Celebrating new Black-British writing for children

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Calling all unpublished and self-published Black-British children's writers!

From 7 November 2022 to 9 January 2023, send us your finest picture book manuscript for a chance to win a publishing contract with Scholastic UK, SCBWI membership, exclusive access to publishing professionals, and more. We need your stories!

Reedsy Best Writing Contests 2022 logo

The prizes

The winner will receive:

  • A guaranteed publishing contract from Scholastic UK, with a £1500 author advance plus mentoring

Scholastic UK logo

Plus:

  • A 12-month scholarship membership with the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)

  • A 12-month membership to the Society of Authors including unlimited access to their resources, industry guides and advisors

  • A copy of A Writer's Journal Workbook by Lucy van Smit

  • A copy of Children's Writers' & Artists' Yearbook 2023, foreword by Smriti Halls

Two runners-up will each receive:

  • Mentoring from Anna McQuinn, editor-at-large at Alanna Max, or Natascha Biebow, editor at Blue Elephant Storyshaping

  • Art direction consultation with author-illustrator Ken Wilson-Max from Alanna Max

  • A copy of Children's Writers' & Artists' Yearbook 2023

Two writers with potential will each receive:

  • Detailed script feedback and a chance to chat with children's book editor and author Naomi Jones

  • A copy of Children's Writers' & Artists' Yearbook 2023

  • Priority booking for our future workshops

What are we looking for in your submissions?

Stories that suit the picture book format and are aimed at young readers aged 3 years plus. They must be no more than 700 words long and should:

    • Feature an authentic-feeling Black or mixed-Black main character

    • Be well-structured stories with a clear beginning and satisfying ending

    • Be written in rhyme or prose

    • Be uplifting and light-hearted, humorous or thought-provoking

    • Feel original and relevant to 21st-century children

    • Not have historical, distressing or overtly anti-racist themes

    • Be age-range appropriate, eg must not be first-word or look-'n'-feel books aimed at babies, toddlers and preschoolers

Read Writing a children's book, FAQs and Submission guidelines for more info.

Before you make your submission

We'd strongly encourage you to attend our online picture book workshops and panel sessions led by top editors from Scholastic UK, literary agents and authors of colour who write for children. These sessions will take place on Saturdays from September until November.

NOTE: we will not be offering specific advice on your manuscripts during these sessions. They are intended to prepare and inspire you before you start writing, and will focus on need-to-know UK market insights, the craft of writing a compelling picture book, working with an editor, and the dos and don'ts of manuscript presentation.

Places are limited, so don't hesitate to book your FREE place for each session when they are advertised. Check our Workshops page as we are taking bookings now.

Thanks to our generous funder, partners and sponsors:

Logos of the Jericho Prize funder, partners and sponsors: Arts Council England, Scholastic UK, Alanna Max Books, SCBWI, Society of Authors, Peters Books, Black Writers' Guild and Blue Elephant Story Shaping