Work-in-Progress Awards

To assist children’s book writers and illustrators in the completion of a specific project currently not under contract. Given in the categories of Picture Book Text, Chapter Books/Early Readers, Middle Grade, Young Adult Fiction, Nonfiction, and Underrepresented Fiction or Nonfiction.

Award info

The SCBWI Work-In-Progress (WIP) Award assists children’s book writers and illustrators in the publication of a specific project currently not under contract. One winner per category will be selected. SCBWI reserves the right not to confer this award in any given year. 2023 Submission closed.

Winners will be announced on October 25, 2023.

Apologies for the delays, and thanks so much for your patience! Winners will begin to be contacted this week, via email. Good luck, everyone!

WIP Award

The Work-in-Progress Award showcases outstanding manuscripts from the members of the SCBWI. One winner in each of the following six categories will be selected.

Picture Book Text

Chapter Books/Early Readers

Middle Grade

Young Adult Fiction

Nonfiction (Anna Cross Giblin Nonfiction Award)

Underrepresented Fiction or Nonfiction (previously called Multicultural). Note: Members may apply to this category in addition to one of the above.

The works submitted by winners will be made available on a secure webpage and presented to a hand-selected group of editors for their consideration. Although this is not a guarantee of publication, the opportunity to have your work presented to acquiring editors, along with an SCBWI endorsement, is a unique opportunity.


You must be a current SCBWI member when your work is submitted and when the award is announced.

You may not submit a work that is under contract. If the work becomes under contract before the award is announced, you will become ineligible. It is your responsibility to notify SCBWI and withdraw your application.

Each member may submit only one manuscript to the WIP awards each year.

Illustrations can apply for one of the Don Freeman Awards. You may not apply for both the Don Freeman and Picture Book category of the WIP Award.

Applying to the Cushman Grant or the Underrepresented category? Simply check the relevant box on the Work-in-Progress submission form. That’s it! You will not receive additional automated confirmation.

If you are self-published, you may submit to the WIP.

Submission guidelines

Please follow the below instructions completely.

Your first PDF should be a one-page synopsis of the work. 250 words maximum for novels. Please feel free to give away the ending. If you are submitting a picture book, please instead include a logline pitch of the story. Label this document in the following style: Category_First Name_Last Name_synopsis (e.g., PB_Carlos_Ruiz_synopsis). Your second PDF must include the first ten pages of your completed manuscript. For the first ten pages of your ms, include:

A cover page with title, category, and email address

Page numbers in the bottom right corner

Name (First_Last) in the upper right corner of all 10 pages

Double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font

Your sample cannot exceed ten pages. Your second PDF should total 11 pages (cover page + 10 ms pages)

Please label this PDF as Category First Name_Last Name; e.g., MG Mary_Ford.pdf.

Questions? Please email Sarah Diamond at


How do I submit to the Cushman Late Bloomer Award?

The Cushman Late Bloomer Award is a part of the Work in Progress Awards, and you must submit to them together. Go to the WIP form here and check 1) the box to apply for the Cushman Late Bloomer Award 2) the Eligibility Affirmation that you are over the age of 50.

Can I submit an illustrated manuscript to the Work-in-Progress Award?

No, this award is for text only.

Can I submit a PB to both the Don Freeman Grant and the Work-in-Progress/Cushman Late Bloomer Award?

No, you may only submit to one of these awards. The Don Freeman Award is for illustrators and author-illustrators while the WIP is geared toward text-only manuscripts. We recommend that author/illustrators with full picture book dummies choose the Don Freeman.

Can I submit to the Work-in-Progress and the Ann Whitford Paul Award?

Yes, you may apply to both of these awards. You may apply with the same manuscript. Winners will be announced in the fall.

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Awards & Grants for Writers

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