Contests & Awards

Several contests and awards are geared specifically to Jewish-themed writing.


  • The Whole Megillah Jewish Children’s Picture Book Manuscript Contest—The Whole Megillah offers an annual contest for Jewish-themed picture book manuscripts! Kar-Ben publisher Joni Sussman judges.
  • Sydney Taylor Manuscript Awardsubmit your Jewish-themed middle grade novel by September 30 to this Association of Jewish Libraries competition. The prize is $1,000.

Published books

  • Sydney Taylor Book AwardCategories for this award, sponsored by the Association of Jewish Libraries, include Younger Reader, Older Reader, and Teen Reader. Submissions are due by November 30.
  • National Jewish Book Award—Includes two endowed awards for Jewish children’s literature: the Louis Posner Memorial award for the best illustrated children’s book of the year and an award in memory of author Dorothy Kripke for the best in Jewish family literature. Check the Jewish Book Council website for details and guidelines.

9 Responses to Contests & Awards

  1. Barbara,
    I’d like to let you know about a Children’s Book Writing Contest being sponsored by my organization Keshet. Keshet is a non-profit working for the full inclusion of GLBT Jews in Jewish life. Keshet is seeking manuscripts of 800 – 1000 words for a fictional Jewish children’s picture book with a GLBT family or characters. We’d like the story to be of interest not just to GLBT families but to the larger Jewish community, so the storyline needs to be engaging, funny, or surprising in some way, not didactic. The story should have a clear, clever and interesting narrative plot with universal themes and Jewish content. We’re not looking for a story about what it’s like to live in a gay Jewish family, but rather a book with one or more members of a GLBT Jewish family as the central character(s) in a great story. We welcome stories that show ethnic diversity as well as diversity of family structure.

    The manuscripts will be evaluated by a committee of parents, educators, children’s librarians, and a children’s book publisher. The author of the winning manuscript will receive a prize of $250 and the possibility of having their book published.
    Please submit an electronic copy of the manuscript in a Word document to by April 15, 2011. Illustrations for manuscripts are not necessary or desired.
    The contest winner will be announced in early May. The winner will be notified separately by the publisher if his/her manuscript is chosen for publication.
    Please contact Keshet director of Education Andrea Jacobs with any questions at or 617-524-9227.
    If you could please post this on your website on the contest page we would be most appreciative.

  2. Andrea Fooner says:

    Cheers, Barbara,
    Was thinking of you as you completed another Highlights workshop on writing J-themed children’s books. I’m sure it was great. (I was home writing about grandmothers.)
    Just wanted to thank you for producing TWM. Where else would I begin to understand social media as it specifically applies to promoting a J-themed children’s book? Your blog is truly a great service to the writers’ and writing/publishing community.
    Best, Andrea

  3. Andrea Fooner says:

    I don’t get emails announcing new posts. Please add me to that list.

  4. Thanks to everyone for their picture book manuscript contest submissions! I think it’s been great success!

  5. Shari Maser says:

    Barbara, I also subscribed but do not receive emails announcing new posts. Please help!

  6. Hi, Barbara,

    I’d like to let you and your readers know about Moment Magazine’s annual Publish-a-Kid contest, which invites children ages 9-13 to write a book review from a recommended list of titles, including “Number the Stars” by Lois Lowry, “Running on Eggs” by Anna Levine and the graphic novel, “The Adventures of Rabbi Harvey” by Steve Sheinkin. The deadline for the contest is February 14, 2014. Winning book reviews will be published in the May/June Issue of Moment. We hope our contest encourages young people to realize the power of writing and importance of reading.

    For more information, please visit children’s literature issues have also featured interviews with children’s book authors, such as Norton Juster and Judy Blume. Moment Magazine is the nation’s largest independent Jewish publication, co-founded in 1975 by Elie Wiesel and Leonard Fine.


    Diane Heiman, Senior Editor

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