April 2016 Contest Roundup

SIC Contest RoundupPitching can be tough! It can take a lot of time, effort, and skill to put together a short, tight pitch that really sells your work. McIntosh & Otis agent, Shira Hoffman, recently posted some great information on the agency website that she took from a pitch workshop she did. Check out The Art of #TwitterPitching for tips on pitching your work.

There are loads of great contests coming up including quite a few Twitter pitch days, so read on to find some that are right for you and your work. As always, contests are in order by closing date and are linked to the contest information pages.


3/31: #CarinaPitch –  Open to the commercial fiction genres Carina publishes including Romance, New Adult, Mystery, Crime,  Adventure, Science Fiction, Fantasy. Pitch your completed work to the Carina Press editors using the #CarinaPitch hashtag between 9am and 9pm EST. Carina editors will review full manuscript and respond with personalized feedback on all requests. Requested manuscripts must be submitted within 3 days.

3/31: SCBWI Work-In-Progress Grant – Open to SCBWI members only. Includes 6 categories: picture book text, chapter books/early readers, middle grade, young adult, nonfiction, multicultural. “Works submitted by winners and honorable mention recipients will be made available on a secure webpage and presented to a hand-selected group of editors for their consideration.”

3/31: SCBWI Don Freeman Grant – Open to Illustrators who are SCBWI members and are working on a picture book or portfolio. 2 grants of $1000 each to be awarded.

3/31: Foley Poetry Award – Open to unpublished poetry on any topic. Poem be 30 lines or less. Winner to receive $1000.


4/1: #AdPit & #KidPit Pitch your completed manuscript via Twitter using the #AdPit hashtag for adult and new adult work and the #KidPit hashtag for children’s between 9am and 3pm EST. Pitch no more than 6 times in total.

4/1: Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest –  Open to humorous poetry with a maximum of 250 lines. 1st prize of $1,000, 2nd – $25o, 10 Honorable Mentions -$100 each. Top 12 entries will be published online.

4/13: #PitchBFBOpen to Young Adult, Middle Grade, and New Adult. Pitch your work to BookFish Books editors via Twitter using the #PitchBFB hashtag between 8am and 8pm CST. BookFish Books editors will favorite pitches to request. They promise to offer personalized feedback on requested submissions. A few submissions will receive complete critiques from their content and line editors on the first three chapters of their work. One participant will receive a full critique from our content and line editors on their full manuscript. If your pitch is favorited follow the submission guidelines, mention #PitchBFB in your email subject line, and indicate which BFB member favorited your pitch in your query.

4/15: Common Good Books Poetry ContestOpen to poems that are a “declaration of gratitude”. 3 poets to receive grand prizes of $1000 each, 4 poets to receive $500 for poems of particular merit. One entry per person. U.S. residents only.

4/16: Daily Mail Penguin Random House New Novelist CompetitionOpen to residents of the UK or Republic of Ireland. Adult novels. Entry consist of the first 5,000 words and a synopsis of no more than 600 words. Winner must complete manuscript by OCTOBER 30, 2016. Winner to receive £20,000 advance, the services of a top literary agent, and publication by Penguin Random House UK. Read lengthy article in the Daily Mail for more details and advice.

4/19: #DVPit – Open to marginalized voices in any kind of fiction (adult, kids, any genre, you name it) and narrative nonfiction. “#DVpit is a Twitter event created to showcase pitches about and especially by marginalized voices.” Pitch your work via Twitter using the #DVPit hashtag from 8am – 8pm EST. Check the #DVPit page for a detailed guidelines as well as a long list of participating agents. Scroll down to see a list of Retweeters — Editors at major publishing houses that are unable to request but are looking to retweet work to give it a boost for those requesting. Pretty cool.

4/22: #PitchCB – Pitch Curtis Brown and Conville & Walsh agents via Twitter using the #PitchCB hashtag. Note that they are in the UK so please adjust for the time difference. Their guidelines say, “The events are open to all authors looking for agent representation. Fiction and non-fiction submissions, of any genre, are welcomed.” But please check their submissions pages for specific genres they represent.

