Picture Book Support

Do you write or illustrate picture books? Find support for your writing and illustrating 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. Watch for more-detailed posts each month.

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 picture book writers or illustrators? 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.

Children’s Book Insider ($)
Monthly newsletter, online resources & courses, Twice-Monthly KidLit Social, Writers’ Secret Sauce coaching, and more. Sign up for newsletters here, and get a free ebook: The Ultimate Children’s Writing Cheat Sheet.” Hosted by John Bard and Laura Backes.

Color Collective (free)
Weekly Twitter challenge for illustrators where you make work based on a single color.

The Complete Picture Book Submissions System ($)
Takes you through each and every step of the submission process. No more fear. No more guesswork. Online course created by children’s authors Emma Walton Hamilton and Julie Hedlund.

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.

Highlights Foundation ($)
Offers in-person, online, and online on-demand workshops throughout the year for children’s writers and illustrators of all experience levels.

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.

#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).

The Loft ($)
Minnesota-based writing community for writers of all genres, including children’s. All events and courses offered online instead of in-person, through September, 2021. Scholarships available.

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.

Make Your Marks & Splashes! ($)
Self-paced online course on how to be a children’s book illustrator, hosted by children’s author/illustrator Mark Mitchell.

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.

Master Course on Picture Book Writing and Editing  ($)
An intensive self-guided workshop on the eight Core Principles of picture book writing and editing. Taught and hosted by children’s author Karla Arenas Valenti.

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.

Naps and Notebooks Masterclasses ($)
It’s not easy to make space for creative work when you’re raising young kids. These on-demand writing masterclasses are designed to make the moments you have with your notebook count. From children’s author and writing coach Heidi Fiedler.

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.

#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.

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.

Picture Book University (free)
Series of lessons by picture book author Pam Calvert, on her blog.

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.

SCBWI Regional Webinars ($)
Low-cost webinars hosted by SCBWI regional chapters, available everywhere. List continually updated, with upcoming webinars at top.

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.

SCBWI: YouTube Channel, The Vault (free)
SCBWI has over forty years of video archives featuring speakers at their annual conference–authors, illustrators, editors, agents, and publishers, now available on the YouTube channel, The Vault.

Society of Visual Storytelling ($)
Online courses for illustrators. Hosted by illustrators Will Terry, Lee White, and Jake Parker.

Storyteller Academy ($)
Online, on-demand courses taught by industry professionals. Monthly or annual fee includes access to all Signature Course Library courses, live workshops, and more. Hosted by writer/illustrator Arree Chung.

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

Whale Rock Writing Workshops ($)
Whale Rock Workshops is a community of kidlit authors (aspiring and published) that facilitates writing through workshops, retreats, and online resources. Hosts online events throughout the year.

The Writing Barn (free and $)
Texas-based writing community offering low-cost webinars, free virtual book launches and literary events, one-session and 6-session online classes.

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.

The Writers’ Loft (free and $)
Massachusetts-based writing community offering online events available to anyone with an internet connection.

Writers.com ($)
Offers online courses for writers in all genres, including children’s.


Month by Month Listings

12×12 Picture Book Challenge ($)
Write 12 picture books in 12 months. Annual membership includes critique opportunities, monthly live webinars, and the support of the entire 12×12 community. Register in January and February for a full-year membership. Hosted by children’s author Julie Hedlund. 

Children’s Book Challenge Week (free)
Bring your story to life in 2022! Learn how to write, illustrate, and publish children’s books. January 10 – 15, 2022, 10:00-11:00 AM Pacific Time. Hosted by Storyteller Academy.

Aesop Writers (free)
A workshop for un-published fiction and non-fiction picture book creators. Participants for this event will be selected by LOTTERY. If your name is chosen, you will receive a link to attend a virtual writing workshop on MLK Day, January 17, 2022. Hosted by author Alice Faye Duncan.

New England SCBWI Windows & Mirrors Scholarship (free to apply)
The NESCBWI Windows & Mirrors Scholarships were created to boost marginalized writers and illustrators from historically underrepresented groups in children’s literature. The applicants themselves must identify in one of the listed categories (see link for list). Submission deadline: January 31, 2022 at 11:59 pm Eastern.

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.

