Spring is here, at least by the calendar, and new contest opportunities are popping up all over! It’s National Poetry Month so it’s no surprise I’ve found a few great poetry contests in April. Illustrators, note that there is a pitch day being put together just for you on 4/6. Contests are listed by closing date. Some of these contests are open to entry now, so get yours polished up!
3/31: April Mystery Agent Contest – Enter your completed YA or Adult Sci-fi or Fantasy. Winning entries chosen by lottery will considered by the agent.
3/31: SCBWI Work in Progress Awards – Six categories: Picture Books, Chapter Books/Early Readers, Middle Grade, Young Adult Fiction, Nonfiction, Multi-Cultural Fiction or Nonfiction. One winner and up to five honorable mentions will be chosen in each category. Must be a member of the Society of Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators to enter. Winning entries and honorable mentions will be “presented to a hand-selected group of editors for their consideration.”
3/31: Don Freeman Illustrator Grants – Must be a member of the Society of Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators to enter. Two grants of $1000.00 will be awarded. One to a published illustrator and one to a pre-published illustrator. See website for specific entry requirements.
4/1: Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest – Enter your humorous poem of any length. First Prize is $1,000 and there will be 10 honorable mentions awarded $100 each. The top 11 entries will be published online.
4/1-3: Nestpitch – Open to MG, YA, NA, & Adult Fiction. Enter your 35 word pitch and first 300 words of your manuscript along with a 15 word answer to their question. See lengthy instructions on the page. Agents will be participating.
4/3: Pitchslam – Open to Middle Grade and up. Enter your 35 work pitch for your complete manuscript. Entries will eventually be chosen to move on to the agent round. See 4/6 & 4/9.
4/4: Dear You: Common Good Books Poetry Contest – Write a poem in the form of a letter to a specific, living person. Three poets will receive grand prizes of $1000 each, four poets will receive $500 for poems of particular merit.
4/6: International Children’s Book Illustration Day Twitter Party – Pitch your illustrated work using the #ICBDKidLitArtPitch hashtag. Artwork pitches for picture book dummies, chapter book and middle grade illustration are welcome.
4/6: Pitchslam – Open to Middle Grade and up. Send in the first 250 words of the SAME completed and polished manuscript that you entered on 4/3. Entries will eventually be chosen to move on to the agent round. See 4/9.
4/9: Pitchslam – Open to Middle Grade and up. Enter the revised 35 word pitch and first 250 words from the same manuscript from the previous rounds if you entered. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO HAVE ENTERED PREVIOUS ROUNDS TO ENTER THIS ONE. The agent round is on 4/13. You can find the participating agents here.
4/15: The Waterman Fund Essay Contest – “Emerging writers are encouraged to explore the interplay between men, women, and wilderness, with particular regard to how this shapes our individual and cultural perceptions and stewardship of wild places.” Winning essay will be awarded $1500 and publication in Appalachia Journal. Honorable Mention essay will receive $500. Please read more about what they are looking for on the contest page and see the contest rules.
4/20: #yarn5 Poetry Contest – This contest is open to “any and all riffs on the number five. This could be anything from 5-line poems to 5-word poems to poems featuring five characters or the five senses to anything marvelously wild and creative and 5-relevant as it can be. Anything is game as long as it fits in the theme of five!” Author/agent John Cusick of Greenhouse Literary Agency will be the judge. Winner to receive a 10-page critique from John, plus an audio version of his book GIRL PARTS. One runner-up will win a copy of the print edition of John’s book CHERRY MONEY BABY.
4/30: WRiTE CLUB – Enter your 500 word writing sample and chosen pen name and you may get chosen to battle it out in head to head write offs. Agents participating as judges. Sounds like fun! WRiTE CLUB champion will receive a three-chapter critique of their work by several of the judges and free admission to the 2016 DFW Writers Conference. Finalists will also receive a $75 Amazon gift card.
5/8: We Need Diverse Books Short Story Contest – Enter your short story for Middle Grade readers ages 8-12. Manuscript must be less than 5,000 words, and can be in an illustrated graphic novel format no longer than 10 pages. Entries must include a bio and headshot. Open to writers of all diverse backgrounds. Writers must not already be published in a “traditional fiction book format.” Winner will receive $1000.00 and have their piece published in the WNDB anthology to be released by Crown Books for Young Readers/Random House Children’s Books in January of 2017. Two Runners Up will receive $250.00 each.
5/19: David Fickling Books Master of the Inkpot Competition – Open to picture books (with example illustrations), early readers, young adult, or adult work. The top 5 submissions selected will have a sample of their work and feature a sample of their work featured on the DFB website. One overall winner will be crowned Master of the Inkpot 2015 and will be invited to meet the DFB team for an editorial meeting to discuss their work. More details to come. Opens to submissions 5/5.
5/22: Query Combat – Open to MG and YA. No entry information yet but it’s coming. Four agents have signed on to participate so far.
6/1: Tony Hillerman Prize – Open to mysteries set in the Southwest. Writer must not have a mystery published. Winner to receive a publishing contract with St. Martin’s Press and $10,000. Website advises to submit your entry as early as possible.
6/4: #PitMad – Twitter Pitch Party open to all genres. 8AM – 8PM EDT on Twitter. Use the #PitMad hashtag.
6/30: Greenhouse Funny Prize – Open to unpublished and unagented writers in the UK, Commonwealth (excluding Canada) and Europe. Enter your funny picture book, middle grade, or YA. Judging is done on the first chapter but you are asked to send the entire manuscript along with a one page synopsis. Judging will be done by the Children’s Editorial team at Faber & Faber Ltd and agent Polly Nolan at the Greenhouse Literary Agency. Winner will be offered representation by Greenhouse.
8/15: Pockets Annual Fiction Contest – Enter your 750 to 1,000 word children’s magazine piece for children age 6-12. Winner to receive $500.00 and publication in Pockets magazine. Submissions at Pockets should support the purpose of the magazine to help children grow in their faith, though all submissions do not need to be overtly religious.
8/17: Pitch Wars – Submission window opens for writers to send in their applications to mentors leading to an agent round 11/3-4.
9/1: The Scholastic Asian Book Award – This contest is open to unpublished manuscripts “written by writers of Asian descent, living in Asia”. Must be a chapter book or novel of no less than 6,000 words. See the Rules and Regulations for details. Top winner will receive a prize of SGD 10,000 and have their manuscript considered by Scholastic Asia for publication. Two runners up will be offered advice by Scholastic Asia on editing their manuscripts to submit for publication.
Good luck! If you know of any great contests I missed drop me a line at subitclub (@) gmail (dot) com.