Outline of a girl leaning on a wall reading a book.

MG / YA Support

girl reading shutterstock_1156270006updated 5/24/2021

Do you write Middle Grade or Young Adult books? Find support for your writing through these online kidlit communities, challenges, courses, contests, and events.

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

Year-round resources are listed first, followed by events and opportunities available each month. Click the name of a month to go directly to that month’s listings. NOTE: See monthly blog posts for special events scheduled during COVID-19 social distancing.

January                February               March                  April                       May                       June                      July                        August                  September         October               November          December

Know a good resource or event that isn’t on this list? Is it intended for middle grade or young adult writers? Is it available online (not an in-person conference or event)? Please tell us in the comments, or send a message through the Contact Form on the About Us page. Thanks.

Available all year:

Children’s Book Academy ($)
On-demand self-paced courses from industry professionals on a variety of topics. CBA also offers scheduled courses with faculty support; see monthly listings. Hosted by Mira Reisburg.

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.

Eva Langston Writing for Teens and tweens (and adults, too!) (free) Visit for plot exercises, analysis of beloved MG and YA writing, and blog posts with actionable advice.

First Five Pages Workshop (free) The first Saturday of each month (except April, August, and December). Enter the raffle for the chance to be one of five randomly chosen writers to receive feedback from writing mentors across three weeks.

Four on 400 (free) A monthly contest where 1 kidlit writer is selected to receive feedback on the opening 400 words of their manuscript (MG and YA writers)

From the Mixed-Up Files… of Middle-Grade Authors (free access to resources, closed to new members) houses resources for MG readers, teachers, librarians, and writers. Look for craft resources, book lists, STEM posts, and the “We Need Diverse Middle Grade” series!

GETTING YOUR MIDDLE GRADE OR YOUNG ADULT NOVEL UNSTUCK: AN ON DEMAND ONLINE WORKSHOP 2021 ($) Highlights offers an on demand workshop available all year long with Erin Dionne and Chris Tebbetts. Learn lots of tools for getting unstuck! Gain access to workshop videos, worksheets, a 20 minute zoom with Erin or Chris to discuss your WIP, monthly office hours, and access to a community discussion page!

Institute of Children’s Literature ($)
Offers multipart course Writing for Children and Teens, with one-on-one mentorship by an industry professional; The Writers’ Block, an online community with many benefits including monthly critiques; and free weekly podcasts with Katie Davis. 

KidLit 411 (free)
Comprehensive online resource for children’s writers and illustrators, with associated Facebook group. KidLit411 has their own list of Writing Challenges here and Challenges for Illustrators here. Founded and maintained by Elaine Kiely Kearns and Silvia Liu.

KidLit Distancing Social (free)
A free educational hangout for kidlit writers featuring guest speakers, news, every Tuesday: 8pm Eastern Time, 7pm Central, 6pm Mountain, 5pm Pacific. Replays available here. Presented by Children’s Book Insider.

Lyrical Language Lab / Peek & Critique (free)
YouTube channel available all year long, providing free critiques and lessons to kidlit writers every Monday. Hosted by children’s poet and author Renee LaTulippe.

Lyrical Language Lab Courses (*See note)
This online course teaches children’s writers the poetic techniques. Subscribe to mailing list for next availability. *Link lands on a page with links to five free lyrical language lessons, plus info about 10-week paid course. Hosted by children’s poet and author Renee LaTulippe.

Mary Kole’s kid lit website (free) is filled with information on querying, publishing, and (of course) writing! Find books on craft and recent recommended children’s books. You could get lost in this resource for days! She also has a book if you want even more!

Monthly Twitter Writing Challenge (free)
Participants agree to aim for 500 words or 1 hour of editing each day for a month. Founded by author Kristy Acevedo.

Rate Your Story ($)
Year-round program with registration in November, December, and January. Manuscript critiques from professionals in the field, among other benefits. Nonmembers may submit for free critiques on open submission days, purchase a Speed Pass for a single critique, and participate in the fee-based annual contest.

SCBWI ($)
Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. International organization with a strong online presence, including challenges, webinars hosted by regional chapters but open to all, and active discussion boards on all topics of interest to children’s writers and illustrators.

