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Named to "Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites," this #SharingwithWriters blog is a way to connect with my readers and fellow writers, a way to give the teaching genes that populate my DNA free rein. Please feel free to add to the conversation using the very tiny "comment" link. For those interested in editing and grammar, go to http://thefrugaleditor.blogspot.com.

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Saturday, January 05, 2013

Chiildren's Award Contests! You Have to Enter to Win!

It's the new year and time to plan for the success of our books. Awards should be a major part of your plan and children's authors tend to neglect this kind of promotion. Thus, Donna McDine shares her considerable expertise in this area!
Children's Award Contests: The Importance of Entering!
By Donna M. McDine

The importance of entering children’s book award contests goes well beyond a win. There are two sides you can capitalize on. The obvious, if your book achieves book award recognition you and your publisher can reap the benefits of promoting you as an award-winning author. Second, even if you don’t place in the contest your book does gain additional exposure through the judging process. For example, when I participated in the 2011 NYS Reading Association Conference and Author Fair, two different teachers who are judges for the 2014 NYS Reading Association Charlotte Award mentioned they read my book for the contest. This provided a great opportunity to talk about my school visit workshops and The Golden Pathway’s Educators Guide, which then led to two different school visits. What better way to get the conversation going about your book then by people in the educational trenches.


Not sure where to being your search for contests? Of course the Internet is your most viable option. Google “children’s book award contests” and you will receive over a million hits. I can feel your shoulders sag; please don’t be dismayed as to where to begin. To help you get started I recommend the following websites for comprehensive contest listings:

·       EPIC’s eBook Awards http://epicorg.com/competitions/epics-ebook-awards.html

·       Global eBook Awards http://awardsforebooks.com

·       IRA Children’s and Young Adult’s Book Awards http://reading.org/Resources/AwardsandGrants/childrens_ira.aspx

·       Writer’s Digest – www.writersdigest.com – even though The Golden Pathway and Hockey Agony were originally submitted as short stories to the annual contest they both placed as Honorable Mentions hence providing interest by Guardian Angel Publishing in offering my first two children book contracts.

·       An additional effective way to help keep you up to date on children’s book awards is by setting up a Google Alert with “children’s book awards”

Don’t stop researching with just the above mentioned. Conduct a search by state, topic, etc. (i.e., historical fiction, bullying, music, etc., all depending on the topic of your book). Cynthia Leitich Smith’s website noted above is a great resource for state-by-state.

Since the majority of contests are copyright deadline based, even before your book is published you need to educate yourself as to what contest is the most reputable and the best fit for your particular book. Do your homework and double check the submission guidelines (they do change from time to time just as publisher submission guidelines). Don’t come across as an amateur, research and confirm submission guidelines before submitting. What to look for: topic, copyright year, state of residency, country, etc.

Create an Excel spreadsheet for tracking purposes:

·       Contest Name

·       Contact Info

·       Deadline Date

·       Date Submitted

·       Winners Announced By

·       Accepted

·       Rejected

·       Comments

Of course, adjust the form to your personal needs. I set deadline reminders 30 days prior to the actual deadline on my Outlook Task Reminder. Don’t feel as if you need to “reinvent the wheel” in creating your Excel spreadsheet, if you are interested I’d be delighted to email you my blank tracking form. Please feel free to email me at donna@donnamcdine.com. Please mention where you read my article and put “Children’s Book Contests Excel Spreadsheet” in the subject line.

Good luck in your quest in becoming an award-winning children’s author!


Donna McDine is an award-winning children's author and publicist who can free up your valuable writing time. Visit McDine at www.donnamcdine.com, www.donna-mcdine.blogspot.com, and www.authorprservices.com.


Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor . If your followers at Twitter would benefit from this blog post, please use the little Green widget to let them know about this blog:


  1. Hello Carolyn,

    Thank you for featuring my article today. Best wishes to you and your readers for a wonderful 2013 and beyond.

    Warm regards,
    Award-winning Children’s Author
    Write What Inspires You Blog
    Donna M. McDine’s Website

  2. And school visits lead to more sales.

  3. Most definitely Diane!

  4. Thank you for these links. I have done very well with book awards and nominations for my first MG adventure in some you mention above. I find that winning an award, or even just a good nomination makes people feel more comfortable with buying or reviewing a book. I do school readings here in South Africa where I live and I also find that it's easier to get librarians/teachers interested if they know a book has received some kind of accolade. It tells people that a book has reached a level of excellence.


Thank you for commenting at Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites pick
www.SharingWithWriters.blogspot.com. You might also find www.TheFrugalEditor.blogspot.com full of resources you can use and
www.TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog you can use to benefit your book or reading pleasure.