Monday, October 27, 2014

Are You Getting Out There?

 by Hilde Garcia

For a while, I wasn’t. I just didn’t think anyone should be reading my work-in-progress or even would want to read it.  Then as I was cleaning out an old writing file, I found SCBWI’s Awards and Grants Flyer. 

And it got me thinking.  Why not? Why not have someone read my work-in-progress?  Why not apply again?  I had a long, long time ago, when my story was in its infancy, and I wasn’t selected, so in a drawer went the file and the flyer and possibly some of my hope too.

I didn’t realize how many other options are available now and what a huge opportunity to jumpstart the publishing process for me.

Therefore, whether you knew about them or not, here are SCBWI’s Awards and Grants!  With so many ways to make a difference in your writing, why not take the plunge?

SCBWI’s guidance and support makes publication a tangible reality.  I’m so honored to be a member.

I'll be submitting before the year is done, hope you do as well.

Happy Submitting!

The SCBWI established the On-The-Verge Emerging Voices Award in 2012 with funding from Martin and Sue Schmitt of the 455 Foundation. The grant was created to foster the emergence of diverse voices in children’s books.

Applications accepted between September 15th and November 15th, 2014
Two writers or writer/illustrators will each receive:
1. All-expense paid trip to the SCBWI Summer Conference in LA: August 1-4, 2015 (transportation and hotel)
2. Tuition to the SCBWI Summer Conference
3. A manuscript consultation at the Summer Conference with an industry professional
4. An additional meeting with an industry professional
5. Tuition to the Summer Conference Writers or Illustrators Intensive6.
6. A press release 

Any writer or writer/illustrator from an ethnic and/or cultural background that is traditionally under-represented in children’s literature in America. (American Indian, Asian, Black or African American, Hispanic, Pacific Islander)
The manuscript must be an original work written in English for young readers and may not be under contract.  The applicant must be over 18, be unpublished, and should not yet have representation.
All applications will be accepted via email only between September 15th and November 15th at and must include the following:
In the body of the e-mail:
1. An autobiographical statement and career summary in less than 250 words.
2. Why your work will bring forward an underrepresented voice in less than 250 words.
3. A synopsis of your manuscript in less than 250 words. 

Attached to the e-mail:
4. A PDF of your entire manuscript.  If the manuscript is not complete, it is not eligible.

The winners will be announced December 19, 2014 and the award presented at the 2015 SCBWI Summer Conference in Los Angeles, August 1-4.  
When your work is published the author/illustrator should include in the acknowledgement "This book was made possible in part by a grant from SCBWI."


The Work-in-Progress Award showcases outstanding manuscripts from the members of the SCBWI. The selected works will receive a special platform to be showcased to the most prestigious publishing houses in the field.  We will choose 1 winner and up to 5 honorable mentions in each of the following 6 categories.

      Picture Book Text
Chapter Books/Early Readers
Middle Grade
Young Adult Fiction
Multi-Cultural Fiction or Nonfiction

The works submitted by winners and honorable mention recipients will be made available on a secure webpage and presented to a hand-selected group of editors for their consideration. Although this is not a guarantee of publication, the opportunity to have your work presented to acquiring editors, along with an SCBWI endorsement, is a rare and much prized opportunity.

Applications may be submitted March 1-March 31, 2015. Winners will be announced in September.

  1. You must be a current SCBWI member when your work is submitted and when the award is announced in September.
  2. You may not submit a work that is under contract.  If the work becomes under contract before the award is announced, you will become ineligible.
  3. You may submit to only one WIP grant category per year.
  4. The grant is open to authors with a current work-in-progress. Illustrators can apply for one of the Don Freeman Grants.

1.     You must submit your application electronically in the form of ONE PDF.


1. A first page that contains:
  • Your name
  • Manuscript Title
  • Grant Category
  • A double-spaced synopsis, max 250 words

2. The first 10 pages of your completed manuscript.
  •  Your manuscript must be double-spaced and cannot exceed 10 pages.