Storyteller Academy ($)
Online courses taught by a variety of professionals, related to writing and illustrating for children.  Hosted by Arree Chung.

SubSix (free)
Children’s Book Creatives Support Group. Facebook group of children’s writers and illustrators working toward submission goals.

#write5minutes ($)
Write your children’s book this month 5 minutes at a time in a writing workshop for board books to YA with a 238 page e-book library and a 30-minute mentor meeting call *anytime* during the month taught by author and editor Anastasia Suen.

Writing Blueprints ($)
On-demand webinars and resources. Each Writing Blueprint takes a particular genre or category of book and breaks the process of writing and revising it into tiny steps. Each step then features a video with an expert instructor describing this piece of the writing puzzle and giving instructions about using the fillable PDF form for that step. From Children’s Book Insider.

Complete Month by Month Listings

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The Adventure Writers Competition ($) A competition for action packed adventure novels. Receive feedback on your manuscript, be considered for publication by Braveship Books, cash prize. Submissions open January 1st, 2021.

A Woman’s Write ($) an international novel contest. Enter an unpublished novel! Every submission receives critique. Submissions open January 1st, 2021.

First Five Pages Workshop (free) The first Saturday of each month (except April, August, and December). Enter the raffle for the chance to be one of five randomly chosen writers to receive feedback from writing mentors across three weeks. January 2, 2021.

Four on 400 (free) A monthly contest where 1 kidlit writer is selected to receive feedback on the opening 400 words of their manuscript (MG and YA writers) January 4, 2021

NFFest Registration for 2021 event is January 15 – January 31 (see February listing)

2021 Kraken Book Prize($) January 15 – April 6 A contest hosted by Regal House Publishing for finely crafted middle grade. The winner receives $750 and a publishing contract!

2021 Virtual SCBWI Florida Annual Regional Conference ($)
This year’s theme: Finding Your Place in KidLit and Leaving Space for Others. Keynotes, Panels, Speakers, critiques. January 16 – 17, 2021.

Lyrical Language Lab ($)
Learn to make your picture books lyrical, whether or not they rhyme. Next 10-week class starts in January, 2021, taught by children’s author Renee LaTulippe. Sign up for email list to receive information about self-study courses.

DVCON (free)
A two-day virtual writers conference for authors & illustrators who identify with a marginalized community. January 22 – 23, 2022. Register at this link. A product of #DVPIT.

Rate Your Story ($)
Manuscript critiques from professionals in the field, among other benefits. Sometimes holds open submission days with free critiques for nonmembers. Early bird registration for 2021 opened November 1st, 2020 and will close when full. 

ReVISIONweek Tune-Up Day, Wednesday, January 20th (see September listing) 

Storystorm (free)
Come up with 30 story ideas in 31 days. Inspirational guest posts. Raffle of prizes for those who succeed. Hosted by children’s author Tara Lazar.

THE WRITING BARN COURSES ($)
Beyond Fact-Flinging: Essential Elements to Elevate Info Books
Join Acclaimed nonfiction author Heather L. Montgomery for a six-week deep dive into the essential elements that take your nonfiction project from boring to breakthrough! Six Sundays, January 17 – February 21, 2021, 6pm – 8pm Central Time.

Write Mentor Children’s Novel Award ($) Submit a completed manuscript by January 31st 2021 for unagented and unpublished. Pay an extra £5 for feedback from 4 readers (2 adults and 2 children). Winners receive prize money and trophy. January 31, 2021.

Book Pipeline Contest ($) has two contests, one for published books and one for unpublished manuscripts. The contest looks at the work for film and television adaptation by film and television producers. Accept nonfiction book proposals and fiction manuscripts

February
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#50PreciousWords Writing Challenge (free)
Write a story appropriate for kids ages 12 or under, using only 50 words. Dates to come for 2021. Hosted by author Vivian Kirkfield. 

Debut Review Challenge (free)
February-March challenge begins. Hosted by children’s writer Laura Renauld.

