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Frequently Asked Questions

What determines an “unpublished” writer?

Unpublished writers have no traditionally published books for any age, and are not currently under contract with a traditional publisher.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?


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 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 readers and juries?

Every entry received will be read, evaluated and receive feedback from a CANSCAIP Member who is a published children’s book author or industry professional. 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've added 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 1,500 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 1,500 words of each entry.  Our readers and jury use the summary you provided on the first page of the entry to get a sense of the story as a whole. Include details important to the story, such as the ending, in the summary. 

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

Send us an email at with SUBMISSION QUESTION in the subject line.  


The Competition's volunteer readers and juries evaluate more than 600 entries over several  stages.  The written evaluations for all entries are sent in November. In order to provide sufficient time, the Competition schedule is as follows:

MARCH:   Writing for Children Competition opens

MAY 31:   Deadline for entries
JUNE:   First-round readers evaluate all the entries, and select those that proceed to the second-round 
JULY:   Second-round readers evaluate the advancing entries, and select those that advance to the longlist 
AUGUST:   Longlist announced and sent to the entrants; readers evaluate the longlist entries and select the shortlist
SEPTEMBER:  Shortlist announced and sent to the entrants; juries  select winners and finalists 
OCTOBER:   Winners and finalists announced and sent to the entrants
NOVEMBER:   Written evaluations sent to the entrants 
DECEMBER:   Finalists and winning entries sent to Annick Press, Kids Can Press, and Scholastic Canada

720 Bathurst St., Suite 412, Toronto, ON M5S 2R4

Phone: 1-416-515-1559

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