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Children's Book Awards and Grants from the SCBWI

The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Bestows Prized Awards


SCWBI 2011 Golden Kite Award Poster

Golden Kite awards poster is created and distributed annually by the SCWBI

The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) bestows a number of childrens book awards and grants each year to both published and unpublished authors. They are:

Amazon.com SCBWI Work-in-Progress Grants
The SCBWI Work-In-Progress Grants are designed to assist children’s book writers in the completion of a specific project. Made possible by a generous grant from Amazon.com, grants are awarded to members of the SCBWI in seven categories.

  • General Work-In-Progress grant

  • Grant for a contemporary novel for young people

  • Nonfiction research grant

  • Grant for work by an unpublished author

  • Grant for work from a multi-cultural/minority perspective

  • Barbara Karlin Grant for unpublished picture book writers

  • Don Freeman Grant for unpublished picture book illustrators

  • First place winner in each category is $2000, runners-up receive $500, and other applicants whose work the judges deem noteworthy may receive letters of merit. Barbara Karlin Grant for unpublished picture book writers and the Don Freeman Grant for unpublished picture book illustrators cannot be applied for; unpublished applicants applying for the other categories will automatically be entered for consideration.

    Amber Brown Grant
    Named for the late author Paula Danziger’s most beloved character and established to celebrate Danziger’s love of life and books, this grant is offered to a school with a desire to enrich their curriculum with a guest author or illustrator. Each year, one school is awarded with an all-expense paid, full day visit by a well-respected children’s author or illustrator. Additionally, one runner up school will be selected and awarded with books valued at $250.00.

    Book Launch Award
    The SCBWI Book Launch Award provides two grants of $2,000 each to an author or illustra¬tor for use in marketing a new book scheduled for release from an SCBWI accredited (PAL) publisher. Awarded on the basis of a strong marketing plan and need (that is, insufficient marketing from the publisher), the money can be used for any kind of promotional purpose that will increase sales and visibility of the book, such as launch events, speaking engagements, book tours, curriculum materials, advertising, book trailers, website development, or community events.

    Crystal Kite Member Choice Awards
    The Crystal Kite Member Choice Awards are peer-given awards are given annually for best book, as chosen by the members of each of 15 SCBWI Regional Divisions from around the world. Each member is allowed to vote for their favorite book from a nominated author in their region that was published in the previous calendar year.

    Golden Kite Awards
    The Golden Kite statuettes are awarded to SCBWI members for outstanding work in the categories of:
  • fiction
  • non-fiction
  • picture book text and
  • picture book illustration

  • The Golden Kite childrens book award winners receive $2,500 cash prizes and an expense-paid trip to Los Angeles to attend the award ceremony at the Golden Kite Luncheon at SCBWI’s Summer Conference in August and a lifetime membership in SCBWI. A commemorative poster with the winners is created and distributed to schools, libraries and publishers. Honor Book plaques are awarded in each category, as well.

    International Conference Scholarship
    Two full conference scholarships each to Los Angeles and New York are awarded. They include tuition, transportation, and hotel. Scholarships are awarded based on promise, need and exceptional contribution to a member’s regional chapter. Regional Advisors nominate members each year.

    The Jane Yolen Mid-List Author Grant
    The grant gives $3000 to midlist authors to honor their contribution and help raise awareness about their current works in progress. A winner will receive $2000 and two honor recipients will each receive $500. The grant was created by Jane Yolen, one of the world’s most successful children’s book writers, with over 300 books to her credit.

    Magazine Merit Award
    These awards are for outstanding authors or illustrators of original magazine work for young people in the categories of:
  • fiction
  • non-fiction
  • poetry, and
  • illustration

  • Honor certificates are also awarded.

    Martha Weston Grant This special $1500 grant honors the prolific children’s book writer and illustrator Martha Weston and is awarded to an SCBWI writer or illustrator member who has previously been pub¬lished in book format and would like to work in a different genre of children’s literature other than that in which they have previously been published.

    Portfolio Award
    The Portfolio Award is given to the best art portfolio on view in the Juried Art Portfolio Display at the SCBWI Annual Summer Conference in Los Angeles. Portfolios are judged at the conference by a panel of top professionals, and the winner of the Portfolio Award receives an expense-paid trip to New York to meet with interested art directors.

    Sid Fleischman Humor Award
    Named for the prolific, Newbery-Medal-winning children’s author and screenwriter, the Sid Fleischman Humor Award is presented to one author each year whose work exemplifies the excellence of writing in the genre of humor.

    SIS - Student Illustrator Scholarship
    Student Illustrator Scholarships (SIS) are awarded to four applicants each year. The award provides funds to attend either the SCBWI Summer Conference or the Winter Conference.

    Tomie dePaola Award
    Selected from artwork submitted for the New York Showcase at the Annual Winter Conference, the winner is chosen by the illustrious illustrator Tomie dePaola himself, and receives $1,000 for art supplies along with tuition and expenses to the SCBWI Winter Conference in New York City.

    SCBWI Member of the Year Award
    Each year, SCBWI presents the Member of the Year Award to a member who has given outstanding service to the organization.

    The Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work Award
    Named for one of the earliest members of SCBWI, the late Sue Alexander, this award is given to the manuscript submitted for critique during the SCBWI Los Angeles Conference that is deemed by the judges as the most promising for publication. Until her death, Ms. Alexander made the final selection for the award. Recipient receives an all-expense paid trip to New York to meet with editors.

    Read about other childrens book awards:

    Newbery Medal for Outstanding Contributions Children’s Literature

    Caldecott Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Children’s Illustration

    The ALA Youth Media Awards

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