NonFiction Fest (free) (@NFFest)
NF Fest turns February into a crash course in writing nonfiction for children. Daily blog posts from authors and industry professionals and a Facebook community. Register by January 31 to be eligible for prizes. Hosted by the NonFiction Chicks: Lisa Amstutz, Stephanie Bearce, Nancy Churnin, Susie Kralovansky, Pat Miller, Linda Skeers, and Peggy Thomas.

#SFFpit (free) is a twitter pitch contest for fantasy and science fiction novels! (PB, MG, YA and adult!) Submit up to 10 tweets! February 3, 2021 from 8 am to 6 pm.

Four on 400 (free) A monthly contest where 1 kidlit writer is selected to receive feedback on the opening 400 words of their manuscript (MG and YA writers) February 4, 2021.

First Five Pages Workshop (free) The first Saturday of each month (except April, August, and December). Enter the raffle for the chance to be one of five randomly chosen writers to receive feedback from writing mentors across three weeks. February 6, 2021.

#FaithPitch (@Faith_Pitch) (free)
Twitter pitch party exclusively for the Christian Book Market (CBM). Check Twitter account for full details, hashtags, and rules. Hosted by publisher Little Lamb Books.

SCBWI Virtual Winter Conference ($)
SCBWI’s annual winter extravaganza will take place online in 2021. Theme: Inside Children’s Publishing. No travel! No hotel! Faculty, program, and a full schedule available at link above; scroll to bottom for registration. February 19 -22, 2021.

Valentiny Writing Contest (free)
Write a Valentines’ story no longer than 214 words, appropriate for ages 12 and under, following prompt for the current year. Prize for the winner. Hosted by children’s author Susanna Leonard Hill.

WriteOnCon ($)
Online conference for kidlit writers and illustrators for all levels (PB, MG, YA). Friday, February 19 to Sunday, February 21, 2021.

March
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#50PreciousWords Writing Challenge (free)
Write a story appropriate for kids ages 12 or under, using only 50 words. Dates to come. Hosted by author Vivian Kirkfield.

#PitMad (free) A twitter event to pitch completed, polished, unpublished manuscripts. March 4, 2021 from 8 am to 8 pm.

Four on 400 (free) A monthly contest where 1 kidlit writer is selected to receive feedback on the opening 400 words of their manuscript (MG and YA writers) March 4, 2021.

First Five Pages Workshop (free) The first Saturday of each month (except April, August, and December). Enter the raffle for the chance to be one of five randomly chosen writers to receive feedback from writing mentors across three weeks. March 6, 2021.

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.

Debut Review Challenge (free)
February-March challenge continues. Hosted by children’s writer Laura Renauld.

Madness! Poetry (free)
“March Madness” tournament for writers of children’s poetry. Write up to six original poems based on prompt in three weeks. Full information here. Sign up to be notified when registration opens here (scroll to bottom). Hosted by kids’ poet Ed DeCaria of Think, Kid, Think!

SCBWI Karen and Philip Cushman Late Bloomer Grant (See note*)
Submissions open March 1 – March 31. 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). *No application fee, but applicant must be a member of SCBWI, which requires dues.

SCBWI Work-in-Progress Awards (See note*)
Submissions open March 1 – March 31. 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. *No application fee, but applicant must be a member of SCBWI, which requires dues.

April
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Four on 400 (free) A monthly contest where 1 kidlit writer receives feedback on the opening 400 words of their manuscript (MG and YA writers) April 4, 2021.

Spring Fling Writing Contest (free)
Challenge for writers, find a springtime-themed gif and write 150 words. April 1st through April 3rd. Hosted by Ciara O’Neal and Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez. Check out Fall Writing Frenzy, too.

2021 Kraken Book Prize($) Deadline April 6 A contest hosted by Regal House Publishing for finely crafted middle grade. The winner receives $750 and a publishing contract! Submission window (1/15-4/6)

ReVISIONweek Tune-Up Day Wednesday, April 7th. (see September listing)

Children’s Novel Writing Workshop ($)
New one-to-one 12-week chapter book, middle grade, or young adult novel overview and first chapter critique workshop taught by author and editor Anastasia Suen. April 7-June 23, 2021.

#RevPit (free) A twitter contest for querying authors to win feedback and edits on full manuscripts. April 10, 2021

#WriteMentor Summer Programme (free)
Mentee Applications are open April 15-17th for UK-based program pairing professionals in children’s literature with pre-agented writers for online summer mentorship.