3. Title the PDF with your name (first_last.pdf)
  • Email your completed application to:
  • Put the category you are applying to in the subject line of the email
  • Put your full name and the name of your manuscript in the body of the email.
  • Send the PDF as an attachment to your email

Email your completed application to:
Karen Cushman


The Karen and Philip Cushman Late Bloomer Award is for authors over the age of fifty who have not been traditionally published in the children’s literature field. The grant was established by Newbery Award winner and Newbery Honor Book recipient Karen Cushman and her husband, Philip Cushman, in conjunction with the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.  Karen published her first children’s book, The Midwife’s Apprentice (winner of the 1996 Newbery Medal), at the age of fifty-three and has gone on to become one of the field’s most acclaimed novelists.
"This award was established to encourage and celebrate late bloomers like me, who didn't start to write until age fifty.  But then I bloomed, and I'd love to see others do so as well,” said Karen.
SCBWI Executive Director Lin Oliver agreed, “One of the great aspects of writing children’s books is that it’s not age-restrictive. The SCBWI hopes an individual’s creative expression can make a valuable contribution, no matter what his or her age.”
The award is open to unpublished children’s book authors or author/illustrators over the age of fifty, and one winner will be chosen from the pool of those who have submitted material for the SCBWI Work-In-Progress Grants. 
About Karen Cushman
Karen Cushman is the author of The Midwife’s Apprentice (winner of the 1996 Newbery Medal), Catherine, Called Birdy (a Newbery Honor book), The Ballad of Lucy Whipple (winner of the John and Patricia Beatty Award), and her latest book,Will Sparrow's Road (Clarion 2012). Karen lives and writes on Vashon Island in Washington.  To learn more about Karen visit

Submitted through the Work-In-Progress application from March 1-31.

$500 and free tuition to any SCBWI conference anywhere in the world.

1. You must be a current member.
2. The award is open to unpublished writers and writer/illustrators fifty years of age and older.
3. Applicants send an additional email with the same Work-in-Progress grant application they have already submitted to: with "Cushman" in the subject line and your full name in the body of the email. (You will be sending two emails to the same address with the same attachment but different subject lines.)
4. The applicant cannot have been published or have a project under contract in the children’s book field. 
All Work-In-Progress Grant guidelines apply.
The final judging will be by a committee including Karen Cushman and Lin Oliver.


Book Launch Award- Provides authors or illustrators with $2,000 in funds to help the promotion of their newly published work and take the marketing strategy into their own creative hands. 

Crystal Kite Award- Peer-given award to recognize great books from 15 SCBWI regional divisions around the world. 

Golden Kite Award- Instituted in 1973, the Golden Kite Awards are the only children’s literary award judged by a jury of peers. The Golden Kite Awards recognize excellence in children’s literatures in four categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Book Text, and Picture Book Illustration. 

Jane Yolen
Jane Yolen MId-List Author Grant- Critically acclaimed children’s book author Jane Yolen created this grant to honor the contribution of mid-list authors. 

Magazine Merit Award- For original magazine work for young people in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, illustration, and poetry. 

Martha Weston Grant- The Martha Weston Grant was established by the Hairston Family to remember author/illustrator Martha Weston. The grant helps authors and illustrators who want to switch children's book genres.

Martha Weston

Sid Fleischman Award- Given with the Golden Kite Awards, an award for exemplary writing for children in the genre of humor.

Sid Fleischman
Spark Award- An annual award that recognizes excellence in a children’s book published through a non-traditional publishing route.

Work-In-Progress Award- To assist children’s book writers and illustrators in the publication of a specific project currently not under contract. Given in the categories of: Picture Book Text, Chapter Books/Early Fiction, Middle Grade, Young Adult Fiction, Nonfiction, and Multi-Cultural Fiction or Nonfiction.

Amber Brown- The Amber Brown Grant commemorates author and beloved school speaker, Paula Danziger.  Two schools are awarded each year with an author or illustrator visit and new books to continue Paula’s love of connecting children with creative influences.
Paula Danzinger

Tribute Fund- The SCBWI Tribute Fund commemorates members of the children’s book community, their lives, and their work by funding all-expense scholarships to the SCBWI International Summer and Winter Conferences for the general membership. 

Not a member of SCBWI?  Join and take advantage of the opportunities that await you.


  1. Dear Ms. Garcia,
    Thanks for the listing. I've applied for the WIP and the Late Bloomer. Is there award for Doubt In Progress?
    Blooming Work

  2. It's good to be aware of these opportunities. I often hear of both writers and illustrators receivig these awards and wonder where the opportunity came from. Thanks for the 'heads up' Hilde. :-)

  3. This is great, said the procrastinator. Thanks so much.


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