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Frequently Asked Questions

What determines an “unpublished” writer?

Unpublished writers have no professionally published books for any age, and are not currently under contract with a publisher. However, if the publication of a writer’s work is limited to stories, articles or poems in collections, anthologies, textbooks, or magazines, they are eligible to enter the Competition.

Are self-published authors eligible?

Yes.

Can I submit the same entry I submitted last year?

Yes. Previously submitted manuscripts are welcome, especially if you’ve had the opportunity to consider and apply the feedback you received.

Is my manuscript middle grade (MG) or young adult (YA)?

MG books are generally written for 8-12 year olds and YA for 12 and up. See Book Categories for information to help you determine where your manuscript best fits.

My book is a chapter book. What category should I submit to?

A chapter book isn’t just a book with chapters but a distinct category of children’s book intended for young readers new to reading longer stories on their own. Chapter books will be evaluated as part of the middle grade category. See Book Categories for more information.

Do I need to send illustrations for my picture book?

No. We cannot accept any illustrations. The text of your picture book entry must stand on its own. If there is something that would be happening in the illustrations that carry part of the story and isn’t reflected in the text, use illustrator notes to let the reader know what the image would show.

Who are the judges?

Every entry received will be read, evaluated and receive feedback from a CANSCAIP Member who is a published children’s book author. The readers and juries are established children’s book authors published in the category they are assessing.

I registered but did not receive a confirmation email with entry submission guidelines. What do I do?

Check your spam or junk folder. Make sure you have added office@canscaip.org to your contact list. If you still can’t find it, send us an email with REGISTRATION MISSING in the subject line.

My entry is longer than 1500 words and it won’t make sense unless I include it all. Can I submit the full manuscript?

No. Our readers and jury will only read 1500 words of each entry. If it is important that the ending be part of the assessment, we suggest that you provide a summary for a portion of the manuscript to keep it within the word count. Note this within the body of your text [using brackets] and also on your cover page.

I have a question that isn’t answered here. Who do I ask?

Send us an email at office@canscaip.org  with SUBMISSION QUESTION in the subject line.

TIMELINE: WRITING FOR CHILDREN COMPETITION

The readers and juries for the Competition are volunteers, and sufficient time is required to distribute and evaluate the 600+ entries received.  Please note the months scheduled for each stage.

MARCH:   Writing for Children Competition opens

MAY 31:   Deadline for entries
JUNE:   First-round readers evaluate all the entries, and select the entries that proceed to second-round readers (all evaluations sent to the writers in November)
JULY:   Second-round readers evaluate that smaller group of entries, and select the entries for the longlist (all evaluations sent to the writers in November)
AUGUST:   Announcement of longlist sent to the writers; readers evaluate the longlist entries and select the entries for the shortlist
SEPTEMBER:   Announcement of shortlist sent to the writers; the juries  evaluate the shortlist entries and select winners and finalists 
OCTOBER:   Announcement of winners and finalists sent to the writers
NOVEMBER:    Evaluations of the entries sent to all the writers 
DECEMBER:   Finalists and winners  entries sent to Annick Press, Kids Can Press, and Scholastic Canada

CANSCAIP office is located within the Centre for Social Innovation, Annex.
720 Bathurst St., Suite 412, Toronto, ON M5S 2R4

Email: office@canscaip.org
Phone: 1-416-515-1559

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