Contests are a great way to sharpen your submission skills, stretch your imagination, and get your work out in the world. That’s why the Institute runs adult and kidlit writing contests throughout the year. Each contest culminates in a Winners Workshop where we announce the winners and critique the winning entries to help all entrants improve their skills. Plus, each contest has cash prizes for the top five entries.
Check out our current and upcoming contests below.
ICL Fractured Fairy Tale Short Story
Ready to reimagine your favorite fairy tale? This contest is for you!
- Short story inspired by a fairy tale but with a twist!
- Must have a beginning, middle, and end.
- 900 words or less
- Click here for more details
IFW Essay to My Younger Self
What do you know now that you wished you knew then? Think about the advice you’d give your younger self, maybe around a specific event or maybe general encouragement with the benefit of hindsight. Write an essay around those thoughts and submit it for this contest.
- Written in first person point of view
- Target audience: Adults
- This contest opens in Spring 2023
ICL Narrative Nonfiction Picture Book
Are you working on a nonfiction picture book manuscript that reads like a story? Polish it up and get ready to submit it to our Narrative Nonfiction Picture Book Contest this summer!
Following each writing contest, we hold a live workshop to announce the winners. The contest judge will reveal tips for writing in the contest genre and critique the winning entries sharing why they worked—and how they could be even better.
Thriller First Pages winners will be announced in March 2023. Sign up below to be notified when registration opens:
Looking to improve your contest entry?
Past Contests and Winners
Check out our past contest themes and winners!
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