December Picture Book Opportunities

Wrap up 2022 and look ahead to 2023 with this month’s roundup of Picture Book Opportunities!

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

To see what’s available all year ’round, and what’s coming up in 2023, visit the PICTURE BOOK SUPPORT resource page.

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, & Events

Holiday Writing Contest (free)
Write a holiday story between 300 – 400 words, appropriate for ages 12 and under, following prompt for the current year. The 2022 prompt is Holiday Bad Guy! Hosted by children’s author Susanna Leonard Hill

Webinars & Conferences

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

Writing Humorous Picture Books (even if you’re not funny) ($)
Join master funny kidlit writer Tara Lazar to understand what makes us laugh and how to amp up the humor in our own work. December 3, 2022, 1 – 2:30pm Eastern. Hosted by The Writers’ Loft.

MAKING WAVES 2022: An Online Illustrator Event ($)
Join us for two days of craft-oriented presentations, hands-on intensives, optional critiques, and a juried art show! December 2 – 4, 2022. Registration closes 11/29. Hosted by SCBWI MD/DE/WV.

Drawing Diversity ($)
Author/Illustrator Stan Yan will show examples of effective and ineffective ways of representing children and people of different walks. December 6, 2022, 7-8:30pm Eastern Time. Hosted by SCBWI DC/Virginia.

Picture Book Revision: A Two-Night Mini ($)
You are your book’s first and most important editor. Join prolific picture book authors Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and Anne Marie Pace for this short course filled with revision techniques for picture book writers. Two sessions: December 6 and 8, 2022, 7 – 8:15pm Eastern Time. From the Highlights Foundation.

Writing for the Children’s Educational Market ($)
Do you want to learn more about writing for the children’s educational market? Lisa L. Owens will give participants a clear sense of how this type of work works, as well as whether it seems like a good fit for them. December 10, 2022, 9am – 12noon Pacific Time. Hosted by SCBWI Western Washington.

Advanced Picture Book Revision Techniques: A Two-Night Mini ($)
Join prolific picture book author Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen for this short course to advance your picture book manuscript and satisfy the most discerning readers in the market! Two Sessions: December 12 and 14, 2022, 7 – 8:15pm Eastern Time. From the Highlights Foundation.

Writing the Picture Book Series ($)
Have you created an irresistible character, a unique setting, or a concept worth expanding? Join author Ann Marie Stephens for this craft webinar on turning it into a series. December 10, 2022, 10- 11:30am Central Time. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

Practice Makes Pitch Perfect ($)
Join author Jocelyn Rish for this craft webinar on polishing the pitch for your project. You’ll go from dreading the pitch writing process to popping out powerful pitches that capture people’s attention. December 12, 2022, 6 – 7:30pm Central Time. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

Leveraging Constraints to Propel Your Writing Forward ($)
Author and illustrator, Melissa Iwai, will discuss the benefits of having structural and thematic constraints in place when writing a children’s book manuscript. December 13, 2022, 7:30-9pm Eastern. Hosted by SCBWI New York: Metropolitan.

Writing From Life: How to Turn Real Events Into Fantastic Fiction ($)
Join award-winning authors Pat Zietlow Miller & e.E. Charlton-Trujillo for a craft webinar on writing picture books inspired by true events! December 16, 2022, 10 – 11:30am Central Time. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

Writing the Collective Biography ($)
Collective Biographies bring together the personal histories of many individuals under a single theme or purpose. Using his experience writing BLACK MEN IN SCIENCE as a guide, author Bryan Patrick Avery will cover the process of creating a Collective Biography. December 18, 2022, 2 – 4:30pm Central Time. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

Multi-Week Courses

Courses lasting more than a day or two.

Rate Your Story ($)
Registration open through mid-January or until full. Annual membership fee includes manuscript critiques from professionals in the field, among other benefits. Look for more info at the link.


For Both Illustrators and Writers

LitMingles (free)
Every month, the Los Angeles Region SCBWI hosts multiple LitMingles, opportunities to discuss topics of interest to kidlit writers and illustrators. For this month’s LitMingles calendar, go to the link above and then click the “LitMingle Calendar” link at the top of the landing page. Hosted by SCBWI Los Angeles, open to everyone via Zoom.

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

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