Posted by: Kathy Temean | April 21, 2021

Book Winners – Crystal Kite Round 2 Vote – Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition


Cathey Nickell won A FLOOD OF KINDNESS by Ellen Leventhal

Carl Scott won Ocean Soup by Meeg Pincus

Candice Goddrey won AVEN GREEN SLEUTHING MACHINE by Dusti Bowling



Round 2 voting for The SCBWI Crystal Kite Awards has begun and will close on April 30th at 5pm PDT.

Do jump in, check out the finalists for your division, and cast your vote!

To cast your vote, log on to

Once you are on your Member Home page, go to the left navigation bar, scroll to the bottom and click on Vote in the Crystal Kite Awards. That takes you right to the voting page where all of the books in your division appear. Then click the VOTE FOR THIS BOOK button below your chosen book and you are done!



$20-$30 ENTRY FEE. Deadline May 7, 2021.

Early-Bird Deadline: May 7, 2021

  • Poetry entry—$20 for the first entry; $15 for each additional poetry entry.
  • Manuscript entry—$30 for the first entry; $25 for each additional manuscript entry.

Deadline: June 7, 2021

  • Poetry entry—$25 for the first entry; $20 for each additional poetry entry.
  • Manuscript entry—$35 for the first entry; $30 for each additional manuscript entry.

Additional entry discounts only apply after submitting and checking out your first entry. All deadlines are at 11:59 PM EST, on the specified date. All payments must be submitted at the time of entry.

One Grand Prize winner will receive $5,000, an interview with the author in Writer’s Digest, a paid trip to the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference, including a coveted Pitch Slam slot and more.

The first place winner in each category will receive $1,000.

The second place winner in each category will receive $500.

The third place winner in each category will receive $250.

The fourth place winner in each category will receive $100.

The fifth place winner in each category will receive $50.

The sixth through tenth place winners in each category will receive a $25 gift certificate for


  • Inspirational/Spiritual
  • Memoirs/Personal Essay
  • Print or Online Article
  • Genre Short Story (Mystery, Romance, etc.)
  • Mainstream/Literary Short Story
  • Rhyming Poetry
  • Non-rhyming Poetry
  • Script (Stage Play/Television/Movie Script/Short Film)
  • Children’s/Young Adult Fiction

Category Selection

Select the category that best represents your entry. If the judges feel that another category is more appropriate, we will switch the category for you, on your behalf.

  • Genre Fiction: Stories that fit into a specific classification such as mystery, romance, science fiction, horror or fantasy.
  • Mainstream/Literary Fiction: Serious, non-formulaic fiction that does not fit into a genre. For the sake of separating them entirely from genre fiction, are combined into their own category. Literary fiction is generally more concerned with style and characterization, and may be paced more slowly than commercial fiction. It usually centers on a timeless, complex theme. Mainstream fiction is usually faster paced, with a stronger plot line (and more events and/or higher stakes). Characterization may not be as central to the story and the theme may be more obvious than literary fiction. The category of both of these two indicates that the story would generally appeal to a larger audience and isn’t confined by the rules and structure you might see in a typical genre.
  • Memoirs/Personal Essay: This is an article that is distinguished by and draws its power from its personal viewpoint. In such pieces, the author examines an issue, event, experience, place or idea and offers an opinion or some other reaction to it. The goal of an essay may be to explain, justify or persuade. The last is most often the goal of newspaper op-ed essays. Examples of other types of essays may be found in such magazine columns as Redbook‘s “A Young Mother’s Story” or Writer’s Digest‘s “Chronicle”.
  • Print or Online Article: This is an article in which the writer has researched a topic and explains the topic to readers. It can also profile an individual, a place or a topic. Often there is a “service” angle—a clear benefit that readers can take away from the article. There are many types of articles: how-to articles, personality profiles, Q&A’s, informational pieces, travel articles, magazine features, web articles, news articles. They may include events drawn from the author’s personal experience, but the focus of the article is on providing readers with information.
  • Inspirational: An article, essay or story with an explicitly religious, spiritual or otherwise inspirational focus. An article that’s suitable for Guideposts or St. Anthony Messenger, for example, would be inspirational. An essay on how the power of Christ, (or Buddha, or Allah or Vashti) touched your life would be inspirational. A story about the power of religion, the power of prayer, or the power of the universe would be inspirational.
  • Rhyming Poetry: When the last word of some or all lines rhyme with each other. Ask yourself: What is the rhyme scheme of my poem? If you don’t understand what that question means, your poem is probably non-rhyming. Most formal poetry is considered rhyming poetry (such as sonnets or ballads).
  • Non-rhyming poetry: When there is no recognizable or purposeful rhyme scheme or structure. Free verse falls under this category.
  • Children’s/Young Adult Fiction: Fiction written for the children, adolescents, and young adults.
  • Script (Stage Play, Television/Movie or Short Film) : Scripts—original or written for any television series in production on or after January 1, 2020—are eligible. Adaptations of the author’s own writing will be accepted. All other adaptations are not eligible.

