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Competitions Close 14 April 

Hatchlings (8 to 18 year olds)

Writing for the children's and young adults' markets



  • All writers and illustrators who are 8 – 18 years old (as of 14th April) worldwide, who have not been published in book format within the section’s genres.

  • All entries must have a parent or guardians’ electronic signature of permission on the entry form.



H01) Picture Books – Text only for preschool or primary-aged children up to 500 words. 


H02) Chapter Book* (Judged as one category. The classification is for judging purposes only.)

  1. Text only for younger primary-aged children. First 1,000 words, pitch and a 600 word synopsis. 

  2. Text only for older children (Middle Grade). First 1,000 words, pitch and a a 600 word synopsis. 

  3. Fiction writing for Young Adults. First 5,000 words, pitch and a 600 word synopsis.

  • First-round judging: The first 1,000 words, pitch and synopsis are read by the CYA judges.

  • Final judging: The final judge will read your pitch, synopsis and the full 5,000 words.

H10) Writing for the Adults Genres - click here.

We recommend you read the competition guidelines prior to submitting your entries.

Entry and Prizes

Prize for each section

First - $100,

Second - $60,

Third - $40

and all shortlisted entries are read by at least one publisher of children's books.

All Hatchling entries have historically gone in front of a professional editor, but this is not guaranteed.


The winning entry and short-listed finalist will be judged by a publisher of children’s books, with no guarantee of publication. Author retains copyright.

Entry is Free

IMPORTANT: There are no age barriers in this competition, and all entrants are judged equally.

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