The Picture Book Prize 2019

You could win a valuable consultation with literary agent Julia Churchill or a critique from children's author Amy Sparkes in our exclusive Picture Book Prize.

The picture book industry is very competitive and although there are many prizes for new talent in the children’s fiction category, there is currently little available for aspiring picture book writers. Being passionate about inspiring and encouraging new writers, Writing Magazine, author Amy Sparkes and literary agent Julia Churchill launced this award to highlight new talent and help open doors into the world of publishers and agents.

New picture book authors are important to the industry as fresh voices and imagination keep picture books fun and dynamic. Yet it can be very difficult to break into this area of publishing. Picture books are very expensive to produce, and sometimes there can be reluctance to invest in unknown authors. This can particularly be the case with rhyming picture books, which can be harder to sell internationally. The Picture Book Prize aims to raise the profile of picture book writers.

What are we looking for?

The award is open to all unpublished and unagented writers and is an opportunity for you to submit your picture book texts. We are not looking for illustrated stories or accompanying sample illustrations – please just send the story text.

Entries need to reflect traditional published picture book texts which do not rely on pop-ups, tabs or touch to help deliver the story. The story should be fiction and can be rhyming or non-rhyming. The word count should be no more than 800 words. Your story can be split up into spreads (usually 12-14 spreads) or be one continuous piece of writing.  

For Amy Sparkes' advice and tips, see her website


The first prize winner will be offered a lunch consultation with top children’s fiction agent Julia Churchill, a year’s subscription to Writing Magazine and £200

The second prize winner will be offered a picture book critique by Amy Sparkes through Writing Magazine Writing Courses, a year's subscription to WM and £50.

The third prize winner will win a year’s subscription to WM.

How To Enter

To enter, please submit a finished picture book text (without illustrations) of up to 800 words, by the closing date of 31 October, 2019. Entry is open only to writers who are neither agented nor contracted for publication as children's writers.

Competition Closing Date

This competition is open for entries until 23:59 31 October 2019. Entries submitted after this date cannot be accepted.

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£5.00 Entry Price (£5.00)

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Terms & Conditions

1. Eligibility
Entry is open to any writer who has not had a book of fiction for children contracted for publication by a third party or taken on by an agent. Entries must be the original and unpublished work of the entrant, which is not currently submitted for publication nor for any other competition or award. You may submit only one entry.

2. Manuscripts

Manuscripts can be uploaded in pdf, doc, docx and txt formats.
Please layout your entry in double spacing with a front page stating your name, address, phone number and email address. Please also state story title and word count.

3. Competition Judging
Entries will be judged by Writing Magazine, Amy Sparkes and Julia Churchill, and their decision will be final, with no correspondence being entered into.

4. Notification
Winners will be notified within two months of closing date.