March 21, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

SCBWI Creates Award for Kid Lit Published Non-Traditionally

The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators has announced its creation of the Spark Award, an annual literary award that will recognize excellence in a children’s book published through a non-traditional publishing route. The award is open to current writer and/or illustrator SCBWI members who have published a board book, picture book, chapter book, middle grade, or young adult novel either independently or via an established self-publishing enterprise.

“It is time that SCBWI recognize that there are new models for publishing,” say Lin Oliver, SCBWI executive director, and Stephen Mooser, SCBWI’s president, in the announcement of the new award. “The Spark Award is one way we can reward those authors and illustrators who are pursuing independent and self-publishing in a legitimate and high quality way.”

One winner and one honor book will be chosen by a panel of industry professionals and will focus on quality of writing and concept, quality of illustrations (if applicable), professional presentation, and editing and design.

Submissions must be submitted in traditionally bound form, contain an ISBN number, and provide evidence of copyright registration. Entries may not have been previously published in any print or digital form prior to the self-published form.

The winner will receive a Spark seal to display on his or her book and a commemorative plaque; will have the book featured in the SCBWI online bookstore and marketed on SCBWI social networking sites; and will receive the opportunity to sell the book at SCBWI conferences.

Karyn M. Peterson About Karyn M. Peterson

Karyn M. Peterson ( is a former News Editor ofSLJ.