Secret Kids contest: write a book and win your own publication deal

Contests  /   /  By Stone Soup Editors
Stone Soup Magazine
May 2019

Update as of April 22, 2019:

Congratulations to the contestants shortlisted in the Secret Kids Book Contest. Stone Soup is no longer involved in the process but we’re very excited for the shortlisted contestants and wish them the best of luck in the judging process. To follow the contest’s next stages, and to ask any questions about the contest,  please visit the Nancy Gee Book Facebook page.


Original Contest announcement (contest now closed)

Stone Soup is working with MacKenzie Press, publisher of The Secret Series of children’s books, on an exciting new book-writing and book-illustrating contest. The winners of this children’s writing competition will be awarded their own book deal. Their books will be professionally published by MacKenzie Press, and offered for sale and distribution in bookstores. Aspiring young authors and illustrators can submit anything from children’s picture books, early readers books, middle grade fiction and chapter books, and young adult novels, entered in one of three age ranges: elementary school, middle school, and high school. Any form–from from text-only to illustrated book to graphic novel– or genre–from realistic fiction to fantasy or sci-fi–will be considered. Manuscripts will be judged by the MacKenzie Press publisher and Stone Soup editors. Finalists will then be chosen from each entry category who will work with MacKenzie Press to edit and rework their manuscripts. One winner(s) will be chosen from each age range.


Categories: There are three entry categories, based on the author/illustrator’s age. Entry age is based on your age as at September 1, 2018.

  • Elementary: Grades 1-5 (ages 5-10)
  • Middle school: Grades 6-8 (ages 11-13)
  • High school: Grades 9-12 (ages 14-18)

Length: Dependent on type of book and target audience. See details below and at the contest entry page.

Deadline: February 1, 2019, 11:59 p.m. (Pacific time).

Entry form: You must enter using the official contest entry form here (scroll to the bottom of that page). Please note that page still shows the old deadline date of January 1, but you will still be able to submit your entry up to the new closing date of February 1.

Entry fee: $30 per entry.

Finalists’ shortlist announced: April 15, 2019.

Winners announced: June 15, 2019.

Prizes: The following prize will be awarded to one winner in each of the three categories:

  • A book publishing deal from publisher MacKenzie Press.
  • A cash prize of $1,000
  • A one-year subscription to Stone Soup

Questions: If you have any pre-submission questions, please write to the contest organizers: contest@anancygeebook.com.

 


More information

Some of the types of book you might consider submitting:

  • Children’s picture books
    • Reader 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 reader books
    • Reader 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
    • Reader 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
    • Reader 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
    • Reader 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
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11 Comments
 
  1. Clare October 14, 2018 at 8:37 am Reply

    This is incredible! I can’t believe some lucky young person will get to have their book published and sold. Best wishes to everybody! 🙂

  2. SC January 9, 2019 at 9:06 am Reply

    How often do you have these contests ?

    • Sarah Ainsworth January 9, 2019 at 5:12 pm Reply

      Hello!

      This particular contest in partnership with MacKenzie press is our first that is novel-length and with these particular prizes, and we’re not sure that we will offer a similar one in the near future.

      We do hold several contests throughout the year, however, they are usually for short stories, poetry, or art. Last year we had a Short Short Fiction contest, a Science Fiction contest, and a Concrete Poetry contest. We will likely offer smaller-scale contests such as these this year.

  3. Aashni March 27, 2019 at 9:13 am Reply

    Hi! When are the winners going to be announced?

    • Sarah Ainsworth March 29, 2019 at 8:42 am Reply

      Hi Aashni!
      Thanks for your question. The shortlist of winners will be announced on April 15th, and the final winners will be announced on June 15th.

  4. Jason April 16, 2019 at 4:34 pm Reply

    Hello, Do you know when and where the short list of winners will be announced?
    Thank you!

    • Jane Levi April 23, 2019 at 3:22 am Reply

      Nancy Gee (Mackenzie Press) decided the shortlist and posted it on her Facebook page on April 19th. Stone Soup is sadly no longer involved, though the contest continues and we congratulate all entrants and shortlisted authors! All current and future information about this contest can be found on the Nancy Gee Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/ANancyGeeBook/.

  5. Michael Gordon April 17, 2019 at 10:47 pm Reply

    Hi! Did the shortlist come out? Will it be posted here? Thanks!

    • Jane Levi April 23, 2019 at 3:22 am Reply

      Nancy Gee (Mackenzie Press) decided the shortlist and posted it on her Facebook page on April 19th. Stone Soup is sadly no longer involved, though the contest continues and we congratulate all entrants and shortlisted authors! All current and future information about this contest can be found on the Nancy Gee Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/ANancyGeeBook/.

  6. Alright Feline Empress April 21, 2019 at 3:23 pm Reply

    The finalists were supposed to be posted today, but I don’t see them. Where are they on the webpage exactly?

    • Jane Levi April 23, 2019 at 3:21 am Reply

      Nancy Gee (Mackenzie Press) decided the shortlist and posted it on her Facebook page on April 19th. Stone Soup is sadly no longer involved, though the contest continues. All current and future information about it can be found on her page, https://www.facebook.com/ANancyGeeBook/.

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