Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

SCBWI Announces 2013 On-the-Verge Emerging Voices Award Winners



The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators is pleased to announce the 2013 On-The-Verge Emerging Voices Award winners.  The annual award, established by SCBWI and funded by Martin and Sue Schmitt, is given to two writers or illustrators who are from ethnic and/or cultural backgrounds that are traditionally under-represented in children’s literature in America and who have a ready-to-submit completed work for children. 


Congratulations to Jennifer Baker of New York, New York, for her diverse teen thriller The Facility, where newly-orphaned teens forget painful pasts and embrace their supernatural abilities for better or worse; and Tiemdow Phumiruk of Aurora, Colorado, for her beautifully illustrated Mela in the Jungle, a Thai fable set along the Ping River of a girl lost in the jungle and the kindness of one animal that saves her.


Jennifer Baker is currently a contributor to Fiction Femme Fatale—a site for flash fiction with a YA/MG focus at Or visit


Tiemdow Phumiruk’s portfolio and other works can be found at


The winners will each receive an all-expense paid trip to the SCBWI Summer Conference in Los Angeles and several private meetings and with editors, art directors, and other industry professionals.


The award is inspired in part by the SCBWI’s increasing efforts to foster under-represented voices in children’s literature.  According to SCBWI Executive Director Lin Oliver, “Every child should have the opportunity to experience many and diverse of points of view. SCBWI is proud to contribute to this all-important effort to bring forth new voices.”  


The grant is made possible through the generosity of Sue and Martin Schmitt of the 455 Foundation who state: "While our country is made up of beautifully varied cultures and ethnicities, too few are represented in the voices of children's books.  We hope to encourage participation by those not well represented, and look forward to having these stories widely enjoyed by all children." 


More information can be found in the “Awards and Grants” section at


About Martin and Sue Schmitt


Martin and Sue Schmitt are the founders of We Can Build an Orphanage, sponsoring the Kay Angel orphanage in Jacmel, Haiti. The organization was established in 2007 with the mission to provide a home and education for abandoned children infected with or affected by AIDS in Jacmel, Haiti.  The Schmitts’ generous and continuous efforts to support SCBWI’s long-term goals also co-sponsored the 2007 Global Voices Program, which highlighted Mongolian artists and authors. To find out more information about the Kay Angel orphanage please visit