The 2021 Lee and Low Books New Voices Award call for submission is currently ongoing.
About the New Voices Award
Lee and Low Books, a children’s book publisher, presents the New Voices Award each year to a manuscript for a children’s picture book written by a writer of color or Indigenous/Native writer.
The New Voices Award, which was established in 2000, invites writers of color and Indigenous/Native writers to submit their work to a publisher that values cultivating new talent.
- The contest is open to writers of color and Indigenous/Native writers who are residents of the United States and at least 18 years old at the time of entry, and who have not previously had a children’s picture book traditionally published.
- Participants remain eligible if they have published work in other venues and genres, including children’s magazines, middle-grade, and young adult fiction or nonfiction, and adult fiction or nonfiction. Authors of self-published books are also eligible, but they should submit a new manuscript, not a project that has been previously self-published. Writers cannot have had a picture book traditionally published if they’re applying for the New Voices Award.
- Only unagented manuscripts will be considered.
- Manuscripts previously submitted for this award or to LEE & LOW BOOKS’ general submissions will not be considered.
- The Award winner receives a cash prize of $2,000 and a standard publication contract, including a basic advance and royalties for a first-time author.
- An Honor Award winner will receive a cash prize of $1,000.
Applicants for the New Voices Award must follow the guidelines below before submission:
- Manuscripts should address the needs of children of color and Native nations by providing stories with which they can identify and relate, and which promote a greater understanding of one another. Themes relating to non-traditional family structures, gender identity, or disabilities may also be included.
- Submissions may be FICTION, NONFICTION, or POETRY for children ages 5 to 12. Only stories with human protagonists will be considered.
- Manuscripts should be no more than 1500 words in length and accompanied by a cover letter that includes the author’s name, address, phone number, email address, brief biographical note, relevant cultural and ethnic information, how the author heard about the award, and publication history if any.
- Manuscripts should be typed double-spaced.
- Up to two submissions per entrant. Each submission should be submitted separately.
- The manuscript you submit to the New Voices contest may not be submitted to other publishers, agents, mentorship contests, writing contests, or to LEE & LOW’s general submissions while under consideration for this award.
- LEE & LOW BOOKS is not responsible for late, lost, or incorrectly submitted manuscripts. Be sure you leave enough time to resubmit if technical difficulties occur.
Click the button below for the New Voices Award submission form:
- The Award and/or Honor Award winners will be notified no later than December 31, 2021.
- We will announce the winners by January 18, 2022.
- The judges are the editors of LEE & LOW BOOKS. The decision of the judges is final.
- At least one Honor Award will be given each year, but LEE & LOW BOOKS reserves the right not to choose an Award winner.
See FAQs and previous winners here
For more information visit the official website of New Voices Award