Writing Contests

Contests are a great way to sharpen your submission skills and get your work out there. Plus, you could win part of the $1,300 in prize money we award to our contest winners. Winning entries are critiqued in our Winners' Workshop where we announce the winners in a live webinar.

The Institute for Children's Literature and the Institute for Writers offer writing contests year around for various genres. Enter one of our current contests below:

ICL Nonfiction STEAM Article Contest

Are you ready to capture the imagination of kids propel them to new heights? This contest is your chance to submit a nonfiction STEAM article suitable for a children's magazine.

What's STEAM? STEAM education is a curriculum used to integrate science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math skills. The Institute for Arts Integration and STEAM explains, "STEAM education results in students who take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, persist in problem-solving, embrace collaboration, and work through the creative process."

Your entry should be a full magazine article. It can be no more than 500 words and should be aimed at 7-9-year-olds. First place wins $1,000!

EXTENDED DEADLINE: August 31, 2020.

CLICK HERE for more details.

IFW Silver Lining Poetry Contest

Poetry has a way of helping us express ourselves when other forms of communication just don't cut it. Times may be tough, but good is still all around us. As the saying goes "every cloud has a silver lining." We want to hear about your silver linings in the form of a poem.

Here's what you need to know:

  • Submissions must be no more than 500 words, not including your name, your word count, or title.
  • Entries can be any style of poem. Style of poem must be named in the upper right corner with your name and word count.
  • Entries should be aimed at adults.
  • Entries should be inspired by a silver lining in your life.
  • $19 reading fee to enter.
  • DEADLINE: JUNE 30, 2020

Click here to enter

Contest rules available here:

IFW Contest Rules

ICL Contest Rules

Add yourself to our weekly newsletter to hear when our Winners Workshops and upcoming contests are announced.

Institute for Children's Literature Newsletter

Institute for Writers Newsletter


For tips on how to improve your contest entries (and possibly win!), check out these resources from ICL and IFW:


How to Win a Contest by ICL Instructor Nancy Coffelt

Tighten Up Your Weakest Link for a Contest Win by ICL contributor Jan Fields

Why a Contest? Seven Lucky Reasons to Enter by ICL Contributor Jan Fields

Why Entering a Contest Helps YOU! with Katie Davis and Nancy Coffelt


Past Winners:






Sign up for our weekly tips & market leads. 

If you write for children, sign up for our ICL newsletter.

Writing for adults? Sign up for the IFW newsletter.