The Adventure Writers Competition ($) A competition for action packed adventure novels. Receive feedback on your manuscript, be considered for publication by Braveship books, cash prize. Deadline April 30, 2021

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

First Five Pages Workshop (free) The first Saturday of each month (except April, August, and December). Enter the raffle for the chance to be one of five randomly chosen writers to receive feedback from writing mentors across three weeks. May 1, 2021.

Four on 400 (free) A monthly contest where 1 kidlit writer is selected to receive feedback on the opening 400 words of their manuscript. May 4, 2021.

Kidlit GN Pitch Event (free) a bi-annual for MG writers and illustrators of graphic novels. Twitter event May 5, 2021. Website event May 4-6, 2021.

Craft Webinar: Using Your Anger to Write Multi-Layered Realistic Fiction with Ann Braden & Nancy Paulsen ($) The Writing Barn offers a webinar on May 19th from 1-2:30 pm in which Ann “takes the big topics that make her want to throw up her hands in frustration and turns them into concepts to explore in a story.” Learn how to grow a story with strong characters and plot from a theme!

Master Skills Workshop with Esteemed Editor Patti Gauch and Noted Author Gary D. Schmidt (Online class begins May 30th) Whale Rock Workshop presents a Master Skills Workshop for Middle Grade and Young Adult writers who are looking to dive deep into craft and take their writing to the next level. The class will include lectures, writing prompts, four 1-on-1 sessions, nightly readings, and special guests!

NESCBWI Spring Virtual Conference ($) April 30th – May 2nd

SCBWI Regional Webinars ($)SCBWI offers webinars across the regions in the US and abroad. Follow this link to a list of the webinars being provided by the various regions.

The Loft Courses  ($) All classes will move to live meetings in virtual spaces using Zoom, with some also using Google Classroom as a learning enhancement. “Online-flex schedule” means you can take the class on your own schedule in Wet.Ink, without live meetings. “Online-live” are classes offered in real time with live video conference meetings.

Highlights Foundation Workshops ($)  Intimate and inspiring workshops for children’s authors and illustrators.

Whale Rock Writing Workshops ($)  Whale Rock Workshops is a community of kidlit authors (aspiring and published) designed to help you get your best work done.

The Writing Barn Classes ($) Our programs are here to provide writers a space to cultivate their craft and create a literary community.

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

Mix & Match Writing Challenge (free)
Every Monday for a month, write a 100-word children’s story based on that week’s writing prompt, and post it in the comments. Complete all prompts for a chance to win prizes. This new challenge took place in May and June of 2020. If it happens again in 2021, the info will be posted here! Hosted by children’s author Susanna Leonard Hill.

Ann Wylie Master Classes: Write Better, Easier and Faster ($) Tips, tricks and techniques for getting people to pay attention to your messages, understand them faster and remember them longer. June 1 – 29, 2021.

#PitMad (free)
Twitter pitch party for unagented authors and illustrators in all genres. June 2021 date to come.  Happens on Twitter, but see website for detailed instructions including the #hashtags that will help picture book agents find your pitch. Hosted by Brenda Drake and the PitchWars committeeJune 3, 2021 from 8 am to 8 pm.

Fitting Writing Into Your Life ($) Get a glimpse into the life of a professional writer and set realistic writing goals for yourself with this online workshop. June 3rd – July 2nd, 2021.

Getting Started in Writing ($) discover your voice, learn the basics of grammar and examine the different types of writing. June 3rd – July 2nd, 2021.

Query Letter in 14 Days ($) With all that time invested, it’s natural to want recognition for your hard work and dedication. Take your writing one step further and tackle the publishing process.  June 3rd – July 2nd, 2021.

Short Story Fundamentals with John DeChancie ($) Whether you are a writing novice looking to cut your teeth or a published professional, the short story is a unique and challenging medium that offers you amazing opportunities. June 3rd – July 2nd, 2021.

Writing the Young Adult Novel with Holly Alder ($) You’ll learn everything you need to know for writing young adult fiction, including what readers look for, the importance of plot, theme, and setting, how to craft entertaining dialogue, and much more. June 3rd – July 30th 2021.

