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Get your book published by Stone Soup! 

Stone Soup is thrilled to announce that we are accepting submissions for our annual book contest.

This year, we plan to accept two books for publication–one novel or short story collection and one book of poems. However, we do consider all submissions for potential publication.

Contest Details

Genre: Fiction (novel, novella, short story collection) or Poetry.

Length: For fiction 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 16, 2021 11:59 p.m. (Pacific Time).

Entry fee: $15.00.

Submissions of multiple manuscripts by the same author are accepted but you must submit each as an individual entry and pay the fee each time.

Results and Prizes: We will select two winning manuscripts—one in fiction and one in poetry—to be published 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 submitted work as part of the contest for potential publication in the magazine or as standalone volumes.

Previous Submissions: If you submitted to last year's contest, and have substantially revised your manuscript in the meantime, you are welcome to resubmit it this year.

Submission Fee: The submission fee is important to us; it helps us defray the costs of the contest and of producing and publishing the two winning books. However, if the submission fee represents a financial hardship to your family, please write to editor@stonesoup.com.

Submissions: All entries must be sent to us before the closing date via our Submittable portal, here.

Questions? Please visit the Book Contest FAQ here. If you question isn't answered there, you may post it to this page and we'll get you an answer as soon as we can!

We reserve the right to select no winners in a given year.


Reader Interactions


    • Yes, you can. Although only one author can technically send the submission via Submittable, you should name all of the authors on the submission form and on your manuscript; and you can send us a note, too, to confirm there are multiple authors!

        • You do not have to be a Stone Soup subscriber at all to submit or to enter one of our contests. Contest entries have a separate fee which applies equally to all entrants. For regular submissions, subscribers can send their work in free while non subscribers pay a small fee. I hope that helps!

  1. If our book doesn’t win the contest, will we be able to publish it elsewhere or will it become property of Stone Soup?

    • Every author of a manuscript, whether they win our contest or not, retains ownership and copyright of their work. As with most contests and publishing submissions, you should not submit or publish elsewhere until the contest is closed; but you may do whatever you wish to with your manuscript after the results of the contest are announced.

  2. If you’re one of the winners, can you still submit your manuscript to a publishing house or literary agent? Just curious.

    Also, I’ve been working on a book for about a year now, and I’ve found someone to do a developmental edit on it. Am I still allowed to submit it even if I have an editor helping me?

    • Hi Kaidyn, thanks for your questions.
      If you are a winner in our contest you cannot submit your manuscript elsewhere. Children’s Art Foundation–Stone Soup Inc. is a publisher, and the prize is that we will publish the book.
      Yes, you may submit work that you have had editorial help with. We would not necessarily know if this had been the case, and we don’t forbid it in our rules as we don’t think we could (or would want to) police that – but thank you for asking!

        • That’s certainly possible. We have not made an audio book version part of our publishing process before, but it is one of the possible media and could be discussed as part of the contract process we go through with the winner(s).

    • It varies. We have only run the contest for two years so far, and we received twice as many entries in year 2 as in year 1. We don’t know what will happen this year, but we do know a lot of young people are working on their books!

  3. Hi! I’m planning on submitting a book. I have a lot of questions about what will happen if I win!
    Will the book be edited before it is sold? If you do edit it, will it just be edited for grammar and that kind of thing? Or are you going to have an editor go over the actual story with me, to take care of plotholes, help direct the story arc better, and things like that? Or both? If editors go over it with me, will I be able to do a final pass, and give an OK before it gets published? Will I be consulted after the book is edited, to make sure I’m okay with all the changes made? Please explain the editing process.
    Also, will I get any kind of monetary prize as well? If yes, then what? Would I get a percentage of sales?

    • Hello. The winner(s) go through a full editing process with the editor of Stone Soup, Emma Wood. All of the details of how that process works are outlined on the publishing contract that we draw up for the author whose work we are publishing. The work belongs to the author, and edits are made in full consultation. Having said that, some of the steps you mention, like developing the story itself, sound like the kind of work done before submission: the work the judges choose usually requires lighter editing, rather than re-writing, if that makes sense.
      The contract to publish the book is the prize; but per standard book publishing contracts authors get a percentage royalty on sales. All of that is discussed in detail and agreed in a contract between the author, their parents, and Children’s Art Foundation–Stone Soup Inc., the publisher.

  4. If you win, your book gets published by stone soup, does that mean that the book could possibly make it into bookstores? Or is it just sold on Stone Soup.com?


    • Absolutely. Although we are a small publisher all our books are available to major book sellers through one of their standard channels, so any bookstore can get a supply and sell physical copies of our books; and we are also listed with the major distributor of books to libraries (the books have a Library of Congress Control number as well as an ISBN which makes that process easier). You can see that the 2019 winner Abhi Sukhdial’s book is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other large online book retailers – just search for “Three Days Till EOC” and you’ll find it! Your local bookstore might not have a copy in stock, but you’d be able to request one via them and get it in a few days. We sell it in our own store because we have an online store as an alternative supply route for all our products – and also because we and the author get to keep a higher proportion of the sales income from our own store.

