New award for 'non-traditional' children's books

New award for 'non-traditional' children's books

A new award, the Spark Award, has been created to recognise excellence in a children's book published via a non-traditional route.

The US-based Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators said the award is open to writer or illustrator members who have independently published a board book, picture book, chapter book, middle grade novel or YA novel through a self-publishing enterprise. However submissions must be submitted in traditionally bound form, with an ISBN number and evidence of copyright registration.

SCBWI said it reserved the right to disqualify books published by enterprises it believes operate "in a predatory or unprofessional manner".

The body's executive director Lin Oliver and president Stephen Mooser together commented: "It is time that SCBWI recognise that there are new models for publishing. The Spark Award is one way we can reward those authors and illustrators who are pursuing independent and self-publishing in a legitimate and high-quality way."

The winner will receive a Spark seal to display on their book and a commemorative plaque, with the book featured in the SCBWI online bookstore and marketed on SCBWI social networking sites.

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