April Picture Book Opportunities

Here in New England, Spring brings our annual SCBWI Regional Conference. New England’s is one of the biggest SCBWI Regional Conferences, and the 2022 conference is, once again, virtual! So join us online, without hotel and travel costs! Check out the complete schedule, workshop, and faculty listings at the link below.


New England SCBWI Spring Virtual Conference Event ($)
Join your fellow authors and illustrators for a weekend of online craft and camaraderie. Panels, workshops, online socials, keynotes, ask-a-mentor sessions. Includes LOTS of Picture Book sessions for both writers and illustrators, given by distinguished faculty. No hotel costs! Friday April 29 – Sunday May 1, 2022.


Here’s what else is happening in April. There’s LOT going on. Let me know in the comments if you have suggestions for a different way to present this info.

APRIL EVENTS

REGISTER IN APRIL FOR LATER

HAPPEN EVERY MONTH

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

April

Fee or free? Here’s a key:
(free)
– no fee to enter or to participate
($) – fee to enter or to participate
(*See note) – look for *explanation within the blurb


ThisMonth

Challenges, Contests, Mentorships, & Awards

See also HAPPEN EVERY MONTH

#ReVISIONweek Tune-Up Day 2 (free)
Get your manuscripts in shape! Spring Tune-Up Day Revision Challenge hosted by author Lauren Kerstein. April 6, 2022.

Spring Fling Writing Contest (free)Challenge for writers, find a springtime-themed gif and write 150 words. Post your submission from April 1st — April 3rd, 2022. Hosted by Ciara O’Neal and Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez.

Annual Spring Writing Contest ($)
Rate Your Story’s 2nd Annual Spring Writing Contest! Theme: Follow Your Heart. All genres, from board books through young adult. April 1st – 30th, 2022. Hosted by Rate Your Story.

The Great Outdoor Picture Book Contest ($)
Write a fiction picture book for kids ages 4-7 years old that inspires them to venture out and experience the great outdoors! Cash prizes and critiques for winners, free online workshop for all entrants. Deadline: May 31, 2022. From the Institute of Children’s Literature.

#PBChatMentorship (free)
Mentorships with published picture book writers and illustrators for unpublished picture book writers and illustrators. Applications open March 25 to April 11, 2022. Watch #PBChat and @JustinRColon on Twitter for more details. Hosted by children’s writer Justin Colón.

#WriteMentor Summer Programme (free)
UK-based program pairing professionals in children’s literature with pre-agented writers for online summer mentorship. Open to anyone who writes in English. 2022 Applications open 7th-8th April 2022.

DVmentor (free)
For book creators from marginalized and underrepresented communities, DVMentor pairs agented and/or published creators with unagented authors and illustrators for a mentorship through revision, querying, and more. Mentors apply April 1 – 14, 2022; Mentees apply May 1 – 14, 2022. From Diverse Voices, Inc.

DVdebut (free)
For debuting, marginalized book creators who are looking to survive their debut year. Mentors are seasoned authors who have been through it all before and are willing to guide a new author through the highs and lows of this experience with the hope of retention and expansion of our community. Mentors apply April 1 – 14, 2022; Mentees apply May 1 – 14, 2022. From Diverse Voices, Inc.

Children’s Book Challenge Week (free)
Learn how to write, illustrate, and publish children’s books. A full week of free live virtual sessions, April 25 – 30, 2022, 10am Pacific Time. Register at link. From Storyteller Academy.

SCBWI Don Freeman Grants (See note*)
Annual awards given to illustrators in support of a work in progress that is not already under contract. Deadline March 31, 2022, midnight Pacific Time. *No application fee, but applicant must be a dues-paying member of SCBWI.

The Ann Whitford Paul—Writer’s Digest Manuscript Award (See note*)
Submissions window open Deadline 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.

