SCBWI

Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2023 Rising Kite Writing Contest – Guidelines

 

 

SCBWI FLORIDA

2023 RISING KITE WRITING CONTEST

GUIDELINES

 

The SCBWI Florida 2023 Rising Kite Writing Contest celebrates Florida’s best yet-to-be-published 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. (NOTE: We also sponsoring the Rising Kite Illustration Contest which has separate guidelines.)

 

The categories for the 2023 Rising Kite Writing Contest are:

• Picture Book

• Middle Grade Novel

• Young Adult Novel

 

The categories include any and all genres: fiction, nonfiction, realistic fiction, historical fiction, sci-fi, mystery, dystopian, and so on.

 

NOTE: Each participant is limited to ONE ENTRY for the writing contest and the participant may only enter in a category in which the author has not been published (self-published or traditionally published).

 

Cost: The contest is free and open to current SCBWI Florida members only.

 

AWARDS

 1st Place Winners

• Each 1st Place Winner will also 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 a SCBWI Florida Rising Kite Writing 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 authors in each category and the title of each manuscript will be announced at the SCBWI Florida Critique-a-Palooza 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.

 

All Participants

• Each participant will receive the Rubric Score Sheets from preliminary judging via email after the winners have been announced in January.

 

OFFICIAL RULES

Important Dates

Contest Opens: September 1, 2022, 9:00 a.m.

Entry Deadline: September 30, 2022, 5:00 p.m.

Preliminary Judging: October 1-31, 2022

Final Judging: November 1-27, 2022

Winners Announced: January 14, 2023

 

Contest open to: Current SCBWI Florida members. Please be sure that your membership is up-to-date.

 

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 the author has NOT been published. Being self-published in a category also 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 entered again after revision.

 

NOTE:  Each participant is limited to ONE ENTRY for the contest and the participant may only enter in a category in which the author has not been published (self-published or traditionally published).


CATEGORIES

 Picture Book

Picture Book: Submit complete manuscript, up to 10 pages, maximum of 850 words for fiction, 1000 words for nonfiction. Do not include art, art notes, or pagination. This category includes any and all picture book genres: fiction, nonfiction, realistic fiction, historical fiction, and so on.

 

Middle Grade Novel

Novel: Submit the first chapter(s) up to 10 pages (no art). This category includes any and all genres: fiction, nonfiction, realistic fiction, historical fiction, sci-fi, mystery, dystopian, and so on.

Optional for MG: Since the maximum number of pages you can submit is ten, you may choose to include a synopsis with your manuscript pages, so long as the total number of pages does NOT exceed ten. For instance, if your synopsis is two pages long, you can send the first eight pages of your manuscript along with the synopsis. A synopsis must follow all contest formatting guidelines, including being double-spaced and in 12-point font. No exceptions.

 

Young Adult Novel

Novel: Submit the first chapter(s) up to 10 pages (no art). This category includes any and all genres: fiction, nonfiction, realistic fiction, historical fiction, sci-fi, mystery, dystopian, and so on.

Optional for YA: Since the maximum number of pages you can submit is ten, you may choose to include a synopsis with your manuscript pages, so long as the total number of pages does NOT exceed ten. For instance, if your synopsis is two pages long, you can send the first eight pages of your manuscript along with the synopsis. A synopsis must follow all contest formatting guidelines, including being double-spaced and in 12-point font. No exceptions.

 

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.

No names on manuscripts: The author’s name, identifying features, and/or contact information may NOT be included on any page of the manuscript. We will be able to identify your work by the electronic submission form you will complete when you register and by the manuscript title.

Program: Word documents only. No PDFs.

Fonts: Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, or Courier only,12 point. DO NOT use text boxes, different fonts, different colors, or different point sizes even for your title.

Spacing: Double spaced

Margins: 1-inch margins on both sides, top, and bottom

Cover sheet: NO cover sheet. Your manuscript begins at the top line of the first page.

Title. Capitalize and center the title; double space to begin. Below the title, add the category and genre. For instance:

 

THE SORCERER’S STONE

Middle Grade—Fiction

Or

I HAVE A DREAM

Picture Book-Nonfiction

 

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. If you wish, you may simply type the information following the stated guidelines.)

Document Name: Please use the title of your manuscript as the name of your file and include the category (PB, MG, or YA). DO NOT label your file with your name, any identifying features, or any other information. Example: The Sorcerer’s Stone MG or Chicka Chicka Boom Boom PB.

Electronic submission: All manuscripts must be submitted through the electronic submission form no later than 5:00 p.m. on September 30, 2022.

 

Formatting Samples:

To see how to format a manuscript visit:

Picture Books

Novel without a Synopsis 

Novel with a Synopsis 

 

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. 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: https://florida.scbwi.org/2023-rising-kite-contests/ 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 manuscript 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 and the title of your submission, the category, and whether it is fiction or nonfiction.

4. Upload your properly 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 email confirmation that your manuscript 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 questions, contact the Writing Contest Coordinator at florida-ara2@scbwi.org.

 

JUDGING

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. Preliminary Judges are published in the category they are judging and/or are industry professionals with expertise in the category. The top scoring manuscripts will be sent to the Finals Judges who are editors or agents.

 

Judges’ decisions are final.

Judges reserve the right to withhold prizes in any category

which has insufficient entries or scores.