Showing posts from August, 2012

TU BOOKS: Why Target an Author's Race in an Award?

TU Books, the fantasy, science fiction, and mystery imprint ofLee and Low, recently announced their first annual New Visions Award. "The New Visions Award will be given for a middle grade or young adult fantasy, science fiction, or mystery novel by a writer of color," they say.

I wondered why the award was restricted to the race of the author rather than of the characters, and asked Stacy Whitman, editorial director of TU BOOKS, about her take on this sticky issue. Here's the email exchange between the two of us (shared with Stacy's permission):

Mitali: Hi Stacy. Just wondering why you decided to focus the award on "writers of color" rather than "main characters of color"?

Stacy: This is like the Lee and Low New Voices Award, which is aimed at discovering new voices of color, given that so many writers are white. Everyone is still welcome to submit to our regular submissions. Hope that clears it up.

Mitali: Yes and no. I've always wondered how Le…

SCBWI Debuts On-The-Verge Emerging Voices Award

PRESS RELEASE: August 5, 2012, LOS ANGELES — The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) announced the creation of the On-The-Verge Emerging Voices Award at their 41st Annual Conference in Los Angeles. The annual award, established by SCBWI and funded by Martin and Sue Schmitt, will be given to two writers or illustrators who are from ethnic and/or cultural backgrounds that are traditionally under-represented in children’s literature in America and who have a ready-to-submit completed work for children. The purpose of the grant is to inspire and foster the emergence of diverse writers and illustrators of children’s books.

The work will be judged by an SCBWI committee and two winners will each receive an all-expenses paid trip to the SCBWI Winter Conference in New York to meet with editors and agents, a press release to all publishers, a year of free membership to SCBWI, and an SCBWI mentor for a year. Deadline for submission is November 15, 2012. The winners wi…