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Get your book published by Stone Soup!

Stone Soup is thrilled to announce that we are accepting submissions for a book contest. The winning manuscript will be published by Stone Soup as a standalone book (see the other awards below!). For prose submissions, the minimum length is 20,000 words. For poetry submissions, the minimum length is 40 pages. There is no maximum word or page limit.
As always, we have no preference in terms of genre, topic, or form: you can submit a manuscript of poems or short stories, a novel or a memoir. We are simply looking for excellent, innovative, unusual, powerful writing. You have the rest of spring and all of summer to work on your book. We can't wait to read it!

Contest Details

Genre:        We are reading in all genres. You can submit a collection of poems, a memoir, a short story collection, a collection of personal narratives, a novel, a graphic novel... you name it!
Length:       For prose (fiction or memoir) submissions, the minimum length is 20,000 words. For poetry submissions, the minimum length is 40 pages. There is no maximum word or page limit.
Age Limit: For this contest, we will accept manuscripts written by those age 14 or under.
Deadline:   Monday August 10, 2020 11:59 p.m. (Pacific Time).
Entry fee:  $15.00
Multiple Submissions are accepted but you must submit each as an individual entry and pay the fee each time.
Results and Prizes: We will select one winning manuscript to be published in 2021 and distributed by Stone Soup in both print and ebook forms, available for sale on Amazon, in the Stone Soup store, via our distributors, and advertised along with the rest of our books to libraries and other vendors.
We will also name a handful of finalists.
Publication: We will consider all work submitted as part of the contest for potential publication in the Magazine or as standalone volumes, if our budget allows.
Submissions: All entries must be sent to us before the closing date via our Submittable portal, here.

Reader Interactions


  1. Would there be an editor/illustrator provided (if needed) like last year’s Secret Kids Book Publication Contest?

    • Our Editor, Emma Wood, will be the editor of any winning book selected for publication, just as she is with the material in the Magazine and just as she was for last year’s Stone Soup Book Contest winners. The Stone Soup contest doesn’t include illustrated works. Cover artwork is selected or commissioned by the Editor from one of our young artists, in consultation with the designer. I hope that answers your questions!

    • Yes, joint authorship is absolutely fine, as long as you declare that more than one person wrote it, and both authors fit within our qualifying criteria (age range, especially!).

    • The book will be published by Children’s Art Foundation-Stone Soup Inc. As with all such arrangements there will be a contract between the publisher and the author that deals with all the legal issues including copyright, permissions etc., and that clearly sets out the royalties on sales (through whichever channel) due to the author. That is something that is discussed in detail and agreed up front with the author and their parents.

    • This is another item discussed and spelled out in a book contract. Standard practice is that publisher will discuss the cover with the author, but the final decision on cover and all other aspects of the book design and production is with the publisher.

    • Authors get royalties, which are a percentage of the net profits of sales of their book. The exact percentage is one of the things agreed in a book contract between the publisher and the author. It varies depending on what format the book is in, but as a general rule the percentage on print sales is lower (around 10%) than the percentage on ebook sales (more like 25%). If the book is sold overseas for translation into another language by a third party publisher, the author would also get a percentage of that agreement.

    • The book contest is still open, and judging doesn’t start until after the closing date of August 10th. We will announce our decision in the early Fall.

    • We are not seeking an illustrated book, so we cannot promise to use any illustrations you make for your work in the finished book, should you win and we publish your work. But we’d be very happy to see the illustrations if they are an important part of the work you are making!

  2. I was just wondering, if we submit a manuscript, I would like to ask whether we could try to get the same manuscript published if we do not win in this contest.

    • This page contains all the details of the contest, including the link to our Submittable portal where you can send in your manuscript.

  3. if we have taken photos/drawn or painted pictures that we want to be considered for the cover if we win, can we send them in with the manuscript?

    • We would prefer that you just send your manuscript. We will only be judging the written work, and all thoughts on and decisions about the cover art will be taken after the judging is complete and the winner decided.

  4. If we are writing a book with another person, does the photo we submit have to be of both of us together? Because we can’t really take a photo together right now because of social distancing.

    • We understand that, of course, and you can send us whatever photo(s) you have or think best at the moment. There is quite a long process between winning and the book actually being published, and the photo you send when you submit the manuscript will not necessarily be the one used in the end.

  5. I already asked a question, but I didn’t receive an answer. I was wondering whether we can submit our prose/poetry to another contest/publisher if we win after this contest ends.

    • Children’s Art Foundation–Stone Soup Inc. will be the publisher of the winning book – that is the prize, so no, you would not be able to send it to another publisher. Whether you could submit it to another contest would depend on the rules of that other contest (if the work is published, it would have to be a book prize). If you meant to ask whether you could send it elsewhere if you didn’t win: the answer to that is yes, though you should wait until you hear the results of this contest before you send it elsewhere.

    • Hi there. Yes, the winning book is published in print – see Three Days Till EOC by Abhi Sukhdial, last year’s winner!

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