NFFest Registration for February event usually happens in January. (see February listing)

Rate Your Story ($)
Manuscript critiques from professionals in the field, among other benefits. Sometimes holds open submission days with free critiques for nonmembers. SpeedPass critiques are available. Also watch the site for events and free critique opportunities. 

#ReVISIONweek Tune-Up Day 1 (free)Start your year out “WRITE” with this manuscript revision

challenge hosted by author Lauren Kerstein. January 26, 2022.

Storystorm (free)
Come up with 30 story ideas in 31 days. Inspirational guest posts. Raffle of prizes for those who succeed. Link goes to 2022 registration page; see this page for general information. Hosted by children’s author Tara Lazar.

Writing Picture Books: From Creation to Publication ($)
Award-winning children’s author Rosie J. Pova will cover the essential elements and steps in the process of creating picture books, from generating story ideas to finishing a first draft, picking a catchy title, to revising and submitting. Eight Mondays beginning January 3, 2022. Hosted by Writing Workshops.

THE WRITING BARN COURSES ($)

Writing with Authenticity ($)
Join author/illustrator Jessixa Bagley for a deep dive into writing picture books from the heart. Six Tuesdays, January 11 – February 15, 2022, 7 – 9pm Central. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

SCBWI Regional Virtual Events (Fee and Free)
Clink link to see what’s happening this month and in months to come.


February

12×12 ($): Register by end of month for 2022. See January listing.

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. Read at least 20 of the posts and complete 20 of the suggested activities. Prizes will be awarded in a random drawing of those completing the challenge. Hosted by the NonFiction Chicks: Lisa Amstutz, Stephanie Bearce, Nancy Churnin, Susie Kralovansky, Pat Miller, Linda Skeers, and Peggy Thomas.

Show (Don’t Tell) Revision Workshop ($)
Learn how to bring readers deeper into the world of your children’s book story by showing (not telling) in this 4-week workshop (with Zoom recordings and a private Facebook group) for picture book to YA authors led by author and developmental editor Anastasia Suen. February 2-March 2, 2022

#PBPitch (free)
A Twitter pitch party exclusively for picture books, Thursday February 17, 2022, 8am – 8pm Eastern Time. Check website for full details, hashtags, and rules. Founded and run by Debra Kempf Shumaker, PJ McIlvaine, Mette Engell, and Mandy Yates. 

SCBWI Winter Conference ($)
Theme: Recipe for success in creating and selling children’s books in 2022. On Zoom, February 11 – 13, 2022, with recordings available through March 31, 2022. See link for details and registration. Hosted by SCBWI National.

Valentiny Writing Contest (free)
Write a Valentines’ story no longer than 214 words, appropriate for ages 12 and under, including a character with a specified emotion (changes each year). Happens the second week of February. Check Susanna’s blog for this year’s announcement. Hosted by children’s author Susanna Leonard Hill.

The Ann Whitford Paul—Writer’s Digest Manuscript Award (See note*)
Submissions window opens February 1. Annual monetary award given for a Most Promising Picture Book manuscript. *No application fee, but must be a dues-paying member of SCBWI.

Kate Dopirak Craft & Community Award (free)
The award includes full tuition to the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrator’s Annual Summer Conference (in Los Angeles, California unless virtual) and a phone consultation with an agent and editor. Submissions will be accepted between 5 a.m. Pacific Time January 14—8 p.m. Pacific Time February 18, 2022.

SCBWI Regional Virtual Events (Fee and Free)
Clink link to see what’s happening this month and in months to come.


March


#50PreciousWords Writing Challenge (free)
Write a story appropriate for kids ages 12 or under, using only 50 words. Early March each year, timed to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Awesome prizes! Hosted by author Vivian Kirkfield.

March On With Mentor Texts! (free)
The successor to ReFoReMo: improve your writing by completing a challenge to read mentor texts throughout the month of March. March 1 – 31, 2022. Hosted by the Rate Your Story Blog.

PBParty Contest (free)
For unagented writers and author/illustrators with finished and polished picture book manuscripts to submit to participating agents/editors to read and hopefully request. Full information here. Submissions: March 1, 2022, Midnight – 1am Eastern and 5pm-7pm Eastern. Agent/Editor Round: March 21 – 25, 2022. Hosted by author Mindy Alyse Weiss.

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.

Writing for Kids 101 ($)
Led by writer Tina Tocco. Four Tuesdays via Zoom starting March 1, 2022, 6pm – 8pm Central Time. Hosted by Writing Workshops.

