Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2023 Rising Kite Illustration Contest – Guidelines







The SCBWI Florida 2023 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. (NOTE: We also sponsoring the Rising Kite Writing Contest which has separate guidelines.) 


Contest Description

Entrants will create a single piece of finished art based on the contest prompt. The illustration can be in black & white or color.



  • 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  • Published and unpublished illustrators are welcome to enter the contest.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.





Hold on and don’t look down.



 1st Place Winner

The 1st Place Winner will receive a scholarship for an intensive of the winner’s choosing at the 2023 SCBWI Florida Regional Conference in Ft. Lauderdale.


1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place Winners

•  Winners will receive an SCBWI Florida Rising Kite Illustration Contest certificate which will be mailed after the SCBWI Florida Critique-a-Palooza and Palooza Celebration and Award Ceremony on January 14, 2023.

•  The winning illustrators will be announced at the virtual SCBWI Florida Critique-a-Palooza and Palooza Celebration and Award Ceremony via the SCBWI Florida Website, the SCBWI Florida newsletter and SCBWI Florida Facebook page.

•  Winners may also use their awards 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.



 Contest Opens: September 1, 2022 at 9:00 AM

Entry Deadline: September 30, 2022 at 5:00 PM

Preliminary Judging: October 1–31, 2022

Final Judging: November 1–27, 2022

Winners Announced: January 14, 2023



The contest is free and open to current SCBWI Florida members only. Limit one entry per person.


Rubric Score Sheets

Each participant will receive the Rubric Score Sheets from preliminary judging via email.


Formatting Entries

Please follow the guidelines below. Submissions formatted incorrectly will be disqualified.

•  Size: 8” x 10” portrait or landscape. Bleed should be ¼” and include crop marks.

•  Genre: Picture Book (ages 1–5), Chapter Book (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.

•  Signature: Do not sign the art or leave any identifying mark.

•  Resolution: Your illustration should be 300 dpi. The Contest Coordinators cannot assist with formatting or file preparation.

•  Saving/Naming File: Save the file as a JPEG and use the following naming convention: last name_genre. For example: jpg. File size should not exceed 10MB.


How to Upload

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

2. Enter. Starting at 9:00 AM on September 1, 2022 you may enter the Rising Kite by clicking the submission link found at the bottom of this page: NOTE: The submission link will not be visible before the entry period opens.  You have the entire month of September to enter. Do not enter until your illustration is ready. You may want to wait until after Boot Camps so you can revise your submission and make it as strong as possible.

3. Be prepared to share some info. Be prepared with your name as it appears on your SCBWI membership, your email, the title of your submission, and the genre.

4. Upload your correctly named file. See instructions in the guidelines.

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

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


Receipt Confirmation

You will receive an email confirmation that your submission has been received. Please allow up to 24 hours for confirmation. Be sure to check your email’s spam/junk folder.


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 at if you did not receive confirmation.


For illustration-specific questions, please contact John Herzog 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.