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  • Writing for Children Competition (DEADLINE for entries May 31)

Writing for Children Competition (DEADLINE for entries May 31)

  • Monday, March 18, 2019
  • Friday, May 31, 2019
  • 11:59 PM
  • n/a


Registration is closed


Writing for Children Competition 2019 

Deadline MAY 31, 2019

CANSCAIP (Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers) welcomes entries by unpublished writers for the 22nd annual Writing for Children Competition. The deadline for entries is May 31, 2019.

Five writers will receive $500 for the winning entry of a Picture Book, Early Reader, Chapter Book, Middle Grade, or Young Adult. Two finalists for each of these categories will also be selected. 

The readers and juries who volunteer to evaluate the entries are all published CANSCAIP Members. All writers receive feedback for their entry. The feedback is generally a few sentences or a short paragraph, and is a unique benefit of entering the Writing for Children Competition. 

CANSCAIP submits the winners and finalists to publishers Annick Press, Kids Can Press, and Scholastic Canada for their consideration. Some of the previous Writing for Children Competition winners and finalists have had their work published.

A goal of the Writing for Children Competition is to discover, encourage, and promote new writers across Canada. The Writers' Union of Canada initiated the Writing for Children Competition in 1996, and in 2014 CANSCAIP took on this initiative.  


  • Unpublished writers: have never had a book professionally published, in any genre, for any age, and do not have a contract for a future book
  • Self-published writers whose book has sold fewer than 200 copies  
  • Writers must be over the age of 18
  • Writers must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents 
Writers with stories, articles, poems etc. published in publications with multiple writers (anthologies, textbooks, magazines, journals, etc.) ARE eligible to enter.


  • Maximum 1,500 words in English, fiction or non-fiction
  • Text only, no illustrations (this applies to all categories, including Picture Books)  
  • 12-point font, double-spaced 
  • Entries emailed to as an attachment (Word or PDF) 
  • See below "How to Submit Your Entry" for set up details
  • Printed entries are NOT eligible

Stories submitted to other writing contests are eligible.
Stories sent to publishers for consideration (but not contracted) are eligible. 
Entries for previous Writing for Children Competition(s) can be re-submitted. 


  • Please register online and pay the entry fee before emailing your entry. The fee is $30 for one entry, $50 for two entries, $75 for three entries. 
  • Online payment is by Visa or MasterCard. PayPal processes CANSCAIP's online payments, but entrants don't need to have a PayPal account.
  • When your payment has been processed, you'll receive an email confirmation. 
NOTE: You don't have to email your entry as soon you pay the entry fee. If you've paid the entry fee, email us your entry whenever you like, right up to the deadline. 


  • Registering your entry for the Writing for Children Competition requires selecting a reading age category from the list below. Although your entry may not exactly fit the parameters, select the reading age option that best fits. 

PICTURE BOOK (age 2 to 6): Picture books generally have a few words or a few lines of text per page, and illustrations on every page. 

EARLY READER (age 5 to 8): Early readers are longer than picture books, with a paragraph or more per page, and illustrations on every page.

CHAPTER BOOK (age 7 to 10): Chapter books have short chapters, and a few illustrations in each chapter. For kids who can read completely on their own. 

MIDDLE GRADE (age 9 to 12): Middle grade books have longer chapters and no illustrations. For kids who are ready for more complex stories. 

YOUNG ADULT (age 13 and up): Young adult books can be as long as adult novels. For teens who are familiar with mature concepts. 


  • For a Chapter Book, Middle Grade, or Young Adult entry, send the first chapter plus other chapters/excerpts, up to 1,500 words. If a Picture Book or Early Reader entry is 1,500 words or less, you can send the full story. (Entries are text only, no illustrations. This applies to all categories, including Picture Books.)
  • Use this information in this order for the DOCUMENT NAME: 
    Reading Age Category - Your Name - Title of Entry  
    EXAMPLE: Picture Book - Mary Smith - The Little White Duck 
  • In the body of your email, provide this information
  1. Your name, e-mail, phone, address, title of the entry
  2. One-paragraph summary of the complete story, including the ending and key plot points.
  3. Note about the entry's place in the story (e.g., "My entry is the first chapter, the fourth chapter, and an excerpt from the last chapter.") 
  4. One-paragraph summary of your writing experience
  • Attach your entry to an email addressed to
  • Use this information in this order for the EMAIL SUBJECT LINE: 
    Reading Age Category - Your Name - Title of Entry
    EXAMPLE: Picture Book - Mary Smith - The Little White Duck 
  • For MULTIPLE ENTRIES, attach each entry to a separate email
NOTE: CANSCAIP cannot confirm receipt of each emailed entry.The Competition generates hundreds of entries, and we don't have the resources to respond to each email. After the deadline, we cross-reference the entries registered with the entries we've received, and we'll contact any writers whose entry has not been received.


  • The deadline for entries is midnight May 31, 2019
NOTE: The volume of entries on deadline day can slow down the online payment system, and you may not receive payment confirmation for several hours. If this happens to you, email us your entry, and we'll notify you if there is a problem.


  • The Competition readers and juries are published authors of books in the reading age categories they evaluate. 
  • First-round readers evaluate all the entries, and select which entries will proceed to the second-round readers. 
  • Second-round readers evaluate those selected entries and select a longlist of entries to proceed to the jury. 
  • Jury members select their top choices from the longlist; a consensus of their selections determines the finalists and winners.
  • There is a jury for picture book/early reader and a jury for chapter book/middle grade/young adult.  
  • The finalists and winners are submitted to three Canadian children's publishers (Annick Press, Kids Can Press, Scholastic Canada) for their consideration. 


  • MAY 31: Deadline for submissions
  • JUNE: First-round readers evaluate all entries 
  • JULY: Second-round readers evaluate selected entries and choose longlist 
  • AUGUST: Announcement of longlist sent to entrants in late August
  • SEPTEMBER: Juries evaluate longlist and select winners and finalists
  • OCTOBER: Announcement of winners and finalists sent to entrants   
  • NOVEMBER: Reader evaluation feedback sent to entrants 
  • DECEMBER: Finalists and winners entries sent to publishers
  • FEBRUARY or MARCH 2020: Publishers evaluations sent to finalists and winners

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