Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2021 Rising Kite Illustration Contest – Guidelines



The SCBWI Florida annual Rising Kite Illustration Contest celebrates Florida’s 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.


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.


2021 Prompt

Are you sure about this?


* 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* Published and unpublished illustrators are welcome to enter the contest.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 their choosing.


1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place Winners

* Winners will receive a SCBWI Florida Rising Kite Illustration Contest certificate which will be presented at a future SCBWI Florida Regional Conference.

* 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 web sites 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.



Important Dates:

Contest Opens:                                   September 1, 2020, 12:00 a.m.

Entry Deadline:                                  September 30, 2020, 11:59 p.m.

Preliminary Judging:                       October 1-31, 2020

Final Judging:                                     November 1-27, 2020

Winners Announced:                       TBA


Contest open to: Current SCBWI Florida members. One entry per person.


Rubric Score Sheets: Each participant will receive the Rubric Score Sheets from preliminary judging via email after the winners have been announced at the Virtual January Conference.


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 7.4 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.

* Do not sign the art or leave any identifying mark.

* Scan: Submit a scan that is 300 dpi. File size should not exceed 10MB. The contest coordinator can not help you process or scan your file.

* Saving/Naming File: Save the file as a Jpeg labeled as follows: last name-genre. (For instance: Jose-PictureBook)


How to upload:

1. Be prepared. Make sure your SCBWI membership is up to date. Also be sure your submission is formatted and named according to the contest guidelines before beginning the registration process.

2. Register. Beginning at 9:00 AM on September 1, 2020, register for the Rising Kite at

3. Confirmation email. After you have registered, watch for a confirmation email. You should receive it within a few hours. Be sure to check your SPAM folder in case it goes there. If the email does not arrive after 24 hours, please email for assistance.

4. Click on the link provided in the email.

5. Be prepared with your name as it appears on your SCBWI membership and whether your illustration is intended for picture book, chapter book, or middle grade.

6. Upload your properly named file (see instructions in the guidelines). NOTE: You should upload your submission within TWO HOURS after registering.

7. Confirmation. You will receive a confirmation email that your submission was received.

8. Just in case. If we have any problems accessing your submission, we will contact you directly.


Receipt Confirmation: You will receive email confirmation that your submission has been received. NOTE: Please allow up to 24 hours for confirmation. If you do not receive a confirmation email within 24 hours, your manuscript has not been entered in the contest. It is your responsibility to check back with the Contest Coordinator if you did not receive confirmation. Please be sure to check your email’s spam/junk folder. For illustration-specific questions, contact the Illustration Contest Coordinator, Fred Koehler, at Please note that Contest Coordinators cannot assist with formatting or file preparation.




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 tabulation.


Preliminary judges are published illustrators and/or industry professionals with expertise in illustration. The top scoring illustrations will be submitted to the Finals Judge. The Finals Judge will be an agent or art director with expertise in illustration.


Judges’ decisions are final.

Judges reserve the right to withhold prizes in any category

which has insufficient entries or scores.