What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Posts

(tagged with 'Writing Contest')

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Tag

In the past 7 days

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Writing Contest, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 56
1. Thrilled, Eager, and Only Slightly Apprehensive: The Path to Publication

new voices sealIt’s September! And with the opening of a new school year comes the closing of the New Voices Award submissions window. With the deadline just weeks away on September 30, participating writers are putting the finishing touches on their submissions. The ready-to-submit writer has read August’s post about the importance of revision, and revised their cover letter and manuscript correcting all grammatical errors as well as strengthening the voice and structure of their story. If you’re a ready-to-submit writer enthusiastic about sending off your submission, that’s fantastic! But what if you’re a ready-to-submit writer who doesn’t feel ready?

Submitting an original manuscript to a contest can cause conflicting emotions. You may be excited about the possibility of publication, but weary about having your work evaluated by professionals. You may ask yourself: What does it mean if I don’t win? What does that say about my story? These are questions that all writers (even New Voices Award winners) have asked themselves at some point. To ease your apprehension, we interviewed three Lee & Low Books authors whose stories were discovered through the New Voices Award contest but did not win the award.

That’s right. These writers submitted their manuscripts, didn’t win, but were still published. Authors Debbie Taylor (Sweet Music in Harlem), G. Neri (Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty), and LaTisha Redding (Calling the Water Drum) have shared their experiences on the path to publication as well as some inspiring words to help you seal and send that envelope with confidence!

  1. What inspired you to write your story, and what helped you decide to submit it to the New Voices Award?

Debbie Taylor: I was inspired by Art Kane’s famous photograph, Jazz Musicians 1958. My husband is an avid jazz fan and quite the expert. He was delighted when I bought him a black tee shirt featuring the famous photograph. He could name every musician, their instruments, jazz styles, and could relate details of their personal lives.  However, when I asked who the children sitting on the curb might be, he had no clue. I remember asking out loud, “I wonder what those children thought about having all those stars in their neighborhood?” I set out to write a story that incorporated the musicians featured in the photograph. The rich history of the photograph led to some exciting ideas.

I was familiar with many Lee & Low Books and had also read interviews written by two of the editors. I submitted the manuscript and another story to the New Voices Award in September of 2001. Like many folks, I was shocked and saddened by the tragedy of September 11. I remember feeling helpless and depressed, but I also realized that it was useless to wring my hands and weep. So I decided to submit the manuscript to the New Voices Award contest as an affirmation of life and hope.

G. Neri: Yummy came about from a week-long school visit in South Central Los Angeles. It was after the riots, during a gang war that consumed the area. The kids I was working with were so hardened by the events, nothing seemed to phase them. They had been so weighed down by tragedy, nobody was talking. But when we came across the real life story of a kid named Yummy Sandifer, his sad tale made everyone sit up and talk. The discussion of gangs and kids dying led to them opening up about their own hard lives. I was working with gangbangers and trying to rehab them. Me telling them to leave the gangs was meaningless but if I could find a way to show them Yummy’s story, it might scare them straight. I started writing and since the kids I was working with were 7-10 year old non-readers, I wrote it as a picture book. Shortly after that, I met Paula Yoo, who’d just won the New Voices Award. Since I was looking for a way to get this published, she encouraged me to submit.

LaTisha Redding: The memories of my childhood Haitian friends inspired me to write Calling the Water Drum. My friends were new to the United States, navigating a new language, culture and environment. When I wrote this story, I wanted to explore that journey from a child’s perspective. So often stories are told from the point of view of the adult. Adult sacrifices and adult struggles. Children sacrifice and struggle, too, and they don’t have the vocabulary to articulate that experience.

As for submitting my story to New Voices Award, initially, I wasn’t sure where to submit it. Although I knew of Lee & Low, the contest wasn’t on my radar. So after I wrote it, I put it away. Months later, while browsing another writer’s website, it mentioned the New Voices Award and that the deadline was two weeks away. That’s when I remembered my story. I revised it several times and submitted it.

  1. What was it like being contacted by a Lee & Low Books Editor about interest in your New Voices Award submission?

sweet music in harlem
from Sweet Music in Harlem

DT: It was simply thrilling. The e-mail arrived with the subject line “On A Harlem Morning” and “Back Door Sugar.” I was informed that neither of my submissions was selected as a New Voices Award winner or finalist, but there was interest in developing the manuscripts if I was willing to revise them. I felt like I had won the contest. Instead of being disappointed, I was excited at the opportunity to work with an editor, Jennifer Hunt. I was thrilled, eager, and only slightly apprehensive.

I realized it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I was pleased that someone recognized the value of the work. I immediately committed to doing whatever was necessary to get the manuscripts ready to resubmit. After months of revision, “Sweet Music in Harlem” was the result. (My other submission, “Back Door Sugar” was eventually published by Cricket Magazine.)

GN: Jennifer Fox contacted me to say that I didn’t win, BUT they’d loved the story. They just felt the format was too young and if I ever considered writing it for an older teen audience, they would definitely be interested. I said I had something and sent them the graphic novel script. Even though they had never done a graphic novel, they connected strongly to the story and a few weeks later, we were off and running.

LR: It was the most exquisite feeling! This picture book is the first story I have ever had published. Like most writers, I had dreamed of the day I would be published with no idea of when it would happen. I didn’t win the Award, so when I received the letter still expressing interest in the story, it surprised me. I read it over and over again, thinking I had misread it. Thankfully, I had read it correctly. I still get excited when I think about that moment. I am deeply grateful to my editor, Jessica, for her insight and guidance. She is a joy to work with and her edits deepened and enriched Calling the Water Drum beyond my expectations.

3. What is something surprising you learned while preparing your story for publication?

DT: I learned the value of story boarding and making multiple dummy books. Making the dummy book revealed the rhythm of the story and allowed me to balance the text. 

I was surprised at the level of investment from my editor. I had expected to revise the work and make changes throughout, but I had not really expected her thorough critiques and her guidance. It was evident that she wanted the book to be a masterpiece. It was like realizing your child’s track coach really wanted your child to achieve his/her personal best.

GN: A funny thing happened while I waited for a response from the competition. A friend was making a graphic novel and showed me the script for his project. Before illustrations, it looked just like a movie script. I had come out of movies and in fact, the first version of Yummy was written as a screenplay. When I saw that, I realized comics were even a better way to go and could reach older ages as well. The format was very cinematic and would appeal to non-readers. I quickly translated my script to a graphic novel and the rest is history.

LR: Two things, actually. First, it surprised me how much additional room was needed for the visual storytelling. When I wrote it, I didn’t think of it from a visual standpoint. For me, the words are the story. But, of course, there’s so much more. The illustrations tell the story just as much as the words and breathe real life into it.

Second, I discovered that with collaboration and publication, what I had considered “my story” was no longer mine, which is as it should be. It belongs to the readers. I knew that intellectually and the publication process has allowed me to experience it.

  1. What advice do you have for writers interested in submitting to the New Voices Award this year?

DT: Use fresh, evocative language to tell a compelling story. Take time to find the right word for each line. Review the manuscript as objectively as possible.

I would also suggest that writers make a simple dummy book, allow trusted friends or critique group members to review the manuscript and make certain to follow submission instructions. Accept that your story is an important one. Take full advantage of this opportunity to have your work seriously considered by Lee & Low.

 Once you have submitted the manuscript, congratulate yourself for taking that important step and start working on another manuscript.

