Authors of Color: Submit Your Manuscript to Our Writing Contests

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.new voices new visions seals

New Voices Award: Picture Book Manuscripts

The New Voices Award is given for a children’s picture book manuscript by a new writer of color. Past NewNew Voices Collection Voices Award submissions we have published include Bird, an ALA Notable Children’s Book; It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw, winner of the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award Honor; and Juna’s Jar, winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature.

Eligibility:

  1. The contest is open to writers of color who are residents of the United States, 18 years or older at the time of entry, and who have not previously had a children’s picture book published.
  2. Writers who have published work in other venues and genres, including children’s magazines, young adult, and adult fiction or nonfiction, are eligible. Only unagented submissions will be accepted.
  3. Work that has been published in any format, including online and self published, is not eligible.
  4. Manuscripts previously submitted for this award or to LEE & LOW BOOKS will not be considered.

Prize: The Award winner receives a cash prize of $1000 and our standard publication contract, including our basic advance and royalties for a first time author. An Honor Award winner will receive a cash prize of $500.

Deadline: September 30, 2017

For full eligibility and submissions guidelines information, visit our website.

Download a printable PDF of the submissions guidelines to share with writers who may be interested.

New Visions Award: Middle Grade and Young Adult Manuscripts

The New Visions Award is given for a middle grade or young adult novel by a writer of color. Winning New Visions Award submissions include the YA novel Ink and Ashes, recipient of an honor citation from the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association Award for Literature and two new exciting releases this year: Ahimsa, by Supriya Kelkar, and Rebel Seoul, by Axie Oh.

Eligibility:new visions award winners

  1. The contest is open to writers of color who are residents of the United States, 18 years of age or older at the time of entry, and who have not previously had a middle grade or young adult novel published.
  2. Writers who have published work in other venues such as children’s magazines or picture books, or adult fiction or nonfiction, are eligible. Only unagented manuscripts will be accepted.
  3. Work that has been published in its entirety in any format (including online and self publishing as well as other countries) is not eligible.
  4. Manuscripts previously submitted for this award or to TU BOOKS will not be considered.

Prize: The Award winner receives a cash prize of $1000 and our standard publication contract, including our basic advance and royalties for a first time author. An Honor Award winner will receive a cash prize of $500.

Deadline: October 31, 2017

For full eligibility and submissions guidelines information, visit our website.

Download a printable PDF of the submissions guidelines to share with writers who may be interested.

Further reading

  • New Voices Award Winner Patricia Smith and New Voices Award Honor Hayan Charara share their experiences with shaping voice here.
  • Three New Visions Award finalists, Alex Brown, Hilda Burgos, and Elizabeth Stephens, share their writing journey here.
  • New Voices Award Winners Linda Boyden and Jennifer Torres show us their revision process in this blog post.
  • Here’s an interview with the 2013 New Voices Award winner, author Sylvia Liu, on how she prepared her winning story, A Morning with Grandpa. 

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