The Karen and Philip Cushman Late Bloomer Award was not awarded last year, which is why the judges chose two winning entries for 2018: the YA dystopia Stray Blue Star by Holly Smith and the historical fantasy Finding Memory by Elizabeth Lund.
The Late Bloomer Award is given to authors over the age of fifty who have never had a book traditionally published in the field of children’s literature. Recipients are hand selected by Newbery Award-winner Karen Cushman, author of Catherine, Called Birdy and The Midwife’s Apprentice, and her husband, Philip Cushman.
Smith and Lund will each receive $500 plus free tuition to the SCBWI conference of their choice. Finding Memory and Stray Blue Star will be posted to a secure site where agents and editors will be invited for an exclusive first look at the manuscripts.
Karen commented on the judging process for 2018: