Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

SCBWI Spark Award – Submission

Submission Instructions


1. You must be a current SCBWI member with membership current through April of the following year to apply.  If you are a member now but your membership is scheduled to expire before that time, you will need to renew your membership in order to be eligible for the award.

2. Both the author and illustrator (if the illustrator’s name appears on the book) must be members to apply.

3. You must have published a book intended for the children’s or YA market in one of the following categories: Picture Book (including Board Books and Picture Book) or Novel (including Chapter Book, Middle Grade, Graphic Novel or Young Adult).

4. The book may be fiction or nonfiction.

5. The book should have been self-published either through an established self-publishing enterprise or individually self-published.  The book cannot have been previously published in any print or digital form prior to the self-published form.

6. SCBWI reserves the right to disqualify books published by enterprises that we believe, in our discretion, operate in a predatory or unbusiness-like manner.

7. The book must exist in traditionally bound form, contain an ISBN number, and Copyright date of the current year.

8. All applicants must include a cover letter with your name, the name of your book, the genre of your book, the publishing method for your book (including the name of any editor/copyeditor/designer who was retained in the creation of the book), your book’s ISBN, and a synopsis of your book.

9. Upload a PDF of your book in its complete published form. You can request a PDF from your independent publisher if you do not already have one. Word docs, jpgs, and other file types will not be considered. 

10. File size limit is 175 MB. Do not include any apostrophes, commas, asterisks, spaces, or other “special characters” in the file name.


A special note about uploading large files!

  • * As stated, do NOT use ‘special characters’ in the file name.  The file name should ONLY contain letters, numbers and/or dashes.  For example:  my-book-title.pdf
  • * Large files will take a long time to upload!  Please be patient!  With average home internet speeds, a 100 MB file can take 5 minutes or more to upload.
  • * A ‘progress bar’ will show during the upload.  That is an accurate measurement of how much of the file has been uploaded.  Monitor that progress to estimate how much remaining time will be needed to finish uploading the file.



Deadline is 11:59 PM, Pacific Time, Monday, December 20, 2021.