About the Award

TU BOOKS, the middle grade and young adult imprint of LEE & LOW BOOKS, award-winning publisher of children’s books, is pleased to announce the sixth New Visions Award. The award will be given for a middle grade or young adult novel by a writer of color or Native/Indigenous writer. Established in 2012, the NEW VISIONS AWARD encourages writers of color and Native nations to submit their work to a publisher that takes pride in nurturing new talent. Winning submissions include Ink and Ashes by Valynne Maetani, the recipient of an honor award from the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association; Rebel Seoul by Axie Oh, which received three starred reviews and was a Junior Library Guild selection; and Ahimsa by Supriya Kelkar, which received two starred reviews and was listed as a Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People.


  1. The contest is open to writers of color and Native nations 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.


  1. Manuscripts should address the needs of children and teens of color and Native nations by providing stories with which they can identify and relate, and which promote a greater understanding of one another. Themes relating to LGBTQ+ topics or disabilities may also be included.
  2. Submissions may be any fictional genre novels or graphic novels for children ages 8 to 12 or young adults ages 12 to 18. We are particularly interested in literary fantasy and science fiction, but also welcome contemporary, historical, mystery, suspense, and genre fusions. Graphic novel scripts for these categories are also welcome. Nonfiction will not be considered.
  3. Submissions should be of full, unagented manuscript or graphic novel script plus synopsis. Manuscripts/scripts should be composed in a clear 12-point font, double-spaced, saved as a Word document, accompanied by a cover letter that includes the author’s name, address, phone number, email address, brief biographical note, relevant cultural and ethnic information, how the author heard about the award, and publication history, if any.
    • Middle grade novels are not to exceed 75,000 words in length; young adult novels are not to exceed 95,000 words in length.
    • Graphic novels should not exceed 150 scripted pages. Include 6-10 pages of final art samples and optional character sketches in PDF format only if you are an author/illustrator.
  4. Submissions will not be returned.
  5. Up to two submissions per entrant. Each submission should be submitted separately.
  6. Submissions should be submitted online at Submittable in the New Visions Award category. You will receive a confirmation email stating your submission was received.
  7. Manuscripts may not be submitted to other publishers, mentorship contests, writing contests, or to TU BOOKS general submissions while under consideration for this award.
  8. TU BOOKS is not responsible for late, lost, or incorrectly delivered submissions. Be sure you leave enough time to resubmit if technical difficulties occur.

Dates for Submission 

Submissions will be accepted from April 1, 2019 through August 31, 2019, and must be submitted within that period. The submissions site will be only open from midnight (morning) on April 1, to midnight (night), August 31. Please make sure to give yourself plenty of time to allow uploading. 


The Award winner receives a cash prize of $2,000 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 $1,000.

Announcement of the Award 

  1. Submissions will not be returned. Be sure to retain a copy of your submission.
  2. Judges are the editors of TU BOOKS and LEE & LOW BOOKS. The decision of the judges is final.
  3. Winners will be notified no later than March 1, 2020.
  4. The Award and Honor winners will be announced no later than April 1, 2020.

For FAQs, visit

Help us spread the word! Download a printable PDF of the submissions guidelines to share with writers who may be interested.

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2017 New Visions Award Winners
By Tu Books
Author Olivia Abtahi and Luisana Duarte Armendáriz have won the fifth annual New Visions Award for their novels, Twin Flames and The Regent Enigma, respectively.

2016 New Visions Award Winners
By Tu Books
Author Charlotte Sun and Mary Louise Sanchez have won the fourth annual New Visions Award for their historical middle-grade novels, Escape from Tiananmen Square, and The Wind Called My Name, respectively.

2015 New Visions Award Winners
By Tu Books
Author Supriya Kelkar has won the third annual New Visions Award for her historical fiction novel, Ahimsa.

2014 New Visions Award Winners
By Tu Books
Author Axie Oh has won the second annual New Visions Award for her science fiction novel, The Amaterasu Project.

2013 New Visions Award Winners
By Tu Books
Author Valynne Maetani has won the first annual New Visions Award for her young adult mystery novel, Remnants of the Rising Sun.