Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2019-2020 Rising Kite Illustration Contest

The SCBWI Florida annual Rising Kite Illustration Contest celebrates SCBWI Florida Members’ best illustrations for children. In so doing, we also celebrate the work and dedication of our region’s illustrators, both published and pre-published. Our purpose is to encourage illustrators to continue to follow their dreams, to recognize their successes, and to provide a platform for illustrators to share their work with a larger audience.

Send in your entry between September 1, 2019

and October 7, 2019 at 11:59 PM

Contest Description

Entrants create a one-page illustration (not a double spread) of final-stage, finished art in black and white or color based on the contest prompt.


Help is on the way!


  • All participants must be current SCBWI Florida members.
  • Published and unpublished illustrators are welcome to enter the contest.
  • Art must be original and created for the contest.


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 Illustration Contest certificate which will be presented at the SCBWI Florida Regional Conference in Miami, January 17-19, 2020.
  • The winning illustrators and their illustrations 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.
  • A family pass (2 adults/4 children) to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art will also be awarded to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners.


The contest is free and open to current SCBWI Florida members only. Preliminary judges and finals judges are unpaid 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.

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 Illustration Contest Rubric Request , 1640 Scarbrough Abby Place, St. Cloud, FL 34771


Formatting entries: Please follow the guidelines below to format submissions. An improperly formatted submission will not be entered in the contest and will be returned to the illustrator.

  • Size: 7.5 x 10 inches (vertical) or 10 x 7.5 inches (horizontal). Indicate crop marks. Bleed should be .25 in. if the art requires it.
  • Genre: Determine which genre you are illustrating for—Picture Book (ages 1-5), Chapter Books (ages 5-8), Middle Grade (ages 8-12).
  • Text: Leave space in the illustration for the text, but do not include the text in your art.
  • Scan: Submit a scan that is 300 dpi. File size should not exceed 10MB.
  • Saving/Naming File: Save the file as a Jpeg labeled as follows: last name-genre. (For instance: Jose-PictureBook)
  • Attachment: The file must be an attachment, not a link or in the body of the email. Depending on your email browser, you may need to compress or “zip” your file.
  • Electronic submission: All manuscripts must be emailed as an attachment by 11:59 p.m. on October 7, 2019 to Gladys Jose (Contest Coordinator) at Do not send links or put the illustration in the body of your email.
  • Email subject: In the subject line of your email type: Rising Kite Illustration Entry.

Receipt Confirmation: You will receive email confirmation that your illustration has been received. NOTE: Please allow up to 48 hours for confirmation. If you do not receive a confirmation email within 48 hours, your illustration has not been entered in the contest. It is your responsibility to check back with the Contest Coordinator if you do not receive confirmation.


  1. The Contest Coordinator will assign each illustration an entry number and will ensure there is no name or identifying mark on the illustration. The Contest Coordinator will keep a spreadsheet of illustrators’ names, addresses, email addresses, entry numbers, and eventually, the combined rubric scores from the preliminary judges.


  1. Two Preliminary Judges will judge each illustration using a rubric. All scoring is blind—names of illustrators may not appear on any entry. Judging categories include: concept, design, content, and execution. 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 illustrators and/or industry professionals with expertise in illustration.


  1. The Contest Coordinator will tabulate the rubric scores and will determine the top five scoring entries.


  1. The top five scoring illustrations will be submitted to the Finals Judge. The Finals Judge will be an agent or art director with expertise in illustration. Rubric scores and illustrator names will not be included on any illustration. The Finals Judge will judge 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 illustration. The Finals Judge will submit his/her decisions and notes to the Contest Coordinator.


Judges’ decisions are final.

Judges reserve the right to withhold prizes in any category which has insufficient entries or scores.