I haven’t been online too much lately. (See my Taking a Break post. The only one I did all month! Yes, it was autobiographical.) But, once I started looking for contests I couldn’t stop. I’m sure I haven’t found them all but I have wrangled together a lot of great upcoming ones so do check out the list! If you know of a good contest I missed please add it in the comments. There must be some more contests in November, I just haven’t found them yet! (10/2 Update: There are 2 contests listed in November now!)
Remember: We’re always open to critiquing pitches, queries, and first pages for contests in our Sub It Club Submission Support Group. We have over 1,000 great people in the group, so hit us up if you need us!
9/30: Lee & Low New Voices Award – “Open to writers of color who are residents of the United States and who have not previously had a children’s picture book published.” Enter your 1500 word or less fiction, nonfiction, or poetry manuscript for children ages 5-12. Winner receives a publication contract and $1000. Honor Award winner receives $500.
10/13: #PitchBFB – Open to young adult, middle grade, and new adult. Pitch your manuscript to BookFish Books on Twitter from from 8am-8pm CST using the #PitchBFB hashtag. All favorited pitches are guaranteed feedback on their submission, a few submissions will receive complete critiques from the BookFish Books content and line editors on the first three chapters of their work. One will receive a critique on their full manuscript.
10/15: #PBPitch – Open to picture books only. Pitch your completed picture book manuscript on Twitter using the #PBPitch hashtag between 8am and 8pm eastern. Pitch only once before 2pm and once after. More than one manuscript can be pitched. See FAQs for details. Illustrators can add an image to their pitch. Update: Circumstances may change but as of 10/7 these agents have confirmed that they will be checking in on pitches-Clelia Gore from Martin Literary
Cindy Uh from Thompson Literary
Marisa Corvisiero from Corvisiero Literary
Jessica Sinsheimer from Sarah Jane Freyman Literary
Thao Le from Sandra Dijkstra & Associates
Laura Biagi from Jean V. Nagger Literary
Brooks Sherman and Susan Hawk from The Bent Agency
Courtney Stevenson from Pippin Properties
Essie White from Storm Literary
Vicki Selvaggio from Jennifer De Chiara Literary
Jodell Sadler from Sadler Children’s Literary
Lori Kilkelly from Rodeen Literary
Of course, many more may jump in!
10/15: Nightmare on Query Street – Open to all age categories and genres, excluding picture books and erotica. Your manuscript does not have to be scary. Answer the question: What is your main character’s most fearsome obsession? and enter it along with your query and first 250 words of your manuscript. Chosen entries will move on to the agent round. Submission window opens at 4pm EST and closes when 250 entries are received so be quick! 10/2 Update: Rules have been posted. 10/6 Update: You can enter to win a free pass into the contest via random drawing. Entry for the pass closes 10/14.
10/15: #Pit2LP – Open to “all genres”. Pitch your completed manuscript to Limitless Publishing via Twitter using the #Pit2LP hashtag. 8am – 8pm EST.
10/21: Pitch Slam Hogwarts Edition – Open to MG, YA, NA, and Adult. Enter your pitch and first 250 words of your manuscript. Those chosen will move on to the final round where they will be posted for agents to make requests. There are rounds opening 10/17 where entries can be submitted for critique. Check out the calendar:
10/23: #PitchCB – Open to fiction and non-fiction of any genre. Pitch the Curtis Brown and Conville & Walsh agents on Twitter using the #PitchCB hashtag. The pitch window is open for 24 hours. (Do keep in mind that these agencies are in the UK.) Tweet your pitch one time only. Curtis Brown has posted specifics on how to participate.
10/31: New Visions Award – Open to MG and YA by writers of color living in the U.S. “Manuscripts should address the needs of children and teens of color by providing stories with which they can identify and relate, and which promote a greater understanding of one another. Themes relating to LGBTQ+ topics or disabilities may also be included.” Submit your synopsis, first five chapters, and a cover letter. Winner to receive $1000.00 and a standard publishing contract from Tu Books. Honor Award winner to receive $500.00.
10/31: WNDB Mentorship Program – Open to PB, MG, and YA fiction and non-fiction. Writers of diverse backgrounds or those writing stories with diverse characters may apply. See the program post for details on how to enter. 5 one-year mentorships are offered.
11/12: #KidPit – Open to all genres for children: board books, picture books, early readers, chapter books, MG, and YA. Pitch completed manuscripts only using the #kidpit hashtag on Twitter. The website isn’t updated yet but Heidi R. Norrod @HRNorrod tweeted: Did you know #KidPit is coming November 12th? There’s a tidbit here at the end of this post that says #Kidpit will be from 9am – 3pm EST.
11/17: #ArtPit – Open to illustrators, author/illustrators, graphic novel writer/illustrators, and artists. 9am – 4pm EST. Tweet your pitch and attached illustration on Twitter using the #ArtPit hashtag. Update 10/5: Additional information can be found here: http://novelpitch.com/2015/10/04/introducing-artpit-by-heidi-norrod/
12/1: SCBWI Exclusive – This is not a contest but I wanted to add it so that Society of Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators members don’t miss the opportunity. Balzer + Bray is open to unsolicited submissions from SCBWI members until December 1, 2015. Be sure to read the interview and check out their Facebook page.
