1.11: Competition and Mentoring opportunities for Children’s Writers

If you know of any other opportunities, please let us know via the contact form and we will add anything suitable for children’s writers.

Although we will endeavour to make sure everything is up to date, and accurate, things change and we miss them, so don’t be too hard on us.

We want to make sure you are seeing ALL of the opportunities out there for you, even if they are not run by us. Good luck!

Click on images to be redirected to the appropriate websites.

Competition opportunities

The Slush Pile Challenge is launched on the first Sunday of January, April, July and October on SCBWI BI Words and Pictures online magazine. This quarterly competition is set by agents/editors . They set and judge different challenges for SCBWI members who are unagented andwrite for different ages (from picture books to young adults) and genres.

Usually closing in November, this a prestigious award which has kick-started the careers of many talented children’s authors.

Another prestigious and long running novel award for children’s novelists. Closing on 14th May 2021 this year.

Our NEW Novel-in-Development Prize will open in February and close on 16th May 2021.

WriteMentor Novel-IN-Development AWARD 2021

Our very own Flash and Short Story competitions which have a prize of being published and featured in our quarterly magazine.


Our Children’s Novel and Picture Book awards close on 31st January each year.


From the excellent Golden Egg, an award for underrepresented writers of children’s fiction.

The Writing Magazine Chapter Book Prize is run by Amy Sparkes and judged by Julia Churchill. Last year it closed 31st October.

The Writing Magazine Picture Book Prize is run by Amy Sparkes and judged by Julia Churchill. Last year it closed 31st October.

A competition for unpublished and unagented children’s fiction writers living in the UK and the EU for SCBWI members. Run every 2 years.

The Hachette Children’s Novel Award is open to debut writers of middle-grade children’s fiction and early teen fiction.

The Writers Weekend, held in the summer, has plenty of competitions, but some kids specific ones, too. Well worth checking it out.

The Jericho Prize for children’s writing, open to Black-British writers with great stories to inspire children aged 4 years plus and 7–9.

Mentoring opportunities

Pathways is a two-year illustration programme for a diverse group of talented and ambitious artists who want to be the next generation of children’s illustrators.

Megaphone offer a year of one-to-one mentoring and small group masterclasses to people of colour based in England as they write a novel for children or teenagers to a publishable standard. 

WriteNow is our award-winning programme which aims to find, nurture and publish new writers from communities under-represented on the nation’s bookshelves, giving you the tools, information and access needed to get published.

Author Mentor Match (AMM) is a mentoring programme which accepts MG and YA writers.

Authors will be eligible to receive feedback and developmental edits on their full fiction manuscript from professional editors. (MG/YA)

Our own summer programme for PB up to YA writers. Applications usually open mid-April.

PitchWars is a mentoring programme, which is US based, but anyone can apply, for MG and YA.

Are you an aspiring children’s/YA book writer? #AllStoriesMentorship could be for you! This is a unique opportunity – expert editors are offering 14 FREE mentorships to underrepresented writers unable to pay for support. Apply by 31/05!

RETURN to COMMUNITY Learning Hub: Online Modules

This is just a small sample of the resources available when you sign up for our Community Learning Hub here.

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