Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Announcing 2020 Ann Whitford Paul Winners


The Ann Whitford Paul-Writer’s Digest Manuscript Grant is an annual award given to a Most Promising Picture Book manuscript. One winner and two honorable mentions were selected from a pool of over 500 picture book manuscripts.


Celebrated author Ann Whitford Paul announced the winners and summarized the promising manuscripts.


“The winner of the $1,000 grant is THE MEMORY MARCH by Amanda Davis.


The grant goes to Amanda Davis for her lyrically written manuscript, a true story of a herd of wild elephants who somehow sense the passing of their rescuer, and conservationist, and trek to his home to mourn him. The illustration possibilities are gorgeous. This compelling book shows elephants’ intelligence and highlights the interconnectedness of all beings.


The judges also awarded two honorable mentions.
The first to Kara B. Wilson for her comforting manuscript DEAR NEW KID. A young child hates having to move so he writes a letter to the new kid who is moving into his house, sharing feelings of sadness, the location of a hidden treasure chest, and where to hide when you want to escape tooth brushing time. A strong child’s voice, gentle humor, and honest expressions of emotion make this a must-read for anyone facing the prospect of moving.


The second honorable mention went to David McMullin for IF THE LIBRARIAN RAN THE ZOO. When the zookeeper catches the flu (not the coronavirus, thank goodness) the librarian offers to help by stacking the animals up on a shelf. Because the librarian is busy at the zoo, overdue books pile up, and the fireman offers to help with hilarious consequences. The story builds in zaniness with fun illustration possibilities and also introduces youngsters to different occupations.


Many thanks to our judges and congratulations to our winners. If you’re a picture book writer, we hope you’ll be inspired to polish up a manuscript and enter for next year’s grant!”


For more information on the Ann Whitford Paul-Writer’s Digest Manuscript Grant, including submission information for 2021, visit the award page on the SCBWI website.