12/4: #PitMad – Pitch your completed manuscript on Twitter using the #PitMad hashtag from 8AM – 8PM EDT. Please read the new rules about pitching before participating.
12/? #SFFPit – Pitch your Science Fiction and Fantasy on Twitter using the #SFFPit hashtag. Open to picture books, middle grade, young adult, new adult, and adult works.
2/2016: #AdPit – Open to New Adult and Adult manuscripts. Includes an online “mini-conference” and a Twitter pitch day. More info to come.
If you know of another great contest please leave a link to it in the comments!
I’ve never entered one of these contests before. I already have an agent. Can you enter these contest and do pitches for publishers?
If you have an agent you will definitely want to talk to them before entering any contests. A good agent gets your work before publishers and has a submission plan to do their best to get your work sold so you need to work together. Communication is key!
Thanks so much, Heather! Great list…you and Sub It Club are providing this community with a much needed service. 🙂
Thanks so, Heather.
Reblogged this on EasternPennPoints and commented:
Hey, Eastern PA SCBWI! Check out this great list of upcoming contests, courtesy of Heather Ayris Burnell 🙂
Thanks for linking us up! The more the merrier!
Hi There, Thanks so much for pulling this together. I check out #kidpit but it looks like it was for May 2015. Is there an updated link?
Linda Booth Sweeney
Tel.(978)369-1557 | http://www.lindaboothsweeney.com New Systems Literacy collection , on PBS LearningMedia New release: When the Wind Blows (Putnam, 2015) For up-to-date-author information
From: Sub It Club Reply-To: Sub It Club Date: Tuesday, September 29, 2015 at 3:00 AM To: Linda Booth Sweeney Subject: [New post] October 2015 Contest Roundup
WordPress.com Heather Ayris Burnell posted: “I haven’t been online too much lately. (See my Taking a Break post. The only one I posted all month! Yes, it was autobiographical.) But, once I started looking for contests I couldn’t stop. I’m sure I haven’t found them all but I have wrangled together a”
The website has not been updated. Heidi Norrord who puts the event together put it in a tweet: Heidi R. Norrod @HRNorrod Did you know #KidPit is coming November 12th? And of course #AdPit will happen again in the first half of February.
I’ll try to catch the new info and update when it comes out.
Hi Heather. SCBWI is also accepting applications for the Emerging Voices grant now until November 15. More details here: http://www.scbwi.org/awards/grants/on-the-verge-emerging-voices-grant/
Thanks so much! I just added it to the November Roundup. 🙂
Great information here. Thanks, Heather!
Hi! We’ve decided on #WritePit dates, and have a little surprise we’re going to try out with it this year: Live pitch sessions! 🙂
The #WritePit Twitter pitch parties will be on January 8, 2016, for faith-based manuscripts, and again on August 5, 2016, for all genres and readerships. More info here: http://www.jessicaschmeidler.com/writepit/
Hosts: @TheWriteShadow, @R_EliseWrites, and @thebbibliophile.
Thanks so much for letting us know Jessica!
Thanks, Heather. I shared it with SCBWI Israel members
Thank you Iris!
Thanks, Heather. I have heard from several newly published authors that their manuscripts didn’t get a second look until they won a contest and could list that in their bio. You save inspiring want to be authors a lot of time by doing the legwork for us.
I can tell you that after winning the first place grand prize in a YA novel writing contest, and being offered an advance and lead-off publication, that book did not garner any more attention than the second YA title that followed it. The first book received six contract offers and the second one pull 10 contracts offers. Agent and I rejected every one of them. I’m sorry, but you really don’t need a contest win to get a great offer. If a publisher tells you you need a contest win, turn you back and walk away as though you’ve just bumped into Satan
Contests certainly don’t hurt–they are icing on the cake and you’re talented and lucky to pull one. For instance, I always wanted to submit my book cover to a contest. I think it would flat out win something, if even a mention. Not to discourage you, but write books with beautiful voice, style and edit them clean
It’s true, you certainly don’t need to win a contest to garner the attention of agents and publishers. I myself have not won any contests yet have a great agent who I obtained by querying directly with a manuscript that he saw potential in. There are all sorts of factors and contests are just another option on the path to publication. Sometimes people can make connections with an agent or have a win to put in their bio, but a great manuscript trumps all.
Heather, I agree totally. I got my agent by offering a manuscript that she loved and had admiration for. My credit list is extensive and vast. But she never saw it. Ultimately, it was the book, and only the book, that won her over.
I’m not sure how a writer would truly know whether their manuscript got a second look or not. Even if it does, it doesn’t mean you are told or even get back a personal rejection. Case in point: https://subitclub.wordpress.com/2014/11/17/strange-submission-stories/
But, I still think that entering contests is a great way to break up the submission process and can definitely lead to great things! Plus you never know what you have in your bio that will get you a closer look. We each take our own unique path to finding publication and have to use the positives that we have to help us along.
I’m so glad to help others find contests that work for them! Happy to hear that the Roundup is a help!