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

CANSCAIP announces longlist for 2017 Writing for Children Competition 

December 28, 2017: The Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers (CANSCAIP) is pleased to announce the longlist for the 20th annual Writing for Children Competition.  We congratulate the writers whose entries were selected for the longlist from almost 300 entries received for the Competition.

All the entries were evaluated by first-round readers who selected the entries which would proceed to the second-round readers.  From that group of entries, second-round readers selected the entries to proceed to the juries—which is the longlist. From this longlist, 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 finalists and winners will be announced in January.


Sheila Baslaw - Sabbath Gift
Sylvia Bonilla - What a Watch, Wanda!
Corrie Clark - A Turkey for my Birthday
Jillian Dobson - The Hat Dance
Sarah French - Swim Lessons
Shona Gourlay - Wolf and his Big Bad Week
Chang Hong - Dragons Big and Little
Elaine Kachala - Let the Fur Fly! Furry Fun Facts about How Dogs Help Humans
Carlynne Kobewka - Watson Goes Camping
Laurie Malabar - A Perfect Fit
Peter McClelland - BoGGs
Renee Miller - Sunday and Sasha
Kate (A. K.) Riley - Snow Song
Kathy Rondeau - Shadow's Escape
Erin Silver - The Slap Shot
Brian Slattery - Mr. Mephisto's Midnight Run
Margara  Zuleta - Cheel


Karen Alison - Murphy and the Dead Dog Gang
Rita Bailey - Blood upon the Rose
Tracey Brown - Heart of the Hudson
Danette  Byatt - Monster Unicorn
Alex Costa - Roughling: The Legend of Glenwood
Laurie Crookell - Invisible
Erin Curtin - Bystander
Sarah French - Chasing the Gods
Jocelyne Gregory - Scalvagers
Lindsay (Dee) Hahn - Dexter the Gravedigger  +  Fen of the Forest
Mary Pocrnic - Bird Brain
Bernice Ramsdin-Firth - Return to Lolibran  +  The Night Visitors
Falon Reed - Shadow of the Moon
Christie Roome - Fall Down or Fly
Brian Slattery - I Am the Notorious Ninja Thief
Kim Woolcock - Rise
Carleigh Wu - Isabella Gets a Pet
Sally Wylie - The Youngest Rogue in the Galaxy
Karon Young - The Wind and the Wailing

When the Writing for Children Competition finalists and winners are announced in January, CANSCAIP will submit the finalists and winners entries to three Canadian children’s book publishers (Annick Press, Kids Can Press and Scholastic Canada) for consideration. CANSCAIP will present a cash prize of $1,000 to each of the two winners.

Feedback on each entry is a unique and beneficial element of CANSCAIP’s Writing for Children Competition; all 300 writers who entered will receive the evaluation comments of the readers who evaluated their entries. Only unpublished writers can enter the Competition.

The readers and juries who evaluate the Competition entries are all published authors and CANSCAIP Members. CANSCAIP is grateful for the support of these Members who volunteered as first-round or second-round readers for the 2017 Writing for Children Competition:  Karen BassLouise BradfordBeverley BrennaAnne Laurel CarterLena CoakleyTheo HerasSusan HughesSharon Jennings,  Monica Kulling, Deb Lougheed, Patsy McKinnon, Janet McNaughton,  Lorna Schultz NicholsonBev Katz Rosenbaum,  Jocelyn Shipley, Patricia Storms and Bill Swan.  

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 in 2017. We are a national membership-based organization representing Canadian authors and illustrators of children's books and children’s performers. For more information, please visit

Writing for Children Competition 2017 

CANSCAIP (Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers) is pleased to have received hundreds of entries for the 20th annual Writing for Children Competition. The deadline for entries was June 30, 2017.

The writers have not previously been published in any genre. A goal of the Writing for Children Competition is to discover, encourage, and promote new writers of children's literature across Canada. The Writers' Union of Canada initiated the Competition in 1996, and in 2014 CANSCAIP took on this initiative.  

Two winners will be awarded $1,000 for a picture book/early reader entry and for a chapter book/middle grade/young adult entry. Eight additional finalists in these categories will also be selected. 

CANSCAIP submits the winners and finalists to three Canadian children's publishers for consideration. Some winners and finalists in the Writing for Children Competition have had their entries published.

All entrants receive feedback from the readers who evaluate the entries. This feedback is a unique benefit of entering the Writing for Children Competition. The readers are all published writers with experience in the reading age category they are evaluating.


    • First-round readers evaluate a large group of entries in a reading age category, and select a smaller group of entries to proceed to the second-round readers. The first-round readers are professionally published authors with experience in the reading age categories they evaluate. 
    • The second-round readers are a different group of professionally published authors. Second-round readers evaluate a smaller group of entries and select entries to proceed to the jury. 
    • There are two juries: a jury for Picture Book/Early Reader and a jury for Chapter Book/Middle Grade/Young Adult. Each jury selects the four finalists and one winner; there will be eight finalists and two winners overall. 
    • The finalists and winners are submitted to three Canadian children's publishers for consideration.
    • Feedback for the writers from the readers who evaluate the entries is a unique benefit of entering the Writing for Children Competition. 
    • All the writers will get feedback from the first-round readers. 
    • Writers whose entries progress to the next stage also get feedback from the second-round readers. 
    • The content and length of the feedback varies with the individual reader; feedback is generally several sentences or a short paragraph.  
    • A reader's feedback reflects the opinions and experience of that particular reader -- another reader's feedback of the same entry might be quite different. (This is also the case when publishers evaluate manuscripts -- different editors will have different opinions about the same manuscript.)
    • All the writers will be emailed the feedback in December. 


    NOTE: The timeline for the press release and feedback has been delayed, and the new timeline is shown below. We know that everyone has been waiting for the results, and we sincerely apologize for the delay. Thank you for your continued patience.

    • JUNE 30: Deadline for submissions
    • JULY & AUGUST: Submissions evaluated by first-round readers
    • SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER: Submissions evaluated by second-round readers
    • DECEMBER: Announcement of longlist 
    • JANUARY: Announcement of finalists and winners. Feedback from first-round readers sent to all entrants; feedback from second-round readers sent to selected entrants


      • Picture Book (age 2 to 6) 
      • Early Reader (age 5 to 8)
      • Chapter Book (age 7 to 10)
      • Middle Grade (age 9 to 12)
      • Young Adult (age 13 and up)

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