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CANSCAIP (Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers) welcomes entries by unpublished writers for the 22nd annual Writing for Children Competition.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

ELIGIBLE WRITERS

  • Unpublished writers* who have not been professionally published, in any genre or for any age, and who do not currently have a contract for a future book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 anthologies, textbooks, magazines, journals, etc. (publications with content by multiple writers) are eligible.

ELIGIBLE ENTRIES

  • Fiction or non-fiction, text only, no illustrations 
  • Maximum 1,500 words of text in English
  • 12-point font, double-spaced 
  • Word document or PDF attached to email (printed entries not eligible)
  • NOTE: Entries for a previous Competition can be re-submitted 

PAY THE ENTRY FEE FIRST

  • 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 right after you pay the entry fee. After you've paid the entry fee, you can email your entry whenever you like, right up to the deadline. 

HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY

  • For a Chapter Book, Middle Grade, or Young Adult entry, send the first chapter plus other chapters/excerpts, up to 1,500 words. For a Picture Book or Early Reader entry, you can send the full story if it is less than 1,500 words.
  • Your DOCUMENT NAME must use this information sequence: 
    Reading Age Category - Your Name - Title of Entry  
    EXAMPLE: Picture Book - Mary Smith - The Little White Duck 
  • In the body of your email, please provide this information
  1. Your name, e-mail, phone, address, title of the entry
  2. Short summary of your complete story (one paragraph), 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. Short summary of your writing experience (one paragraph)
  • Attach your entry to an email addressed to office@canscaip.org
  • In the EMAIL SUBJECT LINE, provide this information in this order: 
    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 will not be able to confirm receipt of your emailed entry.The Writing for Children Competition generates hundreds of entries, and CANSCAIP doesn't have the resources to respond to each email. After the deadline, we will cross-reference entries registered with entries received, and contact any writers whose entry has not been received.

DEADLINE FOR ENTRIES

  • The deadline for entries is midnight May 31, 2019 
  • NOTE: The volume of entries on the deadline date can overwhelm the online payment system and slow down the processing of payments, sometimes by a few hours. In this happens, email your entry before you get confirmation that your payment has been completed. We will notify you if there is a problem.

SELECTING YOUR ENTRY'S READING AGE CATEGORY

  • 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. 

DEADLINE FOR ENTRIES

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

EVALUATION PROCESS FOR ENTRIES 

  • The Writing for Children 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 the entries that will proceed to the second-round readers. 
  • Second-round readers evaluate those selected entries and choose a longlist of entries to proceed to the jury. 
  • A three-member jury selects their top choices from the longlist; a consensus of the jury's 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. 

TIMELINE 

  • 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
  • SEPTEMBER: Juries evaluate the 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 evaluation feedback sent to finalists and winners.

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Winners and finalists of CANSCAIP’s Writing for Children Competition 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 2, 2018: CANSCAIP is pleased to announce the winners and finalists of the 20th annual Writing for Children Competition.  Each of the winners receives $750. CANSCAIP also sends the winning  and finalist entries to publishers Annick Press, Kids Can Press and Scholastic Canada. 

WINNER Picture Book/Early Reader

  • Tziporah Cohen - Sweet Success: The Story of Milton Hershey

FINALISTS Picture Book/Early Reader

  • Tanya Allatt - All Alone, the War Pigeon
  • Jane Blondie - We Dance Spring!
  • Tiziana  Klin - Harrison's Heart is Special
  • Susan Marcus - Jessie and Sam

WINNER Chapter Book/Middle Grade/Young Adult

  • Aaron Rabinowitz - Small-Town Terrestrials

FINALISTS Chapter Book/Middle Grade/Young Adult

  • Dee Hahn - The Gravethief
  • Amanda McNeice - Harvey & Stink
  • Robin North - Godfather Death
  • Karon Young - Desperate Hope

The 2018 Writing for Children Competition received more than 500 entries.  All the entries were evaluated by first-round readers who selected entries to proceed to second-round readers. The second-round readers selected entries to proceed to the jury, and the juries selected the two winners and eight finalists. Everyone who entered the Competition will receive their evaluation comments.  The next Writing for Children Competition opens in March 2019. 

The readers and juries for the 2018 Competition are published Members of CANSCAIP:  Beverley Brenna, Paulette Bourgeois, Charlene Chua, Lena Coakley, Kathryn Ellis, Theo Heras, Susan Hughes, Ellen S. Jaffe, Michelle Kadarusman, Alice Kuipers, Monica Kulling, Carol L. MacKay, Sheryl McFarlane, Jennifer McGrath, Patsy McKinnon, Anita Miettunen, Colleen Nelson, Beth Pollock, Lorna Poplak, Karen J. Rankin, Bev Katz Rosenbaum, Aimee Reid, Gillian Richardson, Lorna Schultz-Nicholson, Valerie Sherrard, Susan White, Tim Wynne-Jones, Diane Young.