Four on 400 (free) A monthly contest where 1 kidlit writer is selected to receive feedback on the opening 400 words of their manuscript June 4, 2021.

First Five Pages Workshop (free) The first Saturday of each month (except April, August, and December). Enter the raffle for the chance to be one of five randomly chosen writers to receive feedback from writing mentors across three weeks. June 5, 2021.

WRITING THE MG/YA ADVENTURE NOVEL ($) In this seminar, we’ll explore the differences between MG and YA, then go over the basic structure of how to make your adventure novel gallop apace! June 8, 2021.

12 Weeks to a First Draft with Mark Spencer ($) In this writing workshop you will tackle the steps to writing a book, learn effective writing techniques along the way, and of course, begin writing your first draft. June 10th – September 3rd, 2021.

Breaking into Copywriting 101 with Naveed Saleh ($) Learn how to become a copywriter by building your portfolio and marketing your services through this online workshop. June 10th – September 3rd, 2021.

Grammar and Mechanics with Kelly Boyer Sagert ($) No matter what type of writing you do, mastering the fundamentals of grammar and mechanics is an important first step to having a successful writing career. June 10th – September 3rd, 2021

Bath Children’s Novel Award ($) International writer competition for unpublished authors of CB, MG, and YA (no graphic novels). Cash prize, shortlist offered opportunity to be introduced to literary agent, most promising longlist winner opportunity to win 18 week online course This website also houses great resources on how to win a contest! June 15, 2021.

2021 Southampton (NY) Children’s Lit Conference ($)
Workshops in Writing Picture Books, Middle Grade & YA Fiction, and Graphic Novels. From the comfort of your own home this year, due to the continuing pandemic. Apply by June 15; conference is July 14 – 18.

Writing & Illustrating for Young Readers (WIFYR) ($)
Originally in Utah, in 2020 this conference was via Zoom. A full week of workshops, classes, and community. More info as it becomes available. June 14-18, 2021

Advanced Novel Writing with Terri Valentine ($) Push yourself beyond your comfort zone and take your writing to new heights with this novel writing workshop, designed specifically for novelists who are looking for detailed feedback on their work. June 17 – October 1st

Creative Writing 101 with Ran Walker ($) Creative Writing 101 combines teaching the key elements of storytelling with developing the protagonist.  June 17 – October 1st

Fearless Writing with William Kenower ($) In this workshop we’ll look at several techniques you can you use to keep yourself in the creative flow and out of the trouble and misery fear always causes. June 17 – October 1st

Fundamentals of Fiction with Jack Adler ($) The basics of writing a novel, including how important it is to choose a great setting, how to build characters, what point of view you should choose, how to write great dialogue, and more. June 17 – October 1st

Form and Composition with Kelly Boyer Sagert ($) From sentence structure to polishing your prose, this workshop will enhance your writing, no matter what type of writing you do. June 17 – October 1st

Jackson Hole Writers Conference ($) Manuscript critiques with authors & editors. Tracks for fiction, creative nonfiction, young adult, and poetry; workshops, talks & craft sessions. June 23 – 27, 2021

Historical Novel Society ($)
The 2021 conference offers programs by 100+ presenters on writing craft, historical topics, publishing info, and more! June 24 – 26, 2021

Advanced Poetry Writing with Kristina Marie Darling ($) Leave this workshop with a folio of six polished poems, ideal for magazine and literary journal submissions, as well as personalized recommendations for publication and professional development. June 24 – August 6

Build Your Novel Scene by Scene with Mark Spencer ($) We’ll walk through the entire novel-writing process together, from day one to a completed draft. June 24 – August 6

Freelance Writing for Stay at Home Moms (and Dads) with Terri Valentine ($)  Feel confident in your ability to write, research, and pitch ideas June 24 – August 6

Introduction to Copyediting with Kim Catanzarite ($) Students learn what a copy editor does and how she does it and they will also learn the crucial grammatical rules that will put them at the top of their game. June 24 – August 6

Social Media 101 with Dan Blank ($) You’ll learn how to create a profile on social networks, decide which platforms are right for you, and build a sense of community with others online. June 24 – August 6

