Competitions for Children’s Writers

There’s nothing like a deadline to get the words on the page. If you are looking for inspiration for what to write or are looking for a home for one of your poems, short stories or novels, then look no further that this list of nine annual competitions for children’s writers.  

The Caterpillar  

The Caterpillar is a magazine of poems, stories and art created by grown-ups for children and based in the UK. Their annual poetry competition is open from January to March each year and is for a single poem written for children aged 7-11. Their annual story competition closes at the end of September. Stories must be less than 1500 words and aimed at the same age group as the poetry prize. Find out more at

Greenleaf Press Blossoms and Buds

Greenleaf Press provides services to authors including mentorship programs, manuscript assessments, editing and marketing assistance. In the past Greenleaf Press has run their Blossoms competition for Chapter Books, Middle Grade and YA (February 2018) and Buds competitions for picture book manuscripts (November 2018). Check their website for current competition details.

Buzz Words Short Story Competition

This competition is run by Dianne Bates, the founder and compiler of Buzz Words Magazine, a fornightly e-zine for writers and illustrators of children’s and YA books, as well as librarians, teachers, editors and publicist. The competition is for the best short story for children 8-11 years old.  Stories must be less than 1500 words. In 2019 entries close on Sept 2. Check for more details on how to enter at

Scribbles Creative Writing Awards

Run by Jen Storer, this competition requires that you be a member of the Scribbles Creative Writing Course. The inargural competition was held in 2018 with entries closing in October that year. Categories included Picture Book (500 words), Junior Fiction (2000 word short story) Middle Grade (4000 word short story) and PBStoryboard Illustrations/text presented in storyboard format (PDF). Find out more at

CYA Competition

Run annually in conjunction with the CYA Conference in Brisbane, the strength of this competition is the range of genres and the feedback every entrant receives no matter what their placing. There are also categories for illustrators and authors who have published. The competition is usually open from January to April each year. Check out for more details.

Jackie’s Spring Poetry & Verse Stories for Kids Competition

Jackie Hosking runs ‘Pass it On,’ a weekly interactive networking e-zine for those interested in the children’s book industry.  She also holds a Poetry/Verse Story Competition, usually in September each year. You can get more information by signing up to ‘Pass It On’ at or checking out her blog at

Bath Children’s Novel Award

This competition is open to international writers who have yet to be published. They are seeking middle grade and YA novels. The competition closes at the start of December. Find out more at

Text Prize

The Text Prize aims to discover incredible new books for young adults and children by Australian and New Zealand writers. It is open from January to February each year. The winner receives a publishing contract with Text and a $10,000 advance against royalties. The prize is for fiction and non-fiction manuscripts between 20,000 and 100,000 words. More info at