4/24: #FicFest –  Open to Picture Books, Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult. 45 manuscripts will be chosen. Finalists will work with teams on revisions. Agent round begins 7/8 with agents requesting partial/fulls on the manuscripts that interest them.


5/15: WNDB Walter GrantOpen to unpublished diverse authors and/or illustrators of children’s books. U.S. residents only. Submit a cover letter, essay, statement, and summary of work sample or illustrations. 5 grants of $2000 each will be awarded.

5/21: Query Combat – Enter your query and first pages to compete to move onto a final round. More information to be posted 4/1. Nearly 20 agents and editors are signed up to participate so far including New Leaf Literary, the Bent Agency, TriadaUS, Sky Pony, and the Knight Agency.


6/?: Tu Books New Visions Award – Contest to open in June. Last year’s contest was open to open to writers of color who are residents of the United States and who have not previously had a middle grade or young adult novel published. “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. Submissions may be any fictional genre novels for children ages 8 to 12 or young adults ages 12 to 18. We are particularly interested in fantasy and science fiction, but also welcome contemporary, historical, mystery, and suspense.” Watch for updates.

6/9: #PitmadOpen to any genre and category. Pitch your completed manuscript on Twitter using the #PitMad hashtag from 8am – 8pm EDT. Tweet 3 pitches per project for the day.

6/16: #PBPitchOpen to picture book manuscripts. Pitch your picture book via Twitter using the #PBPitch hashtag between 8am and 8pm EST. Pitch manuscripts twice only; once before 2p.m. and once after. Illustrators may attach an illustration to their pitch.

6/21: Roll of Thunder Publishing Contest – (Entries open on 4/16.)  Open to people of color (or those who self-identify as other than white). U.S. residents only.  Must not have any published fiction. Enter your original fiction aimed at readers ages of 8 to 14 and between 25,000-75,000 words. Winner to receive a publishing contract from Penguin Random House LLC, with an advance of $35,000, plus royalties.

6/30: Drue Heinz Literature Prize –  Open to writers who have published a novel or a book-length collection of fiction with a reputable book publisher, or a minimum of three short stories or novellas in magazines or journals of national distribution. Winner to receive $15,000 and publication by the University of Pittsburgh Press under its standard contract.Eligible submissions include an unpublished manuscript of short stories; two or more novellas (a novella may comprise a maximum of 130 double-spaced typed pages); or a combination of one or more novellas and short stories. Novellas are only accepted as part of a larger collection. Manuscripts may be no fewer than 150 and no more than 300 typed pages.”


7/15: Future Scapes – Open to short fiction of up to 8,000 words written to the contest’s prompt regarding the future.  1st places receives $2,000, 2nd – $1,000, and 4 runners-up $500 each. See rules.

8/3: Pitch Wars – “Published/agented authors, editors, or industry interns choose one writer each, read their entire manuscript, and offer suggestions to shine it up for agents. The mentors also critique the writer’s pitch to get it ready for the agent round. Writers send applications (query and first chapter of manuscript) to the four mentors that best fit their work. The mentors then read all their applications and choose the writer they want to mentor for the next two months. Then we hold an agent round with over a dozen agents making requests.”

8/15: Pockets Fiction ContestOpen to fiction for ages 6-12. 750–1,000 words. Winner to receive $500 and publication in Pockets magazine. General submission guidelines state that submissions should support the purpose of the magazine to help children grow in their faith, though all submissions do not need to be overtly religious.

Know of a great, no fee contest that we missed? Please link us up in the comments!

4 thoughts on “April 2016 Contest Roundup

Add yours

    1. Thanks so much, Iris! The more the merrier. You never know what one of these opportunities with bring for someone.


Thoughts? Questions? Comments? We want to hear them!

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

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: