February Picture Book Opportunities

It’s February! This post lists what’s scheduled for this month, plus a sampling of what’s coming up. But many resources are on-demand–they’re available all year, on whatever schedule works for you. Where are those listed? At the top of the PICTURE BOOK SUPPORT resource page, ahead of the events coming up for the rest of the year.

But hey, you might not click through. So for the next few months, I’ll spotlight one on-demand resource from the resource page. This month’s on-demand spotlight is a new offering from children’s author and writing coach Heidi Fiedler.

Naps and Notebooks Masterclasses ($)
It’s not easy to make space for creative work when you’re raising young kids. These on-demand writing masterclasses are designed to make the moments you have with your notebook count.

And now for February!

Click the links to go directly to each list.
Challenges & Events
Webinars & Conferences
Multi-Week Courses

Challenges & Events
Webinars & Conferences
Multi-Week Courses

For Everyone
For Illustrators
For Writers

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 blur



Online Challenges & Events


12×12 Picture Book Challenge ($)
Write 12 picture books in 12 months. Critique opportunities, monthly live webinars with industry professionals, and the support of the entire amazing 12×12 community. Register at this link by February 28, 2022 for a 2022 membership. Hosted by children’s author Julie Hedlund. 

Debut Review Challenge (free)
February-March challenge begins. Hosted by children’s writer Laura Renauld.

NonFiction Fest (free) (@NFFest)
NF Fest turns February into a crash course in writing nonfiction for children. Read at least 20 of the posts and complete 20 of the suggested activities. Prizes will be awarded in a random drawing of those completing the challenge. Hosted by the NonFiction Chicks: Lisa Amstutz, Stephanie Bearce, Nancy Churnin, Susie Kralovansky, Pat Miller, Linda Skeers, and Peggy Thomas.

Valentiny Writing Contest (free)
Write a Valentines story appropriate for children (ages 12 and under), maximum 214 words, in which someone feels proud. Post on Susanna’s blog between Friday February 11 – Sunday February 13, 2022. Hosted by children’s author Susanna Leonard Hill.

#PBPitch (free)
A Twitter pitch party exclusively for picture books, Thursday February 17, 2022, 8am – 8pm Eastern Time. Check website for full details, hashtags, and rules. Founded and run by Debra Kempf Shumaker, PJ McIlvaine, Mette Engell, and Mandy Yates. 

Kate Dopirak Craft & Community Award (free)
The award includes full tuition to the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrator’s Annual Summer Conference (in Los Angeles, California unless virtual) and a phone consultation with an agent and editor. Apply between 5 a.m. Pacific Time January 14—8 p.m. Pacific Time February 18, 2022.

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. Registration for 2022 is open and will close when full; individual critiques are sometimes available to nonmembers using SpeedPass.

The Ann Whitford Paul—Writer’s Digest Manuscript Award (See note*)
Annual monetary award given for a Most Promising Picture Book manuscript. Submissions window open February 1 through April 10, 2022. *No application fee, but must be a dues-paying member of SCBWI.

Webinars & Conferences

Events lasting from an hour to a few days, in mostly chronological order.

Picture Book Writing for Novelists ($)
Craft Webinar with Leah Henderson. February 5, 2022, 10am – 11:30am Central Time. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

Writing that Crosses Over Christian & General Markets ($)
Interested in writing for both the general and Christian market? Join editor Bunmi Ishola for this webinar. February 7, 2022, 7pm – 8:15pm Eastern. Hosted by SCBWI Eastern Pennsylvania.

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.

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. Hosted by SCBWI Inland Northwest.

Rhyming Picture Books: A Two-Night Mini ($)
To rhyme or not to rhyme… a question that fills the picture book writer’s mind! Join authors Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and Anne Marie Pace for a webinar-style mini to find some answers. February 22 and 24, 2022, 7pm – 8:15pm Eastern Time, both nights. From Highlights Foundation.

