It's not whether you win or lose...
it's what you write that
PICTURE BOOK COMPETITION
INTRODUCING OUR INCREDIBLE DONOR LINEUP!
Read their bios, follow them on social media, and request their books at your library! Shop for their books at indie bookstores. Leave amazing reviews! Cheer on those who support the #kidlit community!
(Note: We don't rank our donors--they're all gold medalists to us! Prizes are listed in alphabetical order by last name)
Now for the good stuff...
Yes, we're talking PRIZES! Give us 20 push-ups, then take a run through this page. #TeamSunWriteFun has an impressive track record! Are you ready to show us what you've got?
YELLOW FLAG ON THE PLAY:
You may only submit a non-rhyming NF/Info Fiction ms.--800 words or less
To be eligible for a GRAND SLAM Prize, you MUST enter both a story and earn SUMMER FUN POINTS!
GRAND PRIZE CHIT-CHAT, CLASSES, CRITIQUES, LEAPING OVER THE SLUSHPILE, AND
CASH IN YOUR CHIT FOR SOME ZOOM CHAT!
Win a Zoom Chat and Autographed Books
Janet is a Yale Law School alum and a former lawyer who switched careers to become a successful children’s author. In 2021, she won NCTE's Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children, a lifetime achievement award--one of the highest honors an American children's poet can receive.
Janet has written over 30 books, including: You Have to Write, Apple Pie 4th of July, Me and Rolly Maloo, Alex and the Wednesday Chess Club, A Suitcase of Seaweed & More, Twist: Yoga Poems. Her most recent anthology, co-edited with Sylvia Vardell, is Hop to It: Poems to Get You Moving.
Wong has served as a member of several national committees, including SCBWI's Golden Kite, NCTE's Commission on Literature, and ILA's Notable Books for a Global Society.
SHIFT INTO HIGH GEAR AND RACE TO CLASS!
ALAYNE KAY CHRISTIAN
Win a Writing Craft Webinar!
Alayne is the former acquisitions editor and art director for Blue Whale Press, an award-winning children’s book author, and the creator/teacher of the picture book writing course Art of Arc. Her published works include the Sienna, the Cowgirl Fairy chapter book series and the picture books, Butterfly Kisses for Grandma and Grandpa; An Old Man & his Penguin and The Weed That Woke Christmas. Her fourth picture book, Faith Beneath the Bridge, releases in Spring 2022.
SUSANNA L HILL: Author; Founder, Making Picture Book Magic workshops
Win a Seat in Making Picture Book Magic workshop and An Autographed Book!
Susanna not only has a M.A. and M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology and Special Education of Children With Learning Disabilities, she’s also penned over 25 books, including the New York Times Bestseller, Moon’s First Friends: One Giant Leap For Friendship (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky 2019). Her most recent books include Grandma’s Girl (Sourcebooks Wonderland, 2020), Mars’ First Friends: Come On Over Rovers! (Sourcebooks Wonderland, 2020) & Dear Grandma (Sourcebooks Wonderland, 2021). She’s also the founder of Making Picture Book Magic, and the creator of several popular kidlit contests such as Halloweensie & Valentiny.
THE WRITING BARN
Win One of TWO Craft Webinars!
A writing workshop and retreat space in Austin, Texas, they offer both in-person and online workshops with top authors and industry professionals, the Writing Barn aims to make publishing transparent and accessible to anyone with a story to share. Open for rentals, events, and private/group retreats.
Two winners will be chosen to win one or the other of:
MIRA REISBERG: Founder of Children's Book Academy; Art Director at Clear Fork Publishing
Win a Seat in Picture Book Palooza!
Mira has helped to launch many debut authors and illustrators into the kidlit stratosphere. She holds a PhD in Education and Cultural Studies with a focus on children’s literature and has worn just about every hat in the industry, including award-winning illustrator, author, and literary agent. Mira has taught children’s literature courses at Washington State University, Northern Illinois University, San Francisco City College Extension, and UC Berkeley Extension. Today Mira is an acquiring editor and art director at Clear Fork Publishing’s children’s book imprint Spork, and continues to teach the art of picture book making through her company, the Children’s Book Academy.
POLE VAULT OVER THE SLUSHPILE
SANDRA FOREMAN SUTTER: Editor/Gnome Road Publishing
Win an Above-the-Slushpile-Read!
Sandra is an award-winning picture book author and the owner/editor of Gnome Road
Publishing. Her writing spans across genres from fiction and nonfiction picture books
through young adult novels. Her published works include The Real Farmer in the Dell
and Stan’s Frightful Halloween.
STRENGTHEN YOUR SKILLSET WITH A MEDAL-WORTHY CRITIQUE
LISA AMSTUTZ: Associate Agent, Storm Literary Agency
Win a Manuscript Critique!
Lisa has authored ~150 science and history books for kids. She spent eight years as a freelance editor, working with individual authors as well as corporate publishers. She also served as Assistant Regional Advisor for SCBWI: Ohio North and as a volunteer judge for Rate Your Story. Lisa recently joined Storm Literary Agency as an Associate Literary Agent.
