JANUARY 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 


Author Mentor Match (free)
Author Mentor Match (AMM) pairs aspiring MG and YA writers with completed manuscripts with experienced authors for mentorship. Mentee submission window open January 12 – 14, 2022. Hosted yearly by Heather Kaczynski and Alexa Donne.

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:

YA/MG Novel in Progress ($) January 12th, 8 Wednesdays, 9:00am-12:00pm (EST). This class will push you to learn more about the craft of novel writing generally and of young adult and middle grade novels in particular.

How to Submit: Publishing Your Writing with Literary Magazines and Small Presses ($) February 4th, 10:30am-1:30pm (EST). the world of literary magazines and small publishers is so expansive and diverse, it’s hard to know where and how to send your work out for publication.


Beginning Your Novel: MG & YA First Pages, Pacing, & Voice ($)
Saturday, January 8, 2021 (7pm – 9pm EST), Sunday, January 9, 2021 (12pm – 5pm EST)
. Join us for a productive weekend packed with first page reviews, revisions, writing exercises, Q&A with agent Linda Camacho, and interactive lectures (with closed captioning): all designed to help you go deeper into your work in progress and approach it with fresh ideas.

Getting to Know Your Character ($)
January 12 – February 2, 2022
. Use this course to deepen your understanding of your characters and unlock secrets to make decisions about point of view, plot, pacing and more. From Highlights Foundation.

From Query to Acquisitions with an Agent & Editor: A Two-Night Mini ($)
January 19 and 20, 2022, 7pm – 8:15pm Eastern.
Join us for two evening sessions to firm up your understanding of the submission process, from querying your work through acquisitions. From Highlights Foundation.

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

A Place at the Desk: Writing for Children ($) January 25, 2022-April 12, 12-2 p.m. We’ll start off with some basics about fiction: realistic vs “out-of-this-world.” We’ll hammer out the essentials: characters, setting, conflict, etc. 

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.

January-June 2022 Creative Coaching Groups: A 6-Month Mentorship Program ($) Jan.1 This 6-month mentorship program, available only to SCBWI members, will connect you with a published mentor author or illustrator who will provide detailed written feedback on your work each month and conduct monthly online small group meetings that provide support, brainstorming, and community.

Members Only Critique Day ($) Registration will close on January 2, 2022. Please join us for our January 22, 2022 Critique Day – Online. We will meet from 9:00 am -12:00 pm. This Critique Day is for writers and illustrators alike. Due to limits on Zoom rooms, we are limiting this Critique Day to 60 participants, so register early.

30th Birthday Program ($) Kickoff January 11, 7:15 pm To celebrate our 30th year, SCBWI Carolinas is launching the 30th Birthday Package, a 9-month program designed to walk you through the creative process in 2022. Together we will take 30 steps to bring our work to life over the course of the spring and summer and have it ready for critique and submission by conference time.

The Next Level – January 2022 Webinar ($) January 15, 2-3 PM (PT) Character is at the very center of your story’s universe. It’s the brilliant sun around which all other plot elements orbit. But what makes a character worthy of this important role? In this engaging, one-hour presentation, Jessica Brody, author of the #1 bestselling novel-writing guide, Save the Cat Writes a Novel, reveals the three essential building blocks of all story-worthy heroes and shows writers how to use them to successfully develop characters and plots that will leave readers riveted.

Butt-in-Chair-a-Thon (January) (free) January 20, 2022, 8-10:30 pm We start off with a 10 minute Brain Dump, then two 40 minute sessions. Can’t make it on time? Need to leave early? That’s totally fine! Come for as long as you can! We’ve got prompts.

Environmental Storytelling: Place As Narrative with Meg Eden ($) January 21, 2022, 1-2:30 PM In this workshop, we’ll talk about place, the natural object, and go into a writing exercise that allows us to explore and invent stories through the details of a landscape.

E.B. Lewis Virtual Webinar – Crafting Emotionally Poignant Illustrations That Tell A Story ($) January 27, 2022, 7-8:15 pm (CT ??)

SCBWI Free Digital Workshops:

2022 schedule not yet available.

The Writer’s Loft check back in February…


Writing Historical Fiction: A 6-Week Workshop ($) January 5 – February 9, 7pm-9pm Central Author Joanna Cooke will share what she’s learned from writing her own historical novels, how she studies historical fiction while she reads, and her favorite middle-grade and young adult fiction mentor texts for this topic.

Writing for the Middle Grade Audience ($) January 13 – February 17, 7:00-9:00 PM CT. In this course we’ll work on developing the internal and external journeys of our middle-grade characters who drive the plot, and plot points that challenge our characters to reveal who they really are.

Craft Webinar: Finding Your Way to a Story ($) January 15,11:00am-12:30pm CT. Writers of picture books to young adult novels will discover tools to generate story ideas from research, your childhood, your life, your world with real time exercises and writing prompts that will help you find your way to the stories for young readers that only you can tell.

Have you taken a course from The Writing Ban before? Share your experience in the comments!


Nothing new to report this month.

Check back next month to stay ahead of the opportunity deadlines!


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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