Writing the Memoir 101 with Carolyn Walker ($) Teach you how to structure your stories, develop your storytelling skills, and give you the tips, techniques, and knowledge to adapt your own life stories into a chronological memoir. June 24 – August 6

Virtual Writers’ Weekend ($) Writers working in all genres, at all levels, virtually interact with bestselling authors & literary agents in talks, online writing groups & 600 one-to-one meetings for feedback. June 24 – 27, 2021

Winter Thrills, VIRTUAL EVENT ($) A celebration of thriller books, the authors who write them, and the fans who read them. Jun. 28 – Jul. 10, 2021

The Acheven Book Prize for Young Adult Fiction ($) is hosted by Regal House Publishing. It recognizes finely crafted YA fiction. Winners receive $750 and a publishing contract! June 30 – September 30.

July
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Children’s Book Academy course ($)
Middle Grade Mastery begins in July. 

First Five Pages Workshop (free) The first Saturday of each month (except April, August, and December). Enter the raffle for the chance to be one of five randomly chosen writers to receive feedback from writing mentors across three weeks. July 3, 2021.

Four on 400 (free) A monthly contest where 1 kidlit writer is selected to receive feedback on the opening 400 words of their manuscript. July 4, 2021.

Children’s Book Boot Camp 2020 (CBBC) ($)
5 weeks, 3 sessions, 1 goal: To get your children’s book published! Work with Melissa Manlove of Chronicle books, Martha Rago of Random House, and Marietta B. Zacker of Galit & Zacker Literary Agency. Open to 10 participants only, 200-word sample and/or 3 illustrations needed to apply. For more information and to apply, email “write2me [at] patcummings.com”. 2020 details to come. Hosted by author Pat Cummings.

Readercon 31, VIRTUAL EVENT ($) Readercon is an annual conference devoted to “imaginative literature” — literary science fiction, fantasy, horror, and the unclassifiable works often called “slipstream.”  Jul. 9-11, 2021

Ann Wylie Master Classes: NOT Your Father’s PR Writing ($) Tips, tricks and techniques for getting people to pay attention to your messages, understand them faster and remember them longer. July 12 – 16, 2021

SCBWI Summer Spectacular Annual Summer Conference ($)
Traditionally held in late July and early August in downtown Los Angeles, the 2020 event was moved online due to the pandemic. When information about the 2021 event is available, this notice will be updated.

August
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Rate Your Story Writing Contest ($)
Categories for picture books and novels, prizes including access to industry professionals. Open to members and nonmembers. A portion of submission fees donated to worthy causes. Happened in August, 2020; info for 2021 will be added here when available.

Four on 400 (free) A monthly contest where 1 kidlit writer is selected to receive feedback on the opening 400 words of their manuscript. August 4, 2021.

Writers’ Police Academy ($) The Writers’ Police Academy offers the hands-on, interactive and educational experience for writers to enhance their understanding of all aspects of law enforcement and forensics. The event features police, fire, and EMS training at an actual police academy. Aug. 6-7, 2021

September
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#PitMad (free)
Twitter pitch party for unagented authors and illustrators in all genres. September dates for 2021 to come. Happens on Twitter, but see website for detailed instructions including the #hashtags that will help picture book agents find your pitch. Hosted by Brenda Drake and the PitchWars committeeSeptember 2, 2021 from 8 am to 8 pm.

 First Five Pages Workshop (free) The first Saturday of each month (except April, August, and December). Enter the raffle for the chance to be one of five randomly chosen writers to receive feedback from writing mentors across three weeks. September 4, 2021.

Middle Grade & Young Adult Virtual Conference ($) Spend the weekend learning techniques for honing your craft from seven different published authors*, then (if you choose) pitch your novel via query letter to a literary agent specifically looking for material in the middle grade and young adult genres. September 15 and 16, 2021.

