September Picture Book Opportunities

Fall is full of great opportunities, so this month’s list is long. You’re sure to find something to spark your fall creativity! To see what’s available all year ’round, and what’s coming up later this 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 


Hot Off the Press! (free)
In this debut picture book author panel, Karen M. Greenwald, Nadia Salomon, and Tracy Brown will share their triumphs, trials, and what it takes to get published in today’s marketplace. Tonight, August 31, 8pm Eastern. Hosted by Picture Book Summit.

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.

#PitMad (free)
Twitter pitch party for unagented authors and illustrators in all genres, Thursday, September 2, 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.

Work For Hire in Educational Publishing Series ($)
Do you want to make money from writing? Are you willing and able to write on assignment if given a topic, word count, grade level, and deadline? Then you may be perfect for educational work for hire! Optional Mentorships. Seven Saturdays, September 4 – October 16, 2021, 2-3:30pm Mountain Time. Hosted by SCBWI New Mexico.

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.

Chapter One: How to Begin Your Chapter Book Series ($)
A three day online intensive with author Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen to learn how to start a chapter book series. September 9 – 11, 2021. From The Highlights Foundation.

Picture Book Mentorship: Creating a Body of Work for Publication ($)
A 3-month online mentorship with author Rosie Pova. Mentees will complete and polish at least 3 picture books, craft a query letter, and come up with a plan of submitting their work to agents and editors. Application required for acceptance. Starts September 13, 2021. Hosted by Writing Workshops.

Children’s Writing for Beginners ($)
Join author Lisa Bullard for this introductory class to explore the adventurous world of writing for children. Six Tuesdays, 6 – 8 pm Central, September 14 – October 19, 2021. Hosted by The Loft.

The Business of Books: Marketing to Your Audience ($)
Understanding our audience is half the challenge of reaching them. Join author Ilona Holland for the basics of book marketing. Wednesday, September 15, 2021, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m Eastern Time. Hosted by Rehoboth Beach Writers’ Guild.

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

Grow With the Pros! ($)
Agent Jennifer March Soloway on Beginnings & Endings: Intriguing Hooks + Surprising Last Pages = Reader Satisfaction. Saturday, September 18, 2021, 11:00am – 12 pm Eastern Time. Hosted by SCBWI Indiana.

Picture Book Palooza 2021 ($)
Low-cost virtual conference! 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. Hosted by The Children’s Book Academy.

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.)

Skip the Slush: Work-for-Hire Writing Assignments with author Annette Whipple ($)
Monday, September 20, 2021 7pm Eastern. Hosted by Eastern Pennsylvania SCBWI.

Editing Children’s Picture Books ($)
If you’d like to edit picture books, this course is a comprehensive guide to helping your clients. Taught by writer and developmental editor Lou Piccolo. September 21 – October 19, 2021. From Editorial Freelancers Association.

Rhyming Picture Book Webinar: A Two-Night Mini ($)
Take a look at stories that sing with rhythm and rhyme, and learn how to accomplish the structure and skill needed in your own work. With Anne Marie Pace and Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen. September 21 & 23, 2021. Hosted by The Highlights Foundation.

Crash Course in Children’s Publishing: Everything You Need to Know ($)
The title says it all! With Harold Underdown and Leah Henderson. Ten weeks, September 22 – December 11, 2021. Hosted by 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. This advanced course will focus entirely on the participants’ own work in progress. Ten weeks starting September 22, 2021. Hosted by

Finding the Perfect Agent: webinar with Saritza Hernández ($)
September 23, 2021
from 7:30pm – 9:00 pm Central Time. Hosted by Nebraska SCBWI.

Carolinas 29th Fall Conference: Creating Together ($)
Friday, Sept 24 – Sunday, Sept 26, 2021. Hosted by Carolinas SCBWI.

Arizona Regional Conference: Cultivating Your Creativity ($)
Friday, Sept 24th – Sunday, Sept 26th, 2021.
Hosted by Arizona SCBWI.