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

#FaithPitch (free)
A one-day Twitter Pitch Party hosted specifically for authors looking for representation within the Christian Retail Association (CRA) market. Usually happens in March and September.

True Tales— The Story of Yuko Shimizu ($)
Webinar by The Cat Man of Aleppo Caldecott Honor-winning Illustrator Yuko Shimizu. March 3, 2022, 7:30pm – 9pm Central. Hosted by SCBWI Nebraska.

Creating A Picture Book Dummy for Submission ($)
In this webinar, author/illustrator Sharon Vargo will share her process of making a picture book dummy. March 5, 2022, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Hosted by SCBWI Indiana.

How to Self-Publish a Picture Book, Pt 2: A Deep Dive into Marketing ($)
Join Stefanie Hohl for an extended deep dive into the world of marketing for self-published picture books! Part 2 of a three-part series. March 8, 2022 at 1 pm Eastern. From SCBWI Pennsylvania: West.

Build It Better: Essentials of an Author Website ($)
Author and technology instructor Lisa Stringfellow teaches how to make sure your author website has the essentials it needs to make an impact! March 15, 2022, 7pm – 8:30pm Eastern Time. Hosted by InkedVoices.

Write. Submit. Support. ($)
For Picture Book/Chapter Book Writers, a 6-month course offering structure and support not only to our writing lives but also to the roller coaster ride of submissions. March 20 – August 21, 2022. With Lisa Katzenberger & Nicholas Solis. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

Editing Children’s Rhyming Picture Books ($)
Intended for professional editors, but sure to be of use to writers who self-edit and critique. March 21 – April 14, 2022. Instructor Lou Piccolo is a freelance developmental editor of fiction and creative nonfiction. Hosted by Editorial Freelancers Association.

Color of Children’s Literature Conference ($)
Join us online for an incredible weekend with top editors, agents, authors & illustrators in the children’s/YA publishing world. Our spring conference is an excellent opportunity for BIPOC writers & illustrators to learn, get inspired and network with others in the industry. Please note that this conference is EXCLUSIVELY for Black, Indigenous and POC writers and illustrators. March 25 – 27, 2022. Hosted by Kweli Journal.

PBParty Annual Contest (free)
The annual PBParty contest is for unagented writers and author/illustrators with finished and polished picture book manuscripts. You submit an entry, contest coordinators pick a variety of genres and forward the entries to participating agents/editors to read and hopefully request. Submissions: March 1, 2022, Midnight to 1AM Eastern, 5pm-7pm Eastern. Hosted by author Mindy Alyse Weiss.

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 The Ann Whitford Paul—Writer’s Digest Manuscript Award (See note*)
Submissions usually open February 1 – April 10. Annual monetary award given for a Most Promising Picture Book manuscript. *No application fee, but applicant must be a member of SCBWI, which requires dues.

SCBWI Don Freeman Grants (See note*)
Submissions usually open March 1 – March 31. Annual awards given to illustrators of children’s books in support of a work in progress that is not already under contract. *No application fee, but applicant must be a member of SCBWI, which requires dues.

SCBWI Karen and Philip Cushman Late Bloomer Grant (See note*)
Submissions usually 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 usually 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.

WriteOnCon ($)
Online conference for kidlit writers and illustrators for all levels (PB, MG, YA). March 18 – 20, 2022.

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.

SCBWI Regional Virtual Events (Fee and Free)
Clink link to see what’s happening this month and in months to come.


.

Challenges, Contests, Mentorships, & Awards

#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. Check out Fall Writing Frenzy, too.

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.

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 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.

AAAS/Subaru Prize for Excellence in Science Books
The AAAS/Subaru Book Prize aims to encourage the reading, writing, and publishing of quality science books for children. Four categories. Books published between July 1, 2021 and July 31, 2022 eligible for 2022 prize. Submissions open April 15 – July 8, 2022.

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.

Webinars & Conferences

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

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.

Research and Writing: Children’s Nonfiction for Education ($)
If you’ve tried to get your creative work published and haven’t been able to, yet, join author Lisa M. Bolt Simons for this two-session class to discover another writing option. Schools need more nonfiction, which means educational publishers are looking for skilled work-for-hire writers. April 9 and 16, 2022, 9am-noon Central Time. Hosted by The Loft.

