November 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 


Debut Review Challenge (free)
October-November reading challenge begins. Hosted by children’s writer Laura Renauld.

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. 

NANOWRIMO (free) National Novel Writing Month. Writing a novel alone can be difficult, even for seasoned writers. NaNoWriMo helps you track your progress, set milestones, connect with other writers in a vast community, and participate in events that are designed to make sure you finish your novel.

STORYTELLER ACADEMY Children’s Book Bootcamp is a FREE event. Registration opens November 8th. Sessions will include How to plot MG novels, How to illustrate characters readers will love, How to self-publish successfully…

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

November Grubby Desk Lunch – Remote! (Free) November 10th 12:30 – 1:15pm 45 minutes of cool writing excercies.

November Friday Night Writes (Free) November 19th, 5:30 pm In 60 jam-packed minutes, you’ll meet fellow writers and get your creative juices flowing with some great writing exercises.

Why Write YA? – Remote! November 20th, 10:30am-1:30pm (EST). Is that story idea you’ve been chewing on meant for young adults or adults? How do you figure out if a novel is *about* youth or *for* youth anyway? In this seminar, we’ll explore common myths, half-truths, and confusions about writing for young adults


GETTING YOUR MIDDLE GRADE OR YOUNG ADULT NOVEL UNSTUCK an on-demand course. You can begin it at any time. You will have access to the course for six months after your registration date. Whether you’ve jotted down ideas for a novel but can’t get your story off the ground, you’re stuck in the middle of a draft with no idea of where to go next, or you’ve written most of the book but can’t figure out the ending, this course is designed to help you move forward.

SEIZE THE READER: WRITING FOR EMOTIONAL IMPACT IN MG AND YA NOVELS, an on-demand course with live office hours November 4 and December 2. Imagine your reader cemented in place by your story, unable to move until they reach the end. Imagine your reader racing to place your book into the hands of the nearest person exclaiming “You’ve got to read this!”

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

Wake Up and Write! ($) Thursdays, November 4 – December 16, 6 a.m.-8 a.m. The imagination is freshest first thing in the morning, before you’re bogged down with to-do lists, family, work, and the world. So roll out of bed for an early riser’s generative writing session. Each class will offer writing prompts for in-class writing—appropriate for fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry—with time to share your work aloud. 

Character Building in Fiction ($)  Thursdays, November 4, 2021-December 16, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.

Character-driven stories are what readers are clamoring for these days, and a character-driven story requires a well-built, fully formed, complex, and deeply human cast of characters. In this generative, writing-heavy course, we’ll talk about round characters, contradictory characters, and the good guy/bad guy dichotomy. Through reading assignments and lots of writing prompts, you’ll learn, discover, invent, and conjure some truly original and complicated characters.

Writing for Night Owls ($)  Thursdays, November 4, 2021-December 2,  10 p.m.-Midnight. —write at night, in the company of other writerly night owls! Each session begins with a fun creative process exercise, designed to get you thinking about your writing in a new way. We’ll then put play into practice to write. Bring your current writing project or start a new one—in whichever genre you like—and make progress together in this supportive late-night writing circle.

Breathing Life Into Characters ($)  November 6,  9 a.m.-1 p.m. Creating a character who seems real is one of the most fascinating and challenging aspects of fiction writing. How does a writer depict fictional people who seem to come alive? In four intensive hours of writing exercises, readings, and discussion, we’ll explore that question.

Lean Writing ($) November 20,  9 a.m.-1 p.m. The difference between a bulky, clunky sentence and a beautiful, fresh sentence is often just a matter of trimming. In this class, we’ll focus on everything that clutters sentences up: repetition, redundancy, unnecessary modifiers, cliches.

Getting Your Word Out: Polishing, Submitting, and Marketing Your Writing, ($) November 20, 9 a.m.-Noon. Anybody can write, but it takes a special type of determination to see your work through to print. In this class, we’ll discuss proper manuscript formatting for poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction and go on to discuss market lists, deciphering writer’s guidelines, dealing with rejection, and rejoicing in seeing your work in print.

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.

