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  • Writing for Children Competition 2021: Deadline for entries May 31

Writing for Children Competition 2021: Deadline for entries May 31

  • Friday, March 19, 2021
  • 5:00 PM
  • Monday, May 31, 2021
  • 11:59 PM
  • n/a


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Writing for Children Competition 2021

Deadline MAY 31, 2021

CANSCAIP's annual Writing for Children Competition is now open for entries by unpublished writers. The deadline for entries is May 31A unique benefit of entering the Competition is that all entries receive written evaluations. Many writers enter every year, with previously submitted entries or with new stories. The maximum length for an entry is 1,500 words

Four entries will be selected as the winners of the 2021 Competition, and the writers will receive $500 for their winning entry of a Picture Book, Chapter Book, Middle Grade, and Young Adult. Two finalists in each of these categories will also be selected.

CANSCAIP sends the winners and finalists to Annick Press, Kids Can Press, and Scholastic Canada for their consideration. Over the years, some Writing for Children Competition writers have had their work published. 

For CANSCAIP Friends, the registration fees are $30 for one entry, $50 for two entries, $75 for three entries. Non-members pay $40 for one entry, $70 for two entries, $90 for three entries. 

Published CANSCAIP Members volunteer as the Competition readers and juriesTheir written evaluations are usually a paragraph, and sometimes longer. Every entry gets an evaluation from a first round reader. Entries proceeding to the second round also get the evaluation of a second round reader. Entries proceeding to the longlist get evaluations by each jury member. CANSCAIP sends all the writers their evaluations in November

Everyone who is committed to writing for young people is encouraged to join CANSCAIP. We've been around since 1977, and offer ongoing opportunities for learning, sharing, and making connections. Friends and Members across Canada participate in our monthly Zoom meetings with expert speakers, get invitations to book launches and other events, read our quarterly newsletter, and find out about Canada's book community. A Friend membership is $45 a year.  For the lower Friend registration fees, join CANSCAIP first, and then register for the Competition.  


  • Must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents, over the age of 18
  • Unpublished writers: no books published in any genre or for any age, and not under contract with a publisher  
  • NOTE: Writers are eligible if their stories, articles, poems etc. have been published in magazines, anthologies, academic journals, textbooks etc. 
  • Self-published authors are eligible to enter


  • Maximum 1,500 words in English, fiction or non-fiction
  • Text only; no illustrations (this applies to all categories )  
  • Entry is a Word or PDF document; 11-point or 12-point font, double-spaced 
  • Select one category for each entry:  PICTURE BOOK (ages 2 to 8), CHAPTER BOOK (ages 7 to 10), MIDDLE GRADE (ages 9 to 12), YOUNG ADULT (ages 13 and up)
  • For Chapter Book, Middle Grade, and Young Adult entries:  submit the first chapter plus other chapters/excerpts up to 1500 words
  • For Picture Book entries: submit the complete story up to 1,500 words (Picture Books are generally much shorter than that)
  • NOTE:  You can resubmit previously submitted entries


  • Register online and pay the entry fee before emailing your entry. 
  • If you're not already a Friend member of CANSCAIP and want to get the lower registration fee,  join CANSCAIP first and then register.
  • Online payment is by Visa or MasterCard, or by your PayPal account.
  • When your payment has been processed, you'll get a confirmation email with directions for how to set up and send your entry/entries.
  • NOTE: You don't have to send your entry right away. After you've registered and paid the entry fee, you can send us your entry whenever you like, right up to the deadline. 

CANSCAIP's published Members volunteer as readers and juries, in the categories of their published books; e.g., authors of Picture Book evaluate  the Picture Book entries.  All entries will 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. Last year, 40 CANSCAIP Members volunteered as readers or jury members.

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, writers have had their stories published -- however, being a winner or finalist is not a direct path to publication.  


  • 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: The first page contact/summary info is not counted 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 
  • For MULTIPLE ENTRIES, attach each entry to a separate 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

    720 Bathurst St., Suite 412, Toronto, ON M5S 2R4

    Phone: 1-416-515-1559

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