters, using a range of exercises, templates, and take-aways.

Grow with the Pros! Agent Jennifer March Soloway, Beginnings & Endings: Intriguing Hooks + Surprising Last Pages = Reader Satisfaction ($) September 18, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EDT   Webinar Description – We are so fortunate to host agent-extraordinaire Jennifer March Soloway for the our final “Grow With the Pros” webinar of the year! Jennifer is with the highly regarded Andrea Brown Literary Agency and is a top agent in her own right. She is offering paid critiques along with a submission opportunity to her afterwards.

Skip the Slush: Work-for-Hire Writing Assignments with author Annette Whipple
($) September 20, 7pm Get published! If you enjoy writing about new topics, both fiction and nonfiction, consider writing for the educational market. Participants will learn about this market and how to approach publishers with a work-for-hire package. Get publishing experience with books and other resources for children (K-12) without the slush pile.

Finding the Perfect Agent: webinar with Saritza Hernández ($) September 23, 7:30 – 9 pm. In this webinar you’ll learn how the “art” of finding the perfect agent is as creative a process as your storytelling. 

Webinar: Uncharted Territory: Finding What You Didn’t Know You Were Looking For with Nikki Shannon Smith ($) September 25, 1-2:30 pm. Curiosity is your best friend when you’re researching for your non-fiction or historical fiction (or fiction!!!) book.

The Writer’s Loft

No new events in September. Check back for October!


Scene & Structure: Killer Scenes and Perfect Pacing with Carrie Jones ($) September 14, 2021 – Tuesday, October 19, 7-9 pm. The large-scale global revisions can terrify even the most seasoned writers, but during these six weeks, we’ll dive into structure and help you see how to identify weak unneeded scenes, and where those turning points have to be, how to speed up and slow down your pace, and why you’d want to.

#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

#KidLit: Writing Dialogue for Middle Grade and Young Adult Novels – Remote! ($) October 16th


Becoming a Nonfiction Writer: A Two-Part Online Course ($) Highlights Foundation
October 23-November 3


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.

Kidlit Comics Club (free) Every THIRD THURSDAY of the month, members will meet and discuss kidlit comics and graphic novels. That means comics targeted at kids, not adults, with a focus on graphic novels ranging from comic-like picture books, “early reader” comics, midgrade, all the way up to YA.

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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