    • We know there is a lot of really excellent fan fiction out there (and we’re happy to hear you are writing it!), but we are not seeking fan fiction entries for this particular contest. We are looking for completely new, original works of fiction and poetry that are the sole creation of the author, who will own its copyright.

  5. Hi, I have a question about this contest. Are we allowed to have mythology included in our stories? Like gods and goddesses in it?
    Just want to make sure I don’t offend anyone with religion.
    Thank you!

  6. Hi! My book ends on a cliffhanger, and I’m writing a sequel to it right now. I plan for it to be a duology. If I submit the first book in my duology, and it wins this contest, would you also publish the sequel? Thank you!

    • Hi Talia! Thanks for the question. You are welcome to submit a book that ends on a cliffhanger, but unfortunately we cannot promise that we will publish any sequels. Since we are such a small operation, we are limited in what books we are able to publish.

  7. Hi! My book ends on a cliffhanger, and I’m writing a sequel to it right now. I plan for it to be a duology. If I submit the first book in my duology, and it wins this contest, would you also publish the sequel? Thank you!

    • Hi Talia. The prize is a publishing contract for the winning book only. While we’d surely discuss any sequel(s) with the winning author, we would not commit to publishing anything but the specific prize-winning book at this stage!

  8. Hi, I’m wondering if I can include illustrations if I were to submit a book of poems? Also, is “The Book of Poems” a collection of many poems from different people, or a collection of my poems that make up a Book of Poems?

    • Hi Raegan! Thanks for the questions. You are welcome to submit illustrations with your poems. However, we cannot guarantee that we will publish the illustrations if your book is accepted, since our contest is focused on writing. As far as the book of poems, that refers to a collection of one author’s poems that make up a manuscript. You can take a look at two of our winners from last year, Analise Braddock’s The Golden Elephant and Tatiana Rebecca Shrayer’s Searching for Bow and Arrows–both published in the July/August 2020 issue— as examples.

  9. Hello, I am just wondering, how are we supposed to know if we have written 20,000 words in our books? Will someone from Stone Soup check, or do we have to before we send the manuscript? Thank you!

    • Hi Lydia, you should be able to check to see if you have reached 20,000 words on most Word Processing applications. On Microsoft Word, you can highlight your story and click the Tools Tab, and select “Word Count.” On Google Docs, you should be able to do the same.
      Though we likely won’t be checking the word count for every submission, we would appreciate it if you could check your word count before you submit. Plus, it is a good way to take stock of what work you have done so far.

  10. Hi, I have two questions – around what date will the results of the contests be published? I also have a big project coming up in school and I’m considering turning my book in for that as well – is this allowed before the results of the contest are published or in case I win?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Anita, thanks for your question. Although we don’t have an exact date for when we will announce the winners of the 2021 Book Contest, it will likely be around the same timeline as last year, which was in November. If you enter your manuscript in our Book Contest, that would mean that you would not be able to submit or publish elsewhere until around early November. Of course, if we decline to publish your manuscript, you may do whatever you wish to with your manuscript after the results of the contest are announced.

  11. If I were to submit a collection of short stories or a collection of poems, is the minimum word count still 20,000 words? Thank you 🙂

  12. So I’m not submitting a book this year, but I would like to ask if you get your book published can you get it published under a fake name?

    • Yes, you may ask us to publish under a pseudonym. We as the publisher would need to know your true identity, but we could certainly agree not to share that information and use your “pen name” in public.

  13. Hello! I have a few questions: If you are a finalist, can you publish your book somewhere else? Also, I don’t know if I missed this piece of information, but when do the results (Like who won) come out? Thanks!

    • The prize for the winner in each category is a contract to be published by Children’s Art Foundation-Stone Soup Inc. You can only enter into one contract for the same book, so you wouldn’t be able to publish it elsewhere unless you turned down the prize! If you do not win, you may submit your manuscript for publication elsewhere. The results will be published in the Fall.

  14. Would you be able to give a rough idea of a word count minimum for the poetry collection? (I’m aware it’s 40 pages, but I guess poetry could be laid out in many different ways. )Thanks!

    • Hello Maggie. We have found that a word count isn’t really all that meaningful for a poetry collection, which is why we went with number of pages. While some poems might take several pages, many fit on a single page. When we publish, we put each poem on a single page (or more if it is a long poem). So, it is safe to assume a minimum of one poem per page, so the collection should be a minimum of about 40 poems.

  15. Apologies if this message appears twice, my daughter wrote yesterday and it didn’t seem to go through . Is there a rough idea of a word count for the poetry book? (I know there is a page minimum, but wondering how that applies to poetry- for example if you would have one page per poem ?). Thanks!

