Why Enter Contests? 

(From: http://www.thechildrenswriter.com/am557/)

"We constantly hear from editors that the vast majority of the manuscripts they receive are rejected because they were not written to the editor’s specifications. Few editors will consider a story or article that does not meet their specs—precisely.

Writing contests also have exact specifications. That’s why we encourage writers—all writers, new ones and old pros too—to enter contests. They’re excellent professional training experiences and, if you win, they can get you published and pay healthy prize money."

How to Decide Whether to Enter a Contest...is it reputable?

http://www.childrenswriter.com  then click on “how to judge a contest button”

Some Good Ones Coming Up Soon

1. SCBWI---Sue Alexander Award and more

http://www.scbwi.org/Pages.aspx/Awards-Grants-Deadlines
Varies by year, typically must be submitted around June 15th. Only attendees of the manuscript critiques at the annual summer conference in Los Angeles are eligible for this award. See the annual summer conference registration pages each year for submission details.

Please check out the link above for long list of awards and grants for writers and illustrators.

2. PNWA Literary Contest

www.PNWA.org

$700 prize in each catagory, plus top 10 finalists in each category honored at summer conference. Two catagories for us: Children’s Picture Book / Chapter Book, Young Adult / Middle Grade All entries receive great critique. Dead line: Hard copy received by Feb 17, 2012. Be sure to account for time it takes to get mail out of Alaska.

3. The Sandy

www.crestedbuttewriters.org/sandy

$60 prize for each category, plus special interview with editor or agent during conference. Only 250 entries accepted per category. All receive great critique. Loads of info on website about entering contests and writing synopsis. Deadline: Feb. 12, 2012

4. San Francisco Writing Conference’s Indie Publishing Contest

 www.Sfwriters.org

$30,000 prize toward self-publishing. Deadline January 4th, 2012

5. Writer's Digest

http://www.writersdigest.com/competitions/writers-digest-annual-competition 

$3,000 grand prize (there are many others too), plus trip to the Writer’s Digest Conference in New York City and attention from 4 editors or agents. EARLY BIRD DEADLINE: MAY 1, 2012

6. Children's Writer Magazine

http://www.thechildrenswriter.com/am557/

$500 first place plus publication in magazine. Current contest is for middle grade mystery. Deadline: April 30.