Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers<br>La société canadienne des auteurs, illustrateurs et artistes pour enfants

Competition is now CLOSED for submissions

Call for submissions: Writing for Children Competition 2015

Deadline September 30, 2015

CANSCAIP (Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers), in partnership with The Writers' Union of Canada, is pleased to accept submissions by unpublished writers for the 18th annual Writing for Children Competition. A goal of the competition is to discover, encourage, and promote new writers of children's literature across Canada. The deadline for submissions is September 30, 2015.

In previous years, the Writing for Children Competition awarded one cash prize. This year, there will be two $1,000 winners: for a picture book/early reader and for a chapter book/middle grade/young adult.  Eight additional finalists in these reading age categories will also be selected. 

The entries of the eight finalists and two winners will be submitted to three Canadian children's publishers for consideration. Some previous finalists and winners of the Writing for Children Competition have had their entries published.

The Writers' Union of Canada initiated the Writing for Children Competition in 1996. The competition has grown in popularity since its inception, and in 2014 CANSCAIP took on this initiative as a partnership with TWUC.


  • Writers who have not been published in book format(including e-book and self-published) in any genre for children or adults  
  • Writers who do not currently have a contract with a book publisher
  • Writers who are citizens or permanent residents of Canada


  • Up to 1,500 words of text in English; entries can be excerpts or chapters from longer works, or complete texts of shorter works, to total of 1500 words (or less)
  • Entries must not have been previously published in book form (including e-book or self-published)
  • Fiction or non-fiction is eligible
  • Text only; no illustrations
  • Reading age categories: 
Picture Book (ages 2 to 6) 
Early Reader (ages 5 to 8)
Chapter Book (ages 7 to 10)
Middle Grade (ages 9 to 12)
Young Adult (ages 13 and up)
  • Typed in 12-point font, double-spaced, pages numbered   
  • Submission emailed as PDF attachment
  • Hard copy entries are not eligible and will not be returned.                         
  • An entry consists of a writing submission of up to 1,500 words PLUS a one-page cover letter.
  • Each page of the writing submission should be numbered, with your name and the title on the top of each page. 
  • Include in the cover letter: 
  1. your name, address, phone number, e-mail 
  2. summary of your writing experience
  3. title of submission, genre, reading age category (e.g. picture book, chapter book), fiction or non-fiction
  4. submission's place in the story (e.g. first chapter)
  5. summary of the complete story
  6. additional information as needed
  • Submit writing submission and cover letter as a single PDF: cover letter first, followed by writing submission.
  • For multiple entries, send each entry in a separate email.
  • IMPORTANT: In the email subject line include the following information in the order shown: WFC 2015 -Reading Age Category (e.g. Picture Book) - Your Name -Title of Submission
  • Email submissions to
  • NOTE: Register and pay the entry fee before emailing your entry.


  • The entry fee is $30 for one writing submission, $50 for two submissions, and $75 for three submissions.
  • If not already a Friend member of CANSCAIP, you can join for just $35 (regular $45 per year)
  • Entry fees can be paid online as part of the submission process. Use the REGISTER button at the top of this page. Online payment is by Visa or MasterCard, with credit card payments processed through PayPal (entrants don’t need to have a PayPal account).
  • Entry fee can also be a cheque mailed to:

Writing for Children Competition
720 Bathurst Street, Suite 503
Toronto, ON M5S 2R4


  • The first readers for the entries will be a group of published writers with experience in the genre of the submission. These first readers will select and recommend a shortlist of the best submissions. These shortlisted submissions will be sent to the jury panels.
  • There will be a jury panel comprised of three published authors to evaluate and select from the shortlisted submissions for chapter books/middle grade and young adult. There will also be a jury panel comprised of three published authors to evaluate and select from the shortlisted submissions for picture books/easy readers. 
  • Each of the jury panels will determine five finalists, including one winner. 
  • The selected entries of the ten finalists will be submitted to three Canadian children's publishers for consideration.
  • Only the finalists and winners will be contacted.
  • Results will be posted in December 2015.



CANSCAIP is pleased to announce that Heather Camlot is the winner of the 17th annual Writing for Children Competition, for her story, "The Boys of Summer." The author will receive a $1,500 cash prize. In addition, CANSCAIP will submit the winning story, together with the stories of nine finalists, to three Canadian publishers of children's literature for their consideration.

The Writers' Union of Canada (TWUC) initiated the competition over sixteen years ago in order to discover, encourage, and promote new writers of children's literature in every region of Canada. The Writing for Children Competition has grown in popularity since its inception, and CANSCAIP is excited to have taken on this initiative moving forward in partnership with TWUC.


Set against the backdrop of Jackie Robinson's pivotal 1946 season with the Montreal Royals, "The Boys of Summer" tells the story of Joey Grosser as he struggles to come of age while scarred by his father's recent death. The jury remarked that the story "was so evocative - I could smell it! She was doing a lot and it felt effortless - historical, a touch of comedic edge, tragic, [and] strong characters," crafted with 'sure-footed and lovely writing." "The Boys of Summer" is inspired by Heather's father and his siblings who grew up in the Plateau neighbourhood of Montreal after the Second World War.

Heather Camlot has fond memories of growing up in Montreal and going to Expos baseball games as a child. A freelance editor and translator, she now lives in Toronto with her husband and two kids. Heather is putting the finishing touches on the full-length novel version of The Boys of Summer.


Captain Monty, Jennifer Mook-Sang, Burlington, ON

Isabelle Lee and Her Adventures at Sea, Michelle Demery, Ottawa, ON

Rhymes with Celery, Tanya Trafford, Duncan, BC

Tell Me Something I Don't Know, Katie Marti, Revelstoke, BC 

The King's Quest, Dawne McFarlane, Toronto, ON 

The Medician, Rachel Crowther, Courtice, ON

Two Letters, Valerie Connor, Etobicoke, ON

Wade's Wiggly Antlers, Louise Bradford, Ottawa, ON 

Yellow Dog, Miriam Korner, Air Ronge, SK


Karen Autio, Lena Coakley, Lisa Dalrymple, Lizann Flatt, Barbara Greenwood, Susan Hughes, Loris Lysenski, Evan Munday, Adira Rotstein, Rene Schmidt, Jim Sellers, Valerie Sherrard, Jocelyn Shipley, Nicole Winters


Susin Nielsen, Kevin Sylvester, and Teresa Toten

CANSCAIP is our country's national organization representing professional authors, illustrators & performers of children's books and culture. We are dedicated to fostering the creation of children's literature in Canada, and promoting the rights, freedoms, and economic well-being of all children's literature creators. For more information, please visit

For additional information contact:

Allison Burda, Community Manager

CANSCAIP: The Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators, & Performers

416.515.1559 |

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720 Bathurst St, Suite 503, Toronto, ON, CANADA, M5S 2R4

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