Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2022 Midsouth Manuscript Contest Guidelines and FAQs


Please read carefully! These guidelines have changed in recent years.

For 2022, we will be running our contest in conjunction with our critiques. Each of our critiquing agents will have the option of choosing the “most publishable” manuscript from among all of the pieces they review. Winners will receive a certificate of distinction at the “Once Upon a Time” Gala on Saturday night.


Honors will not be awarded by category this year; they will be chosen by each of our participating agents from their group of submissions, although each critiquer has the option to select no favorite.


There is no separate fee to enter this year’s contest! Paying for your critique automatically enters you in the contest for “Most Publishable” honors.

Rules and Guidelines

• The contest is only open to SCBWI members who attend the Midsouth conference and pay for a critique.

• Only one submission for each contestant.

• ALL submissions must be original, unpublished, and uncontracted manuscripts. (“Unpublished” includes both traditional and self-published.)


All critiques must be emailed to the critique coordinator no later than January 5 at 11:59 p.m. EDT/10:59 p.m. CDT.


• Crowd adulation!

• A snazzy certificate! (And the opportunity to spiff up your query letters with an honor award!)

• Winners will be announced on Saturday, March 26, 2022, at the Midsouth “Once Upon a Time” Gala Dinner.

How to Enter:

Sign up and pay for a critique when you register for the Midsouth Fall Conference. These slots fill up quickly, so register early! Once these spots fill, this option will disappear from registration.

Email your manuscript any time after registration opens but no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern/10:59 p.m. Central on January 5. (Submissions are only accepted via email!) Entries received after the deadline will not be submitted to the critiquers, and the critique fee will not be refunded.

• Check your email. All entrants will receive an email informing them their submission was received.


Fiction Contest FAQs

1. How is entering the contest different this year?

Submitting a manuscript for critique automatically makes you eligible for our “most publishable” honors. You choose the critique option and pay the critique contest fee when you register for the Midsouth Fall Conference. You then have until January 5th to email your manuscript to the critique coordinator.

2. How do I format my manuscript correctly?

Please see the  Manuscript Critiques and Submissions page for guidelines and sample manuscripts.

3. I have won the Midsouth fiction manuscript contest before, or received an honorable mention. Can I enter again?

Yes! Because this version of our contest is based on critiques, you are encouraged to submit the work which you feel would most benefit from critique, NOT necessarily aiming to win the contest honor.