The SCBWI Florida Rising Kite Writing Contest celebrates SCBWI Florida members’ best unpublished writing for children. In so doing, we also celebrate the work and dedication of our region’s authors, both published and pre-published. Our purpose is to encourage authors to continue to follow their dreams, to recognize their successes, and to provide a platform for authors to share their writing with a larger audience.
Send in your entry between September 1, 2019
and October 7, 2019 at 11:59 PM
- Picture Book
- Middle Grade
- Young Adult
The categories include all genres: realistic fiction, historical fiction, sci-fi, mystery, dystopian, nonfiction, and so on.
NOTE: Each participant is limited to ONE ENTRY for the contest and the participant may only enter in a category in which he/she has not been published (self-published or traditionally published).
1st Place Winners
- Each 1st Place Winner will receive a scholarship to a SCBWI Florida intensive of his/her choosing.
1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place Winners
- Winners will receive a SCBWI Florida Rising Kite Writing Contest certificate which will be presented at the SCBWI Florida Regional Conference in Miami, January 17-19, 2020.
- The winning authors in each category and the title of each manuscript will be announced via the SCBWI Florida Website, the SCBWI Florida newsletter, and SCBWI Florida Facebook page.
- Winners may also use their awards as a way to further develop their platforms by including news of their win on their websites and blogs, and in queries, cover letters, and so on.
The contest is free and open to current SCBWI Florida members only. Preliminary judges and finals judges are volunteers and donate their time to the contest.
Contest Opens: September 1, 2019, 12:00 a.m.
Entry Deadline: October 7, 2019, 11:59 p.m.
Preliminary Judging: October 1-31, 2019
Final Judging: November 1-27, 2019
Winners Announced: January 17-19, 2020
Contest open to: Current SCBWI Florida members.
Eligibility: Only unpublished and un-contracted manuscripts may be submitted. If an entry comes under contract during the contest period, that entry will be disqualified from the contest.
A published author may only enter in a category in which he/she has NOT been published. Being self-published in a genre disqualifies a writer from that category. A manuscript which placed or received honorable mention in a previous Rising Kite Writing Contest may not be entered again. If your manuscript did not place or receive honorable mention, it may be revised and entered again.
NOTE: Each participant is limited to ONE ENTRY for the contest.
Rubric Score Sheets
Each participant may pick up his/her Rubric Score Sheets from preliminary judging at the January conference in Miami. If you are unable to do so, you may mail a SASE (letter size, 4 1/8” by 12”) to: SCBWI FL Contest Rubric Request, 740 Fortuna Drive, Brandon, FL 33511. Include the manuscript title and genre in your request. DO NOT REQUEST RUBRICS UNTIL FEBRUARY 2020.
Formatting entries: Please follow the guidelines below to format submissions. An improperly formatted manuscript will not be entered in the contest and will be returned to the author.
- Program: Word documents only. No PDFs.
- Fonts: Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, or Courier only, 12 point
- Spacing: Double spaced
- Margins: 1-inch margins on both sides, top, and bottom
- Cover page: The cover page must include the author’s name, mailing address, phone number, and email address in the top left corner, and the category in the upper right-hand corner (Picture Book, Middle Grade, or Young Adult). If your manuscript is nonfiction, regardless of the category, please add “nonfiction” to the upper right corner. The manuscript title and author byline should appear in all caps halfway down the cover page. DO NOT use text boxes, different fonts, or different point sizes for your title and byline.
- No names on manuscripts: The author’s name, identifying features, and/or contact information may NOT be included on any page of the manuscript. (The author’s name may only appear on the cover page.)
- Page headers: Each page of the manuscript should include the manuscript title in the top left-hand corner and the page number in the top right-hand corner. (You do not have to use the automatic header feature on Word, but you may choose to do so. However, if you wish, you may simply type in the information on each page following the stated guidelines above.)
- Electronic submission: All manuscripts must be emailed as an attachment by 11:59 p.m. on October 7, 2019 to Moira Donohue (Contest Coordinator) at firstname.lastname@example.org (MAKE SURE YOU INCLUDE THE 1). Use the title of your manuscript as the name of your attachment. Please include a message in your email so it is not thought to be spam.
Receipt Confirmation: You will receive email confirmation that your manuscript has been received. NOTE: Please allow up to 48 hours for confirmation. If you do not receive a confirmation email within 48 hours, your manuscript has not been entered in the contest. It is your responsibility to check back with the Contest Coordinator if you do not receive confirmation.
- Picture Book
PB: send complete manuscript, up to 10 pages, maximum of 850 words (no art). NOTE: This category includes any and all picture book genres: realistic fiction, historical fiction, nonfiction, and so on.
- Middle Grade
MG: send the first chapter(s) up to 10 pages (no art). NOTE: This category includes any and all genres: realistic fiction, historical fiction, sci-fi, mystery, dystopian, nonfiction, and so on.
Optional for MG: Since the maximum number of pages you can submit is ten, you may choose to send a synopsis plus pages, so long as the total number of pages does NOT exceed ten pages. For instance, if your synopsis is two pages long, you can send the first eight pages of your manuscript along with the synopsis. (List your synopsis as Page 1 and continue in numerical order from there.) A synopsis must follow all contest formatting guidelines, including being double-spaced and in 12-point. No exceptions.
- Young Adult
YA: send the first chapter(s) up to 10 pages (no art). NOTE: This category includes any and all genres: realistic fiction, historical fiction, sci-fi, mystery, dystopian, nonfiction, and so on.
Optional for YA: Since the maximum number of pages you can submit is ten, you may choose to send a synopsis plus pages, so long as the total number of pages does NOT exceed ten pages. For instance, if your synopsis is two pages long, you can send the first eight pages of your manuscript along with the synopsis. (List your synopsis as Page 1 and continue in numerical order from there.) A synopsis must follow all contest formatting guidelines, including being double-spaced and in 12-point. No exceptions.
1. The Contest Coordinator will assign each manuscript an entry number, remove the title page, check formatting, and ensure the author’s name is not on the manuscript. The Contest Coordinator will keep a spreadsheet of author names, addresses, email addresses, manuscript titles, genres, entry numbers, and eventually, the combined rubric scores from the preliminary judges.
2. Two Preliminary Judges will read the manuscripts in a given category and judge the manuscripts using a rubric. All scoring is blind—names of authors will not appear on any entry. The judges will not compare their rubric scores. Completed rubric sheets will be sent via email to the Contest Coordinator for tabulation. Preliminary judges are published in the genre they are judging and/or are industry professionals with expertise in the genre.
3. The Contest Coordinator will tabulate the rubric scores and will determine the top five scoring entries in each category.
4. The top five scoring manuscripts in each category will be submitted to the Finals Judge assigned to that category. Each Finals Judge will be an editor or agent who works with the genre he/she is judging. Rubric scores and author names will not be included on any manuscript. The Finals Judge will read the entries and order them from one to five, with one being first place. The Finals Judge will be asked to provide brief notes about each finalist’s manuscript. The Finals Judge will submit his/her decisions and manuscript notes to the Contest Coordinator.
Judges’ decisions are final.
Judges reserve the right to withhold prizes in any category that has insufficient entries or scores.