September Picture Book Opportunities

Lots going on this month, so the list is looooooong. Both writers and illustrators are sure to find something to spark creativity, improve craft, prepare for submission, or just help you hang in there! To see what’s available all year ’round, and what’s coming up later this 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


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 blurb 


Challenges, Contests, Mentorships, & Awards


Smart Dummies (free)
Complete a picture book dummy in 30 days. September 1 – 30 each year. Join the Facebook group for notifications. Hosted by writer/illustrator Dani Duck.

ReVISIONweek (free)
Revise your PB manuscripts that you wrote for challenges earlier in the year!  A week of support, inspiration, and revision magic. OH, and prizes! Always prizes! Wednesday September 14 – Wednesday September 21, 2022. Hosted by children’s authors Lauren H. Kerstein, Joana Pastro, Katie Frawley, Lynne Marie, Shannon Stocker, and Michal BaBay.

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.

We Need Diverse Books Mentorships (free)
Pairs writers and illustrators who belong to underrepresented groups with experienced children’s book creators for year-long mentorships. Applications are open September 1 – 30, 2022, for 2023.

Fall Poetry Contest ($)
Your mission is to write a fall-themed poem for kids ages 6-10 years old. It can be funny, lyrical, thoughtful, or entertaining! No matter the tone, it should speak to the elementary set. See link for more details. Submit by October 31, 2022. Hosted by ICL (Institute of Children’s Literature).

Webinars & Conferences

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

7 Phases of the Literary Life (free)
Join us for this FREE event about the 7 Phases of the Literary Life Cycle, from Dreamer to Mastery, and each phase’s Identifiers, Blocks, Steps to Take, Core Needs, and Dangers to Avoid. A Courage to Create teaser. September 1, 2022, 6pm Central Time. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

Found in Translation (free)
Two free webinars, join for one or both. Limited number of paid critiques available. Hosted by SCBWI Pennsylvania: East.

  • Navigating the Language of Foreign Rights: From translation rights to nuances of the foreign market and foreign cover approvals, join literary agent and foreign rights specialist Ellen Goff for this behind the scenes look at a foreign deal. September 6, 2022, 7pm Eastern Time.
  • Translating Books for Kids and Teens: How it Works and How to Break In: Lyn Miller-Lachmann, who has translated picture books, middle grade novels, and graphic novels from Portuguese into English will talk about how to become a children’s book translator. September 12, 2022, 7pm Eastern Time.

Write. Submit. Support. (WSS) Craft & Community Night (free)
Join us for a FREE evening of writing craft and community featuring presentations by some of The Writing Barn’s Write. Submit. Support. (WSS) program writers. September 7, 2022, 6-7:30pm Central Time. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

Something Borrowed-Online Nonfiction Conference ($)
See link for details on faculty, sessions, and paid critique opportunities. September 10, 2022, 9am – 4pm Central Time. Hosted by SCBWI Iowa.

Eight and Under Series ($)
Webinar Series for those who write or write-illustrate for children ages Eight & Under. Registration for the series is now closed. Registration for individual webinars is still open. Hosted by SCBWI Pennsylvania: East.

  • How to Create a Stand-out Story: Join Agent Kaitlyn Sanchez for tips and tricks about what to keep in mind when writing and revising to help create the strongest story possible. September 10, 2022, 7pm Eastern Time.
  • What’s Out there, What’s Needed, and What Sells? Independent Children’s Bookstore Manager, Heather Hebert, will share examples of titles, formats and genres that continue to sell repeatedly and discuss where there are gaps, and what is needed to fill them. September 19, 2022, 7pm Eastern Time.
  • The Editor/Author/Illustrator Relationship: Bringing Your Book to Publication: Editor Andrea Hall will talk about the collaboration between author / illustrator and editor, the relationship between text and illustrations, and what goes into revisions once the contract is signed. October 15, 2022, 7pm Eastern Time.
  • What Editors Want For Young Readers: Editorial Director Sunita Apte will walk you through what editors (or at least this editor) look for when reviewing manuscripts for younger readers. November 5, 2022, 7pm Eastern Time.

Playing with Words & Pictures: A Hybrid Event ($)
Online events September 12-15, 2022
, 7pm – 9pm, followed by an optional in-person event in Buffalo, New York on September 17. Hosted by SCBWI: West/Central Upstate New York.

