2021 PB-Resources Glossary

My post about how I got my agent includes a lot of references to PB resources. I made a glossary to briefly describe each of the resources I found and utilized in 2021.

12×12 Picture Book Challenge

Join in January/February ($)

An annual-membership organization for PB writers that includes a 12-month challenge to write 12 picture book drafts and provides webinars, a Facebook community, a resource and critique forum, and much more!

12 Days 4 Writers

Join in late December up through the 12-day experience that begins December 26 and goes through January 6 (free)

An annual event run by Julie Hedlund (founder of 12×12) to reflect on the past year and prepare for the year ahead

50 Precious Words

Entries accepted in early March (free)

A writing contest with the only parameters of a story for children and a word count of 50 words max

Birthday! Birthday!

Guidelines revealed in early or mid-November and entries due near November 23rd (free)

A writing-prompt contest based on selecting words from a word list and keeping the word count under a certain number

Champagne rejection

A rejection that’s personalized and includes either encouraging words that show the agent (or editor) truly considered it or includes enough feedback that shows the agent (or editor) believes it has real potential

Children’s Book Academy

Enroll as courses are offered or buy a self-paced course ($)

Offers live and self-paced courses and an annual PB Palooza

Cookie Pitch

Takes place throughout the year on pre-determined days (free)

A Twitter pitch event for “fake” pitches to prime the creative pump of PB writers (and beyond); winners are determined by community likes


CP = critique partner; CG = critique group; someone (or a group) who swaps/shares manuscripts to give feedback on your work and receive feedback on theirs; might meet regularly (in person or online), swap over email, or share a cloud-based folder; many organizations offer opportunities for finding critique partners and critique groups

Critique Train

Challenge days are announced the month ahead of time and take place once/month (free)

A monthly challenge to write a new PB draft within a 24-hour period with a commitment to critique the story behind you on the train (and have a story—not necessarily the one you just wrote—critiqued by the person “in front of” you)

Fall Writing Frenzy

Entries accepted in early October (free)

A writing-prompt contest based on fall-themed gifs and a low word count


Words revealed in October and entries due later in the month (free)

A Halloween-themed prompt contest run by Susanna Leonard Hill offering prizes for the best story for children that’s max 100 words and includes three Halloween-related words (which change year to year)

Holiday Contest

Prompt and word count revealed in early December and entries due in mid-December (free)

A winter-holiday-themed prompt contest run by Susanna Leonard Hill offering prizes for the best story for children that’s fits under a certain word count and revolves around a certain theme (both of which change year to year)

Kathy Temean’s Writing and Illustrating

First pages accepted near the end of the month; critiques revealed on the first Friday of the next month (free)

Blog that features a different agent each month; authors may submit the first page of their manuscript to be one of four chosen first pages the featured agent critiques on Kathy’s blog; features three weeks of interviews with the featured agent

Kidlit Zombie Week

Takes place in June (free)

A five-day challenge, with associated discussion and inspiration, to revive and revise a shelved manuscript; includes giveaways for participants

Madness Poetry

In 2021, applications were accepted in April; competition took place in May (free)

An annual competition of 64 “authletes” who go head-to-head against one another in a bracket-style tournament, having a short time period (around 48 hours) to write a low-character-count poem; winners are determined by classroom and community voting

Making Room for Rhyme

Applications accepted on a rolling basis; members added according to critique-group capacity (free)

A Facebook and critique community for rhymers

PB Chat

2021 mentorship applications were accepted in late April (free)

Biweekly Twitter chats happen on Wednesday 8–9 p.m. EST (free)

An annual mentorship program offered by 20–25 published authors; a biweekly Twitter chat centered on specific PB-related topics

PB Critique Fest

Happens in October (free)

A points-based giveaway of PB critiques. The more you do (e.g., book reviews, social-media posts, likes and follows), the more entries you get into the giveaway.

PB Party

Two one-hour application windows around March 1 and showcase in late March (free)

A showcase of selected finalists and the first 60–70 words of their manuscript, for agents and editors to consider and request

PB Workshop

Membership is open

A Discord-based PB community for writers to discuss various aspects of the craft and experience


In 2021, this took place in late September / early October (free)

A pitch party that takes place on the Savvy Authors site, similar to a Twitter pitch party, but participants pitch directly to participating agents


In 2021, the application window was open for an hour in September and the showcase took place in late October (with mentoring in between)

An agent showcase of pitches; finalists are determined based on query, pitch, and first page; mentorship is given to get these ready for the showcase and any resulting requests

Pitch parties

Take place throughout the year
#PitMad, #PBPitch, #DVpit, #FaithPitch, #APIpit (free)

One-day events (usually on Twitter) that focus on different genres of publishing and historically involve many agents and editors who “like” a tweet-pitch to show interest in receiving that manuscript (or sample)

Query Tracker

(free) but has a ($) option

A database of agents (and some publishers) for tracking queries and submissions and researching agents and publishers; subscription allows you to track multiple projects and see data regarding agent responses

Rate Your Story

Membership for the following calendar year opens in November and December ($)

Hosts two contests during the year

A critique service based on anonymous judging from published authors; non-members can submit during specific windows; members receive 18 submissions for the year and receive a 1 to 10 rating (1 is best) and feedback on their manuscript


Used to happen in March (free)

A now-retired one-month challenge (Reading for Research Month); accompanying blog posts on mentor texts still available on the ReFoReMo site


When an agent requests to see more work PB manuscripts after receiving a query for one manuscript


Applications accepted in the summer; conference takes place in October ($)

A one-on-one conference that pairs authors and illustrators with an agent, editor, or author for mentoring on their submitted manuscript, as well as conference sessions (depending on in-person or virtual)


Join throughout the year ($)

An annual-membership organization for kidlit writers (board books through young adult)

Spring Fling Kidlit

Entries accepted in early April (free)

A writing-prompt contest based on spring-themed gifs and a low word count


Join in late December, by December 31 (free)

A one-month challenge to generate 30 story ideas during the month of January and features blog post to help inspire new ideas

Storyteller Academy

Buy courses a la carte or enroll either monthly or three times/year ($)

Offers courses and mini-courses on PB writing and illustrating. Also offers monthly and quarterly membership that gives access to courses, critique groups, and live instruction


Prompt revealed in late January and entries due in time for Valentine’s Day (free)

A Valentine’s-themed prompt contest run by Susanna Leonard Hill offering prizes for the best story for children that’s max 214 words and revolves around a certain emotion (which changes year to year)

This list is limited to resources I personally participated in. I hope to grow my understanding of many of these and add new ones in 2022!

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