Despite being a late bloomer myself, at least with regard to writing for children, I missed the deadline for the very first “Late Bloomer Award”—I learned of it just a little too—late.
In 2013 the Society of Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators (SCBWI) will award the “Karen and Phillip Cushman Late Bloomer Award” to an author over the age of fifty who has not been traditionally published in the field of children’s literature. Next year.
“One of the great aspects of writing children’s books is that it’s not age-restrictive,” says SCBWI Executive Director Lin Oliver on their website. “The SCBWI hopes an individual’s creative expression can make a valuable contribution, no matter what his or her age.” Personally, I find that very encouraging.
The grant was established by Karen Cushman and her husband, Philip Cushman, along with the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. At the age of fifty-three Karen published her first children’s book, The Midwife’s Apprentice and won the acclaimed Newbery Medal for it in 1996. She writes historical fiction for young people with numerous novels such as The Ballad of Lucy Whipple, Rodzina, and her newest, Will Sparrow’s Road. Here is Karen’s website. Add them to your summer reading list. So many books—so little time.
The Late Bloomer award is open to authors and author/illustrators over the age of fifty. To enter you submit material for the SCBWI Work-In-Progress Grants and identify yourself as over fifty and unpublished. The winner will receive $500 in cash, and free tuition to any worldwide SCBWI conference. What a generous way to give back—kudos to Karen and Phillip Cushman.
Works-in-progress grants accepted material March 1-30th of this year. More information is available on the SCBWI awards and grants page. Mark your calendar for next spring (I did.)
For new writers of any age