SCBWI Karen and Philip Cushman Late Bloomer Grant (See note*)
Recognizes a promising manuscript by a writer over the age of 50 who has never been published. Submit in conjunction with the Work-in-Progress Awards (see below). Deadline March 31, 2022, midnight Pacific Time. *No application fee, but applicant must be a dues-paying member of SCBWI.

SCBWI Work-in-Progress Awards (See note*) 
Annual awards given to writers of children’s books in support of a work in progress that is not already under contract, including picture books. Deadline March 31, 2022, midnight Pacific Time. *No application fee, but applicant must be a dues-paying member of SCBWI.

MonthWC


Webinars & Conferences

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

12×12 Book Chat (free)
12 x 12 member Kirsten Larson will share how her picture book A TRUE WONDER: The Comic Hero Who Changed Everything went from idea to bookshelf. Plus, she’ll answer your questions about her path to publishing! Wednesday March 30, 2022 8pm Eastern Time. Hosted by Julie Hedlund of 12×12.

EUREKA! Crafting New Ideas for Picture Books (free)
Come have fun discussing where new ideas come from and practicing ‘barking’, ‘twisted thinking’, and 48create as idea-generating tools for children’s books. With children’s author, scientist, and inventor, Dr. Mel Rosenberg. Sunday April 3, 2022, 8pm Israel, 1pm Eastern, 10am Pacific Time. From SCBWI Israel.

How to Self-Publish a Picture Book ($)
Part 3: A Deep Dive into Amazon and Ingram. A webinar with Stefanie Hohl. Tuesday April 5, 2022, 1pm Eastern Time, recording available to registered participants. From SCBWI West Pennsylvania.

Building Bridges (free)
A Conversation on Disability and Accessibility in Picture Books and Beyond. Featuring panelists: Author/Illustrator – Roz Maclean, MSW & Essayist – Jessica Slice, Agent – Naomi Davis at BookEnds , and Editor – Andrea Hall at Beaming Books. Thursday April 7 2022, 7 – 8:30pm Eastern Time. From New England SCBWI.

Meet the Agency: 4-Webinar Series with Raven Quill Literary Agency ($)
Join us for one, two, three, or all four! Thursdays in April 2022 at 7pm Eastern Time. Registration for each event closes 5am the morning of the event. See link for details—there’s a lot to this! From SCBWI Eastern Pennsylvania.

  • April 7: Publishing Law 101 with literary agent Jacqui Lipton
  • April 11: Mastering Your First Five Pages with literary agent Kortney Price
  • April 21: DO YOU FEEL WHAT I SEE? An in-depth look at first person point-of-view with literary agent Kelly Dyksterhouse
  • April 28: The Magic of Revision with literary agent Lori Steel
  • May 5: Pitch Parlor with an agent of your choice

Digital Workshops 6.0 (*See note)
SCBWI’s digital workshops are back! Each webinar will take place at 4:00 pm Eastern Time / 1:00 pm Pacific Time. Video recordings will be posted to the SCBWI website 24 hours after each workshop concludes and will remain up on the Digital Workshop archive page for one month. Log into your SCBWI account at link above for access to Zoom links. *Free for dues-paying members of SCBWI.

  • April 7, 2022: Chillin’ with a Villain with author Roshani Chokshi
  • April 14, 2022: Spanish Language Webinar with author Adolfo Córdova (This one is free to the public, register at link.)
  • April 21, 2022: Marketing for Authors: From Self-Promotion to Getting the Most from Your Publisher with author Margot Wood
  • April 28, 2022: Using Texture as a Tool for Creating Pictures With illustrator Rahele Jomepour Bell
  • May 5, 2022: An Illustrator and Author Walk into a Bar…With illustrator Benson Shum and author Meg Fleming
  • May 12, 2022: Stop Waiting for Inspiration and Start Becoming an Idea Generator With author Naz Kutub

Raising Funds for Author/Illustrator School Visits ($)
Join author Amanda Davis for a collaborative approach on how to gather funding for schools and librarians to support YOUR author/illustrator visits! Saturday April 9, 2022, 10am-11:30am Central Time. From The Writing Barn.

