Don Freeman was a renowned illustrator and an early supporter of SCBWI. He established this award to enable picture book illustrators to further their understanding, training, and work in the picture book genre. Two grants of $1,000 each will be awarded annually. One grant to a published illustrator and one to a pre-published illustrator. The money may be used in any way to help you complete your project. Acceptable uses include: purchasing art supplies, enrollment in workshops or conferences, courses in advanced illustrating or writing techniques, travel for research or to expose work to publishers/art directors, or childcare. In any given year, the SCBWI reserves the right to withhold either or both of the grants for that year.
Submissions open on March 1, 2024.
Eligibility: The Don Freeman Work-In-Progress Grants are available to all members of the SCBWI, regardless of membership level, who are working on a picture book or their portfolio. They are not available for projects on which there is already a contract. If the dummy you submitted to the grant does receive a contract, please contact Sarah Diamond to be removed from the grant.
All submissions must be digital. Your submission must be uploaded as a single PDF through the Don Freeman Grant award submission portal.
Requirements for published illustrators:
A rough picture book dummy that includes the entire text of the story, fully illustrated with sketches, and two finished, consecutive illustrations in place (Not separately or at the end). The dummy should show your ability to convey the mood of the story, show action, illuminate characterization and indicate an understanding of story pacing.
Requirements for pre-published illustrators (Submit either a Portfolio or a Rough Picture Book Dummy):
Portfolio Submission: Ten (10) finished illustrations that would make a suitable portfolio presentation expressly intended for children’s picture books. At least 8 illustrations must be in color. Images provided should represent your personal illustration style.
Rough Picture Book Dummy: A rough picture book dummy that includes the entire text of the story, fully illustrated with sketches, and two finished, consecutive illustrations in place (Not separately or at the end). The dummy should show your ability to convey the mood of the story, show action, illuminate characterization and indicate an understanding of story pacing.
Submit one of the above as a single PDF titled with your name.
The naming format is as follows: first name_last name.pdf (We will not accept links to files.)
Deadline March 31st: Submit to the Don Freeman Grant award submission portal, opening on March 1. Submissions close on March 31 at midnight.
Contact Sarah Diamond at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Q. I Illustrated a book that another SCBWI member wrote. Can we both submit to the Don Freeman Grant?
A. The Don Freeman Grant is just for illustrators. The author can submit the manuscript to the SCBWI WIP picture book manuscript grant.
Q. I illustrated a self-published book. What category do I fall into?
A. For general SCBWI purposes, self-published counts as published. But, for the specific purpose of this grant, we consider you “published” if you’ve been published in the children’s market and the project had a professional editorial process. So usually we do not count self-published as published. Ultimately, it is up to you which category you enter yourself in. But that is our guideline.
Q. I want to submit a fully-illustrated book that is already published. Can I submit that for this award.
A. No. This award is only for unpublished picture book dummies.