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Writing for Children Competition

     CANSCAIP announces long list for 2020 Writing for Children Competition

CANSCAIP (Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers) is pleased to announce the long list for the 23rd annual Writing for Children Competition.  

More than 600 entries were received for the 2020 Competition--as always, the Picture Book category had the highest number of entries. The entries in all categories 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: the long list. From the long list, the juries will select finalists and winners, to be announced in October.  

CANSCAIP congratulates all the writers whose entries were selected for the long list:

Hilde Festerling - Frisky's Man Serves The Chow
Sarah Groundwater-Law - Shermop Bones and the Case of the Missing Bone
VJ Hamilton - Rat to the Rescue
Diana Murrell  - Animal Antics
Alison Newall - Daniel and the Very, Very Difficult Dog
Lisa Prine - The Wisdom of Wands and Wings
Diana Taylor - Toonberry Pie
Carmen Wittmeier - Jubilee in the Mirror

Virginia Boudreau - Wings
Linda Browne - The Shadow Pirates
Paul Haston - Billy and the Match Girl
Geri Lalach - Caught
Nicki Leask - Heart of Tar
Mary Pike - Tangly Secrets
Brian Slattery - Escape
Rud Verhagen - The Last of the Green Dragons

Sandra Appleby - You Can't Judge a Wolf by His Brother
Jen Lynn Bailey - Keeping Track of Our Backpacks
Marcia Barss - Three Adventurous Pigs and a Wolf
Caroline Bennett - Carrie’s New Room
Kim Benson - A Girl Saw A Beetle
Jane Blondie - Come - Dance Fall!
Kate Bowen - Do Not Feed the What Ifs
YauMei Chiang - Flower (aka POWER) Girl and the HAIRY Beast
Jen Clarke - A Gnome Far From Home
Laurie Crookell - I Want To Smell Like Strawberries
Laura Crystal - Suzy's Stories
Y. Daniel-Ayoade - How the Tortoise Became King
Marina Djokic - Simple Machines for a Mouse with Big Dreams
Jillian Dobson - Faith's Corner
Jillian Dobson - Helen's Blanket of Stars
Heather Douglas - Just a Line
Rachel Fagan - Moon Talk
Ashliegh Gehl - Into The Sea
Christine Henderson - Leonard the Dreamer
Heather Holbrook - Big Hair
Chelsea Irwin - The Missing Thing
Linda Jonasson - The Hockey Stick
Virginia Lee - Perfect Hair
Jessica Lewinski - Wee Winnie Mae, the Dictionary Queen
Lisa Luscombe - Treasure on the Moon
Karolyn Makowy - Planetary Play
Susan Marcus - More Than Enough
Rowena Mascarenhas - Cora's Carpet
Nancy Mooney - Owl and The Rainbow
Nancy Mooney - No Spots For Patty
Shari Mowat - Who Is Watching The Sheep?
Shari Mowat - Little Duck and The Big Wind
Diana Murrell - Ruby’s Plant
Sheryl Niebergall - Orange Truck, Blue Truck
Sylvia Olson - Lisa's Quilt
Christine Prescott-Allen - Naomi the Dancing Owl
Susan Ramsay - I Wonder What Masks Are
Eileen Rankin - Mila and Bartholomew
Carolin Rathbun - Counting On A Parade
Deepta Rayner - A is for Ahimsa
Zoe Robertson - You Are Loud
Nadia Roscoff - School Buses Are Not Scary!
Natalka Roshak - How To Draw Everything Bunnies
Brittany Stares - The Stars from Skyboats
Lindsay Stubbs - Red Paper Kisses
Marisa Tam - My Brother Is From Another Planet
Diane Taylor-Sexton - Titus and Edwina
Erin Whaling - Bringing Home the Playground
Jack Wong - The Brightest Night
Gwen Yoshiki - Dog's Dream

Sally Basmajian - Impromptus
Melissa de Haan - Nine Tenths
Thereza Dos Santos - Becoming Juliet
Simone Garneau - My Accidental Life
Donna Hughes - Bright Shiny Things
Julie Prescesky - Bixton
Donna Reid - The A Word
D.M. Wagner - Dirt Magic
D.M. Wagner - Masthead
Karon Young - Daughters of Glaslyn

Reader feedback for each entry is a unique and potentially very beneficial element for writers who enter CANSCAIP’s Writing for Children Competition.  In November, all the writers will receive the evaluation comments of the readers who evaluated their entries.