Lisa’s background includes a B.A. in Biology and an M.S. in Environmental Science/Ecology. A former outdoor educator, she specializes in topics related to science, nature, and agriculture. She lives on a small farm with her family.
Win a Manuscript Critique!
Vivian is a retired kindergarten teacher with a masters in Early Childhood Education. She inspires budding writers at conferences and on her blog, Picture Books Help Kids Soar where she hosts the #50PreciousWords International Writing Contest and the #50PreciousWordsforKids Challenge.
She is the author of several award-winning non-fiction picture books including From Here to There: Inventions That Changed the Way the World Moves (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2021) and her upcoming Pedal, Balance, Steer: Annie Londonderry, First Woman to Cycle Around the World (Calkins Creek, Spring 2023).
Win a Manuscript Critique!
Baptiste grew up in St. Lucia, where at age seven he propagated a root cutting that still produces breadfruit for his family. He holds an Environmental Science degree and is the author of The Field, which received multiple starred reviews. He is also the co-author of, I Am Farmer, with Miranda Paul.
"BOOK IT" TO THE FINISH LINE!
Win an Autographed Book!
Nancy is the award-winning author of ten picture books about people who persevered to achieve their dreams and make the world a better place. Among her awards: a Junior Library Guild pick, multiple National Council for the Social Studies Notables, multiple Silver Eureka Awards, multiple inclusions on A Mighty Girl lists, Towner Award finalist, Sakura Medal finalist, Notable Book for a Global Society, Anne Izard Storytellers Choice Award and South Asia Book Award.
Her two latest picture books, Dear Mr. Dickens and A Queen to the Rescue: The Story of Henrietta Szold, Founder of Hadassah launch onto shelves this October. A native New Yorker, Nancy lives in North Texas with her husband, a dog named Dog and two cantankerous cats.
Win an Autographed Copy of The Phantom Tollbooth
by Norton Juster
Norton Juster was an architect and planner, professor emeritus of design at Hampshire College, and the author of a number of highly acclaimed children’s books, including The Dot and the Line, which was made into an Academy Award-winning animated film. He has collaborated with Sheldon Harnick on the libretto for an opera based on The Phantom Tollbooth. The musical adaptation, with a score by Arnold Black, premiered in 1995.
Courtesy of Reader to Reader
Win an Autographed Book!
Rob is a teacher who writes and a writer who teaches. He's recognized as one of the pioneers in the arena of LGBTQ+ literary nonfiction picture books. His recent releases include The Fighting Infantryman: The Storyof Albert Cashier, Transgender Civil War Solider (Little Bee Books), Bling Blain: Throw Glitter not Shade (Sterling), Pride: Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag (Random House) and Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution (Random House). This year he's launching two more books onto shelves: Two Grooms on a Cake-The Story of America's First Gay Wedding (Little Bee Books) and Stitch by Stitch: Cleve Jones & the AIDS Memorial Quilt. (Magination Press).
DEFINITNLY, WITH A UNIQUE CRITIQUE!
Gloria Amescua is an educator, poet and children’s book writer. Her debut picture book biography in verse, Child of the Flower-Song People: Luz Jiménez, Daughter of the Nahua (Abrams Books) releases this August. Gloria’s poetry has also been published in a variety of literary journals and anthologies including “Summer of His Fourteenth Year" in Houghton Mifflin Harcourt national textbook literature series. Gloria received both her B. A. and M. Ed. degrees from the University of Texas at Austin.
Amanda is donating a 30-min Ask Me Anything Zoom Call!
Amanda is a teacher, artist, writer, and innovator who uses her words and pictures to light up the world with kindness. She's the author of 30,000 Stitches: The Inspiring Story of the National 9/11 Flag. Her poetry and illustrations have also been featured in The Writers’ Loft Anthology, Friends & Anemones: Ocean Poems for Children. When she’s not creating, you'll find her sipping tea, petting dogs & exploring the natural wonders of The Bay State with her partner and rescue pup, Cora.
Sara Fajardo is a children's book author and co-founder of Latinx Pitch. She is based out of Lima, Peru. Sara is a multimedia storyteller for humanitarian organizations with a specialty in covering agriculture and food security. Her favorite topic is the history of the potato. In her free time she's learning to speak Quechua.
Jolene Gutiérrez is an award-winning teacher and librarian for the past 26 years. She’s the author of Mac & Cheese and the Personal Space Invader (Clear Fork, 2020), Bionic Beasts: Saaving Animal Lives with Artificial Flippers, Legs & Beaks (Millbrook/Lerner, 2020), and the Stars of Latin Pop series (Rourke Educational Media, 2021). Jolene is an active member of SCBWI and The Author’s Guild, part of the KidLitCollective group and a co-creator of #KidlitZombieWeek.
Lindsay Leslie is the author of This Book is Spineless, Nova the Star Eater and Dusk Explorers (Page Street Kids), and the upcoming So You Want to Build a Library (Capstone Editions/August 15, 2021). She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband, two boys, two fur-beasts, a guinea pig, and a tortoise.