  16. Hello! I am currently typing my story for the Annual 2021 contest. About how many people joined the contest last year for the 2020 Annual Contest? Thanks and have a nice day!

  17. Hi!
    I have a concern.
    I recently wrote a book, which I wanted to submit to stone soup. However, on the main page, it said that entries must be 10,000 words or shorter, and if you had a longer piece, to try the book contest. When I went to the book contest page, it said that all fiction must be 20,000 words or longer. My book is between 10,000 and 20,000 words. What would you suggest I do?

    • Hi Bridget. This is indeed an excellent question. In the end, I think you should do what feels most natural to you, but my advice is as follows: if you’re closer to 10,000 words than 20,000 and feel comfortable cutting down your manuscript, I would cut it and submit to the magazine. If, however, you’re closer to 20,000 words than 10,000 words, I’d try and add to it in order to submit to the Book Contest. Hope this helps!

  18. For poetry it says 40 pages, should each poem be a new page or would that be considered cheating and the next one should start immediately after the first?

    • Hi Jackson. It would not be considered cheating to start a new page after finishing a poem as this is how almost all books of poetry are formatted. Just focus on submitting your best work! Hope this helps.

  19. Hi!
    Is it okay if we have a little bit less than 20,000 words? Like maybe ten less if we can’t fit them anywhere>

    • Hi Julie, if you mean literally 10 fewer words (not ten thousand fewer) I think that will be just fine. It’s a guideline not a totally fixed target and 10 words falls within the margins.

  20. Just to be clear, you’re not allowed to submit a manuscript if you’re over 13 years old? I just turned 14 and didn’t realize Stone Soup offered this contest. Thanks!

    • Hi Emerson. This is what is says on the Book Contest page, and on the Submittable form:
      Age Limit: For this contest, we will accept manuscripts written by those age 14 or under.
      So, you’re fine. Happy birthday!

  21. Hi there! I actually have two questions. 1. Will someone be able to fix or grammar and spelling mistakes? 2. Does a acknowledgements page count toward your 20,000 words? Thanks!

    • Hi Lily. To answer your first question, yes, if your manuscript is selected to be published it will be proofed. It’s also totally fine if you have somebody you know look over it before you submit. As for your second question, no, the acknowledgements page does not count towards the 20,000 words. Hope this helps!

  22. Hi There!
    I have written my Poetry book for submission in book contest. Just wanted to know what should be the font size and shall I submit it in word or pdf format?

    • Hi Gia,

      In terms of font size I know you can’t go wrong with twelve, especially since what matters to us is the word count not the page count. As for your other question, either type of submission works, so submit in whichever format you prefer! Hope this helps!

    • Hi Lily. This is a difficult question, one I can’t really provide you the answer for. However, I will say that since the submission deadline is fast approaching, you may just want to wait until next year. Otherwise, you could try editing down to below 10,000 words in order to submit to the Magazine. You may also see if there are any other magazines or competitions accepting manuscripts within your word range. I’m sorry I can’t provide a clear cut answer, but I hope you figure something out.

  23. Hello,

    I remember reading when you are going to announce who are the finalist and winners, but i couldn’t find or remember the date. Would you mind telling me?


    • Hi Zara,

      We do not yet have a fixed date for when finalists and winners will be announced. However, I imagine they will be announced no later than December. Hope this helps.

  24. Hello! Just a question, but when submitting a novel (I am aware that the submission date has passed. I am currently working on a novel this year that I will spend a good chunk of time editing before submitting) does it already need to have a cover designed/created, or will StoneSoup, if they happen to select the novel to publish, design/create a novel?


    • Hi Lola,

      No worries about the comment gaffe. To answer your question, no, you do not have to have a cover designed before submitting. Happy writing!

  25. Hello! Just curious, but if you novel happens to be chosen (I am aware that the submission date for this year has past. I am currently working on the first draft of a novel that I will spend a good chunk of time revising and editing before I submit, so this works out) does the cover already need to be designed and created? If not, if your novel IS chosen, does StoneSoup handle this? Thank you!


  26. Hi, This is Jaslene Kwack’s mom. She is one of finalists of Annual Book Contest 2021. As soon as I submitted her entry in August, I found that her age was incorrect so I made a note to request to fix it at ‘Submittable’ page but your website still showed her wrong age 14 that should be age 11.
    Could you fix it?

  27. Looking at your info for the Book Contest from last year, I have a few questions. I assume you will do it for 2022 and use roughly the same time frame. Is that correct? Also, my daughter will be 15 on Aug 23. If she submits her book before her birthday, would she still be eligible for the contest as she wrote it before turning 15?

    • Yes, is is our plan to operate within roughly the same time frame. And yes, your daughter would be eligible as long as her book was written prior to her turning 15.

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