Out from the Margins Award

An award for early career underrepresented creators of children’s literature.

Award info

SCBWI takes great pride in the recent creation of the OMA Award (which stands for Out from the Margins), a substantial award for early-career underrepresented creators of children’s books. 8 winners were selected to be part of a cohort that will provide a pathway to visibility for creators who might otherwise not be seen or heard. The OMA Award’s purpose is to help launch a new book and guide a creator’s path with marketing skills and resources that will be useful throughout their career.

Submissions opened on October 15, 2021 and closed on January 15, 2022. Winners were announced on October 14, 2022.

Submissions closed. This award will be offered on select years.

Congratulations to the 2022 OMA Winners: Tracy Badua Nicole Chen Karen S. Chow Anita Crawford Clark Judy Allen Dodson Shamar Knight-Justice Claudia Martinez Zahra Marwan

Prize package

The intent of this award is to provide an opportunity to launch their book with full support and visibility, as well as, to coach underrepresented authors and illustrators on how to create scaffolding for future book launches during their career in children’s literature. We hope to give them a set of skills, resources, and connections, along with the funds to accomplish their goals in successfully marketing their new book. Mentors and subject matter experts will focus on the US market. All winners will comprise a cohort that will meet monthly as a group with experts to learn about various areas and techniques to best market their books.

The package includes:

A $5,000 cash award

Group sessions focused on social media book launches, book trailers, school visits and curriculum materials, media training, independent booksellers, school and library markets, as well as promotions and publicity.

Free registration to SCBWI national/international digital conferences and workshops

Free SCBWI one-year membership upon your next renewal date

Featured stories in SCBWI publications

Spotlight in SCBWI marketing (BookStop, Insight ads, social media platforms)

Participation on a featured panel at an SCBWI national/international conference

Featured paid advertising in trade publications

Virtual lunch with key SCBWI staff and board members


Open to all Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC/BAME), disabled, LGBTQIA+ authors, illustrators, and author-illustrators of children’s literature.

You must be a current SCBWI member.

Must have a completed book coming out during the designated launch period

If self-published, must show that you are releasing a book within that same time frame.

Independently or traditionally published eligible applicants may not have more than 4 published books prior to submission.

Winners will be required to show how they spent their money, participate in their cohort group, provide a summary report of their experience, and participate in at least one cohort session for future winners of the OMA Award.


Submissions will be judged on a combination of personal story and quality of the work. Children’s books representing all genres and formats are eligible. Consideration will be given to selecting authors and illustrators who reflect a range of underrepresented groups.

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Awards & Grants for Writers

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