THE SECRET KIDS CONTEST
GUIDELINES FOR ENTRY

SEEKING KID WRITERS & ILLUSTRATORS
Winners will receive a book publishing deal, $1000 prize money and a subscription to Stone Soup Magazine!

Which Age Category do I fit into?

There are three levels of competition:
Elementary: Grades 1-5 (ages 5-10)
Middle school: Grades 6-8 (ages 11-13)
High school: Grades 9-12 (ages 14-18)

• Base your level on your age as of September 1, 2018
• At least one winner will be chosen from all levels of competition.

What type of book should I write?

The type of book that you write will depend on the age group that you want to write for. Here are the most common types of books for each age groups:

Children’s picture books

• Age range: 2-6 years old
• Page count: 20-32 pages long
• Word count: 0-600 words
• We will accept: text-only stories, stories with illustrations and text, or illustrations-only (editor will assign illustrator to winner)

Early readers books

Age range: 4-8 years old
• Page count: 40-80 pages long
• Word count: 100-2500 words
• We will accept: stories with illustrations and text, or text-only stories (editor will assign illustrator to winner)

Chapter books

• Age range: 6-12 years old
• Page count: 80-180 pages long
• Word count: 4,000 for younger readers, up to 12,000 for advanced readers
• We will accept: stories with illustrations and text, or text-only stories (editor will assign illustrator to winner)

Middle grade fiction

• Age range: 12-16 years old
• Page count: 80-240 pages long
• Word count: 20,000-60,000 words
• We will accept: stories with text-only (editor will assign illustrator to winner)

Young Adult fiction novels

• Age range: 14+ years old
• Page count: 80-240 pages long
• Word count: 40,000-80,000 words (more for fantasy novels)
• We will accept: text only

WHAT TYPE OF STORY SHOULD I WRITE?
Write a story about things you feel strongly and passionate about. Your story can be a real or imaginary adventure, science fiction, fantasy, historical, mystery, romance… whatever you want your story to be about! We are looking for stories that:

• Interest and capture your reader’s attention and imagination;
• Have a strong beginning, middle, and ending;
• Contain interesting characters who we want to read about;
• Will make a great book that can be published and sold in bookshops;

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO BEFORE I SUBMIT?
Start writing: The deadline for submission is January 1, 2019 but you should start writing as soon as possible.
Keep writing: Work on your book every day.
Revise: Once you finish your first draft, it’s time to review, review, review. This is how you make sure your book is exactly what you want it to be.
Get feedback: Review your story again with family, friends, and teachers.
Submit: Once you are sure your story is the best it possibly can be, you are now ready to submit!

HOW DO I SUBMIT MY STORY?
First: Save your story as a Word (.doc) file with your name and story name. If you have illustrations, save them separately from the story as a .jpeg file with your name and story name.
Submit: Fill in the submission form found at the bottom of this page.
Upload: Follow directions to upload your file(s).
Pay: make your payment via Paypal on the submission page.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I SUBMIT?
SUBMISSION DEADLINE is January 1, 2019
After you have filled out your submission form, uploaded your files and paid admission fee, you will receive an email confirmation that everything has been received correctly.

• JUDGING BEGINS January 15, 2019 for all entry category levels.
• SHORTLIST OF FINALISTS ANNOUNCED April 15, 2019.
• FINAL WINNERS ANNOUNCED on June 15, 2019.

TELL ME THE PRIZES AGAIN!
The Secret Kids Contest winner in each age level receive:

A BOOK PUBLISHING DEAL from publisher Mackenzie Press.
• Cash prize of $1,000
• A one-year subscription to Stone Soup Magazine

All finalists will receive a subscription to Stone Soup Magazine for one year.

GOOD LUCK AND REMEMBER: THROUGH LITERACY, THE WORLD IS YOURS!

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