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New Voices Award

2014 New Voices Award Winner

LEE & LOW BOOKS is proud to announce that Andrea J. Loney of Inglewood, 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.

About the Award
Established in 2000, the New Voices Award is an annual award given by LEE & LOW BOOKS to an unpublished author of color for a picture book manuscript. 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. Past New Voices Award submissions that we have published include The Blue Roses, winner of the Paterson Prize for Books for Young People; Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds: The Sammy Lee Story, a Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People and a Texas Bluebonnet Masterlist selection; and It Jes' Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw, winner of the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award Honor.

LEE & LOW BOOKS is a publisher that takes pride in nurturing new talent. 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 about our New Visions Award for middle grade and young adult manuscripts, click here.

Dates for Submission: Submissions are now closed for the 2014 New Voices Award. Please check back in the spring for 2015 submission information.

Eligibility:
1. 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.

2. Writers who have published work in venues such as children’s magazines, young adult, or 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 publishing, is not eligible.

4. Manuscripts previously submitted for this award or to LEE & LOW BOOKS will not be considered.

Submissions:
1. Manuscripts should address the needs of children of color by providing stories with which they can identify and relate, and which promote a greater understanding of one another. 

2. Submissions may be FICTION, NONFICTION, or POETRY for children ages 5 to 12. Folklore and animal stories will not be considered. 

3. Manuscripts should be no more than 1500 words in length and 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. 

4. Manuscripts should be typed double-spaced on 8-1/2” x 11” paper. A self-addressed, stamped envelope with sufficient postage must be included if you wish to have the manuscript returned. 

5. Up to two submissions per entrant. Each submission should be submitted separately. 

6. Submissions should be clearly addressed to:
LEE & LOW BOOKS
95 Madison Avenue, Suite 1205
New York, NY 10016
ATTN: NEW VOICES AWARD 

7. Manuscripts may not be submitted to other publishers or to LEE & LOW’s general submissions while under consideration for this award. LEE & LOW BOOKS is not responsible for late, lost, or incorrectly addressed or delivered submissions.

Announcement of the Award:
1. The Award and/or Honor Award winners will be notified no later than December 31, 2014

2. All entrants who include an SASE will be notified in writing of our decision by January 31, 2015

3. The judges are the editors of LEE & LOW BOOKS. The decision of the judges is final. 

4. At least one Honor Award will be given each year, but LEE & LOW BOOKS reserves the right not to choose an Award winner.

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