Call for submissions: 18th annual Writing for Children Competition

Deadline September 30, 2015

CANSCAIP (Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers), in partnership with The Writers’ Union of Canada, accepting submissions by unpublished writers for the 18th annual Writing for Children Competition. A goal of the competition is to discover, encourage, and promote new writers of children’s literature across Canada. The deadline for submissions is September 30, 2015.

In previous years, the Writing for Children Competition awarded one cash prize. This year, there will be two $1,000 winners: for a picture book/early reader and for a chapter book/middle grade/young adult. Eight additional finalists in these reading age categories will also be selected.

The entries of the eight finalists and two winners will be submitted to three Canadian children’s publishers for consideration. Some previous finalists and winners of the Writing for Children Competition have had their entries published.

The Writers’ Union of Canada initiated the Writing for Children Competition in 1996. The competition has grown in popularity since its inception, and in 2014 CANSCAIP took on this initiative as a partnership with TWUC.


  • Writers who have not had their writing published in book form (including e-book and self-published)
  • Writers who do not have a current contract with a book publisher before the competition winner is announced
  • Canadian citizens or permanent residents


  • Up to 1,500 words, written in English
  • Not previously published in book form (including e-book or self-published)
  • Fiction or non-fiction
  • Reading age categories: picture book (ages 2 to 6), early reader (ages 5 to 8), chapter book (ages 7 to 10), middle grade (ages 9 to 12), young adult (ages 13 and up)
  • Typed in 12-point font, double-spaced, pages numbered
  • Submission emailed as PDF attachment
  • Hard copy entries are not eligible and will not be returned.


  • An entry consists of a writing submission of up to 1,500 words PLUS a one-page cover letter.
  • Each page of the writing submission should be numbered, with your name and the title on the top of each page.
  • Include in the cover letter:
    1. your name, address, phone number, e-mail
    2. summary of your writing experience
    3. title of submission, genre, reading age category (e.g. picture book, chapter book), fiction or non-fiction
    4. submission’s place in the story (e.g. first chapter)
    5. summary of the complete story
    6. additional information as needed
  • Submit writing submission and cover letter as a single PDF: cover letter first, followed by writing submission.
  • For multiple entries, send each entry in a separate email.
  • In email subject line include: WFC 2015 – Your Name – Title of Entry – Reading Age Category
  • Email submissions to
  • NOTE: Register and pay the entry fee before emailing your entry.


  • The entry fee is $30 for one writing submission, $50 for two submissions, and $75 for three submissions.
  • If not already a Friend member of CANSCAIP, you can join for just $35 (regular $45 per year)
  • Entry fees can be paid online as part of the submission process. Online payment is by Visa or MasterCard, with credit card payments processed through PayPal (entrants don’t need to have a PayPal account).
  • Go to the CANSCAIP website to REGISTER and pay entry fee online.
  • Entry fee can also be via cheque made out to CANSCAIP and mailed to:

Writing for Children Competition
720 Bathurst Street, Suite 503
Toronto, ON M5S 2R4


  • The first readers for the entries will be a group of published writers with experience in the genre of the submission. These first readers will select and recommend a shortlist of the best submissions. These shortlisted submissions will be sent to the jury panels.
  • There will be a jury panel comprised of three published authors to evaluate and select from the shortlisted submissions for chapter books/middle grade and young adult. There will also be a jury panel comprised of three published authors to evaluate and select from the shortlisted submissions for picture books/easy readers.
  • Each of the jury panels will determine five finalists, including one winner.
  • The selected entries of the ten finalists will be submitted to three Canadian children’s publishers for consideration.


  • Only the finalists and winners will be contacted.
  • Results will be posted in November 2015.

Deadline for entries is September 30, 2015