GN: Go for it. Write something fresh and from today. Be innovative and tell stories no one else is telling. If you’re a new voice, let yourself be heard!

LR: Write the story in your heart. Write what moves you, the story that whispers to you in quiet, ‘in-between’ moments, and let it spill out on the page. Don’t be afraid that your story is too heavy or worry that children won’t understand it. Write it and revise it and submit it. You never know what may happen.

With those final words of encouragement and inspiration, we’d like to wish every writer participating in this year’s New Voices Award the best of luck! We look forward to reading your stories!

sweet music in harlem cover

Sweet Music in Harlem by Debbie Taylor is available now! Purchase the book here.

yummy cover

Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty by Greg Neri is available now! Purchase the book here.

calling the water drum cover

Calling the Water Drum by LaTisha Redding will be available soon! Purchase the book here.

0 Comments on Thrilled, Eager, and Only Slightly Apprehensive: The Path to Publication as of 9/8/2016 9:57:00 AM
Add a Comment
2. Announcing the Winner of Our New Visions Writing Contest

New Visions Award sealTu Books, the middle grade and young adult imprint of respected multicultural children’s publisher LEE & LOW BOOKS, is thrilled to announce that author Supriya Kelkar has won its third annual New Visions Award for her middle grade historical fiction novel, Ahimsa.

The award honors a middle grade or young adult novel for young readers by an author of color who has not previously published a novel for that age group. It was established to encourage new talent and to offer authors of color a chance to break into a tough and predominantly white market.

Supriya Kelkar
Supriya Kelkar

Ahimsa takes place in 1940s India, an era of great change as Indian citizens fight for independence from British colonial rule. When ten-year-old Anjali’s mother announces that she has quit her job to become a Freedom Fighter following Mahatma Gandhi, Anjali must find her place in a rapidly changing world.

The story was inspired by Kelkar’s own great-grandmother, who joined the freedom movement against the British. “She worked alongside Gandhi and spent time in jail, too, for her part in the nonviolent movement,” Kelkar says. “I hope that readers can be inspired by the fact that people were able to make such a huge impact on their world not through war, but through non-violence.” Kelkar will receive a cash prize of $1,000 and a publication contract with Tu Books.

One manuscript received the New Visions Award Honor: Alexandra Aceves’ young adult horror story Children of the River Ghost. Set in contemporary Albuquerque, Children of the River Ghost is a unique reimagining of the la llorona myth told through the eyes of La Llorona herself. “I wanted to give her a voice, to give her the opportunity to tell her side of the story,” Aceves says. Aceves will receive a cash prize of $500.

There were three New Visions Award finalists: Alex Brown (Hate Crime), Hilda Burgos (The Castle of Kings), and Elizabeth Stephens (The Rougarou).

Last year, books by authors of color comprised less than eleven percent of the total number of books published for young readers, according to the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The annual New Visions Award is a step toward the day when all young readers can see themselves in books.

Congratulations to all of the New Visions Award winners and finalists — we look forward to seeing your future books!

1 Comments on Announcing the Winner of Our New Visions Writing Contest, last added: 5/19/2016
Display Comments Add a Comment
3. Final Call: Two Contests for Unpublished Writers of Color

Are you an unpublished author of color who writes for young readers? If so, we encourage you to submit your manuscript to LEE & LOW’s annual writing contests. Our well-established contests Juna's Jar cover imagesupport new authors of color and highlight voices that remain underrepresented  in traditional publishing. Past winners include Ink and Ashes and Juna’s Jar.

New Voices Award

  • Awarded to a picture book manuscript by an unpublished author of color.
  • Winner receives $1000 cash prize and a publication contract with LEE & LOW BOOKS.
  • Submissions close September 30, 2015.
  • See the full submission guidelines.

New Visions Award

  • Awarded to a middle grade or young adult novel by anNew Visions Award seal unpublished author of color.
  • Winner receives a cash prize of $1,000 and a publication contract with Tu Books, an imprint with LEE & LOW BOOKS.
  • Submissions close October 31, 2015
  • See the full submissions guidelines

Have questions about either contest? Leave them here in the comments and we’ll get you an answer.

Further Reading:
Awards and grants for authors of color

0 Comments on Final Call: Two Contests for Unpublished Writers of Color as of 9/9/2015 2:19:00 PM
Add a Comment
4. Announcing the 2015 New Visions Award finalists!

NVAL_WinnerLogo2015 marks the fifth year that Tu Books has been an imprint of Lee & Low Books. One of our primary missions is to discover new writers of color as we publish diverse genre fiction for young readers—fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and other adventurous genres. As we say on our website,

At Tu Books, we don’t believe that the worlds within books should be any less rich or diverse than the world we live in. Our stories are inspired by many cultures from around the world, to reach the “you” in every reader.

Tu Books was created for a specific reason. The present and the future belong to everyone and to limit this reality is a fantasy. Adventure, excitement, and who gets the girl (or boy) are not limited to one race or species. The role of hero is up for grabs, and we mean to take our shot.

To support that mission, we established the New Visions Award in 2012 to discover and develop new writers—writers who have not yet found an agent, writers who have never been published before in the mINK AND ASHES coveriddle grade or young adult categories (even as self-published authors).

In 2013, we announced our first New Visions Award winner, Valynne Maetani (@valynnemaetani on Twitter), for her YA mystery manuscript. That manuscript, which is now titled Ink and Ashes, is being published this June! (Check with your local or online bookseller for pre-ordering options!)

Earlier this year, we opened again for New Visions submissions, and now we are so happy to announce the six finalists in our second New Visions Award. The finalists (in alphabetical order by title) are:


Axie Oh thumbnail
Axie Oh

The Amaterasu Project by Axie Oh, Las Vegas, NV
• YA science fiction/action novel set in Korea about a former gangster who is recruited into the military over a secret prototype weapons project—which turns out to be a genetically modified girl
@axieoh on Twitter




Andrea Wang thumbnail
Andrea Wang

Eco-Agent Owen Chang: The Missing Murder by Andrea Wang, Sudbury, MA
• MG science fiction/spy novel about a 12-year-old eco-agent for an environmental agency, investigating the disappearance of crows
@AndreaYWang on Twitter




Shilpa Kamat thumbnail
Shilpa Kamat

Fallen Branches by Shilpa Kamat, Sebastopol, CA
• YA mystery about a biracial teen from a two-mother household in Northern California, attempting to reconcile her town’s historic and current cultural and racial tensions as she solves parallel mysteries with a new friend




Yamile Mendez thumbnail
Yamile Saied Méndez

On These Magic Shores by Yamile Saied Méndez, Alpine, UT
• MG magical realism about three sisters whose mother’s disappearance they must hide if they want to stay together
@YamileSMendez on Twitter




grace_rowe thumbnail
Grace Rowe

Pure Descent by Grace Rowe, Los Angeles, CA
• YA science fiction exploring the future of race, about an adoptee who must deny her adoptive parents to win a racial “purity” contest
@1gracerowe on Twitter




Rishonda Anthony thumbnail
Rishonda Anthony

Seraphim by Rishonda Anthony, Richmond, VA
• YA paranormal about a teen who was once a child prodigy who had a psychotic breakdown at the age of 12, who sees angels and demons in the woods outside her college—and they might be real this time
• @rishonda_writes on Twitter




We’ll be reading the full manuscripts in the next couple of months, and deliberating on a winner to be announced in April. We can’t wait!

And if you missed this round of the New Visions Award, be sure to keep working on your manuscript for the next round. We’ll open for submissions in June 2015.

2 Comments on Announcing the 2015 New Visions Award finalists!, last added: 2/7/2015
Display Comments Add a Comment
5. Announcing our 2014 New Voices Award Winner

LEE & LOW BOOKS is proud to announce that Andrea J. Loney ofNew Voices Award sealInglewood, California, is the winner of the company’s fifteenth annual New Voices Award. Her manuscript, Take a Picture of Me, James Van Der Zee, is a picture book biography of James Van Der Zee, an African American photographer best known for his portraits of famous and little known New Yorkers during the Harlem Renaissance. From a young age, James Van Der Zee longed to share his vision of the world with others. When he discovered photography, this dream became a reality. Over many years, James worked hard to build his own business, where he specialized in highlighting the black middle class of Harlem, an aspect of American society rarely showcased at the time.Andrea J. Loney is a writer and software trainer for corporations and non-profits, where her students range from Korean War veterans to at-risk teens. Her mother is African American, and her father is Panamanian-Jamaican. Her family was one of very few black families in her New Jersey town, and this confluence of cultures has inspired her “to write about unusual characters finding or creating their own places in the world.” She will receive a prize of $1,000 and a publication contract.

LEE & LOW BOOKS is also proud to announce that Kara Stewart of Durham, North Carolina, has been chosen as an Honor winner for her manuscript Talent, about a young girl who goes to Sappony summer camp and is worried that she has nothing to perform at the camp talent show. With a passion for science and help from her friends, Alice Ruth finds her own strength and learns to be comfortable with who she is. A first time author and member of the Sappony tribe, Stewart is an Elementary School Literacy Coach and serves on the North Carolina State Advisory Council on Indian Education. She believes that it is vital for Native people to be reflected in an accurate, contemporary, and non-stereotypical way, and she wrote this story to honor her Sappony family, their resilience, and determination to keep their heritage alive. Stewart will receive a prize of $500.

Congratulations to Andrea J. Loney and Kara Stewart!

ABOUT THE AWARD: Established in 2000, the New Voices Award is an annual award given by LEE & LOW BOOKS to an unpublished Juna's Jarauthor of color for a picture book manuscript. Past winners include It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw by Don Tate,  winner of the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award Honor, Bird by Zetta Elliott, an ALA Notable Book, and, most recently, Juna’s Jar by Jane Bahk, a Spring 2015 Junior Library Guild selection.

The award was established to combat the low numbers of authors of color in children’s book publishing and to help new authors break into the field. LEE & LOW BOOKS is committed to nurturing new authors. The company has introduced more than one hundred new authors and illustrators to the children’s book world and 68% of authors and illustrators published by LEE & LOW BOOKS are people of color. For more information, visit our New Voices Award page.

Authors of color who write for older readers are encouraged to learn about our New Visions Award for middle grade and young adult manuscripts as well.

0 Comments on Announcing our 2014 New Voices Award Winner as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
6. New Visions Award Reminder

New Visions Award sealWe’ve been excited to receive so many great manuscripts for our second annual New Visions Award! We just wanted to give you a reminder that the contest ends October 31, 2014, so get those manuscripts in! The New Visions Award, which was created in 2012, will be given to a middle grade or young adult fantasy, science fiction, or mystery novel by a writer of color. Established by Tu Books, an imprint of LEE & LOW that publishes YA and middle grade science fiction and fantasy, the award is a fantastic chance for new authors of color to break into the world of publishing for young readers.

The New Visions Award is modeled after Lee & Low’s successful New Voices Award, which was established in 2000 and is given annually to a picture book written by an unpublished author of color. This award has led to the publication of several award-winning children’s books, including It Jes’ Happened by Don Tate and Bird by Zetta Elliott.


The New Visions 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. The winner of the New Visions Award will receive a prize of $1000 and our standard publication contract. An Honor Award winner will receive a cash prize of $500. For further details, including full eligibility and submission guidelines, please visit the New Visions Award page.

If you have any questions about submissions, eligibility, or anything else, feel free to drop them in the comments and we’ll try to answer them. And please spread the word to any aspiring authors you know who might be interested. We look forward to reading your entries!

Keep the manuscripts coming everyone!

Further reading:

New Visions Award: What Not to Do

Meet Our New Visions Finalists, Part I

Meet Our New Visions Finalists, Part II

Meet Our New Visions Finalists, Part III

Meet Our New Visions Finalists, Part IV

Meet Our New Visions Finalists, Part V: Diversity in Genre Fiction

Filed under: Awards, New Voices/New Visions Award, Tu Books Tagged: writers of color, writing award, writing contest

0 Comments on New Visions Award Reminder as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
7. Paula Yoo on How to Publicize Your Children’s Book

Paula YooPaula Yoo is a children’s book writer, television writer, and freelance violinist living in Los Angeles. Her first book, Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds, won Lee & Low’s New Voices Award. Her new book, Guest bloggerTwenty-two Cents, was released this week. In this post, we asked her to share advice on publicizing your first book for those submitting to the New Voices Award and other new authors.

When I won the Lee & Low New Voices Award picture book writing contest in 2003, I thought I had hit the big time. This was my “big break.” My dream had come true! My submission, Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds: The Sammy Lee Story, about Olympic gold medalist Dr. Sammy Lee, would be published in 2005 and illustrated by Dom Lee.

BUT… winning the New Voices contest was just the start. I had to do several revisions of the manuscript based on insightful critiques from my editor Philip Lee. Because this was a biography, I had to do extra research and conduct many more follow-up interviews to make sure all the facts of my manuscript were accurate. And then after all the line edits and copy edits and proof reading checks and balances were completed, I had one more thing to do.


No problem, I thought. All I had to do was answer that huge questionnaire the Lee & Low publicity department sent me. Our publicists were amazing – they were already aggressively sending out press releases and getting me invited to a few national writing conferences for book panels and signings.

But I quickly discovered that a debut author must be willing to pound the pavement, too! So I hired freelance graphic designer friends to create bookmarks and fliers of my book and an official author website. I dropped these off at as many schools, libraries and bookstores I could visit on the weekends. I contacted these same places to see if they would be interested in hosting a signing or school presentation of my book which included fun show-and-tell visuals of how the book was made, a slide show and even a specially-edited CD of historical film footage about my book’s topic.

I contacted local book festivals to be considered for signings and book panels. I not only asked friends and teachers and librarians to spread the word but even people I thought might have a vested interest in the book because they were also professional athletes/coaches and Asian American activists. I always updated our amazing Lee & Low publicists so we both were on the same page. We were a team who supported each other.

NaPiBoWriWee logoI also kept up with the news. Any pop culture trend, breaking news or social issue that was a hot button topic related to my book was an opportunity to see if my book could be mentioned or if I could be interviewed as an “expert.” For example, I pitched my book during the Summer Olympics as a relevant topic.

For my second book, Shining Star: The Anna May Wong Story (illustrated by Lin Wang), published in 2009, I created NAPIBOWRIWEE – National Picture Book Writing Week on my website. It was a fun version of the famous National Novel Writing Month (“NaNoWriMo”) event that promoted writing a 50,000-word novel in one month. My NaPiBoWriWee encouraged writers to write 7 picture books in 7 days. I advertised my new SHINING STAR book as a contest giveaway drawing prize for those who successfully completed the event with me.

