Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2014 WIP Winners Announced

Congratulations to the winners, runners-up and merit letter recipients in the 2014 Work-in-Progress grants!

Each year the SCBWI awards Work-In-Progress (WIP) Grants assist children’s book writers and illustrators in the completion of a specific project currently not under contract. For more information visit the WORK-IN-PROGRESS GRANT PAGE

Click on the names for more information about the author or illustrator.


Don Freeman Illustration Grant:

Published Award: Corey R Tabor

View Corey's portfolio

Pre-published Award: Ruth Chan

View Ruth's portfolio


Contemporary YA:

Winner: The D-Day List by Karen Fortunati

For seventeen-year-old Catherine Pulaski, life is intolerable with bipolar disorder and depression.   There’s only one way out but before she can kill herself, she’s got to accomplish the one item on her D-Day List.  And if she does, it may change everything.

Runner-Up: Starting at Zero by Deanna Romito

When sixteen-year-old Presley Caldwell sits by her best friend’s hospital bedside, she makes her a promise to see the world for both of them. Now Presley has a list of tasks to complete, and a not-so-average emerald that sends her and twin brother, Elvis, from one meridian line to the next to get it done.

Merit Letter: Peaceful Acres by Jennifer Kirkeby

Merit Letter: Leaving Kent State by Sabrina Fedel

Merrit Letter: These Three Words by Ginger Johnson


General Fiction:

Winner: Fergal, I Am by Jessica Lawson

In an 1830s Irish farming village, eleven-year-old Fergal Flannery is considered a simple boy, known only for his extra toe, weak heart, and touched head. When a new landowner raises the rent on tenants, cruelly evicting those who can’t pay, Fergal defies expectations by challenging the man and vowing to find a legendary treasure that will save the same village that’s deemed him worthless.

Runner-up: The Wonderling by Mira Bartok

The Wonderling is a Dickensian middle grade fantasy set in Victorian England about a shy, one-eared, fox-like foundling known only as Number Thirteen who, with the help of his bird-friend Trinket, escapes the treacherous orphanage he was brought up in, and goes on a remarkable journey to seek his destiny.

Letter of Merit: Gather at the River by Marjorie Light

Letter of Merit: The Private Wars of G.P. Callahan by Anola Pickett

Letter of Merit: London to the Moon by Meira Drazin



Winner: The Girl Who Was Different by Kelly Lyons

The Girl Who Was Different explores the experiences in her youth that put trailblazing model Naomi Sims on the path to success.

Runner-up: The Secret in the Watch: The Curious, True Story of Abraham Lincoln’s Pocket Watch by Mandy Hanks

The surprising tale of the secret message inside Abraham Lincoln's pocket watch, the ordinary watchmaker who left it, and its delightful discovery nearly 150 years later.

Letter of Merit: Pigeons at War by Connie Goldsmith

Letter of Merit: Flight for Survival: Whooping Cranes Train for Migration by Joann Early Macken 

Letter of Merit: Out of School and Into Nature by Suzanne Slade 


Multicultural Story:

Winner: Key to Heaven by Darcey Rosenblatt

Key to Heaven is a middle grade historical fiction about Reza, a twelve year-old Iranian boy who lives for music, but in 1982, all non-religious music is banned and boys his age are expected to fight in the Iran-Iraq war. Like many boys, Reza ends up in a POW camp where he must find a place to grow his music and his spirit.

Runner-up: Up From the Sea by Leza Lowitz

When a 140-foot wave swallows up half your village, how do you manage to stay whole? That’s what fourteen-year-old Kai Takamoto asks himself after a tsunami sweeps over his sleepy seaside town in Up from the Sea, a novel in verse for young adults by Leza Lowitz.

Letter of Merit: The Man Who Saw Everything by Rita Hubbard


Barbara Karlin Picture Book:

Winner: City Street, City Feet by Carrie Finison

Runner up: Tub Hubbub by Leslie Gorin


Award for Unpublished Authors:

Winner: Poems for Tough Times by Cathy Lentes

When a writer, Ms. Hedges, comes to a small town in Appalachia for a poetry residency, the children in Mrs. Wheeler's class are unsure what to think about poetry and what it has to do with their often difficult lives, but as they write in their daily journals and explore poems by Frost, Dickinson, Sandburg, and Williams, the simple joys and unique struggles of this poverty-stricken, rural setting come alive in their honest, individual voices. 

Karen Cushman Award for an author over 50:

Jennifer Sommer for Octopus Capers, a fun and interesting twist on nonfiction in which octopuses are the culprit in aquarium mysteries around the world.

More info on the Karen Cushman Award