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.

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.

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

SCBWI Regional Virtual Events (Fee and Free)
Click through to see a wealth of webinar offerings from SCBWI chapters around the world.

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.

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.

Children’s Writing for Beginners ($)
This introductory class will explore the adventurous world of writing for children through a mix of writing activities and classroom discussion. Instructor: author Lisa Bullard. Six Wednesdays, March 16 – April 20, 2022, 6pm-8pm Central Time. From The Loft.

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.

May


Challenges, Contests, Mentorships, & Awards

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

Mermay Challenge (free)
A month-long mermaid-themed illustration challenge, with a different prompt for every day of the month. Post artwork on Instagram with challenge hashtags to be eligible for prizes. Hosted by illustrator Tom Bancroft.

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).

#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.

AAAS/Subaru Prize for Excellence in Science Books
The AAAS/Subaru Book Prize aims to encourage the reading, writing, and publishing of quality science books for children. Four categories. Books published between July 1, 2021 and July 31, 2022 eligible for 2022 prize. Submissions open April 15 – July 8, 2022.

Spring into Writing (free)
May 1 – 31 each year. Set your own writing goals for the month. Hosted by writer/illustrator Dani Duck.

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.

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.

Key Colors Competition (*see note)
Clavis Publishing, New York launches Key Colors, the two-yearly national contest for illustrators of unpublished pictcure 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.

Webinars & Conferences

How to Self-Edit Your Picture Book ($)
Join editor and author Natascha Biebow for a comprehensive workshop for writers & writer/illustrators that will teach you how to reshape and fix any picture book manuscript. May 11, 2022, 11am Pacific Time. Presented by Children’s Book Insider.

The Picture Book Dummy – A Revision Tool for KidLit Creators ($)
Join picture book creators Tanja Bauerie and Michael Hale to learn how to create a picture book dummy and how you can use this vital tool to improve your craft. Two parts: May 7 & May 14, 2022, 1pm-2:30pm Arizona Time. (AZ does not observe Daylight Saving Time.) Presented by SCBWI Arizona.

Poetry & Idea Generator: A Two Night Mini for All Writers ($)
Catch your words and find your rhythm as you explore poetic forms with Laura Shovan and Padma Venkatraman. May 12 & 19, 2022, 7 – 8:15 Eastern. From The Highlights Foundation.

Make ‘Em Famous: Writing Biographies of Lesser Known Figures ($)
How do you write about unfamiliar heroes in a way that will make the kids want to know them? Join author Nancy Churnin to learn how. May 15, 2022, 10am – 11:30 am Central Time. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

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.

  • 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

Agent/Editor PB or Novel Critique ($)
Is your picture book or novel manuscript working? Unsure if it’s ready to query? Get the answers you need form an industry professional! QA & Critique or QA only. May 27, 2022, 6-8:30pm Eastern. Hosted by The Writers’ Loft.

SCBWI Regional Virtual Events (Fee and Free)
Clink link to see what’s happening this month and in months to come.

Multi-Week Courses

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. May 1 – June 30, 2022. Led by Anastasia Suen, author (and ghostwriter) of 400+ books for children, teens, and adults.

Mastering Graphic Novels ($)
Graphic novels are a hot market right now for all ages of readers, from adults to picture books! This informative five week course has FIVE co-teachers and includes live instruction, self-paced learning, and submission opportunities. Five weeks beginning May 9, 2022. Hosted by The Children’s Book Academy.

Show (Don’t Tell) Revision Workshop ($)
Learn how to bring readers deeper into the world of your children’s book story and your query letter pitch by showing (not telling) in this 4-week workshop for picture book to YA authors. Includes Zoom recordings and a private Facebook group. May 4, 11, 18, 25, 2022. Led by author and developmental editor Anastasia Suen.

The Business Side of Writing: How to Build an Online Presence ($)
Learn how and why to promote your brand and work online with author Stefanie Hohl! Six Mondays, May 9 – June 20, 2022 (not 5/30), 7-9pm Central Time. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

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 Mondays starting May 16, 2022. Hosted by Writing Workshops.

