Emerging Voices Award

Established with funding from Martin and Sue Schmitt of the 455 Foundation to foster the emergence of diverse voices in children’s books.

Congrats to the 2023 Emerging Voices Award Winners: SB Doro and A.M. Sarma!

The SCBWI established the On-The-Verge Emerging Voices Award in 2012 with funding from Martin and Sue Schmitt of the 455 Foundation. The grant was created to foster the emergence of diverse voices in children’s books. SCBWI reserves the right not to confer this award in any given year. Submissions reopen July 1 through July 30, 2024.

Award info

Two writers or writer-illustrators will each receive:

Full tuition to the 2024 SCBWI Summer Conference (excluding the Portfolio Showcase; intensives depending on availability).

A press release.

Publicity through SCBWI social media.

Manuscript included on our secure website for a selected list of agents and editors to view.

Guidance available from SCBWI staff on professional career development during the winning year.

The award will be announced on October 15.

Submission Guidelines

Eligibility: Any writer or writer/illustrator from an ethnic and/or cultural background that is traditionally under-represented in children’s literature in America. (Including but not limited to American Indian, Asian, Black or African American, Hispanic, Native, Pacific Islander)

The manuscript must be an original work written in English for young readers and may not be under contract.  

The applicant must be over 18, be unpublished (self-published is not considered published for this award), and should not yet have representation. 

All applications will be accepted via the online submission portal between July 1 and July 30.

An autobiographical statement and career summary in less than 250 words.

Statement of why your work will bring forward an underrepresented voice in less than 250 words.

First ten pages of your manuscript. If the manuscript is not complete, it is not eligible.

When your work is published, the author/illustrator should include in the acknowledgment, “This book was made possible in part by a grant from SCBWI.” Questions? Please email Sarah Diamond at sarahdiamond@scbwi.org.

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Awards & Grants for Writers

Awarded to middle grade and young adult writers working in the fantasy or science fiction genre.