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Submit to Young Authors Publishing Chapter Book Contest!

Attention all Black and Brown writers ages 15 - 20! Young Authors Publishing is hosting a Chapter Book Contest with a submission deadline of October 27. (EDIT: The new deadline is October 30!)

The basics: you must have a finished manuscript with at least 60 double-spaced pages and 5-20 chapters. They’re especially interested in books with themes of gender equality, overcoming injustices, self-love, or relationships, but will consider any compelling story for middle-grade readers and young adults. 

We know the deadline is coming up fast—if they hold additional contests, we'll make sure to tell you sooner! In the meantime, if you've got a chapter book draft you've been working on, this could be a good opportunity to polish it up!

Learn more and submit here. (Some of the info on this page might be out of date; when in doubt, go with the details in our announcement above!) 

One more thing: there's a $45 fee to submit to this contest. That's so the judges and people working at YAP can get paid for the time it takes to go through submissions. If you're planning to submit a chapter book to the contest but can't do the $45, just email letting us know by Friday, October 22. (EDIT: Let us know by Monday, October 25!) We have a few scholarships available and would be glad to pay the fee for you!

A Few Helpful Resources

Part of the submission process includes making a pitch video for your submission. Don’t stress out about this! The judges just want to see you being comfortable on camera. They also want you to show that you put effort into your work, and you understand the story and themes well enough to speak about them excitedly.

Here are their video instructions:

  1. State the title and author of this story (that’s you!)

  2. How many chapters and pages are in this story?

  3. List the main points of this story.

  4. Note the character development throughout the story from start to finish.

  5. Outline in detail the story sequence.

  6. Does your story include one or more of YAP’s desired themes/conversations? If so, which ones and how.

  7. Identify what message readers will take away from the submitted chapter book.

Here’s an example of a script for a pitch video that matches all those requirements:

  1. Hello! My name is Marya Brennan and I’m submitting a chapter book called Aliens Take the Coliseum.

  2. There are 12 chapters in this book, and a total of 65 pages.

  3. Aliens Take the Coliseum is about an Oakland 7th grader named Alyssa who wakes up one day to the news that aliens have taken over the Oakland Coliseum, which is a big sports complex. The streets start to fill with alien vehicles sweeping through the neighborhoods collecting certain people and herding them to the Coliseum - but no one knows why. Alyssa’s parents forbid her to leave the house, but when she realizes that her older brother hasn’t come back yet from his night at a friends, she decides she needs to save him (he doesn’t always make the most rational choices, and she’s worried he’s going to try to fight the aliens… or worse). She sneaks out the back without getting caught, but on the way to her brother's friend’s house, she runs into a small purple alien named Neep… who’s also hiding from the aliens. It turns out this alien invasion is a lot more complicated than everyone thought. Alyssa and her new purple friend have to work together to sneak into the Coliseum and stop the aliens from taking over Oakland...and the entire universe.

  4. Alyssa starts the story as a rule-following 7th grader who doesn’t get along with many people and prefers to be by herself. As the story progresses, she has to break rules, sneak into buildings, put herself in danger, and work together with a totally wild alien who has no sense of what normal Earthlings are like. By the end, she’s learned to be brave, take risks, and open herself up to people (and aliens) who are different from her.

  5. (Okay, I’m not sure about this story sequence part, because I kind of did this already in step 3 and I’m worried my script/video is getting too long. Also, I don't know the all the parts of this book because I'm making them up for you right now as an example! So I might skip it. If you want to do it, just list out the beats of your plot, the same way you’d plan them out on a plot diagram or outline).

  6. My story has to do with relationships, and how it takes both trust and vulnerability to form them. Alyssa has to learn how to do this with Neep, and she also has to learn how to set boundaries with her brother, who’s constantly taking advantage of their relationship. It also has to do with overcoming injustices, since Alyssa and Neep both come from oppressed backgrounds.

  7. I hope that when readers finish my book, they’ll take away the message that friendship takes hard work - both internally and externally - but in the end, it’s the strongest force in the universe.

Here are a few resources that might be relevant to you as you make your pitch video:

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