Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 25, 2016

ICL Announces Quarterly Contest

icl-logo_1000x1000-maxInstitute of Children’s Literature Announces Quarterly Contest 

Awarding $1,300 in cash prizes and accepting entries through October 31, 2016.

Madison, CT October 5, 2016 This could be one way of finding a little extra cash for gifts come holiday time. All you have to do is pull out your shamrocks, jack-o-lanterns, or maybe a couple of heart shaped candies, and start writing. Then enter the Institute of Children’s Literature holiday-themed writing contest!

“For me, the most fun is announcing the winners of the $1,300 in cash prizes,” says ICL Director Katie Davis. “And I get to have that fun every quarter, since we have these contests four times a year.” The Institute awards five cash prizes divided into varying levels including $650 for the first place winner, $350 for second place, and $100 for third, fourth and fifth place.

Write a holiday themed story–for any holiday.

 Submissions can be no more than 500 words.
Your story arc should have a beginning, middle and end.
The audience for this contest is considered 3-8 years old.
TIPS for a great submission:

Read the rules here and see an example of format for this contest.

Submissions will be judged on clarity, liveliness, potential in the market, and your ability to match normal manuscript format (double spacing, clear contact information, no games with fonts).

The winning entries in this Holiday Story Contest will be announced at the live webinar after the deadline (all entrants will receive emails about that), in our free newsletter, and our Facebook group.

Win one of five cash prizes!

The contest offers five cash prizes: $650 for the winner, $350 for second place, and $100 for third, fourth, and fifth places. Make sure to follow directions!

Entries must be received by October 31, 2016

Entrants pay a reading fee of $19, which includes free entrance to the educational (and fun!) webinar following the deadline. Non-entrants may join us, but will pay for a $7 ticket to attend.

You may send multiple entries, but you must enter each separately with the $19 reading fee for each entry. 

The contest’s rules are important. Please read them very carefully.

Good luck, have fun!

Now warm up your computer and write a $650-winning holiday story about any holiday you wish!

The holiday-themed contest is for any holiday, so we’ve gotten some really fun submissions, says judge Nancy Coffelt, an instructor for the Institute of Children’s Literature. “Every submission is judged on clarity, liveliness, potential in the market, since one of the things we do to help writers is get their work sold.” Nancy is the award-winning author of numerous picture books, including Big, Bigger Biggest, and Dogs in Space.

As part of the $19 reading fee, contestants are invited to join a free online lesson taught by the judge, and hosted by Katie Davis. (Non-entrants may join for a small fee of $7.) This contest’s lesson will be held on December 1, 2016 at 8:00 p.m.ET. That’s when the five winning entrants will be announced and then critiqued, so attendees can see how even a winning submission can be improved upon. Invaluable writing tips and tricks are shared. One attendee, Cynthia, said, “It was exciting to enter my first contest and to learn what is gleaned from the winner’s techniques. Great tips and suggestions!” The webinars also offer participants a sneak peak at the next contest and have a random drawing of a free critique, worth $99.

For more information or to sign up please visit:


About the Institute 

Since 1969 the Institute has taught over 470,000 students with a one-on-one customized method of instruction. Our faculty is made up of published authors and committed educators. Our school offers college level courses (and college credits) where students can learn to write. Our graduates include a poet laureate and a Newbery medalists and often our students get published before they even finish their course. And all of this is attainable right from the comfort of your home.

Good Luck!

Talk tomorrow,


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