To my shock, this “out of the box” creative publicity idea not only worked… but it went VIRAL. Thousands of aspiring newbie writers AND published veteran authors all across the United States and in countries as far away as Egypt, Korea, France and Australia participated in my NaPiBoWriWee event. Talk about great publicity for my second book! As a result, my NaPiBoWriWee event has become an annual event for the past six years, where I have promoted all my new Lee & Low books! (For more information on NAPIBWORIWEE, please visit my website http://paulayoo.com).

And this is only the tip of the iceberg of what I did to promote my first book. Today, not only must debut authors “pound the pavement” for publicity, but they also must navigate the social media waters with blogs tours, breaking news Twitter feeds, Instagram and Tumblr visual posts, and so on. As I write this blog, I’m sure a brand new social media app is being invented that will become tomorrow’s Next Big Social Media Trend.

Twenty-two Cents coverIn the end, it was an honor and privilege to win this contest. I’m grateful for what it has done for my book career.

For my new book, Twenty-two Cents: Muhammad Yunus and the Village Bank (illustrated by Jamel Akib, 2014), I’ve already participated in several blog Q&A interviews with signed book giveaway contests from established children’s book writing websites. I’ve promoted the book on my website and on social media sites. And I’m also promoting the book in real life by participating in book festival panels, including the recent Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.

For new authors, I recommend pounding the pavement like I did. Think outside the box – are there current news/pop culture trends that relate to your book’s topic that you can exploit as a relevant connection? Can you come up with your own fun “viral” website contest like my NAPIBOWRIWEE? Make fast friends with your local librarians, schoolteachers and bookstore owners. Keep up with the latest and most influential kid lit bloggers and see if you can pitch your book as a future blog post on their site. And give yourself a budget – how much are you willing to spend out of your own pocket to promote your book? Find a number you’re comfortable with so you don’t end up shocked by that credit card bill!

Of course, these suggestions are just the beginning. Book publicity is a difficult, time-consuming job that requires much hard work and persistence and creative out-of-the-box problem solving. But trust me, it’s all worth it when you see a child pick your book from the shelf of a bookstore or library with a smile on his or her face.

New Voices Award sealThanks for joining us, Paula! The New Voices Award is given each year to an unpublished author of color for a picture book manuscript. Find more information on how to submit here. The deadline for submissions this year is September 30, 2014.

Further Reading:

Dealing with Rejection: Keeping Your Dream Going by debut author Thelma Lynne Godin

How to Find Time to Write When You Have 11 Children by New Voices Award winner Pamela M. Tuck

Submitting to Our New Voices Award: Tips from an Editor

New Voices Award FAQs


Filed under: Interviews with Authors and Illustrators, New Voices/New Visions Award, Publishing 101, Writer Resources Tagged: aspiring authors, marketing, NaPiBoWriWee, Paula Yoo, writing contest

1 Comments on Paula Yoo on How to Publicize Your Children’s Book, last added: 9/12/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
8. NARRATIVE Fall Writing Contest

Fall 2011 Story Contest

Our fall contest is open to all fiction and nonfiction writers. We’re looking for short shorts, short stories, essays, memoirs, photo essays, graphic stories, all forms of literary nonfiction, and excerpts from longer works of both fiction and nonfiction.

Entries must be previously unpublished, no longer than 15,000 words, and must not have been previously chosen as a winner, finalist, or honorable mention in another contest.

Prior winners and finalists in Narrative contests have gone on to win other contests and to be published in prize collections, including the Pushcart Prize, Best New Stories from the South, the Atlantic prize, and others.

As always, we are looking for works with a strong narrative drive, with characters we can respond to as human beings, and with effects of language, situation, and insight that are intense and total.  We look for works that have the ambition of enlarging our view of ourselves and the world.

We welcome and look forward to reading your pages.  Click here to submit your work.


First Prize is $3,250

Second Prize is $1,500

Third Prize is $750

Ten finalists will receive $100 each. All entries will be considered for publication.

Submission Fee: There is a $20 fee for each entry. And with your entry, you’ll receive three months of complimentary access to Narrative Backstage.

All contest entries are eligible for the $4,000 Narrative Prize for 2012 and for acceptance as a Story of the Week.

Timing: The contest deadline is November 30, 2011, at midnight, Pacific standard time.

Submission Guidelines: Please read our Submission Guidelines for manuscript formatting and other information.

Narrative is strongly committed to supporting our authors’ work.  Our current rates for work are as follows:

—$150 for a Story of the Week, with $400 each for the annual Top Five Stories of the Week.
—$150 to $350 for 500 to 2,000 word manuscripts.
—$350 to $1,000 for 2,000 to 15,000 word manuscripts.
—Rates for book-length works vary, depending on the length and nature of the work.
—$50 minimum for each accepted poem and audio piece. ($25 for poetry reprints.)
—$200 each for the annual Top Five Poems of the Week.

All submissions with a reading fee, from new or emerging writers, are eligible for the $4,000 Narrative Prize, awarded annually.

Good Luck!

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: Competition, Contests, opportunity Tagged: Add a Comment
9. NYC Trip – Wattpad.com Writing Contest Update!

I know you are all waiting on the edge of your seats to find out who the winner of this contest is! There were a lot of entries to the contest (over 300!) and now we’re finally close to announcing. Well, almost. :D

To celebrate CRYER’S CROSS releasing in paperback this coming Tuesday, I am announcing the top 10 finalists for this contest! As the ten of you listed below all made it to the top with your excellent stories, I wanted to say congratulations by giving you a set of ALL my books! Email PulseIt@simonandschuster.com with “Lisa McMann Final 10” in the subject line & your full name and shipping address in the body of the email to receive your prize.

You can go over to Wattpad to get extra content and extended excerpts of CRYER’S CROSS (http://www.wattpad.com/1739563-cryer%27s-cross-we) and THE UNWANTEDS (http://www.wattpad.com/1739693-the-unwanteds-the-purge) plus a sneak peak to my new book DEAD TO YOU (http://www.wattpad.com/1740073-dead-to-you), coming out February 7th.

Tune back in here on Thursday, December 8th, around 7pm EST (4pm Pacific) for the official announcement of the final winner of the trip to NYC!

OK – enough of the suspense. Here are the finalists (in alphabetical order)!

A Choice by NinjaComesNaturally (http://www.wattpad.com/2095760-a-choice-lisamcmann)
Crave the Risk by lucille0912 (http://www.wattpad.com/1791036-crave-the-risk-lisamcmann)
The Half Blooded by CARLI123 (http://www.wattpad.com/2135634-the-half-blooded-lisamcmann)
The Heir Assassin by eternaldestiny (http://www.wattpad.com/2047255-the-heir-assassin-lisa-mcmann)
Labyrinth by DOODLESNOODLES (http://www.wattpad.com/1837763-labyrinth)
Mr. & Mrs. Young by DeeStory (http://www.wattpad.com/1766160-mr-%26-mrs-young-lisamcmann)
Saving Order by Becca_Lovatt (http://www.wattpad.com/1857754-saving-order-lisamcmann)
An Unexpected Agreement by BrianaBrooks (http://www.wattpad.com/1769575-an-unexpected-arrangement-lisamcmann)
Violet Eyes by kellyca (http://www.wattpad.com/2096076-violet-eyes)
Wanted by RainySkky (http://www.wattpad.com/1774535-wanted-lisamcmann)

2 Comments on NYC Trip – Wattpad.com Writing Contest Update!, last added: 12/6/2011
Display Comments Add a Comment
10. The Wattpad Pulse It Winner

of the trip to New York City to spend a day shadowing a real live editor at Simon & Schuster, and some time hanging out with me, is...

