Lee & Low Writing Contests

Lee & Low Books offers two annual writing contests that encourage writers of color and Native/Indigenous writers to submit their manuscripts to a publisher that takes pride in nurturing new talent. Winners of each contest receive a cash prize of $2,000 and a standard publishing contract with Lee & Low Books. Honor Award winners receive a cash prize of $1,000.


New Voices AwardNew Voices Award - Picture Book Manuscripts

Established in 2000, the New Voices Award is given annually to an unpublished author of color or Native/Indigenous author for a picture book manuscript. Previous winners include award-winning titles such as As Fast As Words Could Fly, Juna's Jar, It Jes' Happenedand Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds.

Manuscripts may be FICTION, NON-FICTION, or POETRY for children ages 5-12. Manuscripts should address the needs of children of color or native children by providing stories they can identify with and which promote greater understanding of one another. Themes relating to non-traditional family structures, gender identity, or disabilities are also of interest.

Eligibility: Contestants must meet all of the following criteria to be considered:

  • • Self-identify as a person of color or a Native/indigenous person.
  • • Be at least 18 years old at the time of entry.
  • • Be a resident of the United States.
  • • Not have had a children's picture book published. 

Submission Period: April 1, 2018 - August 31, 2018

See full eligibility and submission information


New Visions AwardNew Visions Award - Middle Grade/Young Adult Manuscripts

Established in 2012, the New Visions Award is given annually to an unpublished author of color or Native/Indigenous author for a middle grade or young adult manuscript. Previous winners include the award-winning Ink and Ashes as well as the forthcoming novels Ahimsa and Rebel Seoul.

Manuscripts may be novels or graphic novels in any fictional genre for children ages 8 to 12 or young adults ages 12 to 18. Manuscripts should address the needs of children and teens of color by providing stories the can identify with and which promote greater understanding of one another. Themes relating to LGBTQ+ topics or disabilities may also be included.

Eligibility: Contestants must meet all of the following criteria to be considered:

  • • Self-identify as a person of color or a Native/indigenous person.
  • • Be at least 18 years old at the time of entry.
  • • Be a resident of the United States.
  • • Not have had a middle grade or young adult novel published. 

Submission Period: April 1, 2018 - August 31, 2018

See full eligibility and submission information