  • September 12: Creating Picture Books with Sensitive Subject Matter with Author/Illustrator Barbara DiLorenzo. 7pm Eastern; Octopus Stew Explained, from Sketches to Publication with Author/Illustrator Eric Velasques, 8pm Eastern.
  • September 13: Parataxis, Hypotaxis, and Other Fun Words: A Close Look at Syntax, and Why it Matters with author Elana K. Arnold. 7pm Eastern; Query Letters 101 with Literary Agent Eric Smith, 8pm Eastern.
  • September 14: Parataxis, Hypotaxis, and Other Fun Words: A Close Look at Syntax, and Why it Matters with author Elana K. Arnold. 7pm Eastern; Digital Portfolio Building with Senior Art Director Maria Middleton, 8pm Eastern.
  • September 15: Writing an Engaging Mystery: Atmosphere, Tension, Pacing and Premise with Christa Heschke, Literary Agent. 7pm Eastern.
  • Saturday September 17: See link for details of in-person event.

Writing the Natural World in Fiction and Non-Fiction ($)
How can we weave nature, animals, and ecological ideas into our work for kids in a way that is 1) grounded in science, and 2) totally enchanting? Craft Webinar with picture book and middle grade author Evan Griffith. September 13, 2022, 7 – 8:30 pm Central. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

SCBWI Digital Workshops 7.0 Session One: Meet the Agents, Session One (*See note)
Meet the agents of this year’s Association of American Literary Agents (AALA) Mentors of Change program and hear what each of them is looking for. September 15, 2022 1pm Pacific Time. *Free to dues-paying members of SCBWI.

Portfolio Development Essentials for Picture Books and Cover Art ($)
Join illustrator Anoosha Syed in a discussion about portfolio development essentials for picture books and cover art. Friday September 16, 2022, 7 – 8pm Eastern. Hosted by SCBWI: New York: Westchester

Becoming a Nonfiction Writer: A Two-Part Online Course ($)
Join Jennifer Swanson and Teresa Robson for this an online course with two parts: an intensive weekend, followed by one week of mini-lectures, Q & A sessions, and 1:1 consultations. September 16 – 24, 2022. Hosted by The Highlights Foundation.

Real Talk: How to Keep Your Writing Career Going in A Post-Pandemic World ($)
A 3.5-hour, intensive writing business workshop for both pre-published and multi-published authors. Look behind the scenes! A limited number of written critiques and 1-on-1 marketing appointments will also be available for an additional fee. September 17, 2022, 9am – 12:30pm Arizona Time (Arizona does not observe Daylight Saving Time)

  • From Query to Published, and ALL the Steps in Between: The hard truths that take place on the path to publication (if it even happens at all) with Ann Rose, Agent, The Prospect Agency
  • What’s the Deal? Or a Better Question, How Do I Get One?: What it takes to get an offer of publication in this new reality with Susan Chang, Freelance Editor, Susan Chang Editorial, former acquisitions editor at HarperCollins, Macmillan, and Hyperion
  • A Post-Pandemic Paradigm Shift: Unless you are a big fish author, the hard truth is you will be doing 70% of your own publicity. Here’s how. With Hybrid YA Author and owner of Oracle Author Services Sara Fujimura

The 2022 KidLit Palooza ($)
A Kind But Kickass Kidlit Career Making Conference including information, interaction, tips, ​techniques, prizes, pitches, personal advice, handouts & re-usable worksheets. September 17 – 18, 2022, with optional upgrade to include September 19. See link for full details. From Children’s Book Academy.

SCBWI Digital Workshops 7.0 Session Two: Spanish Language Webinar (*See note)
Hemos visitado muchos mundos imaginarios, y algunos de ellos se han convertido en parte de nuestras vidas. Pero, ¿por dónde empezar a crear uno desde cero? En este encuentro hablaremos sobre cómo organizarse, cómo no desesperarse y qué equipaje necesitaremos en el fascinante viaje de inventar un mundo entero. September 22, 2022 1pm Pacific Time. *Free to dues-paying members of SCBWI.

Light Within the Darkness: Writing Picture Books About Difficult Topics in History ($)
We can’t shield children from all the bad in the world, but we can help them understand and work through it. Join author Marcie Colleen & author-illustrator and educator Amanda Davis for this webinar on writing picture books that address difficult topics in history. Saturday September 24, 2022, 10am – 12:30pm Central Time. From The Writing Barn.

