Kids Are Authors Winners Rules & Entry Forms Prizes Getting Started Guidelines FAQs


  • Entries must be written in picture book format for both Fiction and Nonfiction books.
  • Make sure the text complements the artwork.
  • Keep text pages separate from illustration pages. The text and illustrations will be combined in the pre-printing stage for the winning books. See format for submissions below.
  • Before mailing your submission, make sure the pages of your book are in the proper order and number the pages lightly on the back.
  • Do not use licensed characters, trademarked, or brand-name items. (Mickey Mouse, Snickers, McDonald's, etc.). The right to use such names is protected by law.
  • You can create artwork using, paints, inks, crayons, markers, original computer graphics, cut paper, and print processes such as linoleum block, silk screen, sponge painting, potato stamping, etc.
  • To maintain a constant look, it is best not to use too many different artwork styles.
  • Use bright, vibrant colors and bold lines to create reproducible illustrations that make a strong overall impression. In general, pencil drawings are not recommended.
  • Create illustrations that fill most of the page by centering and enlarging the subject or including an appropriate background.
  • Consider making use of contrast in the artwork to create surprise and add life to pictures. Put dark colors next to light colors, thin lines next to thick lines, or use sharply contrasting figures.
Format for Submissions
In order for your entry to be submitted into the contest, you must follow the required format for entries.
  • All entries must contain illustrated artwork and be received in its original format.
  • Three-dimensional artwork (pop-ups, flaps, movable parts, plasticine, etc.) will not be accepted.
  • Artwork may be computer generated only if it is the students' original creation.
  • Use one side of the page only. Keep text separate from illustrated artwork.
  • Artwork and text must be separate. A mock-up should also be included.
  • Text may be typed, computer generated, or handwritten.
  • Both text and artwork must be the sole creation of the students.
  • Based on your design, use either 8 ½" x 11" or 9" x 12" paper (we recommend that you submit your illustrations on quality paper or construction paper).
  • Do not staple, laminate, or bind the book.
Steps to Organize and Submit Your Entry
  1. Organize original artwork in page order (mark page number on back) and place in a folder or envelope. Do not bind the pages.
  2. Organize text pages in page order and number on the back to correspond with illustration page. Place in a folder or envelope. Do not bind the pages.
  3. Provide cover art and a dedication page, if desired. These will not be counted as part of the page count.
  4. A mock-up is intended to show how you want your book to look in its final form. Use photocopies of your original artwork and text to create your mock-up. Photocopies may be in black and white or color. Place bound mock-up in a folder or envelope.
  5. Include the completed Entry Form. (PDF)
  6. Send all of the above in a sturdy folder or box to the address listed on the entry form.
Each entry must be submitted separately following the above steps.

Remember that the entry should be the students' work only. Try to limit inserting your opinions. Your role is to offer guidance, mediate, and provide instruction and examples of story elements, such as plot, theme, character development, and setting.

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