Sponsored by Scholastic Book Fairs, Kids Are Authors gives children a chance to go through the entire process of writing, editing, and illustrating a picture book.
Who can enter? The contest is open to children in grades K – 8 in the United States or U.S. International schools. Children must work in teams of three or more, under the supervision of a project coordinator.
When is the deadline? Mid-March.
How are entries judged? The judging criteria are “originality, content, overall appeal to children, quality of artwork, and compatibility of text and illustrations.” Scholastic chooses a panel of judges from “the fields of publishing, business, education, art, and literature.”
What do winners receive? The grand-prize winners in fiction and nonfiction will be published and sold through Scholastic. Winning teams will receive 100 copies of their book, as well as $5,000 in Scholastic merchandise to be awarded to the school or non-profit organization of their choice. Teams winning honorable mention will receive $500 in merchandise. Students on the winning teams will receive framed certificates and gold medallions.
How do I enter? You can find entry forms and detailed formatting instructions on the contest website .
NOTE: If you want to read past winners, you have to buy the books. And Scholastic owns the rights to the entries, so they will publish the winning books and sell them.
This financial arrangement might bother some people. But unless you think your child is the next Christopher Paolini or S.E. Hinton (both of whom were actually way past 8th grade when they published their famous books, anyway), I’m not sure it matters very much. And Scholastic does offer generous prizes to the winning teams. So to me, it looks like a win-win arrangement.