Institute of Children's Literature presents



Kindergarten Rocks!

It's a big year in the life of any child—the first day of school, learning the alphabet and how to read, making new friends, and so many more new and exciting adventures!  

This contest is your chance to write a picture book for kindergarteners about kindergarten. Write a picture book that takes place in kindergarten. It could be about the the first day of school, the last day of school, or any day or moment inbetween.  

Use your imagination to craft a picture book manuscript aimed at children ages four to six. Manuscripts must be previously unpublished and no more than 500 words. 

Deadline: November 30, 2018

Why Enter?

 $1,300 Cash Prizes 

  • 1st prize = $650 
  • 2nd prize = $350 
  • 3rd prize = $100 
  • 4th prize = $100 
  • 5th prize = $100 

Online Workshop

All entrants are invited to a FREE instructional online workshop with our esteemed judge and the Director of the Institute of Children's Literature and Institute for Writers.

Free Critique

Winning entries will be workshopped by our judge to help writers understand what worked and what could be improved to make it submission-ready.

Here's what you need to know...

  • Entries should be no more 500 words. (It can be a lot less than 500 words.)
  • Entries should be a complete picture book story with a beginning, middle, and end, as suitable for submission to an agent or publisher.
  • No illustrations should be submitted with your entry.
  • For this contest, picture book manuscripts must take place in kindergarten or have to do with a kindergarten activity.
  • Entries should be aimed at readers between four- and six-years-old.
  • Entries must follow manuscript submission guidelines as stated on our Contest Rules page HERE.
  • Entries must be submitted via our online form by midnight Pacific Time on November 30, 2018.
  • There is a $19 reading fee per manuscript to enter the contest.
  • You may enter more than one manuscript but each entry requires a $19 reading fee.
  • Every writer who enters will be invited to the online workshop for free where the winning entries are critiqued. (Non-entrants pay $7.)
  • Minimum age to enter the contest is 18 years of age.

Submissions will be judged on clarity, originality, completeness of the story, potential in the market, appropriateness for the age range, and your ability to match standard manuscript format (double spacing, clear contact information, no creative use of fonts).

The winning entries in this Kindergarten Picture Book Contest will be announced at a live online workshop within 90 days after the contest closes. All contest entrants will be notified of the event details by email and be invited free of charge. (Non-entrants may attend for a nominal fee of $7.)

This is a great opportunity to build your writing and submitting skills!

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