ReVISIONweek (free)
Revise your PB manuscripts that you wrote for challenges earlier in the year!  A week of support, inspiration, and revision magic. OH, and prizes! Always prizes! Wednesday September 30 – Wednesday October 6, 2021. Hosted by children’s authors Lauren H. Kerstein, Joana Pastro, Katie Frawley, Lynne Marie, Shannon Stocker, and Michal BaBay.

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 online mentorship program for picture book, middle grade, and young adult authors. September – December, 2021. Hosted by Whale Rock Writing Workshops.

#FaithPitch (free)
A one-day Twitter Pitch Party hosted specifically for authors looking for representation within the Christian Retail Association (CRA) market. September 30, 2021, from 8am to 6pm Central Time.


Online courses taught by a variety of professionals, related to writing and illustrating for children.

Demystifying Rhyme: Super-Simple Tools for Solid Meter ($)
Join NYT bestselling picture book author Sherri Duskey Rinker to demystify rhyme. Wednesday September 1, 2021, 6-7:30pm Central.

Connecting Our Past To The Present Through Art & Writing (free)
Honoring, Remembering, & Teaching About 9/11. With Marcie Colleen, Amanda Davis, M.O. Yuksel, & Bethany Hegedus. Saturday September 4, 2021, 10-11:30am Central Time.

Beyond Fact-Flinging II with Heather L. Montgomery ($)
After attending Beyond Fact-Flinging I, join acclaimed nonfiction author Heather L. Montgomery for a deep dive into the essential elements that take your project from boring to breakthrough! Six Sundays, September 5 – October 10, 2021, 6-8pm Central Time.

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.

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.

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.


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. Saturday October 2, 2021.

Meaning & Music – Writing Picture Books that Sing ($)
Join author Dianne White for a craft webinar on how to make your picture book SING! Saturday October 2, 2021, 11am – 12:30pm Central Time. From The Writing Barn.

Rethinking Your Nonfiction Picture Book ($)
Acclaimed author Kirsten W. Larson will teach you tested techniques for revising and polishing your nonfiction picture books until they shine. Six Mondays starting October 4, 2021, 7pm – 9pm Central. From The Writing Barn.

Picture Book Plotting A-Z ($)
Are you ready to do a deep, deep dive into picture book structure? This 5-week intensive with Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen features assignments for each letter of the “Picture Book Alphabet” as well as weekly online gatherings. October 3 – November 11, 2021. Hosted by The Highlights Foundation.

Picture Books with Heart ($)
Craft Webinar with Anika Denise and Christopher Denise. Saturday October 16, 2021, 11am – 12:30 pm Central. From The Writing Barn.

Filling the Writer’s Toolbox ($)
Prepare your manuscript for submission under the guidance of renowned editor Emma Dryden. October 17 – November 7, 2021. Hosted by The Highlights Foundation.

Perfecting the Picture Book I with Lisa Katzenberger ($)
Join Author Lisa Katzenberger to build the foundation of knowledge you need to write amazing picture books! Six Mondays, 7 – 9pm Central Time, October 18 – November 22, 2021. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

Perfecting the Nonfiction Proposal with author and agent Jacqui Lipton ($)
October 19, 2021,
7pm – 8:30pm Central Time. Hosted by Texas: Austin SCBWI.

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.

Writing Picture Books About Difficult Topics in History ($)
Join author Marcie Colleen & author-illustrator and educator Amanda Davis for LIGHT WITHIN THE DARKNESS, a craft webinar on writing picture books that address difficult topics in history. Wednesday October 20, 2021, 1-2:30pm Central Time. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

Becoming a Nonfiction Writer ($)
This is an online course with two parts: an intensive weekend, followed by two weeks of pre-recorded lectures, mini-lectures, Q & A sessions, and 1:1 consultations. October 23 – November 3, 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 month 5 minutes at a time in a writing workshop for board books to YA with a 238 page e-book library and a 30-minute mentor meeting call *anytime* during the month 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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