Next Week! The 2022 Black Voices in Children’s Literature Writing Contest Opens

Big news! Now in its fourth year, the Black Voices in Children’s Literature writing contest is going national! Cosponsored by Free Spirit and Strive Publishing, the contest’s mission is to elevate authentic, culturally relevant children’s stories written by and about Black people.

The contest is open to Black authors who are at least 18 years of age and residing in the United States.

Entries are accepted from June 19 through July 24, 2022. Details on how to enter can be found at You can also sign up here to get an emailed reminder when submissions are open.

What to enter: Original children’s books for ages 0–4 (50–125 words) or for ages 4–8 (300–800 words) featuring authentic, realistic Black characters and culture and focusing on one or more of the following topics:

  • character development
  • self-esteem
  • diversity
  • identity
  • getting along with others
  • engaging with family and community
  • other topics related to positive childhood development

And don’t forget! There are awards and cash prizes.

First Place:

  • $1,000 cash prize
  • a meeting with Mary Taris, founder of Strive, and an editor from Free Spirit to discuss the winner’s project
  • serious consideration for publication by Free Spirit, cobranded with Strive (publication is not guaranteed)

Second Place:

  • $500 cash prize

Third Place:

  • $250 cash prize

The deadline for submitting entries is July 24, 2022. Guidelines, judging criteria, and submission information can be found at

Want to help spread the word? Head to for a folder full of ideas.

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