Artists (Writers, scroll down!)

The #LMAA challenge has multiple categories where artists may submit, which category or categories, is solely up to the artist. The categories will be opened as the challenge progresses, in no particular order, but examples include color, light, perspective, and the like.

For each category, a prompt will be provided and ample time will be given for artists to submit within a category. Nevertheless, if you already have work in your portfolio that would be a great example for a category, you are welcome to submit that, provided it meets the submission guidelines below. However, we do urge you to submit a work inspired from the prompt so our judges, which is comprised of the SWU team and the author herself, may be able to visualize what might be possible with the current manuscript in question, so make wise choices about what you submit!

Once a category is opened, it will remain open until it is closed by Starts With Us or until the entire LMAA challenge ends, whichever comes first.

At the end of the challenge, if a suitable artist has been found, the winner will be announced and a contract awarded to illustrate I’ll Lend You My Daddy by Becky King.

Why Submit?

Submit if you’re looking for more exposure for your work. We are happy to help promote your work to the public. We also understand how subjective art is and how difficult the industry can be, and we will do our best to highlight the work of budding artists to the well-experienced. We love artists and would not hold back on highlighting any work that draws our attention!

Submit if you support our cause. We believe in publishing work that empowers and inspires children, everywhere. We believe I’ll Lend You My Daddy is one such title.

Submit if you’d like to illustrate I’ll Lend You My Daddy because the book’s idea inspires and empowers you too.

Submit if you’d like to be considered as a future illustrator for future Starts With Us titles. Once you submit to us, we will know you are there and onboard with Starts With Us philosophy and approach to producing books as a team, and we’ll keep your submission on hand for future reference for possible matches to other titles we may be considering for publication.

Your Submission

  1. Your submission MUST be YOUR ORIGINAL WORK. Do not submit on behalf of your children, your shy artist friend, your dog, etc. We want YOUR stuff, not other people’s stuff.
  2. You must be 18 years of age or older.
  3. PNG or JPG only. The image should be sized as a SQUARE. It should also be submitted as a 400 x 400 pixel image, with a maximum file size of 2MB. This will allow us to see your work as a thumbnail and make it easier for us to share on social media. It also forces everyone to play with the same size canvas for comparison.
  4. Low-resolution is fine for the purposes of this challenge. We do not expect fully painted murals and painstaking collage that take months to make––submit an image to us, sketch or otherwise, that will convey your talents best.
  5. Please sign or watermark any submitted art if you so wish. When you submit to us, these images are still yours, but you give us the right to post them to social media to spotlight your work and raise awareness for the challenge and our cause. Please note that others may share and re-share your images on social media and may or may not request your permission. We certify here that we have no control over that, and we hope you enjoy the fanfare! We also encourage you to post your images to your own social media and let your followers know about the #LMAA challenge!
  6. You can enter any category at any time, meaning you do not have to complete the first one, to do the second, etc. You can only submit a maximum of one submission per category, unless you earn a bonus submission. (See below!)

Bonus Submissions: 7 Ways

Doing one of these will qualify you for one additional submission in a category. We will only keep track of bonus submissions during each round, so you cannot do them in advance, except for the Big Daddy Bonus Submission (see below). This helps keep us organized! Thank you!

There is no maximum # of bonus submissions you can earn. We see no reason why we should hold back anyone from supporting a great cause. At the end of the day, a winner will be selected based on fit for the project. Everything is subjective, as you all know. So have fun, be YOU, and show us what you’ve got! Here are ways you can get bonus submissions for the LMAA challenge:

  1. Share your submission publicly to @SWUTeam with the hashtag #LMAA.
  2. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram
  3. Like our Facebook Page
  4. Retweet content from @SWUTeam with the hashtag #LMAA
  5. Raise awareness for the #LMAA challenge by tweeting about the challenge to your followers.
  6. Share a link to the full rules; Here are some example posts you might find handy (**to be provided**)
  7. Share photos of your military family and share with @SWUTeam.
  8. Tweet @SWUTeam images from your favorite artists who inspire you––you must be sure include the hashtag #LMAA for it to count.

ONE BIG DADDY Bonus Submission!

If you want to qualify for an extra submission in every round (that’s five extra entries total):

  1. Come up with your own logo for the LMAA Challenge.  If you can do your own rendition, share it on Social Media, tag us, and you can earn another bonus submission IN EVERY CATEGORY automatically. In the image, you must include the following: bit.ly/2018LMAA, #LMAA, and “Lend Me an Artist Challenge”). Please keep your image family appropriate!
  2. Let us know you did it by completing the Big Daddy Bonus Submission Form located in the submission form.


Become a member of the #LMAA Cheer Squad to submit to Starts With Us for free feedback and consideration for publication. Joining the LMAA Cheer Squad is easy! Show your support for the artists by liking, retweeting, and replying to the submissions! Get creative. Reply with fun graphics and giphys and write something to cheer on the artists. Make sure you include the #LMAA and tell us about what you did when you submit your manuscript. Also, we’ll be watching out for members of the LMAA Cheer Squad on Twitter and Instagram, so be sure you let us know you’re out there. Adding #LMAASquad to your posts will help a lot!

Are you ready?


Go here to see which category is open and enter now!

To enter:

  • Go to https://startswithusinc.submittable.com/submit
  • Login or Create a Submittable account
  • Fill out all required fields and submit your artwork
  • When the category comes around, use the same login for Submittable and submit as desired.


Go here to follow us on Social Media (whichever is applicable to you)

Tag your posts with #LMAASquad

Tweet your post to @swuteam (and the artist if applicable). 

Questions about the Challenge or Submissions? Comment below.

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