WAIT. First, I have to say something, and it's from the heart:

I was absolutely blown away by all of you who entered. It made me happy that there are so many of you out there who love to write as much as I do. I am really proud of each person who put a little piece of him or herself out there for others to see. That's really hard to do.

Narrowing the entries down to the top ten was really difficult. There were so many great stories. Our team of judges had a really tough time deciding! We had a variety of reasons why these ten were chosen, including writing ability, style, creativity, plot, voice, and uniqueness in coming up with an idea that others haven't thought of.

Choosing the winner out of these ten great stories? One of the most difficult choices I've had to make in a while. A long while. I want to congratulate again the nine finalists, and I want you to hear me -- you are talented. You have great potential. If you enjoy writing, you should keep doing it, because you are good at it.

Being a writer, getting published, winning prizes when you're up against hundreds or even thousands of others is a hard mountain to climb. If you have the stamina and can handle the rejections, the near-misses, the not-quites, you will succeed eventually. You have to keep going, and going, and going. I had over a hundred rejections for the first novel I wrote, and it never got published. Nor did my second novel. But I kept writing, and I kept going, and I kept looking at rejection in the face and saying, "You are only making me tougher. You are only making me want to fight for this more."

I want you to keep going too. Everything you write is valuable. Nothing you write is a waste of time. Every word you write makes you better at the craft of writing. So keep going, knowing that you have what it takes.

Thanks for reading this (even though I know you all skimmed that bit, I hope you went back and read it again). :)

And now, for the moment you've all been waiting for, THE WINNER of the Wattpad/Pulse It story contest is... *drumroll*

CRAVE THE RISK, by lucille0912.

CONGRATULATIONS!!! I chose your story because I loved the way you approached the prompt. I love that you made the long-haired main character a boy. I love that you added the hint of a paranormal element with this boy having the strength similar to Samson (and I LOVED that you didn't name him, but made that story sound ominous, and it made the reader wonder what kind of society they lived in), and I liked the twist at the end. Your idea was fresh and different. The thing that clinched it for me, though, was your sense of voice in the story. It was strong and distinct, and I could feel his attitude, I could hear him speaking and thinking in my head. Voice is so difficult to learn to write well -- some writers have it naturally and some have to work very hard to achieve great character voice. Whether you had to work at it or it came naturally, it was there, and it was excellent. Additionally, some of your phrases were really stunning. I remember thinking "I wish I'd written that" a few times as I read your story.

lucille0912, I look forward to meeting you! I’ll be emailing you shortly so we can arrange your awesomely awesome trip to NYC.

Congratulations again to the winner and to all the writers who entered the contest. You are amazing! Keep going. :) And please stay in touch -- you can find me often on my facebook fan page and twitter.

7 Comments on The Wattpad Pulse It Winner, last added: 12/9/2011
Display Comments Add a Comment
11. Food and Drink Writing Award Launched

Jeremy Mogford Prize For Food and Drink Writing

A major new £7,500 annual short story competition has been launched by the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival in association with Oxford Gastronomica.

The Jeremy Mogford Prize for Food and Drink Writing 2013 will be awarded at next year’s festival to the best short story on the theme of food and drink.

Food and drink has to be at the heart of the tale. The story could, for instance, be fiction or fact about a chance meeting over a drink, a life-changing conversation over dinner, or a relationship explored through food or drink. It could be crime or intrigue; in fact, any subject you like as long as it involves food and/or drink in some way.

The panel of judges will include Jeremy Mogford, owner of Oxford’s Old Parsonage and Old Bank hotels and Gee’s restaurant, Donald Sloan, co-founder and chair of Oxford Gastronomica and head of the Oxford School of Hospitality Management at Oxford Brookes University, and Pru Leith, the celebrated food writer and novelist.

Applicants are invited from anywhere in the world and can be published or as yet unpublished. The story should be up to 2500 words and must be written in English.

How to Enter

Your short story should be up to 2500 words in total in English and have a food and drink theme at its heart. Entries should be submitted by email as a Word document to the mogfordprize@oxfordliteraryfestival.org  by October 1, 2012. The winning entry will be announced at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival in March 2013. The winner will receive £7500.

Entrants should also supply their home address, email and telephone number, their age and profession.

For more details contact Tony Byrne: 07801 287510

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: awards, Competition, Contests, earn money, News, opportunity, writing Tagged: Food and Drink, Oxford Gastronomica, Writing Contest 0 Comments on Food and Drink Writing Award Launched as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
12. June Blog Contest

Presenting our 2nd annual Blog Contest! 

Give us your best first line for a story-- your best sentence that will grab your readers by their toes and whisk them along on a magical/amazing/fabulous/intense journey.

The rules:

-one sentence
-posted as a comment to this post
-posted BEFORE 11:59 pm on June 15th
-in English :o)
-any type of story, any genre. It doesn't even have to be a story you've written yet!

On June 16th, we'll post all the entries and allow two weeks for the voting.

The contest:

-all entries will be posted on a new blog post
-readers of this blog will vote for the sentence they like the best
-the winner gets to take their pick from the prizes
-the 2nd runner up will take their pick from the remaining prizes, and so on until all the prizes are gone

The prizes:

-a $20 gift card to Amazon
-a personal blog button created by our uber-talented Julie Danes (she designs our blog buttons)
-a 10 page critique offered by one of our amazing bloggers
-a super-duper blog shout-out interview on this blog
-a story conversion to a Kindle e-reader format
-and possibly something else because I think I'm forgetting one! ;o)

Any questions?

Post your story starter sentence below!

Good luck!

8 Comments on June Blog Contest, last added: 6/5/2012
Display Comments Add a Comment
13. No Fee Writing Contest and Publication

Gwen Connolley sent in this “Out of This World” illustration for July. It was created for an article on The Wonderful World of Jet Lag, with an effort to make a difficult situation appear fun (which it usually isn’t) and fantasticly mysterious (which it is). Day and night and sleep and play–in this twisted game of space and time and swirling geographical lines the truly jet-lagged child doesn’t know or care what’s right; it’s all just part of the fun. To see more of my work, please visit www.gwenconnolley.com

WOLFoundation runs an annual competition looking for the best non-technical, English language writing on any subject related to environmental issues.

Entries will be judged by the members of our Advisory Board.

The winning entry will receive a cash prize of $1,500. A further $500 will be awarded to the second placed entry.

The shortlisted entries will be published as a book of collected essays.

What we are looking for

Our judging process will reward two main attributes in the submissions received: fresh thinking and a clear, compelling writing style. We are looking for entries that everyone will want to read.

All viewpoints welcome

Any and all views are welcome and encouraged. We would like to see entries that address all perspectives – whether for or against any particular stance. Just avoid giving us tired ideas that have been hashed out many times before.

Fact or fiction?

Entries should be written in prose in the English language. You can submit essays or short stories, factual commentary or fiction – whichever way and whichever writing style you choose to communicate your ideas. Just make it compelling.

Who can enter?

Everyone is welcome. Any one individual may submit up to three entries.

