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. SCBWI reserves the right not to confer this award in any given year.


Congratulations to Jackie Dorothy and Judy Allen Dodson the 2015 winners!

Read the press release



Applications accepted between September 15 and November 15, 2016



Two writers or writer/illustrators will each receive:

- A paid trip to the SCBWI Summer Conference in Los Angeles (transportation, and hotel shared with other winner as appropriate)

- Tuition to the SCBWI Summer Conference (Excluding Portfolio Showcase. Intensives depending on availability)

- Manuscript Consultation at the Summer Conference

- A press release 

- Publicity through SCBWI social media

- Manuscript included on our secure website for a selected list of publishing professionals to view

- Guidance available from SCBWI staff on professional career development during the winning year.



Any writer or writer/illustrator from an ethnic and/or cultural background that is traditionally under-represented in children’s literature in America. (Including but not limited to: 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  The applicant must be over 18, be unpublished (self-published is not considered published for this award), and should not yet have representation.



All applications will be accepted via e-mail only between September 15 and November 15 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 January 25, 2017 and the award presented at the 2017 SCBWI Summer Conference in Los Angeles.  The Winners will also be mentioned at the New York conference, February 10-12, 2017.

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"