Posted by: Kathy Temean | May 21, 2013

Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing

What is the Katherine Paterson Prize for YA and Children’s Writing?

An annual prize for Young Adult and Children’s Literature. A chance for your YA and Children’s Lit to be read by Hunger Mountain editors and guest judges!

What will the winner receive?

One overall first place winner receives $1,000 and publication! Three category winners receive $100 each and publication. The categories are

  • Young Adult (YA)
  • Middle Grade (MG)
  • Picture Book or Writing for Young Children

Who can enter the contest?

Anyone! Everyone!

Is there a fee to enter?

Yes, the fee is $20.

Do you have a word limit on what you submit?

Yes, it is 10,000 words. Your entry may be a short story or a novel excerpt, but if it’s a novel excerpt it should really stand alone.

Who is this year’s judge?

The 2013 judge is Rebecca Stead, author of Liar and Spy and When You Reach Me, which won the Newbery Medal in 2010.

When is the deadline?

The postmark deadline is June 30th

Where is last year’s winning entry?

The 2012 first place winner, “Crabcake Charlie,” a Middle Grade story by Sally Derby was published in Hunger Mountain 17: Labyrinths. (Order a copy here).

Other winners:

  • In Your Head by ZP Heller, selected by Kathi Appelt, winner of YA category, 2012
  • The Flood, by Kathleen Forrester, winner of MG category, 2012
  • Sybilla Under the Bones by Barbara Lowell, winner of PB/writing for younger children category, 2012
  • Him by Heather Smith Meloche, selected by Kimberly Willis Holt, overall winner, 2011
  • Forty Thieves and a Green-Eyed Girl by Christy Lenzi, winner of MG category, 2011
  • Cesar by Betty Yee, winner of the Picture Book/Writing for Young Children category, 2011
  • Steve by Jaramy Conners, overall winner 2010, chosen by Holly Black.
  • Chasing Shadows by S.E. Sinkhorn, winner of YA category, 2010
  • The Ugliest Dog in the World by Marcia Popp, winner of the MG category, 2010
  •  Something at the Hill by Jane Kohuth, winner of the Picture Book/Writing for Young Children category, 2010
  • Crazy Cat by Liz Cook, overall winner2009, chosen by Katherine Paterson
  • Tornado by Susan Hill Long, winner of the MG category, 2009
  • No Mistake by Tricia Springstubb,winner of the Picture Book/Writing for Young Children category, 2009

Does Hunger Mountain accept electronic entries?

Yes! Please enter your original, unpublished piece under 10,000 words. Your entry may be a short story or a novel excerpt, but if it’s a novel excerpt it should really stand alone. Feel free to include a brief synopsis if your entry is a novel excerpt. Your name and address should not appear on the story; we read contest entries blind. Click the link below to access our online submission system. Once in the submission manager, you’ll need to choose “Katherine Paterson Prize” (scroll all the way to the bottom to find it!) Pay the $20.00 entry fee and upload your entry. Please include a cover letter in the comments section, letting us know what age group your piece is intended for: Enter the Katherine Paterson Prize

Does Hunger Mountain still accept Snail Mail entries?

Yes! Please send one original, unpublished piece under 10,000 words. Your entry may be a short story or a novel excerpt, but if it’s a novel excerpt it should stand on its own. Feel free to include a brief synopsis along with your novel excerpt. Include a $20 entry fee. Make checks payable to “Vermont College of Fine Arts.” Entries should be postmarked by June 30th. Your name or address should not appear anywhere on the story itself (we read entries blind.) Instead, enclose an index card with story title, intended age group (YA? MG?), your name, address, phone number, and email address. You may also enclose an SASE (self addressed stamped envelope)  for notification of winners. Entries should be typed, and on one side of the paper only. No staples please! Send entries to:

KPP Hunger Mountain Vermont College of Fine Arts 36 College Street Montpelier, VT 05602

May I include illustrations with my Picture Book manuscript?

Yes. This year for the first time, we’re allowing illustrations along with picture book manuscripts. These should be copies/pdfs only. PLEASE DO NOT SEND ORIGINAL ART! We’ll consider illustrated and unillustrated text for picture book entries.

If you submit by mail, send copies of art only. If you submit through Submittable, your entry should be a pdf.

Will my entry be considered for general publication as  as well as for the Katherine Paterson Prize?

Yes, it will. Several stories we publish have come from the Katherine Paterson Prize entries.

May I enter more than one story in this prize?

Yes. Enter as many as you like! But each entry needs its own entry fee.

Are simultaneous submissions okay?

Yes,  but please let us know right away if your work is accepted elsewhere. And unfortunately we can’t refund entry fees if the work is accepted somewhere else.

I’m a child or a teenager. May I enter this prize?

You may. But your work will be evaluated alongside adult work. If you’re a serious writer, it’s okay with us if you enter the prize, just know this prize isn’t intended for teenagers or for children.

What if I have questions that aren’t answered here?

Email us at

Enter the Katherine Paterson Prize by clicking here

Maybe this is the year your manuscript will be ready to enter. If so, Good Luck!

Talk tomorrow,



  1. This contest sounds like a great one! I’m so pleased you also listed previous winners and the judge. Thanks, Kathy


  2. How wonderful to get to include illustrations! It opens a whole new world of opportunities for children’s book author/illustrators! Thank-you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: