Contest Information


The rewards are publication in Children’s Writer, cash prizes, winners’ certificates, and valuable
training in disciplined writing.

 If you like writing for children and contests, you will now have two extra weeks to enter.

 Writing to an editor’s specifications is the first hurdle that any writer must clear on the track to publication.

Yet we hear repeatedly from editors that the majority of manuscripts they receive do not match their guidelines and specifications.

That’s a huge waste of time and energy for both writers and editors.

Writing contests also have exact specifications, and that’s why we encourage all writers to enter contests as often as they can. Contests are excellent professional training experiences. 

Get published and read by editors 

A winning entry can get you published, and often some healthy prize money too.

 The winning poems or verse stories in this Seasonal Poetry Contest will be published in Children’s Writer, the monthly newsletter that is read by to almost 1,300 children’s book and magazine editors in North America.

 Along with the winning pieces, we’ll publish an article about the other top-ranked entries and their authors. 

 In addition, we will publish the winning entries on the Children’s Writer website and make them available on our Facebook page.

Two extra weeks to win one of five cash prizes

The contest offers five cash prizes: $500 for the winner, $250 for second place, and $100 for third, fourth, and fifth places. These alone are a lot of good reasons to write and enter.

To enter our Seasonal Poetry Contest, submit a single poem, verse story, or collection of up to five poems for children of any age, on the subject of any of the seasons, or holidays. The total word count of an entry may be no more than 300 words. Entries may be serious or funny, and take any poetic form. Winners will be selected based on quality of verse—including rhythm, meter, word choice, wordplay, imagery, and the use of other poetic devices (rhyme, alliteration, assonance, or others). Above all, winning entries must have appeal for young readers.

Seasonal Poetry is the theme

Poetry for kids is greatly loved by readers, writers, editors. But editors receive lots of slapdash, weak poetry submissions. Enter this contest to win, but also to hone your skills, build your writing confidence, and further your work as a children’s poet.


The theme for this contest is verse about the seasons or holidays. Would a haiku for children be a strong entry for you? Make sure the number of syllables and imagery work and appeal to kids. How about a silly poem in the spirit of Shel Silverstein or Dr. Seuss (in your own voice!)? What about a traditional limerick for kids (There was an old man with a beard...). How about your unique version of verse storytelling, à la Jack Prelutsky? Be original but use your best poetry skills. And have fun: Editors and readers (and contest judges) can tell when you do.

Deadline extended
Entries must now be received by November 15, 2013

 Entries must be received by October 31st November 15, 2013. The first contest entry is free to Children’s Writer subscribers who include their account number on page one of their manuscript. All others pay an entry fee of $15, which includes an 8-month subscription. Winners will be announced in the February 2014 issue. Prizes: $500 for first place plus publication in Children’s Writer, $250 for second place, and $100 for third, fourth, and fifth places.


The contest rules are important. Please read them carefully.


Note the extended deadline. Deadline is now November 15th! Be sure to get your entry in.


Now warm up your computer and write a $500-winning poem or verse story!

Obtain Official Entry Form or make online submission
You may submit your entry either online, using our safe and secure entry page, or by regular mail. If you choose to submit online, you'll need to complete your manuscript and save it to a file on your computer.

If you need to pay a reading fee you will be directed to the payment section first.

Children's Writer Subscribers (online submission):
There is no charge for your first manuscript entry if you are a current subscriber to Children's Writer. Additional entries require a reading fee of $15. To submit a free entry online, you will need your Children's Writer account number, which is located in our email to you or on your Children's Writer mailing label in the name/address block. For subscribers who are also Institute of Children's Literature students, it is the same as your student number.
Please Click Here to continue. 

You will be directed to the Free Entry section.

Non-subscribers (online submission):
If you do not subscribe to
Children's Writer, your online entry is welcome. Please click here to continue.

You will be directed to the section requiring the payment of a $15 reading fee.

For Mail-in Entries:
To submit manuscript entries through the mail, please click here to obtain an entry form.


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