#FaithPitch (@Faith_Pitch) (free)
Twitter pitch party exclusively for the Christian Book Market (CBM). Check Twitter account for full details, hashtags, and rules. Hosted by publisher Little Lamb BooksSeptember 30,  8am to 6pm CT/9am to 7pm ET

The Acheven Book Prize for Young Adult Fiction ($) Deadline September 30 is hosted by Regal House Publishing. It recognizes finely crafted YA fiction. Winners receive $750 and a publishing contract! (Submission window 6/30-9/30)

ReVISIONweek  Wednesday, September 30th – October 6th October

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Debut Review Challenge (free)
October-November reading challenge begins. Hosted by children’s writer Laura Renauld.

First Five Pages Workshop (free) The first Saturday of each month (except April, August, and December). Enter the raffle for the chance to be one of five randomly chosen writers to receive feedback from writing mentors across three weeks. October 2, 2021

#DVPit and #DVart  (free)
Twitter pitch party for historically underrepresented voices in children’s literature. Authors of Children’s & Teen Fiction/Nonfiction (picture books, chapter books, middle grade, young adult) use #DVpit; Artists & Illustrators use #DVart. October 2021 date to come. See website for more details. Created and moderated by literary agent Beth Phelan with assistance from authors Kat Cho and Claribel Ortega and agent Peter Knapp.

Kidlit GN Pitch Event (free) a bi-annual for MG writers and illustrators of graphic novels.

Fall Writing Frenzy (free)
Write 200 words inspired by one of the contest photos, and submit it during the specified times (to come for 2021). Prizes! Hosted by Lydia Lukidis and Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez.

Halloweensie Contest (free)
Write a 100-word Halloween story appropriate for ages 12 and under, following prompt for the current year. Prize for the winner. Hosted by children’s author Susanna Leonard Hill.

We Need Diverse Books Mentorships (free)
Pairs ten writers and illustrators who belong to underrepresented groups with experienced children’s book creators for year-long mentorships. Applications are open October 1 – 31 for the following year.

November
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NaNoWriMo (free) Take on this creative writing challenge to write a novel (50,000 word first draft). Receive support in the form of articles, join writing groups (online or in person), and inspiration from published authors. November 1 – November30, 2021.

The Caledonia Novel Award ($) An international award for unpublished and self-published novelists for adult and YA novels of at least 50,000 words. November 1, 2021.

First Five Pages Workshop (free) The first Saturday of each month (except April, August, and December). Enter the raffle for the chance to be one of five randomly chosen writers to receive feedback from writing mentors across three weeks. November 6, 2021.

A Woman’s Write ($) an international novel contest. Enter an unpublished novel! Every submission receives critique. Deadline November 30, 2021.


Black Friday Bootcamp ($)
Online one-day livestream writing conference. 100% of ticket sales go to support First Book and We Need Diverse Books. Hosted and organized by Storyteller Academy and author Arree Chung.

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

#FaithPitch (@Faith_Pitch) (free)
Twitter pitch party exclusively for the Christian Book Market (CBM). Check Twitter account for full details, hashtags, and rules. Hosted by publisher Little Lamb Books.

Rate Your Story ($) (see January listing)
Registration open November through mid-January or until full. Annual membership fee includes manuscript critiques from professionals in the field, among other benefits.

SCBWI/Smithsonian Institution Nonfiction Workshop ($)
SCBWI’s first-ever nonfiction workshop with the Smithsonian was held online in November, 2020. Stay tuned to scbwi.org to find out if it will occur again in 2021.

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

#PitMad (free)
Twitter pitch party for unagented authors and illustrators in all genres, happening Thursday, December 2, 2021 from 8am – 8pm Eastern Time. Happens on Twitter, but see website for detailed instructions including the #hashtags that will help picture book agents find your pitch. Hosted by Brenda Drake and the PitchWars committee.

Rate Your Story ($) (see January listing)
Registration open through mid-January. Annual membership fee includes manuscript critiques from professionals in the field, among other benefits.


Thanks to EVERYONE who contributed, including members of Writers’ Rumpus and the Facebook groups for 12×12, Children’s Book Academy, KidLit 411, and Picture Book Summitteers. Special thanks to Silvia Liu of KidLit411 and to authors Anna Maledon and Rachel Funez, whose extensive lists included several unique additions.

Months of a Year Banner Illustrations by Lexi Donahue
Featured Image Line Art by Valenty, Can Stock Photos

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