Fiction, Nonfiction . . . and the Spaces in Between: Harnessing Reality to Speak to Readers ($)
Where do the boundaries lie between fiction and nonfiction? How do you decide which form is best for your story? Join author Uma Krishnaswami for this two-part exploration of the intersection between fiction and nonfiction. September 24, 2022, 10am – 1pm Pacific Time. Hosted by SCBWI Western Washington.

From Submission to Shelves: How Publishing Works and How You Can Prep for the Process ($)
In this presentation, Editor Sarah Rockett aims to lift the curtain on the inner workings of the traditional publishing industry. Note: This presentation is part of the monthly meeting of the SCBWI California: San Diego chapter and includes chapter business as well as the guest speaker presentation. September 24, 2022, 2pm – 4pm Pacific Time. Season ticket to chapter meetings available here.

SCBWI Digital Workshops 7.0 Session Three: Writing with Emotion (*See note)
In this webinar, we’ll come to understand why emotion is the center of every story we tell. September 29, 2022 1pm Pacific Time. *Free to dues-paying members of SCBWI.

School Visits: Spotlight on Students and Storytellers ($)
Join Andrea Loney, Carmen Oliver and guests for a productive weekend to develop your 20-minute virtual visit (plus strategies to expand or condense it as needed) with faculty support. September 30 – October 2, 2022. From the Highlights Foundation.

Multi-Week Courses

Online courses lasting more than a day or two.

Intensive Picture Book Workshop ($)
Work with a developmental editor in six, 30-minute Zoom meetings as you write and revise your fiction or nonfiction picture book. September 1 – October 31, 2022. Led by Anastasia Suen, author (and ghostwriter) of 400+ books for children, teens, and adults.

Write. Submit. Support. for Nonfiction Writers ($)
A group for those working in the nonfiction field of kid lit. Deepen writing skills while setting and pursuing publication goals with a small group of writers, led by Rob Sanders, a master of craft, and special industry guests. Six monthly sessions, Sundays, September 18, 2022 – February 19, 2023. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

Write. Submit. Support. for Picture Book/Chapter Book Writers ($)
Join author Andrea J. Loney for a 6-month exploration of your literary life! Write. Submit. Support has successfully ushered writers through personal challenges to keep up with their writing goals and publishing goals. Six monthly sessions, Sundays, September 18, 2022 – February 19, 2023. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

Perfecting the Picture Book I ($)
Picture Book I is all about perfecting the basic craft and structural elements needed to write successful picture books ready for sale. Join Author Jyoti Gopal to learn basic format elements, how to work with illustrations, word count, picture book tips and tricks, and more. Six Tuesdays September 20 – October 25, 2022, 6:30 = 8:30 pm Central Time. From The Writing Barn.

A Place at the Desk: Writing Fiction for Children ($)
Writing for children is a place with a wide spectrum, from picture books to middle grade to young adult. Come to this session to explore it all with instructor and author Lisa M. Bolt Simons. Six Tuesdays, September 20 – November 8, 2022, Noon – 2pm Central Time. Hosted by The Loft.

Emotional Impact & Your Picture Book ($)
Explore what your picture book needs to have emotional resonance with your reader with writer, editor, and publisher Eileen Robinson. September 24 – December 17, 2022. Hosted by The Highlights Foundation.

Editing Children’s Picture Books ($)
Intended for professional editors, but sure to be of use to writers who self-edit and critique. September 21 – November 1, 2022. Instructor Lou Piccolo is a freelance developmental editor of fiction and creative nonfiction. Hosted by Editorial Freelancers Association.

Writing for Kids 101 ($)
Have you always wanted to write stories for kids, but never knew where to start? This class with Tina Tocco will let you get your feet wet. Four Thursdays starting September 22, 2022. Hosted by Writing Workshops.

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 September 28, 2022.


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 hereSign up for guest notifications here, and get a free ebook: “The Ultimate Children’s Writing Cheat Sheet.” Presented by Children’s Book Insider.

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.

Might Could Studiomates (free)
Tired of social media, but still want a space to share your art and be inspired? Meet artist friends and grow your art practice in this free, private online community. Founded by artist Christine Nishiyama.

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


  1. Marianne,
    As always, thank you for compiling this treasure trove of exceptional opportunities!! I might actually take the plunge on one or two of these!!

    Liked by 1 person

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