Debut Review Challenge

What: A challenge launched in October 2019 to support debut authors and illustrators in the Kidlit community.

Why: Debut authors and illustrators are in the exciting position of launching their first book into the world. Let’s give them a boost by writing honest reviews. More reviews equals increased visibility, which helps get our books into the hands of our most important audience: children! That’s why we’re in this business, after all.

Who: You! Whether you are a Kidlit creator yourself (published or prepublished), a teacher, librarian, parent, or class/group, your reviews matter!

When: Three times/year: October-November; February-March; May-June

Where: Write your honest reviews on sites such as Amazon, Goodreads, Bookroo, and Barnes and Noble.

How: Just follow these easy steps –

  1. Follow #DebutReviewChallenge on Twitter and Instagram to find debut creators and their books.
  2. Keep track of how many reviews you write for debut authors and illustrators. Any Kidlit genre is fair game, from board book to young adult, and the debut creator you review does not have to be featured in the challenge. Download the Review Record, below, to help you keep track of your progress.
  3. Every time you complete 5 honest reviews online (this includes a rating AND comments), record your accomplishment on this Google Form.
  4. For every 5 reviews, your name will be entered to win prizes such as signed books, manuscript critiques, and more!
  5. There is no limit to how many entries you submit. Every time you complete 5 reviews, fill out the form.
  6. No need to share your reviews with me. This challenge works on the honor system.


If you are a traditionally published Debut Kidlit creator who would like to be featured in a 2022 challenge round, please fill out this Interest Form when it opens mid-November 2021.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Contact me: laura (at) laurarenauld (dot) com

Thank you to Tara Lazar for hosting my Storystorm Success Story and helping me launch this challenge!