Our Favorite Contests for Kids and Families: Entries due July - Sept

By Sarah Hauge, Publisher, Macaroni Kid, Englewood, Greenwood Village, Centennial June 15, 2021

Does your child have a knack for art, science & technology, math, or writing? How about a passion for changing the world through social or environmental causes? Tap into those talents and ambitions by participating in a national contest or challenge. We've rounded up some of our favorite (and FREE!) kid contests to help you find an opportunity that celebrates your best.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Contests are listed by entry deadlines, so plan ahead to make sure that your submission is worthy of a top prize.

These contests are NOT affiliated with Macaroni Kid in any way.

July Contests

Age Groups: Adult, Teen (13-18), Youth (12 and under) ~ Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Awards ~ Poets are asked to submit a piece of original poetry. Entry fees are required for adult and teen divisions. Youth entries are free.

Winners are eligible for cash prizes up to $1000.

Entries must be postmarked or emailed no later than July 1, 2021.

Various Age Groups ~ Geek Partnership Society Writing Contest ~ Writers of all ages are encouraged to participate in a variety of contests: short fiction, poetry, and graphic novel (comics).

Youth Division winners are eligible to receive a $50 Amazon gift card with a second $50 gift certificate award to the winner's school.

Entries must be submitted online no later than July 1, 2021.

Ages 13-22 ~ Hominum Journal Young Writers Contest ~ Writers may submit 3-5 original poems and/or up to 2 pieces of prose (no longer than 3,500 words).

Entries must be submitted via email no later than July 11, 2021.

Ages 13-18 ~ Write the World: Sports Writing Competition ~ Participants are encouraged to submit an article (600-1,000 words) related to sports.

The best entry will receive a $100 cash prize.

Submit your draft no later than July 12, 2021. Final submissions are due July 20, 2021

Grades K-8 ~ National Youth Foundation's Anti-Bullying Book Scholar Contest ~ Individuals or student teams must write a book (20-30 pages) incorporating the theme of anti-bullying

Winners will receive a $500 cash prize for your team and $250 for the teacher/project coordinator.

Entries must be postmarked by July 15, 2021.

Grades K-12 ~ National Youth Foundation's "I Matter" Poetry Contest ~ Students must write a piece of original poetry or create a piece of original artwork on the topic of Black Lives Matter.

The winning entry is eligible for a $500 cash prize.

Entries must be submitted online no later than July 23, 2021.

Ages 11-17 ~ Foyle Young Poets of the Year ~ Tweens and tweens must submit a piece of original poetry on any theme.

Entries must be submitted online no later than July 31, 2021.

August Contests

Grades K-12 ~ Celebrating Art Contest ~ Put your artistic skills to the test. Art may be any medium (except for photography) as long as it can be photographed for entry. 

The top ten students in each grade division will receive a $25 award and a free book that includes their artwork. 

Submit your artwork online no later than August 12, 2021.

Ages 3-18 ~ Crane Coloring Contest ~ Students must download and print a coloring page of beautiful Colorado cranes by artist Jill Bergman. Color, paint, and decorate the drawing and return it to Bud Werner Children's Library in person or via email no later than August 15, 2021.

Further celebrate this local bird by attending the 10th annual Yampa Valley Crane Festival September 2-5, 2021.

September Contests

Grades 12+ ~ AynRand.Org Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest ~ Read the book Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and select one of three topics to consider for an essay. Essays must be between 800 and 1,600 words. Winners are eligible for cash prizes up to $10,000.

Submit your essay online no later than September 27, 2021.

Have you seen another great kid contest that we should add to our list?

We'd love to hear all about it! Email your publisher at