March Picture Book Opportunities

Happy Spring! Or Happy Autumn, depending on where you live. Another tweak to the post format this month: Instead of listing out all the April events, the “Register in March, Happening Later” link will take you to the April listing on the PICTURE BOOK SUPPORT resource page. The idea is to keep this post a little more manageable! Let me know if it helps.

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


For Everyone
For Illustrators
For Writers

To see what’s always available all year, and what’s coming up the rest of this year, visit the PICTURE BOOK SUPPORT resource page.

This month’s spotlight for always-available resources:

Writing Blueprints: Free trial versions of the Blueprint courses by Children’s Book Insider. Picture Books, Chapter Books, Manuscript Magic, Manuscript Submission, Self-Publishing, and more.

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


Challenges, Contests, & Awards


March On With Mentor Texts! (free)
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 the Rate Your Story Blog.

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.

#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. 

#FaithPitch (free)
A one-day Twitter Pitch Party hosted specifically for authors looking for representation within the Christian Retail Association (CRA) market. Usually happens in March and September.

The Ann Whitford Paul—Writer’s Digest Manuscript Award (See note*)
Submissions window open February 1 – April 10, 2022. Annual monetary award given for a Most Promising Picture Book manuscript. *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.

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.

True Tales— The Story of Yuko Shimizu ($)
Webinar by The Cat Man of Aleppo Caldecott Honor-winning Illustrator Yuko Shimizu. March 3, 2022, 7:30pm – 9pm Central. Hosted by SCBWI Nebraska.

Real-Life Research for Nonfiction Writers ($)
with author Annette Whipple. Thursday, March 3, 2022, 7:00pm Eastern. Hosted by SCBWI Eastern Pennsylvania.

A Conversation with Avi ($)
Avi will talk about his experience writing a wide variety of award-winning books for young readers. March 3, 2022, 7-8:30pm Mountain Time. Hosted by SCBWI Rocky Mountain Chapter.

Creating A Picture Book Dummy for Submission ($)
In this webinar, author/illustrator Sharon Vargo will share her process of making a picture book dummy. March 5, 2022, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Hosted by SCBWI Indiana.

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.

Back Matter Matters ($)
With editor Andrea Welch. Monday, March 7, 2022 7:00pm Eastern. Hosted by SCBWI Eastern Pennsylvania.

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.

How to Self-Publish a Picture Book, Pt 2: A Deep Dive into Marketing ($)
Join Stefanie Hohl for an extended deep dive into the world of marketing for self-published picture books! Part 2 of a three-part series. March 8, 2022 at 1 pm Eastern. From SCBWI Pennsylvania: West.

Find Out What Indie Book Marketers Can Do For You! (free)
A discussion with Barbara Fisch and Sarah Shealy of Blue Slip Media about the role of freelance publicists. March 9, 2022 at 7pm Central Time. North Suburban Illinios Network.

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.

Form Follows Function: Getting the Most Story Out of Your Illustrations ($)
A Picture Book Intensive with author/ilustrator Adam Rex. March 12, 2022 9am – 12noon Pacific Time. Hosted by SCBWI California: San Diego.

Animal Representation Panel ($)
Published authors, a literary agent, and a former editor explore changes in animal representation in children’s fiction and nonfiction and identify gaps to be addressed. March 12, 2022, 10am Pacific Time. Hosted by SCBWI West Washington.

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.

Idea Lab: Finding Inspiration for Your Children’s Book Writing ($)
Join author Cristina Oxtra for an engaging morning and come away with concrete ideas of how to turn your ideas into your next children’s writing project! March 19, 2022, 10am-Noon Central Time. From The Loft.

Moving Toward Mastery: Take Your Craft to the Next Level ($)
Get ready to dive into your craft! Three intensives, running concurrently: Illustrator Intensive: Level Up: Moving Your Craft towards Mastery; Picture Book Intensive: Leaving Space on the Page for a Child’s Imagination; Novel Intensive: Construct A Stronger Story Through Characterization and Setting. Saturday March 19, 2022. Hosted by SCBWI Southern Breeze.

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.

Color of Children’s Literature Conference ($)
Join us online for an incredible weekend with top editors, agents, authors & illustrators in the children’s/YA publishing world. Our spring conference is an excellent opportunity for BIPOC writers & illustrators to learn, get inspired and network with others in the industry. Please note that this conference is EXCLUSIVELY for Black, Indigenous and POC writers and illustrators. March 25 – 27, 2022. Hosted by Kweli Journal.

From Pencil or Paint to Pixel: A Two-Night Mini for Beginning Illustrators ($)
Join children’s book author/illustrator Courtney Pippin-Mathur to talk about approaches to using different media (traditional and/or digital) in your illustrations. March 28 – 29, 2022, 7pm – 8:15pm Eastern Time. From the Highlights Foundation.

“Non-Traditional” Picture Book Plotting: A Two-Night Mini ($)
Join children’s book author Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and literary agent Rachel Orr to celebrate alternative approaches to picture book plotting. March 29 – 31, 2022, 7pm – 8:15pm Eastern Time. From the Highlights Foundation.

Multi-Week Courses

Courses lasting more than a day or two.

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.

Children’s Writing for Beginners ($)
This introductory class will explore the adventurous world of writing for children through a mix of writing activities and classroom discussion. Instructor: author Lisa Bullard. Six Wednesdays, March 16 – April 20, 2022, 6pm-8pm Central Time. From The Loft.

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.

Picture Book Slipper Camp ($)
You’ve heard of boot camps, which are hard-core intensives with a military mentality. Well, we’re doing a Picture Book Slipper Camp, which is also intensive but with a nurturing mentality. March 21st – April 24th, 2022. SOLD OUT. Sign up for the CBA newsletter to get notified when it’s offered next. From The Children’s Book Academy.

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, 2022 (Saturday).


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.

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s