Manuscript Contest

Want to find out if your manuscript is the cream of the crop? Enter our Manuscript Contest for a unique chance to win a critique and consultation with one of two top-notch faculty! ONLY 50 entries allowed.


Tiara Kittrell at Razorbill/Putnam Books for Young Readers and Tamar Mays at HarperCollins are the judges, and they will each choose a winner among the 50 entries. Each winner will receive a written critique from the judge who picked them as well as a 15-minute phone or video consultation to discuss the manuscript. 

Don’t miss this opportunity to get your work read by an amazing industry professional! 

Here are the rules:

  1. You may only enter once. 
  2. There is a $20 entry fee.
  3. Allowable formats are picture book, chapter book, middle grade, and young adult. Graphic novels are allowed only as a detailed synopsis formatted the same way as first pages (one-inch margins, double-spaced, standard 12-pt font); please specify “Graphic novel synopsis” if you’re submitting one. If you’re submitting poetry (rhyming picture books, novels in verse, and stand-alone poetry collections), the submission should also have one-inch margins and be in a 12-pt font; however, it may be single-spaced with a double space between stanzas, per industry standards. Please separate poems and collections of poems, with a page break if possible. If poems are small, then a few lines spacing between them is fine. Again, 5 pages maximum.
  4. You’re to submit a maximum of 5 pages of a manuscript with proper formatting (1” margins, double-spaced; exception: poetry PBs or novels-in-verse, see #3 above), with picture books not exceeding 1,000 words. 
  5. Your name, e-mail, title, format (see #3), and genre (romance, mystery, biography, etc.) must be at the top of the first page. No title page is necessary; text may start immediately after the identifying information. No introduction letter. No illustrations.
  6. A Jotform link for uploading your manuscript can be found under MEETING INFO in your MY EVENTS section of your SCBWI Member Home Page after you complete registration.
  7. You must choose and pay for the contest option at the time of registration; you can’t go back to add it.
  8. There are no refunds for the manuscript contest.   

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Tiara Kittrell, Editor, Putnam Young Readers (Penguin Random House)

Tiara Kittrell is an editor, acquiring picture books, middle grade, young adult, graphic novels, and nonfiction across all categories for the Putnam Young Readers imprint. Prior to joining Penguin Random House, she was an associate editor at Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins, where she had the honor of assisting on books by bestselling authors Angie Thomas, Becky Albertalli, Terri Libenson, Sara Pennypacker, and where she also acquired books by Alyssa Cole and Nia Davenport. Tiara first entered publishing as a marketing assistant at Macmillan Children's Publishing Group and assisted on campaigns for Leigh Bardugo, Marissa Meyer, and Katherine Applegate. While she appreciates all genres, her favorites include paranormal, high and grounded fantasy, thriller, horror, and romance. Tiara has a soft spot for diverse, high concept, and emotionally resonant stories. When she's not working, you can find her watching (arguably) too much TV and annoying her cat, Bam Bam.


Tamar Mays, Executive Editor HarperCollins Children's Books

Tamar Mays is an executive editor at HarperChildren’s, where she’s worked for 18 years. Her editorial focus is early childhood. Tamar runs Harper’s esteemed I Can Read program, and also acquires picture books. She is proud that two of her I Can Reads won Giesel Honors: Ty’s Travels: Zip Zoom and Gigi and Ojiji. She also has the pleasure of working with such legacy properties as Frog and Toad and Danny and the Dinosaur.