Humor Master Workshop II ($)
Shine up that funny draft for a saleIn this humor workshop led by Cate Berry, all manuscripts will be lovingly brainstormed and lifted to their highest potential in real time. Six Sundays, May 22 – June 26, 2022, 4:30 – 6:30 Central Time. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

Agent/Editor PB or Novel Critique ($)
Is your picture book or novel manuscript working? Unsure if it’s ready to query? Get the answers you need form an industry professional! QA & Critique or QA only. May 27, 2022, 6-8:30pm Eastern. Hosted by The Writers’ Loft.

Master Skills Workshop ($)
With esteemed Editor Patti Gauch and noted Author Gary D. Schmidt. An online version of the in-person summer workshop. May 22 – 28, 2022. One fully-funded diversity scholarship spot available as of 2/1/2022. Whale Rock Literary Workshops.

June


 

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.

#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 Twitter for clarifications. Enter between June 11 –  June 12, 2022. Hosted by the Frenzy Friends.

Rising Stars Picture Book Mentorship (fee or free unknown)
#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.

#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.

AAAS/Subaru Prize for Excellence in Science Books
The AAAS/Subaru Book Prize aims to encourage the reading, writing, and publishing of quality science books for children. Four categories. Books published between July 1, 2021 and July 31, 2022 eligible for 2022 prize. Submissions open April 15 – July 8, 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.

#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.

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.

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.

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.

Picture Book Slipper Camp ($)
Size-limited intensive picture book camp full of lessons, instructor and peer critiques, fun, and submissions! Instant access to on-demand lessons and two live events on June 25th and July 9th, 2022. From Children’s Book Academy.

SCBWI Regional Virtual Events (Fee and Free)
Clink link to see what’s happening this month and in months to come.

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.

July


Challenges, Contests, Mentorships, & Awards

#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.

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, to August 1, 2022 11:59 p.m. EDT (Eastern Daylight Time).

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.

AAAS/Subaru Prize for Excellence in Science Books
The AAAS/Subaru Book Prize aims to encourage the reading, writing, and publishing of quality science books for children. Four categories. Books published between July 1, 2021 and July 31, 2022 eligible for 2022 prize. Submissions open April 15 – July 8, 2022.

#SunWriteFun
Non-fiction/Informational Picture Book Writing Contest, hosted by authors Jennifer Buchet & Karen Greenwald. Stretch your writing muscles & imagination as you craft a short story within the contest guidelines and enjoy the best summer beach party on the ‘net! Happened in July, 2021; no 2022 info available yet. See link for full details.

ICL Poetry for Kids (free?)
Start working on your haikus, limericks, and sonnets! ICL’s next poetry contest opens this summer. Check back at link above for more details on the theme and submission guidelines. From ICL (Institute for Children’s Literature.)

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

Picture Book Slipper Camp ($)
Size-limited intensive picture book camp full of lessons, instructor and peer critiques, fun, and submissions! Instant access to on-demand lessons and two live events on June 25th and July 9th, 2022. From Children’s Book Academy.

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.

Picture Book Structure, Focus, & Word Choice ($)
Everyone loves picture books! But writing stories that sell means going beyond a fun idea. Join award-winning picture book author Darcy Pattison and author/illustrator Leslie Helakoski for this two-night mini course. 7pm – 8:15pm Eastern, July 12 and 14, 2022. From The Highlights Foundation.

Picture Book Palooza! (free)
Join us for our second annual SLJ Picture Book Palooza, an all-day, free virtual celebration of authors and artists dedicated to the visual dance and extraordinary craft of picture books! July 14, 2022, 10am – 5pm Eastern. Hosted by School Library Journal (SLJ).

So… You Want to Write a Picture Book? ($)
Have you always dreamed of writing a children’s picture book but don’t know where to start? Join author Shannon Anderson to learn the nuts and bolts of creating picture books for today’s marketplace. July 16, 2022, 9am – 1pm Central Time. Hosted by The Loft.

Writing for Kids: Entering the World of Children’s Literature ($)
Learn the fundamentals of writing for children in this one day workshop with Amanda Hosch, and write the kinds of stories that kids simply can’t put down. July 19, 2022, 7:00-9:30 P.M. U.S. Eastern Time. From writers.com.

