Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Work-in-Progress Awards


Work-in-Progress Award


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. 


Congratulations 2022 WIP winners!

Picture Book: RED TRUCK by Aimee Satterlee

Middle Grade: TREE POPPING MOON by Denise Lajimodiere

Young Adult: REASONS TO HATE ME by Susan Metallo

Chapter Book: THE ADVENTURES OF ROSTAM by Ryan Tahmaseb

Nonfiction: MAGNIFICENT MARY by Pooja Nukala

Underrepresented Voices: THE WONDER-FILLED NORAH MINH LÊ by Neena Phan


SCBWI reserves the right not to confer this award in any given year.




View 2021 Work-in-Progress Award Winners




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 Grants. 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. 





Please submit your application via our online submission portal here. This will close April 15 Midnight PDT 2022. Please upload PDFs only. We will not accept Word Documents.


Your FIRST PDF should be a one-page cover letter/synopsis of the work. 250 words maximum. Please feel free to give away the ending.

Label this document in the following style: Category_First Name_Last Name_synopsis (e.g., PB_Carlos_Ruiz_synopsis).


Your SECOND PDF must include a cover page and the first ten pages of your completed manuscript.

  • On your cover page, include: 
    • Your name
    • Manuscript title
    • Grant category
  • For the first ten pages of your ms, include:
    • 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 early October.