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Peggy's Pages BlogĀ 

Grants and Contests

On my list of things to do is 'apply for the SCBWI Work-in-Progress grant.' Heaven knows that I have enough works-in-progress in my file cabinet! The manuscript that I've chosen to submit is something that I was working on before my life went crazy around the holidays. Now that I've pulled it out again, I'm pretty excited about it and about getting it finished.

That's one of the perks of entering contests and applying for grants. It gets you excited about a project, and gets those writing juices flowing. It also gives you a deadline. You have to be disciplined. You have to be focused and follow rules.

Contests and grants have rewards other than winning, too. I've applied for this grant a few times in the past. I didn't win any grant money, but one of my submissions received a letter of approval from SCBWI. What a great thing to be able to say in your cover letter, that the SCBWI grant committee placed your manuscript among the best received. FROM DAWN TO DREAMS eventually sold to Candlewick.

Something else to consider is who the judges are. Another mauscript that I submitted and that did not receive an award was noticed by one of the judges. She was an well-known editor at a trade publishing company, and she sent me an e-mail after the contest and asked me to submit my manuscript to her. She eventually rejected the manuscript, but TURKEY SURPRISE was later accepted by Dial Books and became a NY Times Bestseller.

There are a several grants available for members of SCBWI which you can find on their website (www.scbwi.org). And Indiana offers a number of grants through the Indiana Arts Commission (http://www.in.gov/arts/2341.htm). Highlights for Children has a yearly contest, as does Pockets magazine. These are just a few. You can check on line for other grants and contests for children's writers. Please comment here if there are others for children's writers that you would like to share.

If your writing is in a winter slump right now, this is a good way to get inspired and give yourself a push. Good luck to everyone out there!
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