What to submit

Essays should be aimed at a general readership and should be non-technical. No footnotes or citations are allowed.

Submissions should be no longer than 2,000 words.

Essays may have been published before provided you have the necessary permissions to re-publish.

But English is not my first language!

Don’t worry. We are mainly after clearly presented ideas not language perfection. If your essay reaches the finalists, we will help with editing the language.

When to submit

Submissions for the 2012 competition should be submitted by email no later than September 30th, 2012.

Entry to the competition is free of charge.


Copyright for all submissions remain with the authors. In submitting their work, authors grant the Web of Life Foundation an irrevocable license to print, publish, distribute and publicize the submitted work.

http://www.wolfoundation.org/competition/  Good Luck!

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: Competition, Contests, opportunity, writing Tagged: environment, Gwen Connolley, Add a Comment
14. Writing Contest: Scintillating Starts

Enter Writer Advice’s New Contest: SCINTILLATING STARTS. Grab and hold us with your opening paragraphs.

Deadline: October 15, 2012.

Details at www.writeradvice.com 

If your opening is shared on Writer Advice, you’ll be able to tell prospective agents, publishers, and book buyers that you were one of the winners of Writer Advice’s First Scintillating Starts Contest.

B. Lyn Goodwin, Writer, Advice Managing Editor
Author of You Want Me to Do What? Journaling for Caregivers

Bookmark and           Share

1 Comments on Writing Contest: Scintillating Starts, last added: 10/16/2012
Display Comments Add a Comment
15. How To Submit to Amazon’s 2013 Breakthrough Novel Award Contest

Amazon has opened its sixth annual Breakthrough Novel Award contest, dropping Penguin as its traditional publishing partner and using Amazon Publishing instead. In addition, the contest now includes categories for five genres: general fiction, romance, mystery/thriller, science fiction/fantasy/horror and young adult fiction.

Submit early, the contest will close after 10,000 entries. The grand prize winner will get a publishing contract and a $50,000 from Amazon Publishing. Four other first prize winners will also get a publishing contract and a $15,000 advance. Click here to read the fine print about the book contract and royalties at this link.

Publishers Weekly has joined the contest as well, delivering “full-manuscript reviews” for all the semi-finalists.


New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Add a Comment
16. Poetry & Short Prose Contest

2011_02_15_street_musician_01(1).jpgWomen Who Write 2013 International Poetry & Short Prose Contest

DEADLINE: June 30, 2013

ENTRY FEE: $12.00

Contest Rules

1. Open to women 18 years or older.

2. Women Who Write will retain one-time publication rights (print and electronic), after which all rights revert to the author.

3. Entries to the contest must be previously unpublished.

4. Prose pieces can be fiction or non-fiction and are limited to 3,000 words or less.

5. $12 entry fee for each prose piece submitted or for up to two poems. Submissions will not be returned. Entry fees will not be reimbursed for any reason.

6. Deadline is June 30. Electronic submissions must be received by midnight June 30. Print submissions must be postmarked on or before June 30. Late entries will not be considered.

7. Winners will be notified in August by phone.

8. Women Who Write members are ineligible to enter the contest. (See details below.)

9. Contest entries or member submissions in any genre are welcome, and many stories and poems in past issues have addressed adult themes or contained strong language. However, the board of directors reserves the right to omit work they deem incompatible with the organization’s mission and values.

10. Writers are encouraged to read past issues of Calliope (available on Amazon) to become familiar with the type of work we publish.

Submission Guidelines

1. Each poem or prose entry must include a cover page with the title of the work, the author’s name, address, home phone number, and valid email address.

2. On the cover sheet, include a bio of up to 200 words. Bios will be published with the winning entries.

3. To identify each page of your work, use a header with the title on the right, followed immediately by the page number. For example: To Kill a Mockingbird – 1. Do not put the author’s name or other identifying information in the header.

4. Formatting:

•Microsoft Word format (other formats, such as pdf files or Notepad, will not be considered)
•Times New Roman font, 12-point type
•One-inch margins on all sides
•Left-justified for prose
•Indent paragraphs one tab
•Do not insert a line space between paragraphs
•One space after periods or other terminating punctuation
•Default on all other MS Word settings


Submit entries online or send hard copy by mail to:

Women Who Write
P.O. Box 6167
Louisville, KY 40206. Entries are subject to editing for spelling, grammar, punctuation and line spacing. If other changes are needed, authors will have the opportunity to review edits before publication.

Judging and Awards

First, second and third place winners will be selected in the prose and poetry categories (a total of six winners) by independent judges in a blind judging. Decisions of the judges are final.

Winners will receive:

1. First place: $300, publication in Calliope, the annual anthology of Women Who Write, and up to five copies of Calliope.

2. Second place: $200, publication in Calliope and up to five copies of Calliope.

3. Third place: $100, publication in Calliope and up to five copies of Calliope.

Women Who Write Members

Women Who Write members may submit work for inclusion in the organization’s anthology, Calliope, but are not eligible to win the International Short Prose & Poetry Contest. Members must also pay an entry fee and follow the same submission guidelines as non-members. In addition, member submissions must be read aloud and critiqued at a Women Who Write meeting at least once. Pieces requiring extensive work may need to be read and critiqued twice before acceptance for publication.

Good Luck!

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: authors and illustrators, Contest, need to know, opportunity, writing Tagged: Fiction & Non-Fiction, Poetry & Short Prose, Women Who Write, Writing Contest

1 Comments on Poetry & Short Prose Contest, last added: 5/30/2013
Display Comments Add a Comment
17. Submit Your Manuscript to our New Voices Award Writing Contest

New Voices Award sealSummer is rapidly approaching and that means our New Voices Award Writing Contest is now open for submissions! Now in its fourteenth year, the New Voices Award was one of the first (and remains one of the only) writing contests specifically designed to help authors of color break into publishing, an industry in which they are still dramatically underrepresented.

Change requires more than just goodwill; it requires concrete action. We were heartened by First Book’s recent commitment to purchasing 10,000 copies of select books from “new and underrepresented voices.” Likewise, the New Voices Award is a concrete step towards evening the playing field by seeking out talented new authors of color who might otherwise remain under the radar of mainstream publishing.

Past New Voices titles include the award-winning picture books It Jes’ HappenedSixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds: The Sammy Lee Story, and BirdMany winners of the New Voices Award have gone on to long, successful careers in publishing.

The contest is open to writers of color who are residents of the United States and who have not previously had a children’s picture book published. The Award winner receives a cash prize of $1000 and our standard publication contract, including the basic advance and royalties for a first time author. An Honor Award winner will receive a cash prize of $500.

Manuscripts must be postmarked by September 30, 2014 to be eligible for this year’s award.

For more eligibility and submissions details, visit the New Voices Award page and read these FAQs. Spread the word to any authors you know who may be interested. Happy writing to you all and best of luck!

Further reading:


Filed under: Awards, Giveaways and Contests, New Voices/New Visions Award, Publishing 101 Tagged: diversity, diversity in publishing, weneeddiversebooks, writing, writing contest

0 Comments on Submit Your Manuscript to our New Voices Award Writing Contest as of 5/20/2014 4:52:00 PM
Add a Comment
18. Submit Your Novel to Our New Visions Award for New Authors of Color

New Visions Award seal

We are thrilled to announce that submissions for our second annual New Visions Award are now open! The New Visions Award, which was created in 2012, will be given to a middle grade or young adult fantasy, science fiction, or mystery novel by a writer of color. Established by Tu Books, an imprint of LEE & LOW that publishes YA and middle grade science fiction and fantasy, the award is a fantastic chance for new authors of color to break into the world of publishing for young readers.

