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  • Writing for Children Competition 2020: Deadline for entries May 31

Writing for Children Competition 2020: Deadline for entries May 31

  • Friday, March 13, 2020
  • 5:00 PM
  • Sunday, May 31, 2020
  • 11:59 PM
  • n/a


Registration is closed


CANSCAIP's 2020 Writing for Children Competition is open

Deadline MAY 31, 2020

The Writing for Children Competition for 2020 is now open for entries by unpublished writers.  The Competition launched in 1996  with the goal to encourage and promote new writers.  A unique benefit for writers who enter the Competition is that all entries receive evaluation comments. 

Entry length is  a maximum of 1,500 words . The entry deadline  is May 31, 2020.  

The registration fee for the Writing for Children Competition is $30 for one entry, $50 for two entries, $75 for three entries.  

Four writers will receive $500 for their winning entry of a Picture Book, Chapter Book, Middle Grade, or Young Adult; two finalists for each of these categories will also be selected. 

The registration fee for the Writing for Children Competition is $30 for one entry, $50 for two entries, $75 for three entries.  

CANSCAIP's published Members volunteer as the readers for the Competition. The readers are assigned based on the age categories of their published books. A group of first-round readers evaluate all the entries, and selects which entries will proceed to the second round. A different group of second-round readers evaluates those entries, and decides which ones will proceed to the longlist. The jury members evaluate entries on the longlist, and decide which will be the finalists and winners.  All the readers evaluate each entry on their own, and they don't receive the evaluations of the other readers.

All entries receive evaluation comments from the first-round readers.  Entries that proceed to second round will also receive evaluations from the second-round readers. Entries that proceed to the longlist will receive evaluations from each  jury member.  Evaluations are generally a few sentences or a short paragraph.

CANSCAIP sends the winners and finalists to Annick Press, Kids Can Press, and Scholastic Canada, and the publishers also provide evaluations for these entries.  The publishers' evaluations reflect the skills and book market perspectives of experienced editors. Over the 25 years the Writing for Children Competition has been held, some of the writers have had their stories published -- however, being a winner or finalist isn't a direct path to publication.  


  • Unpublished writers: no books published in any genre or for any age, and not under contract for a future book 
  • Self-published authors 
  • Canadian citizens or permanent residents over the age of 18

NOTE: Writers are eligible if their published work has been stories, articles or poems in anthologies, textbooks, magazines, journals, etc. 


  • Maximum 1,500 words in English
  • Chapter Book, Middle Grade, Young Adult:  submit the first chapter plus other chapters/excerpts up to 1500 words; Picture Book: submit the complete story, or up to 1,500 words (published Picture Books are generally less than 1,000 words)
  • Text only; no illustrations (this applies to all categories )  
  • 11-point or 12-point font, double-spaced 
  • Word or PDF document 
  • NOTE:  You can resubmit entries that you've previously submitted to the Writing for Children Competition  


Register online and pay the entry fee before emailing your entry. 
  • Online payment is by Visa or MasterCard.  Although PayPal processes CANSCAIP's online payments, you don't need to have your own PayPal account.
  • When your payment has been processed, you'll receive an email confirmation. 
  • After the entry fee has been paid, you can send your entry whenever you like, right up to the deadline. 


  • When you register an entry, you'll select one reading age category from these options:
  1. PICTURE BOOK (ages 2 to 8):  Usually a few words or sentences on each page, shorter than 1,500 words in total; for children not yet reading on their own.  
  2. CHAPTER BOOK (ages 7 to 10):  Short chapters; for readers ready to read on their own. 
  3. MIDDLE GRADE (ages 9 to 12):  Longer chapters; for readers ready for complex stories. 
  4. YOUNG ADULT (ages 13 and up):  Can be as long as adult novels; for readers  ready for mature concepts. 


    • FILE NAME of the Word or PDF entry has this info in this order:  Age Category - Your Name - Title of Entry (e.g., Picture Book - Mary Smith -  The Little Duck)
    • Chapter Book, Middle Grade, Young Adult:  submit first chapter plus other chapters/excerpts up to a total of 1,500 words; Picture Book: submit complete story if 1,500 words or less
    • FIRST PAGE of your entry has this info in this order
    1. Contact: your name, e-mail, phone, mailing address
    2. Short summary (up to 250 words) of the full story: characters, plot points, ending
    3. Explain where the entry fits in your story (e.g., "My entry is the first chapter, the fifth chapter, and an excerpt from the last chapter.") 
    4. Short summary (up to 100 words) of your writing experience
    • On the SECOND PAGE of your entry begin your story, followed by additional pages up to a total of 1,500 words (NOTE: This info on the first page is not included in the 1,500 words)


    • Attach your Word or PDF entry to an email addressed to
    • EMAIL SUBJECT LINE has this info in this order:  Age Category - Your Name - Title of Entry (e.g.: Picture Book - Mary Smith - The Little Duck) 
    • NOTE: Don't send a link to your entry on a file sharing site--each entry must be a Word or PDF document attached to an email 


    • MAY: Deadline for entries is May 31 
    • JUNE: First-round readers evaluate all the entries, and select which entries will proceed to the second round
    • JULY: Second-round readers evaluate the smaller group of entries and determine which entries will be on the longlist
    • AUGUST: Announcement of the longlist sent to all entrants 
    • SEPTEMBER: Juries evaluate the longlist and select the winners and finalists
    • OCTOBER: Announcement of winners and finalists sent to all entrants   
    • NOVEMBER: Reader evaluations sent to all entrants 
    • DECEMBER: Finalists and winners sent to Annick Press, Kids Can Press, Scholastic Canada
    • MARCH 2021: Publisher evaluations sent to finalists and winners

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