2021 Middle of the Map Online Conference ($) November 1-6, This year we are offering a series of webinars. You can pick and choose or participate in the whole shebang for one great price! Most webinars will be at 6 pm CST, Nov. 1-5 and will be recorded and available through Friday, January 7, 2022 to registered participants.

MAKING WAVES: An Illustrator Event ($) November 5-7, Join us for two days of craft-oriented presentations, hands-on intensives, optional critiques, and a juried art show!

Seventh Annual New England SCBWI Agent/Editor Day ($) November 13, 8:45 am – 12:30 For authors of middle grade or young adult fiction, as well as authors and illustrators of picture books, there is nothing better than getting feedback on your manuscript or book dummy. Sometimes it’s all you need to move forward with your work. When you can get it from an industry professional, so much the better!

The Art of Revision from First to Final Draft with Paige Terlip, agent, Andrea Brown Literary ($) November 13, 9-12 PT Wrestling with your revisions? Sinking into an editorial pit of despair? Never fear! The Art of Revision intensive looks at the many stages of the revision process and provides tips and tricks to navigate the frustrations and pitfalls of revision—from first to final draft. This intensive revision is appropriate for all genres and experience levels. Find out how to revise your work in progress to make it rise to the top of the submission pile.

YA-hoo! A Weekend of Young Adult ($) November 13 – 14, 9:45am – 4pm (BI time) A weekend of virtual YA authors, agents, editors, talks and panels.

The Next Level – November 2021 Webinar ($) November 20, 2-3pm PT Now, more than ever, editors are busy people. The author-editor relationship is a partnership, and one key to being a good partner is to make an editor’s job as easy as possible. For a writer, that means thinking like an editor, and doing everything possible to deliver a clean manuscript. This session by award-winning author Deborah Hopkinson will provide tips to do just that–and help you become an author editors are happy to work with again.

SCBWI Free Digital Workshops:

Come Create… Illustration Spreads. November 4, 4 pm EDT, Come prepared to draw.

Come Create… Powerful Pro Presentations. November 11, 4 pm EST, Avoid death by Powerpoint and put some Boom in your Zoom.

Come Create… Page Turning Plots. November 18, 4 pm EST. Bring along your W-I-P and plot along with a pro!

Come Create… And Design Characters, December 2nd 4pm EST. Register in November

The Writer’s Loft

No new events in November. Check back for December!


Make It Memorable: Major & Minor Character Development ($) Tuesdays, November 2,  – December 14, 7-9 PM CT. We’ve all met characters in our lives—those quirky, attention-grabbing humans that can take our breath away (in a good way). Now it’s time to make your characters on the page develop into the beating heart of your story.

Craft Webinar: The 5 Kinds of Children’s Nonfiction ($) November 8, 6-7:30 pm CT. Join award-winning author Melissa Stewart for a lively presentation that introduces the 5 Kinds of Nonfiction classification system, provides guidelines for identifying the characteristics of each category (narrative, active, browseable, traditional, and expository literature), and explains how the system can help writers make informed decisions about how and where to pitch their manuscripts.

Craft Webinar: Creating Characters with Depth and Staying Power ($) November 9, 7-8:30 CT. Join award-winning author Donna Gephart in a craft webinar on how to create characters that linger in readers’ memories long after the book is finished.

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 close November 15th, with winners announced December 2021. See website for guidelines. *Free, but must be (or become) a member of SCBWI to apply.

The 2021 North Carolina Writing Workshop ($) November 12-13, This writing event is a wonderful opportunity to get intense instruction over the course of one day, pitch a literary agent or editor (optional), get your questions answered, and more.


NonfictioNOW Aotearoa,($) 3-5 December (Dec. 2-4, US) NonfictioNOW is a conversation among peers, from well-established writers and artists to those just starting out, in an effort to explore the past, present, and future of nonfiction.

Writing the Middle Grade or Young Adult Novel ($) DECEMBER 1 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM CST


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) November 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.

Storyteller Academy ($) is a community of authors, illustrators, editors, agents, and publishing professionals. Offers workshops and online courses.

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. Marti and Lexi,
    What an incredible list of opportunities you’ve gathered for November!! I appreciate the hard work and dedication that goes into pulling this together.


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