The Competition readers are published CANSCAIP Members who volunteered for the 2020 Competition: Lana Button, Lena Coakley, Pam Edwards, Kathryn Ellis, Loretta Garbutt, Linda Granfield, Theo Heras, Michelle Kadarusman, Monica Kulling, Tanya Kyi, Marla Lesage, Alison Lohans, Carol L. MacKay, Patsy MacKinnon, Maureen McGowan, Ishta Mercurio, Mireille Messier, Jean Mills, Jennifer Mook-Sang, Mahtab Narsimhan, Monica Nawrocki, Colleen Nelson, Deb Patz, Karen J. Rankin, Gillian Richardson, Jocelyn Shipley, Margaret Springer, Kevin Sylvester, Rebecca Upjohn, and Susan White. CANSCAIP is very grateful to these readers--many of them have volunteered as readers for several years.

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. We’re a national membership-based, volunteer-run organization, offering opportunities for professional development with our community of Canadian authors and illustrators of children's books, and children’s performers.


    MARCH: Competition opens
    MAY 31: Deadline for submissions
    JUNE: First-round readers evaluate all entries, and select those entries that proceed to second-round
    JULY: Second-round readers evaluate that smaller group of entries, and select those entries that proceed to the longlist
    AUGUST: Announcement of longlist 
    SEPTEMBER: Juries  evaluate entries on longlist, and select winners and finalists 
    OCTOBER: Announcement of winners and finalists  
    NOVEMBER:  Evaluations of all the entries sent to all the writers
    DECEMBER: Finalists and winners  entries sent to Annick Press, Kids Can Press, and Scholastic Canada
    FEBRUARY / MARCH: Publisher evaluations sent to finalists and winners


    CANSCAIP's Writing for Children Competition opens in March and has a deadline of May 31.  The entry registration fee is $30 for 1 entry, $50 for 2 and $75 for 3.  Only unpublished writers are eligible to enter. The Competition's goal is to discover, encourage, and promote not-yet-published kid lit writers across Canada. 

    Entries for the Competition are by reading age: Picture Book, Chapter Book, Middle Grade or Young Adult.   Previously submitted entries can be re-submittedMaximum length of an entry is 1,500 words 

      Written feedback for every entry is a unique benefit of the Competition. Every entry gets a paragraph of written evaluation, and sometimes more.  All entries get evaluations from the first round of reading. Entries that proceed to second round also get evaluations from those readers. Entries proceeding to the longlist get evaluations from  each jury member. 

      The Competition's volunteer readers and juries are published CANSCAIP Members. The readers and jurors evaluate entries in the categories of their books; e.g., picture book authors evaluate picture book entries.  The evaluation comments and suggestions can be very helpful for writers working on their craft. Many writers enter the Competition every year for feedback on the stories they're working on.  

      Four writers receive $500 for the winning entry of a Picture Book, Chapter Book, Middle Grade, and Young Adult; two finalists in each of these categories are also selected.

      The winners and finalists are sent to Annick Press, Kids Can Press, and Scholastic Canada for consideration. These entries also get the publishers  evaluations.  Although over the years writers have had their work published, being a finalist or winner is not a direct path to publication.

      The Writers' Union of Canada initiated the Writing for Children Competition in 1996, and in 2014 CANSCAIP took on this initiative. 

      CANSCAIP office is located within the Centre for Social Innovation, Annex.
      720 Bathurst St., Suite 503, Toronto, ON M5S 2R4

      Email: office@canscaip.org
      Phone: 1-416-515-1559

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