With the recent uproar over the lack of diversity at this year’s BookCon that led to the creation of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign, to articles in the New York Times by Walter Dean Myers and Christopher Myers addressing the lack of diversity in children’s books, it’s obvious that readers want to see more writers of color represented. 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.

The New Visions Award is modeled after Lee & Low’s successful New Voices Award, which was established in 2000 and is given annually to a picture book written by an unpublished author of color. This award has led to the publication of several award-winning children’s books, including It Jes’ Happened by Don Tate and Bird by Zetta Elliott.


The New Visions 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. The winner of the New Visions Award will receive a grant of $1000 and our standard publication contract. An Honor Award winner will receive a cash prize of $500. For further details, including full eligibility and submission guidelines, please visit the New Visions Award page.

If you have any questions about submissions, eligibility, or anything else, feel free to drop them in the comments and we’ll try to answer them. And please spread the word to any aspiring authors you know who might be interested. We look forward to reading your entries!

Further reading:

Meet Our New Visions Finalists, Part I

Meet Our New Visions Finalists, Part II

Meet Our New Visions Finalists, Part III

Meet Our New Visions Finalists, Part IV

Meet Our New Visions Finalists, Part V: Diversity in Genre Fiction

Filed under: Awards, Diversity in YA, Diversity, Race, and Representation, New Voices/New Visions Award, Tu Books Tagged: diversity in writing, middle grade, middle grade writing, New Visions, science fiction, Science Fiction/Fantasy, writing contest, young adult, young adult writing

0 Comments on Submit Your Novel to Our New Visions Award for New Authors of Color as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
19. NO FEE: Good Housekeeping Writing Contest

New Writing Contest: “All About Love”

Tell us your tale — a first crush, an old flame, a treasured friend or family member, a passion for a special place…


Starting June 1, 2014, email your story of 2,500 to 3,000 words to lovestorycontest@goodhousekeeping.com, and you’ll be entered for a chance to win $2,000 and possible publication in a future issue of Good Housekeeping or on goodhousekeeping.com. Be sure to provide your full name, phone number, and mailing address both in the email and on the submission itself.

Entries must be received by midnight September 1, 2014. One entry per person allowed. Submitted material cannot be returned or acknowledged. Winner will be notified by March 1, 2015.

Contest is open to anyone age 21 or older who is a legal resident of the United States, the District of Columbia or Canada (excluding Quebec).

One winner will receive $2,000 and possible publication of the winning story in a future issue or on goodhousekeeping.com.

Read the official contest rules »

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: authors and illustrators, Contest, magazine, opportunity, publishers, writing Tagged: All About Love, Get Published, Good Housekeeping Magazine, Win $2000, Writing Contest

1 Comments on NO FEE: Good Housekeeping Writing Contest, last added: 6/24/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
20. Submitting to our New Voices Award: Tips from an Editor

In this blog post, our editorial assistant Samantha shares her thoughts on the New Voices Award and what she’s looking for from this year’s submissions.

The beginning of summer is my favorite time of year. School’s out, the weather brightens up—although this year in New York, it’s been a bit shaky—and New Voices season begins. This year marks our 15th annual New Voices Award contest, and I can’t wait to watch the submissions come rolling in!

Over the last fourteen years, LEE & LOW BOOKS has published more than ten books that have come to us through It Jes' Happened coverthe New Voices contest, including Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds by Paula Yoo (2003 Winner) and Seaside Dream by Janet Costa Bates (2006 Honor). It Jes’ Happened (2005 Honor) received three starred reviews, and author Don Tate won the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award Honor. And we’re very excited about several New Voices winners and honors that will be published in upcoming seasons. We just love reading the amazing stories that have been submitted to the contest, and it’s inspiring to us to work with first-time picture book authors.

Last year we were thrilled to receive 165 New Voices submissions from authors all across the Unites States. With so many great manuscripts to read, we look for stories that stand out from the crowd. We love to be surprised by a Seaside Dreammanuscript, whether it’s a biography of a fascinating but little known historical figure or an everyday story told from a unique perspective. A submission will catch our eye if it is something we haven’t seen before. Just as the New Voices contest seeks out talented new authors of color who might otherwise remain under the radar of mainstream publishing, we love to read stories about characters and subjects that are similarly underrepresented.

Another small but important detail that we appreciate when reading New Voices submissions is when an author pays close attention to the contest guidelines. It might seem trivial, but a good cover letter that follows the guideline requests—especially author information—creates a great first impression. You can see the full submission guidelines here and the answers to some frequently asked questions here.

We look forward to reading a great batch of stories this year and to discovering talented new authors through the New Voices contest. We hope you will help us spread the word to eligible authors!


Filed under: New Voices/New Visions Award, Publishing 101 Tagged: ask an editor, aspiring authors, diverse books, New Voices Award, New Voices Award contest, New Voices Award winners, writing award, writing contest

1 Comments on Submitting to our New Voices Award: Tips from an Editor, last added: 6/25/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
21. New Visions Award: What Not to Do

Stacy Whitman photoStacy Whitman is Editorial Director and Publisher of Tu Books, an imprint of LEE & LOW BOOKS that publishes diverse science fiction and fantasy for middle grade and young adult readers. In this blog post, she discusses what she is—and is not—looking for from New Visions Award contest submissions.

This year is the second year we’ve held our New Visions Award, a writing contest seeking new writers of color for middle grade and young adult science fiction, fantasy, and mystery. Tu Books is a relatively new imprint, and so is our award, which is modeled after the New Voices Award, now in its 15th year of seeking submissions.

Much like the editors who are in charge of the New Voices Award for picture books, for the New Visions Award, I love seeing submissions that follow the submissions guidelines and stories that stand out from a crowd. I look for science fiction, fantasy, and mystery stories that understand the age group they’re targeted at, with strong characters, strong worldbuilding, and if there is a romance, I hope that it avoids cliches.

During the first New Visions Award, our readers made notes on the manuscripts explaining what they enjoyed and what made them stop reading, particularly the things that made them not want to read further than the sample chapters in the initial phase of the contest. For the next few weeks, I’ll delve a little further into those things that made readers stop reading, and then we’ll talk about making your writing have the zing that makes an editor want to read more.

Today, let’s cover the most obvious reasons a New Visions Award reader might stop reading immediately.

  • Main character isn’t a person of color
  • Unclear if main character is a person of color (& not made clear in any supporting materials)
  • Basic formatting rules ignored: single-spaced, no tabs, no paragraph breaks, rules of punctuation ignored to the point it was impossible to read the text
  • Chapters at times seemed to be combined to ensure more text would be read, which made them super long and terribly paced
  • Duplicate submission from the author (stopped reading the duplicate—of course we read the original!)
  • Already read as a regular submission and didn’t see any significant changes
  • Author not eligible (published previously in YA or MG, not a person of color, not based in the US)
  • Book was a picture book (this would be a New Voices submission, not a New Visions submission) or a short story (not long enough to be a novel)

The obvious solution to making sure your submission is right for this contest is to make sure to read the contest submission guidelines before sending your submission. If you are not a writer of color, or if you live in a country outside the US, we do want to read your manuscript, but not for this contest. Watch our regular submission guidelines for when we’ll open again to unsolicited submissions.