Nothing Rhymes with Orange and Other Things to Consider (Whether You Write in Rhyme or Not) ($)
Craft Webinar with author Dianne White. July 23, 2022, 1011:30 am Central. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

Reading Like A Writer: A One-Night Mini ($)
Do you read like a writer? Join writer Eric Bell for a fun, webinar-style class on ways to improve your writing through the enjoyment of reading. Eric Bell is a middle grade writer but this is also applicable to picture book creators. 7pm – 8:15pm Eastern, July 28, 2022. From The Highlights Foundation.

SCBWI Regional Virtual Events (Fee and Free)
Clink link to see what’s happening this month and in months to come.

Multi-Week Courses

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. July 1 – August 31, 2022. Led by Anastasia Suen, author (and ghostwriter) of 400+ books for children, teens, and adults.

A Place at the Desk: Writing 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, July 12 – August 16, 2022, 6 – 9pm Central Time. Hosted by The Loft.

Augu


t

Challenges, Contests, Mentorships, & Awards

#AuGHOST2022 (free)
#AuGHOST
is an all-skills, all-inclusive, all-for-fun daily art event. For each day on August, draw or create something “ghosty” that’s inspired by that day’s prompt word and post it online with #AuGHOST2022 It’s fun and friendly! Created by @Sommerjam and @DavePietrandrea.

Rate Your Story Annual Summer Contest (*See note)
Have fun in the sun (and write children’s fiction) with Rate Your Story’s annual summer contest. Check link for details. *Free for members, nonmembers pay entry fee.

SCBWI Annual Summer Conference  ($)
Join SCBWI on Zoom for the annual Summer Conference. Keynotes, panels, breakout sessions, tracks for illustrators, self-publishing authors, traditionally published authors, and nonfiction authors, online socials, and opportunuties to pitch to acquiring agents and editors. August 5 – 7, 2022.

#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.

ICL Poetry for Kids (free?)
Start working on your haikus, limericks, and sonnets! ICL’s next poetry contest opens this summer. Check back at link above for more details on the theme and submission guidelines. From ICL (Institute for Children’s Literature.)

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

Research and Writing: Children’s Nonfiction for Education ($)
If you’ve tried to get your creative work published and haven’t been able to, yet, join author Lisa M. Bolt Simons for this two-session class to discover another writing option. Schools need more nonfiction, which means educational publishers are looking for skilled work-for-hire writers. August 6 and 13, 2022, 9am-noon Central Time. Hosted by The Loft.

Idea Lab: Finding Inspiration for Your Children’s Book Writing ($)
Join Loft teaching artist and children’s book author Cristina Oxtra for an engaging morning of community, adult play with words, and dedicated time to talk about your ideas! August 13, 2022, 10am – noon Central Time. Hosted by The Loft.

Picture Books with Purpose ($)
Whether we want them to be or not, children are acutely aware of the world around them and its major events. Join author Ty Chapman for a study of picture books that speak to deeper issues. August 13, 2022, 1pm -4pm Central Time. Hosted by The Loft.

Writing Twisted Tales: How to Fracture Songs, Nursery Rhymes, and Fairytales ($)
Join Sue Fliess for this 3-hour workshop designed to help you brainstorm, begin or continue to write, or even finish a twisted tale you’ve had bouncing around your head. August 28, 2022, 2pm – 5pm Central Time. From The Writing Barn.

SCBWI Regional Virtual Events (Fee and Free)
Clink link to see what’s happening this month and in months to come.

Multi-Week Courses

So You Want to be an Author/Illustrator? ($)
Explore the possibilities of illustrating AND writing your own book, with a focus on craft and an intense level of feedback. Thursdays, 8-9pm Eastern Time, August 11 – September 15, 2022. From the Highlights Foundation.

Perfecting the Picture Book II ($)
Perfecting the picture book is not an easy task; let author Carmen Oliver be your guide in this online workshop. Six Wednesdays starting August 17, 2022, 7pm – 9pm Central. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

Writing Picture Books: From Creation to Publication ($)
Award-winning children’s author Rosie J. Pova will cover the essential elements and steps in the process of creating picture books, from generating story ideas to finishing a first draft, picking a catchy title, to revising and submitting. Eight Mondays beginning August 22, 2022Hosted by Writing Workshops.

 


September

 

 

 

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)
A week of resources, support, and inspiration to get those rough drafts to the “finished” line. Usually happens in September. Hosted by children’s authors Lauren H. Kerstein, Joana Pastro, Katie Frawley, Lynne Marie, Shannon Stocker, and Michal BaBay.