You can follow her on Twitter @LLeslie
Ellen Leventhal is an educator and writer in Houston, TX. Ellen is the co-author of Don’t Eat the Bluebonnets, a 2017 Mighty Girls pick ( 2017 Clear Fork Publishing), Lola Can’t Leap (2018 Clear Fork Publishing), and A Flood of Kindness, (2021 WorthyKids/ Hachette Book Group). She has been published in magazines and newspapers, as well as in poetry and short story anthologies. Ellen frequently presents at schools and has been featured on both TV and radio. When visiting schools, she coordinates with and supports literacy programs as well as diversity and anti-bullying programs.
Ana Siqueira is a Spanish-language elementary teacher, an award-winning Brazilian children’s author. Her forthcoming picture books include Bella's Recipe for Disaster/Success (Beaming Books, 2021), If Your Babysitter is a Bruja (SimonKids,2022) and Abuela's Super Capa (HarperCollins, 2023). Ana loves to read, teach, and play with her Cuban-Brazilian-American grandchildren.
Meera Sriram is the the author of multiple acclaimed books in both India and the United States. Her most picture books include The Yellow Suitcase, A Gift for Amma, A Garden in My Hands, and Dumpling Day. In her spare time, she continues to fantasize about a world with no borders, often over steamy cups of chai that help me stay warm in foggy Northern California.
Munevver Mindy Yuksel loves writing stories about diverse historical figures,and fascinating cultures. She is the author of the acclaimed In My Mosque, which received starred reviews from the School Library Journal & Publishers Weekly. It is a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard selection and was highly praised by The Horn Book, Booklist, and Kirkus. Her upcoming picture book biography, One Wish, about Fatima al-Fihri, a 9th-century woman who pioneered the oldest university in the world in Morocco, releases early 2022.
BEAT THE BUZZER
WAVE THIS PRIZE IN THE AIR AND CELEBRATE WITH FANS!
Bryan Patrick Avery is an award-winning poet and kidlit author. His works include The Freeman Field Photograph (Clear Fork), Mr Grizley’s Class, an early reader series (Picture Window Press) and his middle-grade story, The Magic Day Mystery, appears in HarperCollins’ Super Puzzletastic Mysteries. Bryan lives in Northern California with his family.
You can connect with Bryan on Twitter at @bryanavery
Michal Babay lives in California with her family and several pets. After many years as a teacher and elementary school resource specialist, Michal said “YES” to her writing dreams. She now spends her days wrangling teenagers, telling the dogs to stop barking, ignoring cat barf, and saying “NO” to distractions. She's the co-founder of the #FireButtChallenge. Her debut picture book recently launched to great reviews, I'm A Gluten-Sniffing Service Dog
Chapters Books & Gifts Bookstore
Author Carla Ketner is the proud owner of an independent bookstore, Chapters Books & Gifts. For over 15 years, this welcoming store has been a fixture in downtown Seward, Nebraska. Carla regularly hosts author signings, children’s camps, book fairs and other special events
Carla is donating a $20 Gift Certificate to her store!
VIcky Fang is a product designer who spent 5 years designing kids’ technology experiences for both Google and Intel, often to inspire and empower kids in coding and technology. She started writing to support the growing need for early coding education, particularly for girls and kids of color. She is the author of nine new and upcoming STEAM books for kids, including Invent-a-Pet, I Can Code, Layla and the Bots, and her author-illustrator debut, Friendbots.
Annette Schottenfeld is passionate about kidlit, hip-hop dance and environmental issues, believing all have the power to change lives. An expert baker & registered dietician, she created the secret recipe for the decadent Uglie Muffin (yum!). Annette debuted two picture books this year, Not So Fast Max and Obi’s Mud Bath, an informational picture book based on a true story.
You can follow Annette on Twitter @nettschott
Tina M. Shepardson An award-winning teacher for 33 years, Tina shared thousands of books with children. Her debut picture book, Walkout, released last year and her first chapter book, Canines Unleashed, is set to release in 2022. Tina is a Children’s Book Academy graduate and an active member of 12x12 and SCBWI. Now a full-time author, Tina writes in Upstate New York alongside her family and akitas.
Chana Steifel has written more than 25 books for kids. Her most recent picture book, Let Liberty Rise (Scholastic, 2021) is the true story of how children helped build the Statue of Liberty. Her fiction picture books include My Name is Wakawakloch (HMH, 2019) & Daddy Depot (Feiwel & Friends, 2017). Her nonfiction book, Animal Zombie & Other Real-Life Monsters (National Geographic Kids, 2018), was selected as a Top Ten YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant YA Readers in 2019. Chana loves visiting schools and libraries and sharing her passion for reading and writing with children.
Laurie Wallmark has an MFA in Writing and is a former software engineer and computer science professor. Today she writes award-winning picture book biographies about women in STEM, as well as other types of children’s books. Her books have earned multiple starred reviews, been chosen as Junior Library Guild Selections, and received many prestigious awards. Her titles include Ada Byron Lovelace & the Thinking Machine, Grace Hopper-Queenof Computer Code, Hedy Lamarr's Double Life, and Dino Pajama Party.