In order to provide inspiration and practice, help writers flex their writing muscles and spread their writing wings, and because it’s fun :), I run several writing contests each year on my blog.
There are no entry fees in the hopes that no one will feel deterred from entering for financial reasons.
The prizes are (hopefully!) things which are helpful to furthering your writing career – manuscript critiques from agents, editors, and respected writers, enrollment in fabulous classes, membership in great organizations, the opportunity to participate in webinars for free, books on craft or resources for writers or illustrators, portfolio critiques and art supplies for illustrator contests, etc. [As a side note, to anyone who might be visiting, I am always open to prize donations, so if you have something you’d like to give please contact me!!! I always love to be able to offer critiques from agents and editors and authors, enrollment in writing or illustration classes, group memberships, webinars, portfolio critiques, etc. and I would love to be able to give a spot at an SCBWI conference 🙂 ]
The experience is (hopefully!) one that will further your writing and give you the chance to enjoy the camaraderie of the kid lit community, see the work of other writers, make some new friends, and maybe win something awesome 🙂
The contests tend to vary from year to year, depending on what I think up and how many prizes I can scrounge 🙂 but the following 3 are annual contests:
Valentiny Writing Contest: 2nd week of February
Write a Valentines’ story for children (age 12 and under), maximum 214 words (because Valentines’ Day is 2/14 🙂 ), including a character with a specified emotion (2016 was “grumpy” – emotion will change from year to year.)
Halloweensie Writing Contest: last week of October
Write a Halloween story for children (age 12 and under), maximum 100 words, including 3 specific Halloween-related words which change from year to year. (2015 used costume, dark, and haunt; 2014 used pumpkin, broomstick, and creak; 2013 used spooky, black cat, and cackle; 2012 used witch, bat, and trick-or-treat; and 2011 used boo, candied apple, and jack-o-lantern.)
Holiday Writing Contest: 1st or 2nd week of December
Write a holiday story for children (age 12 and under) maximum 300-400 words (changes from year to year), based on the supplied prompt (which changes from year to year.) (2015 had to begin with any version of “Rockin’ around the Christmas tree at the Christmas party hop” where nouns, verbs, prepositions etc could all be substituted e.g. “Quarreling in the checkout line at the local Toys R Us.”) (2014 required a holiday story in which the holidays were impacted by wild weather, 2013 was a holiday mishap, 2012 was a holiday story that began with any version of “Dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh”, and 2011 was your own version of “‘Twas The Night Before Christmas.)
I also usually try to run one Illustrator Contest each year.
Come join the fun! 🙂