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 contests below.
ICL The Great Outdoors Picture Book
Let’s get outside! For this writing contest, we want to see your picture book manuscripts that take place outdoors and show us the adventures kids can have when they get out of the house. Your entry must be a fictional story aimed at 4-7-year-olds and be no more than 600 words.
IFW My Funny Family Personal Essay
Is your family funny? This contest will be your chance to share a story about your family that will have us giggling, guffawing, and falling off our chairs.
ICL Poetry for Kids
Start working on your haikus, limericks, and sonnets! Our next poetry contest opens this summer. Check back here for more details on the theme and submission guidelines.
- This contest will open in Summer 2022.
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. To learn more about our next workshop, sign up below.
Looking to improve your contest entry?
Past Contests and Winners
Check out our past contest themes and winners!