#FaithPitch (free)
A one-day Twitter Pitch Party hosted specifically for authors looking for representation within the Christian Retail Association (CRA) market. Usually happens in March and September.

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.

Webinars & Conferences

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 Regional Virtual Events (Fee and Free)
Clink link to see what’s happening this month and in months to come.

Multi-Week Courses

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. September 18, 2022 through February 19, 2023. From 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. Jion Authory 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. Fron The Writiung Barn.

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.


 October

 

 

 

Challenges, Contests, Mentorships, & Awards

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

Fall Writing Frenzy (free)
Write 200 words inspired by one of the contest photos, and submit it between the specified dates (to come for 2022). 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. Search Susanna’s blog to find this year’s info. Hosted by children’s author Susanna Leonard Hill.

Inktober (free)
Challenge to draw 31 illustrations in ink, in 31 days. Hosted by illustrator Jake Parker.

#DVPit and #DVart  (free)
Twitter pitch parties for historically underrepresented voices in children’s literature. Children’s & YA Fiction/Nonfiction (#DVpit) October 25, 2022, Artists & Illustrators (#DVart) October 25, 2022. From Diverse Voices, Inc.

Picture Book Critique Fest #PBCritiqueFest (free)
A MASSIVE picture book critique giveaway, featuring 36 of the top authors, illustrators, and literary agents on the kidlit scene. Hosted by Brian Gehrlein, creator of Picture Book Spotlight.

SCBWI Narrative Art Award (*See note)
Each year, a rotating panel of judges challenges illustrators to tell a story in three sequential images. The winner will receive free tuition to the Virtual SCBWI Winter Conference. Deadline and theme for current year at link. *Free for dues-paying members of SCBWI.

Webinars & Conferences

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

Picture Book Summit ($)
Full-day writing conference live-streamed to your computer. Saturday October 8, 2022. Founded and hosted by Katie Davis of ICL (Institute for Children’s Literature), Julie Hedlund of 12 x 12, Emma Walton Hamilton of Just Write Children’s Books, and Founders Emeritus Jon Bard and Laura Backes of Children’s Book Insider.

From Query to Acquisitions ($)
Join agent Sera Rivers and editor Jennifer Baker for this two-night minicourse to gain a better understanding of the submission process, from querying your work through acquisitions. October 18 – 19, 2022, 7pm – 8:15pm Eastern Time. From The Highlights Foundation.

SCBWI Regional Virtual Events (Fee and Free)
Clink link to see what’s happening this month and in months to come.

Multi-Week Courses

Courses lasting more than a day or two.

Show (Don’t Tell) Revision Workshop ($)
Learn how to bring readers deeper into the world of your children’s book story and your query letter pitch by showing (not telling) in this 4-week workshop for picture book to YA authors. Includes Zoom recordings and a private Facebook group. Oct 5, 12, 19, 26, 2022. Led by author and developmental editor Anastasia Suen.

Crash Course in Children’s Publishing ($)
Join lead faculty Harold Underdown, and special guests Leah Henderson and Linda Epstein, for a Crash Course in Children’s Publishing. At the end of the course, you will understand how the children’s book publishing industry works. Ten weeks starting October 12, 2022. From The Highlights Foundation.

Writing Leveled Readers for Education ($)
Leveled readers are a standard component of K–6 programs in reading and other content areas. Sonny Regelman will be your guide to entering this specialized writing market.  Six Mondays starting October 17, 2022, 7 – 9pm Central. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

November



Black Friday Bootcamp ($)
Online one-day livestream writing conference. 100% of ticket sales go to support First Book and We Need Diverse Books. Not yet announced as of press time but watch the Storyteller Academy site or Twitter account for 2021 details November 26, 2021. 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.

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 Regional Virtual Events (Fee and Free)
Clink link to see what’s happening this month and in months to come.

December


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! Search Susanna’s blog to find this year’s info. Hosted by children’s author Susanna Leonard Hill.

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

SCBWI Regional Virtual Events (Fee and Free)
Clink link to see what’s happening this month and in months to come.


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 Blue Ring Media, Shutterstock

2 comments

  1. You’re welcome, Maria! A more detailed list is posted in the blog section monthly. The next one will go up the first of February. You’ll get it automatically if you subscribe to the blog. Best wishes for success & fulfillment in your writing!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s