A goal of the Writing for Children Competition is to discover, encourage, and promote not-yet-published writers. The Writers' Union of Canada initiated the Competition in 1996, and CANSCAIP took it on in 2014. CANSCAIP, founded in 1977, is a national membership-based not-for-profit organization offering professional development opportunities for both published and unpublished children's authors and illustrators. www.canscaip.org

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CANSCAIP announces longlist for 2018 Writing for Children Competition

August 31, 2018: The Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers (CANSCAIP) is pleased to announce the longlist for the 21st annual Writing for Children Competition.   

More than 500 entries were received. All the entries were evaluated by first-round readers who selected which entries would proceed to second-round readers.  The second-round readers selected the entries that will now proceed to the juries—which is the longlist. From the longlist, the juries will select four finalists and one winner for Picture Book / Early Reader, and four finalists and one winner for Chapter Book / Middle Grade / Young Adult. The winners and finalists will be announced in October.

CANSCAIP congratulates the writers whose entries were selected for the longlist:

PICTURE BOOK and EARLY READER LONGLIST

  • Tanya Allatt - Jazzy Patches, All Alone the War Pigeon
  • Davida Ander - The Hiccup War
  • Laura Ann - Ethan Can
  • Hassina Benchabane - The Wooden Boat
  • Kim Benson - A Girl Saw a Beetle
  • Jane Blondie - We Dance Spring!
  • Jessica Boyd - Emily Paints the Town, A Book About Nothing
  • Nathalie Brousseau - The World's Strongest Thread
  • Rebecca Clifford - Starberries
  • Tziporah Cohen - Sweet Success: The Story of Milton Hershey
  • Laurie Crookell - Salmon, Come Home
  • Brandy  Ford - Remember Me
  • Cathrin Hagey - A Friend for Hen
  • Mary Hassell - Dude James and Peter
  • Elaine Kachala - Let the Fur Fly! Furry Fun Facts About How Dogs Help Humans
  • Mary Kastle - Unstoppable
  • Tiziana Klin - Harrison's Heart is Special
  • Robin Larin - Pussycat Paige
  • Jena Ledson - Norman and the Pie
  • Mary-Esther Lee - Saturday Night
  • Lisa Luscombe - Treasure on the Moon
  • Meagan Mahoney - The Grampa Drawer
  • Susan Marcus - Jessie and Sam
  • Shari Mowat - Little Duck and The Big Wind
  • Gail Packwood - Graham
  • Margaret Pilkey - Prince Nicolai and the Empty Box
  • Catherine Pledger - Tina Tootington
  • Lee Reaney - The Mitten
  • Brittany Stares - The Comma Raft and the Ending Pit
  • Kaitlin Whitehouse - A Friend like Me
  • Carmen Wittmeier - Thomas and the Ring of Light
  • Susan Yoon - Me and Papa

CHAPTER BOOK, MIDDLE GRADE and YOUNG ADULT LONGLIST

  • Karen Alison - Blood
  • Annie Bortucene - Evergreen
  • Dee Hahn - The Grave Thief, Fen of the Forest
  • V.J. Hamilton - Dust
  • Loraine Kemp - Luna
  • Martha Kurtz Hogan - Top Secrets
  • Geri Lalach - Call of the Dragon, Stick
  • Anne MacLachlan - Wishcraft
  • Amanda McNeice - Harvey & Stink
  • Robin North - Godfather Death
  • Aaron Rabinowitz - Below Daylight, Small-Town Terrestrials
  • Ann Severn (Benedek) - My Name Is Thea 
  • Jeremy Smith - Cultivating Sunshine
  • Andrew Tolson - How to Kidnap a Mermaid
  • Stephanie Warner - Mopsey and the Diverse Dog Show
  • Danielle Webster - A New Breed
  • Karon Young - The Wind and the Wailing, Desperate Hope 

CANSCAIP will submit the finalists and winners to three Canadian children’s book publishers (Annick Press, Kids Can Press and Scholastic Canada) for their consideration. A cash prize will be presented to the two winners.

Feedback on each entry is a unique and beneficial element of CANSCAIP’s Writing for Children Competition; all the writers receive the evaluation comments of the readers who evaluated their entries. The readers are published CANSCAIP Members, and we thank them for volunteering as first-round readers or second-round readers:  Beverley Brenna, Charlene Chua, Lena Coakley, Kathryn Ellis, Theo Heras, Susan Hughes, Ellen S. Jaffe, Michelle Kadarusman, Monica Kulling, Carol L. MacKay, Jennifer McGrath, Patsy McKinnon, Anita Miettunen, Colleen Nelson, Beth Pollock, Lorna Poplak, Karen J. Rankin, Bev Katz Rosenbaum, Aimee Reid, Gillian Richardson, Valerie Sherrard, Susan White, Diane Young.

The Writers' Union of Canada initiated the Writing for Children Competition in 1996, and in 2014 CANSCAIP took on this initiative as a partnership with TWUC. A goal of the Competition is to discover, encourage, and promote not-yet-published writers of children's literature across Canada.

CANSCAIP was founded in 1977 and we celebrated our 40th anniversary last year. We’re a national membership-based organization, representing Canadian authors and illustrators of children's books and children’s performers.