New York, NY—Tu Books, an imprint of Lee & Low Books, is thrilled to announce the results of its fifth annual New Visions Award for new authors of color. Established to combat the low number of authors of color writing for children and teens, the New Visions Award is given to a middle grade or young adult manuscript. Winners receive a cash prize and a publishing contract with Lee & Low Books, a children’s book publisher specializing in diversity.
Previous winners of the New Visions Award include the novels Ink and Ashes, named one of the Best Books of the Year by Kirkus Reviews, and Ahimsa, named a Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People by the National Council for the Social Studies. This year, two manuscripts were chosen to receive the award: Twin Flames by Olivia Abtahi, and The Regent Enigma by Luisana Duarte Armendáriz. Continue reading
It’s May and with the arrival of spring comes the opening of the nineteenth annual Lee & Low New Voices Award! We reviewed submissions from the past few years and identified several common pitfalls amongst the contest entries that did not win. We compiled these into the list below so that writers interested in submitting to our contest can avoid them:
New York, NY—January 18, 2018—LEE & LOW BOOKS is proud to announce that Maham Khwaja of West Hollywood, California is the winner of the company’s eighteenth annual New Voices Award. Her picture-book manuscript, The Journey, is a story of a young girl and her parents who are forced to flee their home country when violence threatens their community. In a series of beautiful, reflective poems, the protagonist describes her uncertainties as a refugee navigating a world that is not always welcoming, and her hopes for finding a new home. Continue reading
September is here and with the close of summer comes the close of our New Voices Award submissions window on September 30, 2017. It’s also a time when those who have submitted manuscripts—and those still in the process of doing so—may be grappling with some personal questions:
Should I submit my story if I’ve never written for children before?
I’ve always been an artist, but can I be a writer?
What happens to the winner and honor after the award?
Where can I find good advice from someone with experience?
These questions and others like them are not easily addressed in a FAQ page. So to provide this year’s participants with some insight to the contest and creative process, we reached out to former New Voices Award winners, honors, and artists who faced some of these same questions not too long ago. These three accomplished storytellers have forged successful careers as children’s book authors, illustrators, and even author/illustrators. In the following interview, author Paula Yoo (Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds), illustrator Shadra Strickland (Bird and Sunday Shopping) and author/illustrator Don Tate (It Jes’ Happened) share how participating in the New Voices Award helped shape their success.
A few weeks ago we hosted our first webinar, “Shaping Up Your Manuscript: A Conversation With Our Editors,” sharing writing advice for those who are interested in submitting to our New Voices Award, our New Visions Award, or just our general submissions. You can now watch (or rewatch) it online here: Continue reading
The New Visions Award is open to all authors of color who have not previously had a middle grade or young adult novel or graphic novel published. The winner receives a cash prize of $1000 and our standard publication contract, including our basic advance and royalties for a first writingtime author. An Honor winner will receive a cash prize of $500.
In general, we are looking for novels and graphic novels for young readers that have a strong voice, a commercial hook with a strong institutional appeal, and an entrancing plot. Here are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions: Continue reading
You’re a writer working on a manuscript and you’ve finally got your two most important characters in the same room. There’s tension between them. One character has a question and the other has the answer. The conflict your plot has been riding on has finally come to a head—these characters need to say what’s been on their minds for pages!
But how do you make sure that your characters say what they need to in a way that’s believable to the reader? Nothing ruins a moment like this more than when the dialogue doesn’t flow or sound believable. If this is a problem you’re grappling with, don’t worry. We asked two previous New Voices Award-winning authors, Pamela M. Tuck (As Fast As Words Can Fly) and Glenda Armand (Love Twelve Miles Long) for their tips and tricks on writing successful, realistic dialogue.
As the submission deadlines draw near for LEE & LOW’s New Voices and New Visions writing contests, our editors are on the lookout for the next great manuscript! Could it be yours?
Summer is officially here, which means lots of warm weather, longer days, and receiving submissions for our New Voices and New Visions Awards! Our annual awards encourage writers of color to submit their work to a publisher that takes pride in nurturing new talent. As the number of diverse books increases, LEE & LOW BOOKS is dedicated to increasing the number of authors of color as well. Continue reading
Summer is officially here, which means the Lee & Low Books award season is upon us! The New Voices Award submissions window opened on May 1st and the contest is now in its eighteenth year! If you’re an unpublished children’s book writer interested in having your picture book manuscript considered for publication, you may be wondering how to make your submission standout from the competition. Whether it’s your first time submitting or your fourteenth, this blog post will help you craft a strong cover letter and manuscript that will help your submission rise to the top of the sea of entries.
Introducing your submission with a professional and thorough cover letter is a great way to make your submission stand out. The best cover letters provide the writer’s contact information (including email address and phone number), and answer all of the criteria listed in the New Voices Award submission guidelines. At Lee & Low we are very interested in the writers who participate in our contest. We use the information provided in their cover letters to learn more about who is interested in our company, where they are from, and what communities they represent. This information helps us determine how our contest has grown over the years and highlights which demographics we need to improve our outreach toward. When writers provide these details and discuss the inspirations behind their stories in their cover letter, it helps our judging committee get a better sense of who each writer is and connect them with their manuscript. Continue reading