Make sure you format your manuscript in a way that it can be read. If you’re new to writing, be sure to have someone check it over for typos, correct grammar and spelling, correct punctuation, etc. We won’t reject your manuscript for a typo or two, but there is a point at which the story is no longer being communicated because the reader gets tripped up by the errors. Make sure your manuscript is as clean as you can make it.

Next time, we’ll talk about hooking the reader with your story. Happy writing!

Filed under: New Voices/New Visions Award, Publishing 101, Tu Books, Writer Resources Tagged: formatting manuscripts, weneeddiversebooks, writing award, writing contest, writing tips

0 Comments on New Visions Award: What Not to Do as of 7/25/2014 12:22:00 PM
Add a Comment
22. Roryism Quote Writing Contest: Win a $100 Prepaid Credit Card!

Pull Out Your Pens, it’s Time for a Writing Contest!

Quote Contest: "Roryisms" - Show Stopping Statements from the Viewpoint of Rory Falcon

Dates: September 12 - November 30, 2011

What is a "Roryism"? Amy Lewis Faircloth, co-author of Wicked Good explains:

A "Roryism" is a statement which makes the conversation stop because it is so unexpected. Joanne, at age 6, might have invented the Roryism when she announced that she wanted to be a bus driver. My son, however, has perfected the Roryism. For example, while at the Bangor International Airport, we watched as army soldiers debarked from a flight from Mississippi and waited for their flight to Afghanistan. Because there were so many soldiers, my son remarked that they must have come in on several planes. When told that they had all been on one plane, he exclaimed, “they flew in the freakin’ Titanic”; a conversation stopper, and funny.

A Roryism can be instructive: “never marry a porn star.” A Roryism can be observant: “there is no woman like the woman you love.” A Roryism can be declaratory: “dogs and cats fight more when there is a full moon because they can see better.” A Roryism can be insightful: “It’s not the fear of dying that gets to cancer patients; it’s the fear of dying alone.”

For this contest, a Roryism must sound as if it comes from the viewpoint of Rory Falcon, a very special character in the novel Wicked Good.

Prize: $100 Prepaid Credit Card and winning quote will be published in Wicked Wise, book two in the Wicked series.

Contest Run Dates: September 12, 2011 - November 30, 2011

Winner Announcement: One lucky winner will be announced Wednesday, December 7, 2011 on The Muffin in a post highlighting The Top 10 Roryisms.

Judges: Authors Amy Lewis Faircloth and Joanne Lewis; WOW! Women On Writing editor Margo Dill

Rules & Regs: Open to anyone who purchases a copy of Wicked Good either as an e-book or print copy. Book may be purchased at www.amyandjoanne.com. Wicked Good is also available for purchase in both print and e-book formats at Amazon and at Barnes & Noble.
- You may enter as many times as you wish. Roryisms may be of any length and must be told in the character of Rory Falcon.
- Please include WOW! RORYISM CONTEST in the subject line. Please include your name and email address in your submission so we may contact you if you win. Upon submission you will receive an auto-response that your submission has been received.
- Entries must be received no later that midnight pacific time on November 2

2 Comments on Roryism Quote Writing Contest: Win a $100 Prepaid Credit Card!, last added: 9/22/2011
Display Comments Add a Comment
23. Marza Story Circus Competition call for entries

MARZA™ (CEO: Koichi Fukazawa), the new film production arm of Sega Sammy group, and 100 Meter Films (CEO: John Williams) are pleased to announce the 2nd MARZA “Story Circus” competition.

The Marza Story Circus Competition is a global search for original high-concept stories, to be developed into animated feature films for family audiences. The company's vision is to produce: "Delightful stories for children all over the world!"

The stories must have fascinating characters, strong emotional resonance, universal themes and be conceptually surprising.

Deadline: November 15, 2011

Entry fee: none

Prize: 1,000,000 Yen cash prize (with current conversion rates that's a little over $13,000 US dollars).

What they're looking for:

1. A synopsis of a complete story for a Marza animated feature film. The synopsis should be no more than 1,000 Words. Incomplete stories will not be considered.
2. A cover page with the following:
- A LOGLINE of the film in less than 100 words.
- A writer's statement about the HOOK and the UNIVERSAL THEME of the film (less than 200 words each.)

Submissions must be in English or Japanese and submitted via e-mail.

Full Guidelines and Application Form: http://www.100meterfilms.com/en/story_competition/top.html

1 Comments on Marza Story Circus Competition call for entries, last added: 10/13/2011
Display Comments Add a Comment
24. Writer’s Personal Essay/Memoir Contest


They’re looking for your original, unpublished viewpoint about  a particular topic or an experience you’ve had. Essays should be 1,000-1,200 words.

Deadline is November 30, 2011.

First prize: $1,000; a free 10-week creative writing workshop  offered online by Gotham Writers’ Workshop ($420 value); publication in The Writer and on WriterMag.com; and a one-year  subscription to The Writer.

Second prize: $300; free enrollment in a four-week How to Get Published seminar taught online by a literary agent and Gotham Writers’ Workshop ($150 value); publication on WriterMag.com; and a one-year subscription to The Writer.

Third prize: $200; free enrollment in a four-week How to Get Published seminar taught online by a literary agent and Gotham Writers’ Workshop ($150 value); publication on WriterMag.com; and a one-year subscription to The Writer.


I know everyone has a story to tell about something that happened in their life. Here’s your chance to share it, make some money, take a writing class, and get publishing credit.

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: Contests, earn money, magazine, opportunity, Places to sumit, submissions Tagged: Get Published, Personal Essay, Writing Contest

0 Comments on Writer’s Personal Essay/Memoir Contest as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
25. NaNoWriMo Day 5: Remember Remember the 5th of November

Yesterday was my personal best writing day that I've ever had. As part of Precision Editing's 4 hour writing contest, I sat down, got rid of all distractions and wrote like crazy for four hours straight. I ended up writing 9424 words in four hours, which is more than I usually get to in week. It was enough to nab me the 1st place in the contest.  You can read about it here:http://writingonthewallblog.blogspot.com/2011/11/write-thon-winners.html.

Even more than a prize, I'm glad to have realized what I can accomplish when I put my mind to it. NaNoWriMo shouldn't be too hard to win this year with this nice early lead. Congrats to everyone who participated. The real prize is the progress you make in writing. They hold the contest every year, and if you didn't participate this time around, I encourage you to give it a try next time.


1. Writer Mike 15,900 (as of November 5th)
2. Robin: 7,225 (as of November 3rd)
3. Misha: 3,389 (as for November 2nd)

Word Count: 

15900 / 50000

Writing tip of the Day: Minimize distractions. When you set aside time to write, turn off the TV, close your Facebook, resolve to check your email later. Writing time is precious and you need to make sure to capitalize on it. My life is insanely busy between raising my kids, spending time with my wife, working 40 hours a week, and being in a very demanding (but very fun) choir, my writing time is at a premium.  I have, however, been able to finish several manuscripts these year, and I think it comes down to a matter of commitment and focus. Make a promise to yourself that you will make the most of your writing time and reap the rewards.

<a href="http://rafl.es/enable-js">You need javascript enabled to see this giveaway&

1 Comments on NaNoWriMo Day 5: Remember Remember the 5th of November, last added: 11/5/2011
Display Comments Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts