cushmanThe 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.

The award is open to unpublished children’s book authors or author/illustrators over the age of fifty, and one winner will be chosen from the pool of those who have submitted material for the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. 




Congratulations to the 2016 winner Stephen Baker for his manscript Prayers to Broken Stone.


Deadline: Submitted in conjunction with the Work-In-Progress e-mail submission from March 1-31, 2017.


Award: $500 and free tuition to any SCBWI conference anywhere in the world. (Conference tuition includes tuition to the general conference, and does not include transportation, hotel, and expenses.)



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    The award is open to unpublished writers and writer/illustrators fifty years of age and older.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 e-mail with the same Work-in-Progress grant submission they have already submitted to: Send your Cushman submission with "Cushman" in the subject line and your full name in the body of the e-mail. (You will be sending two e-mails to the same address with the same attachement but different subject lines)

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.


Questions? Contact Grant Coordinator Kayla Heinen


Previous Winners:

2015: JC Kato for Finding Moon Rabbit

2014: Jennifer Sommer for Octopus Capers

2013: Edie Parsons for Mercury Sea

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