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 Middle Grade Historical Fiction

Put on those middle grade thinking caps and bring us 750 words of a middle grade novel set any time in history. Your entry can be an excerpt from anywhere in the novel. First prize is $1,000! Deadline extended to September 15, 2019. 

Register here!

IFW YA Fantasy First Pages Contest

Two popular genres come together for our newest IFW Writing contest! Pull us into a whole new world in 750 words. The writer of the winning entry will walk away with $1,000! Deadline July 31, 2019.

Register here!

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:


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ICL for children's books writers or IFW for writers focused on books for adults.