Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to register for this contest?

            No. There is no registration for the contest.   

Who may enter this contest?  

           This contest is open to those SCBWI members who are currently in the Carolinas region and can be found on the SCBWI Carolinas roster. 

When do I enter the contest?

            SCBWI Carolinas accepts contest entries ONLY DURING the month of February of the contest year. Any entries received before or after February are deleted.

Can I enter a writing sample or illustration currently with an agent?

            All entries, writing or illustrating, must be ORIGINAL, UNPUBLISHED, UN-AGENTED and UN-CONTRACTED.

Are there rules and guidelines for sending in an entry?

            Yes. Click here for the Official Writing Contest Rules. Click here for the Official Art Contest Rules.

Who judges the contest?

            We recruit an editor for each of the categories from a known publishing house to judge the writing contest.

            We recruit an art director from known publishing house to judge the art contest.

            Read about our judges at Meet the Judges.

How many categories are there in the writing contest?

            There are two categories in the writing contest: the Illustrated Picture Book category and the Novel category.

I write nonfiction, why is there no longer a nonfiction category?

            Over the years that we have hosted this free event, the number of nonfiction entries has dropped dramatically. In the past two years we have received five or less nonfiction entries, making the awarding of first, second and third place a conundrum. We are a nonprofit organization funding itself through paid events. We are continually working to provide accessible and valuable programming for the membership.

So, to which category do I submit my nonfiction entry?

            We have selected judges for both writing categories who edit both fiction and nonfiction. If your writing entry is a nonfiction Illustrated Picture Book please mark it PBNF. If your writing entry is a nonfiction middle grade or young adult, please mark it either MGNF or YANF.

Can I enter each category in the writing contest?

            No. You may enter either the Illustrated Picture Book category or the Novel Category.  We accept both fiction and nonfiction entries for both categories.

How many entries may I submit?

            You may submit one writing entry in either the Illustrated Picture Book category or the Novel category.

            You may submit one illustration for the Art contest.

These are considered two separate contests and you may submit one entry for each contest.

How do I receive the judge’s feedback on my entry?

            We use a scaled checklist of criteria appropriate to each submission category.

When do I receive the judge’s feedback on my entry?

            Checklists are distributed during July of the contest year.     


How do I submit my entry?

            Our contest is digital ONLY.

  • Writing entries are submitted as a PDF attachment. Please follow the instruction in Entry Format of the Official Writing Contest Rules.
  • Art entries may be submitted as an attachment (.jpg, .pdf, .tif, or .eps) no larger than 2MB. Please follow the instruction on the Official Art Contest Rules.
  • All contest submissions must be RECEIVED in our contest email  account:
  • Please follow the Official Rules for your email subject line information, and carefully read the formatting and submission requirements for each contest.

Where do I find the rules for the contest?

            The contest rules are available on line and accessible in the nearby light purple column.

               Official Contest Rules for Writing      Official Contest Rules for Art            

What happens to my entry when I submit?

When your entry arrives in our Inbox we first check to make sure you are a member in good standing using the roster obtained from the main office in Los Angeles. Please refer to our MEMBERSHIP REQUIREMENTS for more information.

Each entry is sorted into the appropriate folder by category and/or contest.

We review each entry on meeting formatting and submission requirements.

We do not return entries that do not meet the Official Guidelines for the contest. It is the responsibility of each member submitting to ensure that all the formatting guidelines are met.  

After your entry is accepted as qualified, it is given a number and uploaded to a Drop box file.  All entries are submitted to the judges without any identifying information.

All entries are submitted to the category/contest judge no later than March 30 of the contest year.

When would I know my entry is disqualified?

            If possible, we may send an acknowledgement that urges you to double-check your entry.

            We will accept an entry, of the same work by the same writer, provided it arrives prior to the deadline of 11:59 PM February 28 of the contest year..

            We will NOT send a reminder regarding membership requirements.

            There will be no re-entry past the deadline date!

            At the end of the contest, a DSQ notice will be sent if your entry is disqualified.

Why might my entry be disqualified?

            Entries are disqualified if they are received PRIOR TO 12:00 AM February 1 or AFTER 11:59 PM February 28 of the contest year.

            Entries are disqualified if the member’s membership expires prior to July of the contest year. 

            Writing entries are disqualified for improper formatting. For formatting specifics please see Entry Format, Official Writing Contest Rules.

            Art entries are disqualified for failure to follow finished size or attachment requirements.

            All entries are disqualified if they provide any identifying information about the member.

How do I determine when my membership expires?

            You will find your membership information on your MY HOME page.

1. Sign into  2. Scroll down the left column to Membership. 3. Click to see your membership information.

How do you determine my membership dates?

We rely on the membership rosters created on the database at the main office. For more information on renewing membership see MEMBERSHIP REQUIREMENTS.

          Membership and renewals are accepted ONLY through the main office at 4727 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 301, LA, CA, 90010 OR you may join or renew online. Please note that online renewal updates the regional roster more quickly than a check sent USPS. 

When are the winners announced?

            The contest winners, first, second and third place, receive a formal letter sent USPS, announcing their win. The first place winners are provided the appropriate coupon to register for the conference without charge. Second and third place winners receive a coupon to cover the cost of a critique or a review. 

            We announce the winning lineup in our July newsletter and on our contest webpage.

What do the winners receive as an award?

First place winners in each category and/or contest are awarded free tuition to the Carolinas Annual Fall Conference. First, second and third place winners are recognized on the Carolinas website  and are presented with certificates at the annual conference.