Word Count / Line Count Requirements
Online Entry forms must have the word/line/page count listed where requested.

Count refers to all words making up the story (no matter the number of letters in the word). Do not count the title or contact information in the word count.

  • Poetry entries: count the lines containing text. Do not count blank lines between stanzas & do not count the title or contact information.
  • Script entries: Please provide the number of pages submitted instead of the word count.
  • Memoirs/Personal Essay, Print or Online Article and Children’s/Young Adult Fiction: 2,000 words maximum.
  • Mainstream/Literary Short Story and Genre Short Story: 4,000 words maximum.
  • Inspirational Writing: 2,500 words maximum.
  • Rhyming Poem and Non-rhyming Poem: 40 lines maximum.
  • Script (Stage Play, Television/Movie or Short Film): Send the first 15 pages ONLY (the title page does not count toward the page limit) in standard script format, plus a one-page synopsis. Do not submit the complete script unless it fits within the page count requirement (ex. Short Film). Scripts—original or written for any series in production on or after January 1, 2021—are eligible; adaptations will not be accepted.

Entry Method Options/Preparing Your Entry


  • All entries must be submitted online through Submittable. If you already have a Submittable account, simply log in! There is no cap as to the number of submissions that can be entered into the competition overall, however each submission (including edited versions being re-submitted) must be checked out separately.
  • Please be sure that the email address that you provide will be valid throughout the competition. Competition related updates and winner notifications are sent via: email. Please type carefully and list only one email address. Check your spelling carefully including all login information, email addresses etc. Incorrect email addresses may result in the transmission of important information being delayed and/or unsuccessful. Be sure that our email addresses (Writer’s Digest and Submittable) are not blocked, or you may not receive critical information, receipts, confirmations etc. Check your SPAM folder for any expected but unaccounted for email communications.
  • Cover pages are optional; they are not requested or necessary.
  • Please submit text only; illustrations are not accepted. We recommend that you select a font which is easy to read; please do not use a decorative or script font. 12-point type size is preferred but not mandatory. We have no requirements as to the number of words per page. We have no rules or requirements regarding subject matter or language etc.
  • It is preferred that an entry be formatted to 8.5 x 11 paper, single sided, 1 inch margins. We prefer any of the various standard-formatting styles (although non-conforming entries will not be disqualified). Scripts (TV/Movie, Stage Play or Short Film) and poems may be either double-or single-spaced; all other documents must be double-spaced.
  • Contact information is collected via the online entry form. You should not include this information on the file being uploaded. Only the category, word/line count and entry title should be included on the file being uploaded.
  • Word counts are not to include entry title. All words (no matter the length) are to be included in the word count.
  • For poetry entries, supply a line count instead of a word count. Line counts should include all lines that have text; do not include blank stanzas in your line count.
  • When filling out the online submission form, you will be asked to upload your entry file. Accepted file formats include: .doc, .docx, and .pdf. Do not attach zipped files, or documents stored on the web like Google doc’s etc . Please name your file the same as your submission title if possible; identifying information should not be included in your file name.


Talk tomorrow,



  1. Congrats, winners! I’ve voted for the 2nd round. I always forget it’s by region. And thanks for the contest info, Kathy. 🙂


  2. Congrats to the winners! I’ve voted! Cheers!


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