Book Design and Production ($)
Join Cindy De la Cruz, book designer for Penguin Young Readers for a deep dive on the design and production side of book making! February 25, 2022, 10am–11am Pacific Time. Hosted by SCBWI Western Washington.

Writing Leveled Readers for Education ($)
With Sonny Regelman. Leveled readers are a standard component of K–6 programs in reading and other content areas. February 26, 2022, 2pm – 5pm Central Time. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

Villains We Love ($)
Craft Webinar with Author Ann Angel. Sunday February 27, 2022, 10am–11:30am Central Time. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

Everything You Need to Know About Writing Books for Children ($)
Led by Ying Compestine, who signed a six-figure, three book deal in October 2021, among other accomplishments. Sunday February 27, 2022, 10am – 4pm Pacific Time with a 1-hour break. Hosted by Writing Workshops.

Multi-Week Courses

Courses lasting more than a day or two.

Show (Don’t Tell) Revision Workshop ($)
Learn how to bring readers deeper into the world of your children’s book story by showing (not telling) in this 4-week workshop (with Zoom recordings and a private Facebook group) for picture book to YA authors led by author and developmental editor Anastasia Suen. February 2-March 2, 2022.

Making Magic: How to Write a Picture Book That Shines ($)
What if you could write a picture book that readers adored? Join children’s author and writing coach Heidi Fielder to learn how! Six-week course starting February, 2022.

How to Craft and Structure Your Children’s Story ($)
Led by Award-winning children’s author Rosie J. Pova. 6 weeks starting February 7, 2022. Hosted by Writing Workshops.

Crash Course in Children’s Publishing: Everything You Need to Know ($)
Join lead faculty Harold Underdown, and special guests Leah Henderson and Linda Epstein, for a 10-week Crash Course in Children’s Publishing. February 9 – April 13, 2022. From the Highlights Foundation.

Perfecting the Picture Book I ($)
Author Jyoti Gopal teaches the basics of picture book writing. Six Mondays starting February 21, 2022. 7 – 9 pm Central Time. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

Crafting the Chapter Book ($)
Join author Marcie Colleen and a group of writers to begin drafting your chapter book! Six Tuesdays starting February 22, 2022. 7 – 9 pm Central Time. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

Picture Book Biographies I: Style and Substance ($)
Join apicture book biography author Rob Sanders to dig deep into the style and substance of creative non-fiction PB biographies. Six Wednesdays starting February 23, 2022, 7 – 9pm Central Time. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

Writing for Children: Create A Picture Book! ($)
Join award-winning author Kelly Bingham to learn the ins and outs of picture books. 6 weeks starting February 23, 2022. Hosted by writers.com.

Craft, Community & Your Career ($)
This course has been thoughtfully designed as a ten-month support program for storytellers who want to make writing for children a long-lasting and fulfilling career. February 28 – November 21, 2022. See link for details. From the Highlights Foundation.


Upcoming Online Challenges and Events

#50PreciousWords Writing Challenge (free)
Write a story appropriate for kids ages 12 or under, using only 50 words. No need to register ahead of time, but watch Vivian’s blog at link above for this year’s announcement. March 4, 5, 6, 2022. Hosted by children’s author Vivian Kirkfield. 

PBParty Contest (free)
For unagented writers and author/illustrators with finished and polished picture book manuscripts to submit to participating agents/editors to read and hopefully request. Full information here. Submissions: March 1, 2022, Midnight – 1am Eastern and 5pm-7pm Eastern. Agent/Editor Round: March 21 – 25, 2022. Hosted by author Mindy Alyse Weiss.

Madness! Poetry (free)
“March Madness” tournament for writers of children’s poetry. “Authletes” write original poems based on prompts. Thousands of schoolchildren vote on their favorites. Winners advance to the next round. Full explanation here. Register as an authlete here.  Teachers, register your classes here. Hosted by kids’ poet Ed DeCaria of Think, Kid, Think!

