December 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 


Holiday Writing Contest (free)
Write a holiday story between 300 – 400 words, appropriate for ages 12 and under, following prompt for the current year. Prize for the winner! Hosted by children’s author Susanna Leonard Hill.

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

Rate Your Story ($) (see January listing)
Registration open through mid-January. Annual membership fee includes manuscript critiques from professionals in the field, among other benefits.

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

The Art of Backstory: Create Dynamic Characters Through Their Past – Remote! ($) Dec 3, 2021

The End: How Do I Get Out of This Story? (2-Part) – Remote! ($) Dec 3, 2021

Overcoming Writer’s Block – Remote! ($) Dec 10, 2021

A Sense of Perspective: The Point of View Workshop (2-Part) – Remote! ($) Dec 10, 2021, 2 weeks

Propelling Your Prose with Poetry – Remote! ($) Dec 18, 2021


Start Now: Plotting Your 2022 MG or YA Novel ($) Dec 10-12, 2021- This is an online weekend course with live lectures, exercises, small group discussions, goal setting, and faculty

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

You Finished Writing a Novel! Now What? ($) Dec. 4, 2021

Research Tools for Authentic Historical Fiction and Nonfiction ($) Dec. 11, 2021

Bring Your Characters to Life on the Page ($) Dec. 11, 2021

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.

SCBWI Free Digital Workshops:

Come Create… And Design Characters, Dec 2nd 4pm EST.

The Writer’s Loft

Conceptualizing the Visual, A Graphic Novel Workshop ($) Dec 4

Wintering with the Basics ($) Dec 7, 14, & 21, 2021


Craft Webinar: The ABCs of the Novel in Verse with Nikki Grimes ($) Dec 4, 2021

Misbelief: The Foundation of Story with Joanna Cooke (ONLINE) ($) Dec 5, 2021

Mini-Retreat for the Weekend Warrior with Claire Campbell ONLINE ($) Dec 11, 2021

Writing NeurodiverWriting Neurodivergent Characters with Sensitivity (ONLINE) ($) Dec 12, 2021


YA/MG Novel in Progress ($) January 12, 2021, 8 weeks


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



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