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Beginning in July 2023, The Outstanding Youth Awards Initiative will assemble a highly qualified team of distinguished authors, poets, librarians, and booksellers to judge the Unleash the Dream Book Awards. Submissions open July 1st and end September 15th annually. 


Books and manuscripts that are published and written between January 2020- September 2023 are eligible for the 2023 award season. 


  • Youth and teen authors, parent/child co-authors, adults and publishers throughout North America may enter. 

  • Novels may be manuscripts, self-published titles, indie published, or traditionally published.

  • E-published books are accepted.

  • All published books and novels must have ISBN/ASIN designation. Manuscripts are not required to have this designation at the time of submission.

  • Entries in English are accepted. 

  • No graphic images or violence accepted. 

  • Any work that was published before January 2020 will not be accepted.

  • Digital manuscript files must be submitted in PDF or Word DOC format to

  • Fees and digital files must be received by midnight on the deadline, September 15th.


  • Children's Picture Books

  • Financial Literacy 

  • Fantasy

  • Poetry (chapbooks welcomed)

  • Fiction

  • Non-Fiction


The overall Unleash the Dream Book Award Winner will receive $400 worth of FREE editing and layout services sponsored by Dr. Sonia Cunningham-Leverette with Hadassah's Crown Publishing, and a FREE 1-hour book planning & marketing consultation with Story Monsters LLC President Linda Radke, valued at $250. Each finalist will be awarded a certificate and gifted 12 award seals. Additional seals can be purchased at $40 per roll or sheet of 50 seals. Certificates and other prizes will be mailed, if winners cannot attend our annual award ceremony in November.​


You can mail a check or by credit card online. When entering online, submit our digital form, then pay by credit card. Second, print a copy of your online entry receipt and mail it with your books to the address below. Submission for more than one category is welcomed. Submit TWO copies of the title per category. Meaning, if you enter a title into two categories, please send us four books.

All books and manuscripts entered become the physical property of The Outstanding Youth Awards Initiative, to be displayed and gifted to the organization of our choosing. You must mail 2 physical books or manuscripts for the first category submission, email OR upload your digital copy to our site. 


After completing the mail in entry form, include the completed form, payment and books, and mail the entire package to the address below.

Unleash the Dream Book Awards 

The Outstanding Youth Awards Initiative 

P.O. Box 26171

Greenville, SC 29616 



When entering with an e-book only, complete your online entry form but send your e-book as an attachment or link via email to with “Unleash the Dream E-Book Entry” in the subject line.


Please include your entry fee of $45.00 and secondary fee of $20 per additional category (if that applies), print the payment confirmation page and mail a money order or casher's check. We also accept online registration receipts in the same package as the books, unless you are having books sent directly from your supplier. 

Books and manuscripts will be judged by the following criteria:

  • Engaging storyline

  • Compelling opening

  • Plot sequence and gratifying ending

  • Uniqueness of story

  • Quality of subject matter

  • Well-crafted illustrations

  • Editing and formatting execution

  • Character development

Unleash the Dream Legalities 

We cannot be held responsible for any failure of the delivery of entries due to any electronic or Internet outage issues or with your delivery service of choice.You will be notified once your books have been received. By entering this contest, you have read and agree that our judging and reviewing is subjective.  By submitting to this contest, you are agreeing to accept and abide by the decision of our qualified judging of the books that you entered.  As you complete your entry form, you agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless the judges and The Outstanding Youth Awards Initiative Board of Directors from liability for its/their actions arising from, or relating to, the judging and management of your entry, and promoting all facets of this contest.

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