Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Out from the Margins (OMA) Award


Out from the Margins


A Marketing Award for Underrepresented Creators of Children’s Literature 


SCBWI takes great pride in the creation of the OMA Award (which stands for Out from the Margins), a new and substantial award for early-career underrepresented creators of children’s books. There will be 8 winners 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 enhance a creator’s career with marketing skills and resources that will be useful throughout their career.


Submissions will open soon. Winners will be announced December 2021 and presented at the SCBWI Winter Conference in February 2022. 







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. 
  • A 6-month mentorship with a children’s book professional
  • Free registration to SCBWI national/international digital conferences and workshops during 2022
  • 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. 
  • SCBWI member profile on new member profile page must be completed.
  • Must have a completed book coming out in Fall 2022 – Summer 2023.
    • Must show that they are under contract for a release from Fall 2022 through Summer 2023.
    • If self-published, must show that they 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.




For traditionally-published work:  

  • Personal artist’s statement
  • Synopsis of work
  • Completed manuscript along with: 
    • expected publishing date,
    • name of editor, agent, and publisher   


For independently-published work:  

  • Personal artist’s statement
  • Completed manuscript and expected publishing date
  • Details about your method of publication


For illustrators:  

  • Personal artist’s statement
  • 5-10 illustrations from the work, of which 3 must be final pieces
  • Synopsis of the book (or full text) 


All applicants should be prepared to provide more content and information as needed. Eight winners will be selected. 




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.