2015 New Voices Award Winners
New York, NY—January 19, 2016—LEE & LOW BOOKS is proud to announce that Lisa Brathwaite of Stone Mountain, Georgia, is the winner of the company’s sixteenth annual New Voices Award. Her manuscript, Show and Tell: The Story of Eunice Johnson and the Ebony Fashion Fair, is a picture book biography of Eunice Johnson, African American publishing executive and founder of the Ebony Fashion Fair. Since childhood, Eunice had a passion for fashion. She enjoyed sewing her own clothes and took pride in her original style and immaculate technique. As an adult, she and her husband founded Ebony, a magazine that celebrates African American life and culture. And in 1958, Eunice created the Ebony Fashion Fair, a fund-raising event that quickly evolved into a nationwide tour that showcased high fashion for the African American audience and challenged accepted standards to embrace beauty in all forms.
Lisa Brathwaite is a cultural engagement advisor with Welcoming America and a volunteer with Dress for Success Atlanta. As a young girl, Lisa was interested in fashion and found Ebony a source of encouragement and confidence. She became enamored with Eunice Johnson’s journey and was inspired to write about this great businesswoman and fashion icon. Lisa will receive a prize of $1,000 and a publication contract.
LEE & LOW BOOKS is also proud to announce that Li Yun Alvarado of Long Beach, California, has been chosen as the New Voices Honor winner for her manuscript A Star Named Rosita: The Rita Moreno Story, a picture book biography of film and theater star Rita Moreno. A native of Puerto Rico, Rita migrated in 1936 to the United States, where she discovered her talent for performing. She rose to Hollywood stardom and became a pioneer for Latina women, overcoming barriers and stereotypes to win an Academy Award for her role in the musical West Side Story (1961). As a young Puerto Rican performing arts student in New York City, Li Yun Alvarado was deeply affected by Rita Moreno’s story and was motivated to write about Rita’s inspirational work for a new generation of readers and performers. Li Yun will receive a prize of $500.