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The award is open to both published and unpublished children’s book authors or author/illustrators over the age of fifty, and one winner will be chosen from the pool of those who have submitted material for the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 www.karencushman.com.
Deadline: Submitted through the Work-In-Progress application from March 1-31.
Award: $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 writers and writer/illustrators fifty years of age and older.
3. Applicants send an additional Work-in-Progress grant application to: email@example.com with "Cushman" in the subject line and your full name in the body of the email.
4. The applicant cannot have been published or have a project under contract in the children’s book field.
5. All Work-In-Progress Grant guidelines apply.
7. The final judging will be by a committee including Karen Cushman and Lin Oliver.
2013: Edie Parsons for Mercury Sea