Is Self-Publishing Right for Me? ($)
In this one-hour workshop, award-winning author Darcy Pattison will outline when it is a good idea to self-publish and when it is better to pursue traditional publishing. Thursday April 14, 2022, 6:30-7:45pm Eastern Time. Hosted by SCBWI New York: Eastern Upstate.

Visual Storytelling Tools ($)
Author/Illustrators Stan Yan and Heather Brockman Lee will share helpful tips (for illustrators and authors alike) with the visual storytelling tools, apps, and programs they use to plan and illustrate their picture book and graphic novel projects. Thursday April 14, 2022, 7 – 8:30pm Mountain Time. Hosted by SCBWI Rocky Mountains.

Children’s Book Challenge Week (free)
Learn how to write, illustrate, and publish children’s books. A full week of free live virtual sessions, April 25 – 30, 2022, 10am Pacific Time. Register at link. From Storyteller Academy.

The Key to a Better World is WE: The Power of Collaboration ($)
Curious about collaboration? Join poets/authors/writing team Irene Latham and Charles Waters to learn the skills needed to create and maintain a successful collaboration–while also remaining Poetic Forever Friends. April 26, 2022 7-8pm Eastern Time. Hosted by SCBWI Mid Atlantic (D.C./Virginia)

Free Gather: A Celebration of Poetry (free)
A Celebration of Poetry with Margarita Engle & Padma Venkatraman
. Padma and Margarita will be in conversation about poetry, their stories, and their mutual respect for one another’s craft. Wednesday April 27, 2022, 7pm Eastern. From The Highlights Foundation.

Something New — Online Picture Book Conference ($)
Full day online conference about picture books. See link for faculty and schedule. April 30, 2022, 8:30am – 4:30 pm Central Time. Hosted by SCBWI Iowa.

New England SCBWI Spring Virtual Conference Event ($)
Join your fellow authors and illustrators for a weekend of online craft and camaraderie. Panels, workshops, online socials, keynotes, ask-a-mentor sessions. Includes LOTS of Picture Book sessions for both writers and illustrators, given by distinguished faculty. No hotel costs! Friday April 29 – Sunday May 1, 2022.


MonthMWC

Multi-Week Courses

Courses lasting more than a day or two.

Introduction to Editing Children’s Literature ($)
Join author and editor Heidi Fielder for this five-week course. Lessons will focus on board books, picture books, and chapter books. Designed for editors who are interested in working on children’s books but aren’t sure how to get started. April 4–May 8, 2022. Hosted by the Editorial Freelancer’s Association.

The Heart and Humor of Amy Krouse Rosenthal ($)
Author Marcie Colleen guides writers through a deep dive into the late Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s body of work, to enhance their own work. Six Tuesdays starting April 5, 2022, 7-9pm Central Time. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

Intro to Poetry and Publishing ($)
Join poet KB Brookins for a six-week exploration into the worlds of poetry and publication — and how the two collide. Six Thursdays, April 14 – May 26, 2022, 7 – 9 pm Central Time. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

Reimagining Your Nonfiction Picture Book ($)
Author Kirsten W. Larson will teach you tested techniques for revising and polishing your nonfiction picture books until they shine. Six Mondays starting April 18, 2022. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

Picture Book Biographies II: Creating a Standout ($)
Join picture book biography author Rob Sanders to dig deep into the style and substance of creative non-fiction PB biographies. Six Wednesdays starting April 20, 2022, 7 – 9pm Central Time. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

Writing for Children: Create A Picture Book! ($)
With author/illustrator Kelly Bingham. Picture books have changed greatly over the last few decades, and the market is wide open for fresh ideas. Join us in this six-week intensive where we’ll take that idea of yours and turn it into a manuscript! Six weeks starting April 27, 2022.


EveryMonth

HAPPEN EVERY MONTH

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.

Illustrators

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.

Writers

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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