In line with their 41st Annual Conference in Los Angeles, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) will be presenting a special award to two selected writers or illustrators. The On-the-Verge Emerging Voices Award will be bestowed upon two deserving writers or illustrators with an ethnic or cultural background with an under-represented children’s book.

SCBWI was started in 1971 with the goal of launching different voices in the children’s book field into the world. The non-profit organization is made of different writers, illustrators, publishers, and booksellers who exchange information and promote positive changes in the field of children’s literature.

To further extend their help and inspiration to emerging children’s book authors and illustrators, the new annual award will be funded by Martin and Sue Schmitt, founders of the orphanage, We Can Build an Orphanage. Martin and Sue Schmitt have long been extending their support and sponsorship to SCBWI, including their co-sponsorship of the 2007 Global Voices Program.

Two selected writers and/or illustrators will be receiving a paid trip to the SCBWI Winter Conference in New York, as well as a free membership to SCBWI for a year, a press release to all publishers, and access to a SCBWI mentor for one year. The deadline for candidate submissions will be November 15, 2012, and winners will be announced on December 15, 2012. The award will be presented to the winners at the 2013 SCBWI Winter Conference.

-Julie Griffin
Author of the upcoming book
Cristina Gradina, The Girl With The Ten Busy Toes