Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

SCBWI Impact and Legacy Fund Kicks Off Funding Programs


The Impact and Legacy Fund is thrilled to announce that four inaugural awards and funding programs are a go as of September 1st.  The ILF is the charitable division of SCBWI, committed to supporting the children’s book community through grants, awards, and programs designed to help writers, illustrators, translators and children’s book professionals flourish.

Previously announced from the ILF is the Russell Freedman Award for Nonfiction for a Better World. The award is open to everyone who has a nonfiction children’s or YA book published in 2022. Applicants do not need to be members of SCBWI. The award consists of a $2500 cash prize, plus $1000 to purchase copies of the winning book for distribution to schools and libraries, plus a broadcast acceptance speech made available to the whole community.  If both an author and illustrator are listed on the book cover, the prize will be split between them.

Submissions for The Russell Freedman Award are still open but will close as of September 15.  You can apply on our website.


Russell Freedman


The Impact and Legacy Fund has also kicked off its newly-created monthly microgrants program. Each month, the Fund’s steering committee will grant  $1,500 to a cause that speaks to relevant challenges facing the children’s book industry. The August ILF microgrant went to The School Librarian’s Mini-Library Program, offering grants of $500 each to three school librarians to purchase books by underrepresented or marginalized authors or illustrators. The grants are going to librarians at economically disadvantaged schools in West Virginia, South Carolina, and Arizona. Their schools have diverse student bodies who deserve to see themselves represented on the page. The School Librarian’s Mini-Library program, created by ILF Steering committee member Federico Erebia,  will be given quarterly. The next call for applications will be in November.

ILF committee member Federico Erebia says, “The ‘impact and legacy’ of quarterly School Librarian’s Mini-Library grants will be the thousands of children having access to new books, and the librarians, school libraries, authors, illustrators, translators and independent bookstores that will also benefit.”

This month, the ILF is bestowing the full $1,500 microgrant to EveryLibrary, the only political action committee dedicated to public and school libraries, to help libraries in their fight against book banning. The Fund was particularly inspired by Amanda Jones, an award-winning school librarian in Louisiana who has faced harassment and slander after publicly denouncing potential book banning in her home parish. Because Amanda is not alone in her legal battle with censorship and harassment, this microgrant is specifically dedicated to aiding school librarians who are facing legal action.

The third ILF program that launches this month is the Stephen Fraser Encouragement Fund, which will provide three grants of $2,000 each to children’s book professionals who have traditionally published at least one book. Generously supported by Stephen Fraser, a veteran editor and now one of our industry’s most respected agents at The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency, Stephen has long been an active participant in SCBWI regional and national conferences. His clients have won the Newbery Honor, the Edgar Award, the PEN award, and SCBWI’s Crystal Kite Award.

Stephen hopes that these grants will spoil its recipients with encouragement, combatting the reality of rejections, financial hardships or emotional discouragement, helping create an environment of support where creative people can flourish.


Stephen Fraser


The Stephen Fraser Encouragement Fund will offer the benefit of encouragement to writers, illustrators, and translators in a concrete way with annual grants of $2,000 each to three individuals, to continue their important careers. Applications will be available from September 15 through November 15.  As with all ILF programs, membership in SCBWI is not a requirement. The Impact and Legacy Fund is deeply grateful to Stephen for creating this unique and generous program.

The final ILF initiative kicking off this month is the Tomie DePaola Professional Development Award. In honor of Tomie dePaola, the legendary children’s book author and illustrator and long-time member of the SCBWI Advisory Council, the ILF will award the first place artist with $3,500 and the runner up with $1,500, to be used to advance professional artistic development and growth  The award is open to early-career illustrators who have published at least one but no more than three books.

We will start accepting applications on Tomie’s birthday, September 15, until November 1. We are proud to include this award in the roster of grants administered by the SCBWI Impact and Legacy Fund.  Applications will be available on the SCBWI website.

“Thanks to a passionate steering committee, the ILF has launched in a speedy and impressive way,” states Lin Oliver.  “Its programs are unique, helpful and impactful, already out in the world and creating a positive impact for our community.”  

If you see any programs here that speak to you, consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Impact and Legacy Fund!  You are free to earmark your contribution to a particular program.