I heard this award was coming and now it’s official:
August 5, 2012, LOS ANGELES-–The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) announced the creation of the On-The-Verge Emerging Voices Award at their 41st Annual Conference in Los Angeles. The annual award, established by SCBWI and funded by Martin and Sue Schmitt, will be given to two writers or illustrators who are from ethnic and/or cultural backgrounds that are traditionally under-represented in children’s literature in America and who have a ready-to-submit completed work for children. The purpose of the grant is to inspire and further the emergence of diverse writers and illustrators of children’s books.
The work will be judged by an SCBWI committee and two winners will each receive an all-expenses paid trip to the SCBWI Winter Conference in New York to meet with editors and agents, a press release to all publishers, a year of free membership to SCBWI, and an SCBWI mentor for a year. Deadline for submission is November 15, 2012. The winners will be announced December 15, 2012. The On-The-Verge Emerging Voices Award will be presented at the 2013 SCBWI Winter Conference in New York. Submission guidelines and information can be found here.