Chapter Book Challenge #ChaBooCha (free)
Write one completed first draft of a chapter book in one month, from March 1 – March 31. Guest posts by authors and agents, prizes at end. Hosted by author Rebecca Fyfe.

MARCH ON with Mentor Texts
The successor to ReFoReMo: improve your writing by completing a challenge to read mentor texts throughout the month of March. March 1 – 31. 2022. Hosted by Rate Your Story. Check link for details.

Upcoming Webinars & Conferences

What is the Courage to Create? (free)
Info Session about Courage to Create communities at The Writing Barn. Thursday March 3, 2022, 6 – 7:30pm.

Author Websites, Newsletters, Marketing, & More: Everything You Need to Know ($)
Author Stefanie Hohl discusses how to build your author brand and online presence. Saturday March 5, 2022, 10am–12:30pm Central Time. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

Making the Personal Universal ($)
Authors Ana Siqueira and Sara Fajardo on representing your unique lived experiences in children’s literature. Six Mondays starting March 7, 2022, 7 – 9pm Central Time. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

10 Picture Book Ideas, 5 Fresh Starts, 1 Quick Draft ($)
Craft Webinar with Liz Garton Scanlon. March 11, 2022, 10am-11:30am Central Time. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

Dealing with Imposter Syndrome (free)
Join author Bethany Hegedus for a free Courage to Create info session. Sunday, March 13, 2022, 4:00 – 5:30 pm Central Time. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

Build It Better: Essentials of an Author Website ($)
Author and technology instructor Lisa Stringfellow teaches how to make sure your author website has the essentials it needs to make an impact! March 15, 2022, 7pm – 8:30pm Eastern Time. Hosted by InkedVoices.

WriteOnCon ($)
Attend a writing conference from the comfort of home! Online conference for kidlit writers and illustrators for all levels (PB, MG, YA). March 18 – 20, 2022.

Crafting a Successful Picture Book Ending ($)
With Editor Julie Bliven. Saturday, March 19, 2022 at 10:30 AM Pacific Time. Hosted by SCBWI Inland Northwest.

Pitches That Land Bylines with Your Favorite Magazines ($)
Join KB Brookins in exploring the best ways to pitch to your dream publications! Saturday, March 19, 2022, 10am – 12:30pm Central Time. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

Write. Submit. Support. for Picture Book/Chapter Book Writers ($)
Join authors Lisa Katzenberger and Nicholas Solis for this joint-faculty 6-month exploration of your literary life. March 20, 2022 – August 21, 2022, 2:00pm – 5:00pm Central Time. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

Upcoming Multi-Week Courses

Writing for Kids 101 ($)
Led by writer Tina Tocco. Four Tuesdays via Zoom starting March 1, 2022, 6pm – 8pm Central Time. Hosted by Writing Workshops.

Write. Submit. Support. ($)
For Picture Book/Chapter Book Writers, a 6-month course offering structure and support not only to our writing lives but also to the roller coaster ride of submissions. March 20 – August 21, 2022. With Lisa Katzenberger & Nicholas Solis. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

Editing Children’s Rhyming Picture Books ($)
Intended for professional editors, but sure to be of use to writers who self-edit and critique. March 21 – April 14, 2022. Instructor Lou Piccolo is a freelance developmental editor of fiction and creative nonfiction. Hosted by Editorial Freelancers Association.

Humor Master Workshop ($)
Shine up that funny draft for a sale in this humor workshop with author Cate Berry. Six Sundays, 4:30 – 6:30 pm Central Time, March 27; April 3, 10, 24; May 1, and May 7 (Saturday). e .


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.

PBParty New Draft Challenge (free)
Usually the third Thursday of each month, unless it conflicts with a pitch party, so check web site. All day, Eastern Time. Hosted by Mindy Alyse Weiss.

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.

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 Blue Ring Media, Shutterstock.

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