2012 New Voices Award Winners
New York, NY—January 23, 2013— LEE & LOW BOOKS is proud to announce that Rita Lorraine Hubbard of Chattanooga, Tennessee, is the winner of the company’s thirteenth annual New Voices Award. Her inspirational and vibrant story, Uncle Billy's Family Reunion, is loosely based on the life of an enslaved Chattanooga man named William "Uncle Bill" Lewis. In Hubbard’s story, Uncle Billy, a hardworking blacksmith, first earns enough money to lease his freedom. Then he sets up his own shop, slowly saving his money and buying the freedom of each and every member of his family, determined to bring them all back together.
Rita Lorraine Hubbard has been writing since she first knew what a pencil was, and she pulls ideas for writing projects from her surroundings. She is the author of a nonfiction book for adults entitled African Americans of Chattanooga: A History of Unsung Heroes, and she runs a children's book review site called Picture Book Depot. Hubbard also writes scripts for historical documentaries and is particularly interested in the history of Chattanooga, which she says is "the scenic city of the south and is bursting with amazing stories from history." Hubbard will receive a prize of $1,000 and a publication contract.
LEE & LOW BOOKS is also proud to announce that Selenia Paz of Houston, Texas, has been chosen as an Honor winner for her manuscript Broken English. Full of honest emotions, this tender story about a young girl's struggle to learn English is based on the author's life growing up in Houston. Through reading and the wisdom of those around her, the main character of the story learns to express herself with confidence. Paz is now a Children’s Librarian, sharing her love of reading both English and Spanish books with others. Paz will receive a prize of $500.