December Picture Book Opportunities

Wrap up 2021 and look ahead to 2022 with this month’s roundup of Picture Book Opportunities!

We have a NEW entry under “Happen Every Month” for writers. Check out #FirstDraftFriday hosted by children’s writer Hollie Wolverton.

Click the links to go directly to each list.

To see what’s available all year ’round, and what’s coming up in 2022, visit the PICTURE BOOK 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 


#HolidayKidLitBingo (free)
Twitter event with prizes hosted by kidlit author @BrittanyPomales. Bingo Card and game rules release on December 1, event runs through December 31.

#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.

Why Wordless? Part 2 Panel Discussion (free)
Why would you create a book with no words? And how do you read a wordless picture book to children? Join David Wiesner, guest curator of “Speechless: The Art of Wordless Picture Books” and exhibition artists Matthew Cordell, Barbara Lehman, and Chris Raschka for their panel discussion. December 2, 2021, 7 – 8 pm Eastern Time. Watch the free recording of Why Wordless? Part 1 with artists David Wiesner, Molly Bang, Raúl Colón, Marla Frazee, and Eric Rohmann. Hosted by the Eric Carle Picture Book Museum.

Holiday Writing Contest (free)
Write a children’s holiday story (children here defined as age 12 and under) not to exceed 250 words about a Holiday Contest! Submit between Tuesday December 7 – Thursday December 9, 2021. See details at link above. Prizes for the winners! Hosted by children’s author Susanna Leonard Hill.

Apply for 12×12 Challenge 2021 Scholarships
The 12×12 Challenge? Write 12 picture books in 12 months! Up to 6 scholarships will be awarded: 3 for financial need, 3 for authors of backgrounds underrepresented in the canon of children’s picture book literature. Deadline to apply for scholarship is December 10, 2021. Winners will be announced January 1st, 2021. Regular registration will be open in January and February, 2022.

Building Bridges: Increasing Balanced Representation in Children’s Books (free)
A diversity, equity, and inclusion discussion with Ernesto Cisneros, Hilda Burgos, Janet Costa Bates, Reem Faruqi, and Susan Kusel. Moderated by Federico Erebia from SCBWI New England’s E&I Team. Replay will be offered. Register at link. Friday December 10, 7-9:30pm. Hosted by New England SCBWI.

Come Create. . . and Design Characters (*See note)
Learn how to create unique characters with illustrator LeUyen Pham. Thursday, December 2, 2021, 1pm Pacific. #6 in the SCBWI Digital Workshops 5.0 series. *Free to dues-paying members of SCBWI.

A Two-Part Online Mini: Think Like an Artist to Publish Like an Author ($)
Learn techniques to make your manuscript paint pictures. December 7 and 9, 2021, 7 – 8:15pm Eastern. Hosted by The Highlights Foundation.

The Power of Play: a Fresh Mindset for a New Year ($)
Learn from writing teacher and author Sarah Aronson about how to bring play into your process –and reshape your view of your work. Wednesday December 8, 2021, 7pm -9pm Eastern. Hosted by Inked Voices.

Rising from the Wreckage: Revision Tips for Your Picture Book ($)
This presentation talks about the two types of revision every picture book story needs and shares actionable tips to help your story rise from the wreckage and stand tall and proud. With Pat Zietlow Miller. Thursday December 9, 2021, 7-8:30pm Eastern. Hosted by The Writers’ Loft.

Marketing for Authors ($)
Join Arree Chung, founder of Storyteller Academy as he defines online marketing plans to increase awareness of your brand, aid sales, and find avenues you may not have considered to extend your reach. This event is for PAL and Full SCBWI members. December 9, 2021, 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm Pacific Time. Hosted by Nevada SCBWI.

Structural Strategies for Expository Nonfiction ($)
Craft Webinar with Rebecca E. Hirsch and Heather L. Montgomery. Friday December 10, 2021, 10:30am – 12pm Central. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

LET’S DANCE! The Last Kidlit Holiday Dance Party (free)
Author Valerie Bolling and agent Kaitlyn Sanchez share their favorite dances and talk inspiration in both writing and agenting. Giveaways! Saturday December 11th 2021, 2pm Eastern Time. Register here. Hosted by author Kailei Pew.

Revising like an Editor Panel ($)
As professional writers and editors, our speakers will give us tips and tricks on revising drafts to make them submission ready. Cynthia Leitich Smith, Elizabeth Lee, and Kandace Coston. Saturday, December 11, 2021 at 10:00 AM Pacific. Western Washington SCBWI December Professional Series Meeting.

Writing Neurodivergent Characters with Sensitivity ($)
Join Author Jen Malia in exploring how to write neurodivergent characters with sensitivity. Sunday December 12, 2021, 2pm-5pm Central. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

A One Night Picture Book Mini: Find Your Story and Craft Your Pitch ($)
If you’re interested in illustrating or writing picture books, join author/illustrator Courtney Pippin-Mathur for this one-night mini course. December 14, 2021, 7 – 8:30pm Eastern. Hosted by The Highlights Foundation.

Writing Picture Books with Heart ($)
Led by children’s author Rosie J. Pova. December 14th, 2021, 6pm Central Time. Hosted by Writing Workshops.

Winter Break, Not Just For College Students Anymore ($)
Two One-Stop Info-Filled Sessions with Karen Boss, Editor at Charlesbridge Books. (Ask Me Anything & Pitch Party). December 28, 2021 & January 4, 2022, 7pm Eastern.

Rate Your Story ($)
Rate Your Story is a service paid annually (January through December) where writers from all levels can submit their story to receive honest feedback from published authors. Early bird registration for 2022 is now open and will close when full; individual critiques are sometimes available to nonmembers using SpeedPass.


2022 Picture Book Webinar Series ($)
Early Bird pricing for the full series will run November 10 – January 4. Hosted by SCBWI Inland Northwest.

The Start, The Art, The Heart Of Revision with Author, Beth Ferry. Tuesday, January 4 at 10:00 AM Pacific Time

More Than Fancy Writing: Finding that solid hook in your picture book with Literary Agent, Rachel Orr. Saturday, February 19 at 9:00 AM Pacific Time

Crafting a Successful Picture Book Ending with Editor, Julie Bliven. Saturday, March 19 at 10:30 AM Pacific Time

New Year Wisdom: Three Picture-Book Workshops with Editor Karen Boss ($)
Come to one or all three of these workshops with Charlesbridge Books Editor Karen Boss. Picture Book Structure, January 11, Picture Book Hooks, January 18, Picture Book Story Arc, January 25, 2022. All workshops from 7 – 8:30pm Eastern. Hosted by The Writers’ Loft.

12 Months of Books Challenge! (*see note)
A challenge to preorder a kid’s book for every month of the year! Authors/illustrators submit information about their 2022 releases through this form. Tamara posts the info monthly, readers review the list and order from their favorite book source, and books arrive when they launch. *Free for participating authors; readers pre-order books from the list. Hosted by author Tamara Girardi.

Writing Picture Books: From Creation to Publication ($)
Award-winning children’s author Rosie J. Pova will cover the essential elements and steps in the process of writing a picture book. 8 weeks beginning January 3, 2022. Hosted by Writing Workshops.

SCBWI Carolinas 30th Birthday Package ($)
A 9-month program designed to walk you through the creative process in 2022. Options for Writers and Illustrators. See link for details. First event, January 11, 2022. Hosted by SCBWI Carolinas.

The Anxiety Talk: Answering the Unanswerable Questions ($)
Jane Friedman, Publishing Consultant, January 14, 2022 1-2pm Eastern. Hosted by Inked Voices.

SCBWI Winter Conference ($)
Theme: Recipe for success in creating and selling children’s books in 2022. On Zoom, February 11 – 13, 2022, with recordings available through March 31, 2022. See link for details and registration. Hosted by SCBWI National.

Writing with Authenticity ($)
Join author/illustrator Jessixa Bagley for a deep dive into writing picture books from the heart. Six Tuesdays, January 11 – February 15, 2022, 7 – 9pm Central. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

Winter Great Critique ($)
A published author or illustrator will lead each small group and critique your manuscript or art. See link for registration deadlines and pricing. January 22, 2022, 9am -12pm Pacific Time.  Hosted by SCBWI Oregon.

SCBWI Regional Virtual Events (Fee and Free)
Clink link to see what’s coming up in months to come.  


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.

PB Workshop Chat Group (free)
In the PB Workshop chat server you can discuss writing, ask for tips and opinions, share your favorite books, discuss events, etc. Hosted on the Discord App by author Chris Nantais.

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

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.

#FirstDraftFriday (free)
The first Friday of each month, 8am-8pm Eastern Time (1pm-1am UTC), write a new picture book first draft with inspiration from the day’s blog post featuring guest authors, then enter to win a free MS critique. #FirstDraftFriday. Hosted by children’s writer Hollie Wolverton.

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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