June Picture Book Opportunities

Welcome back Picture Book Creators! Next month’s post is coming on July 5, so I snuck a couple of early-July events into the June list. To see what else is coming up the rest of the year, visit the PICTURE BOOK SUPPORT resource page.

Click the links to go directly to each list.

Challenges, Contests, Mentorships, Awards, and Events
Webinars & Conferences
Multi-Week Courses









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, Mentorships, & Awards


Debut Review Challenge (free)
May-June reading challenge continues. Hosted by children’s writer Laura Renauld.

#kidlit Comps Summer Reading Club (free)
Join the #kidlit Comps Summer Reading Club on Facebook and read all summer long. Build a list of comps (published children’s books like yours) to use in your query when you send out your #kidlit manuscript. June 1-Aug 31, 2022. Led by author and developmental editor Anastasia Suen.

Rising Stars Picture Book Mentorship (free?)
#PBRisingStars Mentorship pairs up-and-coming mentors with up-and-coming mentees. See website for details and requirements. Application events happening from June 1 – June 11, 2022. Hosted by children’s writer Kailie Pew.

#KidLitVibes Writing Contest for Picture Book Authors (free)
Starting June 1
, step right up to the WHEEL OF FEELS! What word did you spin? Your goal is to write a story that captures that vibe. See website for complete details and ask for clarifications on Twitter. Enter between June 11 –  June 12, 2022. Hosted by the Frenzy Friends.

#PBPitch (free)
A Twitter pitch party exclusively for picture books! Thursday, June 9th, 2022, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

#QueerKidlit Mentorships (free)
For pre-published LGBTQ+ writers, illustrators, and writer/illustrators. Mentors will connect with selected mentees at least once per month for a three-month period to work on a specific project. Applications period open May 15 – June 15, 2022.

#KidLitZombieWeek (free)
Bring your dead manuscripts back to life! Join “6 Ladies and a MANuscript” Critique Group for KidLitZombieWeek. Blog posts, twitter discussions, and prizes! At website (above) and on Twitter @6and_Manuscript. June 6 – 10, 2022.

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. Deadline extended to June 15, 2022. Hosted by Rate Your Story.

Key Colors Competition (*see note)
Clavis Publishing, New York launches Key Colors, the two-yearly national contest for illustrators of unpublished picture books. Winner receives $8000 and the winning work will be published by Clavis Publishing. Deadline for submission: June 30, 2022. Open to residents of the United States and Canada only. *No entry fee listed.

Black Voices in Children’s Literature Writing Contest (free)
The contests’ mission is to elevate authentic, culturally relevant children’s stories written by and about Black people. Every entry is considered for publication and three cash prizes will be awarded. See link above for details. Submissions open June 19 to July 24, 2022. Sponsored by Free Spirit Publishing and Strive Publishing.

New Voices Award (free)
Given annually by children’s book publisher Lee & Low for a children’s picture book manuscript by a writer of color or Native/Indigenous writer. Winners receives a $2,000 cash prize and a first time publishing contract with Lee & Low Books. All submissions must be submitted between May 1, 2022, and August 1, 2022 11:59 p.m. EDT (Eastern Daylight Time).

#Pitchdis (free)
A Twitter pitch event for disabled authors. See hashtags, rules & guidelines here. June 23, 2022 between 8am and 8pm Eastern Time. Moderated by Despina Karras.

Russell Freedman Award For Nonfiction For A Better World (free)
In honor of the late Russell Freedman, Newbery Award winner and one of the modern masters of narrative nonfiction, a prize to a traditionally published nonfiction book for children or young adults, released between January 1 and December 31, 2022. Submission deadline September 15, 2022. From the SCBWI Impact and Legacy Fund.

Webinars & Conferences

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

Body Image in Kidlit ($)
Learn how to write sensitively about body image with award-winning author of Starfish, Lisa Fipps. June 4, 2022, 10-11:30am Central Time. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

From Inspiration to Publication ($)
Join author-illustrator Katia Wish to see how she developed her latest picture book RACCOON’S PERFECT SNOWMAN. June 7, 2022, 7:30 – 9 pm Eastern. Hosted by SCBWI New York: Metropolitan.

Self-Publishing DIY ($)
Are you ready for an online deep-dive into self-publishing? Legal aspects, working with an illustrator, how to budget, and more. See link for faculty, topics, and schedule. June 10 – 12, 2022. From SCBWI Southern Breeze.

The Care and Feeding of a Series (*See note)
Join Indiana’s own Jeff Stone for a deep dive into the nuts and bolts of developing, pitching, and ultimately sustaining a world-class series. *Free to SCBWI members, nominal fee for nonmembers. Saturday, June 11, 2022; 10 – 11am Eastern. From SCBWI Indiana.

Self-Publishing: Is it right for you? ($)
Everything you need to know to succeed, with Karen Inglis, co-author of SCBWI’s Essential Guide to Self-Publishing Books for Children. June 15, 2022, 7 – 8pm Israel Time. From SCBWI Israel.

Aesop Writers (free)
A FREE workshop for Un-Published Picture Book Creators. The 2nd virtual workshop is June 18, 2022, 12 Noon Central Time. Hosted by author Alice Faye Duncan.

The Modern Author’s Press Kit ($)
Former book publicist and journalist Sarah Nicolas will break down every item an author should have before contacting journalists, retailers, bloggers, event planners, or others who might take interest in you as an author. June 21, 2022, 7 – 8:30pm Eastern. From SCBWI Mid Atlantic.

How To How To: Engaging Readers with Engaging Activity Writing ($)
Learn how procedural writing can deepen your current work or spark something new in this craft webinar with Dana Rau! June 24, 2022 10-11:30am Central Time. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

How to Turn Rejections into Opportunities ($)
Join author Kathie McMahon to learn what to expect after you hit the “Send” button and how to turn lemons into lemonade. June 25, 2022, 1pm – 2:30pm Mountain STANDARD Time (same as Pacific Daylight Time). From SCBWI Arizona.

Let’s Create In Procreate! ($)
Summer Springboard for Illustrators with author/illustrator Olga Herrera. Optional PB dummy and folio critiques. July 7, 2022, 10:30 am -12 noon, Eastern. From SCBWI Maryland/Delaware/West Virginia.

Years in the Making: Embracing the Long View as Writers ($)
In this webinar, writer Meera Trehan will discuss how to develop your craft, find the heart of your work, and develop a writing community over the long haul, and what to do when you hit those inevitable bumps in the road. July 9, 2022, 1 – 2:30pm Eastern. From SCBWI Maryland/Delaware/West Virginia.

2022 Nonfiction Kidlit Confab ($)
Two days of digging deep into nonfiction kidlit, with distinguished faculty including authors, illustrators, agents, and editors. July 9 – 10, 2022, 9 – 5pm Central. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

Multi-Week Courses

Courses lasting more than a day or two.

Crash Course in Children’s Publishing: Illustrators Edition ($)
Join lead faculty Pat Cummings and Harold Underdown for this special Illustrators edition of our Crash Course in Children’s Publishing. At the end of the course, you will understand how the children’s book publishing industry works for illustrators and author/illustrators, including ways to build your portfolio and engage with art-directors. June 1 – July 27, 2022. From The Highlights Foundation.

Writing the Rainbow: LGBTQIA+ Themes in Picture Books ($)
Join Lesléa Newman, Rob Sanders, Kyle Lukoff and C. Rowen MacCarald for three weeks of craft-focused lectures, mentor text study, manuscript feedback, Q&A, and community. You will learn to create books that celebrate joy, respect, and appreciation to children in today’s world. 3 weeks, June 2 – 18, 2022. Live sessions twice a week, see link for schedule details. From the Highlights Foundation.

Summer Springboard: Presenting Your Public Face ($)
Presentation skills and event planning for authors with press & PR consultant, writer, editor, and coach Caroline Leech. Eight Wednesdays starting June 8, 2022, 7:30 – 8pm Eastern. Hosted by SCBWI Maryland/Delaware/West Virginia.


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.

Months of a Year Banner Illustrations by Blue Ring Media, Shutterstock

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