Announcing the 2024 Ann Paul Winners

We had an avalanche of submissions for this year’s grant to the Writer’s Digest-Ann Whitford Paul Most Promising Picture Book Manuscript. Over six hundred and sixty! The judges gave them careful consideration and we are pleased to announce the following winners.

The winner of the Nonfiction Manuscript Grant is Fiona Wong for her touching tale of KAMOME: The Journey of an Extraordinary Little Boat. Told from the point of view of the boat, we feel it being ripped away from its Japanese town by a tsunami, swirled with sharks and flipped with seals, carried by waves, and blown by wind until finally landing on a beach in Crescent City, California. The manuscript goes on to show how the small boat connected the people of two far-apart cities. 

The winner of the Fiction Manuscript Grant is Julie Hauswirth for her laugh-out-loud story, IF MY SISTER WERE A WORM. After her birthday party is ruined by her sister, Maggie imagines what might happen if she turned her sister to a worm with hilarious scenes. Then her parents would insist she turn her sister back, but she couldn’t. She’s stuck with a worm for a sister and begins to miss her, but I can’t give away the marvelous ending. A fun story for everyone who has a sibling.

Honorable Mentions:

Congratulations to Leonardo Francisco, winner of a nonfiction honorable mention for his manuscript THE BIRTH OF HIP-HOP. His tight, rapping text will make readers and listeners want to twist and turn, stamp and clap to his beat. His words call out for lively and colorful illustrations.

Kristen C. Strocchia is the recipient of a nonfiction honorable mention for her poetic manuscript LOST AND FOUND. Using just 202 words she follows the life cycle of a fallen tree that is now lost to those creatures who nested, ate there, and scampered up and down. Soon spores, carried by wind, take root and slugs, beetles, and other creatures nibble, softening and decomposing the wood so new plants (maybe even a new tree) can grow. A beautiful introduction to the magic of nature.

Congratulations to Diane Landy for her delightful, rhyming, manuscript STORM ROLLS IN. An enthusiastic puppy named Copper at the beach is

Tugging, racing, driftwood chasing. 

Fetching, splashing, swimming, dashing

until a storm rolls in and everyone rushes home, but in the excitement, Copper forgot his teddy. Will he survive the storm? A tight 218-word manuscript filled with onomatopoetic words that is perfect for summer reading aloud.

Another honorable mention for fiction manuscript goes to Jeanne Whelan Santucci for WHEN YOU ARE A WILD CHILD which beautifully captures the exuberance of what many would consider an overactive child. While some may criticize their behavior, she shares positives of different “wild” activities. Lots of wonderful illustration possibilities and a comforting message for both wild children and their parents.  

Each winner will receive a grant of $1,000, and the honorable mentions will receive grants of $500.

For more information on how to submit in 2025, visit the official AWP award page.