New Visions Award Contest Seeks to Add Diversity to Children’s Books
  • by Audrey Magazine
  • June 13, 2014
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Story by Haein Jung.

Children’s book publisher Tu Books, an imprint of Lee and Low, has announced it is now accepting manuscripts for a middle grade or young adult fantasy, science fiction or mystery novel by a writer of color—one of which will be chosen as the winner of the New Vision Award. The winner will receive a standard publication contract, as well as a cash prize of $1,000. 

The contest is open to writers of color who are residents of the United States and who have not previously had a middle grade or young adult novel published. Manuscripts will be accepted now through October 31, 2014. An Honor Award winner will also receive a cash prize of $500.

“The award is a fantastic chance for new authors of color to break into the world of publishing for young readers,” read a statement released by Tu Books.

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The statement also noted that the award comes at a time when readers, and authors, are demanding greater diversity in children’s books. At this year’s BookCon, an all-white male panel dubbed the “luminaries of children’s literature” prompted an uproar and the #WeNeedDiverseBooksCampaign, an effort to push for more diversity among young adult fantasy fiction writers. Notably, Korean American author Ellen Oh, along with authors Aisha Saeed and Chelsea Pitcher, was very vocal in the diversity push, urging the public to take to social media to demand much needed change.

“At every conference I or my writer friends attend, there are kids asking why they can’t find books with characters who look like them, either on the cover or in the pages,” Oh, author of Prophecy (Part 1 in The Dragon King Chronicles, HarperTeen)wrote  in her blog. “The same thing happens at book signings, except there the kids are saying they’ve always wanted to get into writing, but don’t think they’ll be successful because they’re people of color.”

Tu Books established The New Visions Award in 2012 in an effort to offer never before published authors of color the opportunity to fund and start their writing careers.

“It is our hope that the New Visions Award will help new authors begin long and successful careers and bring new perspectives and voices to the science fiction, fantasy, and mystery genres,” said a statement by Tu Books.

For further details, including full eligibility and submission guidelines, please visit the New Visions Award page.

This story was originally published on iamkoream.com

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