Posted by: Kathy Temean | May 9, 2013

Late Bloomer Children’s Writer Award – Over 50

Karen and Philip Cushman Late Bloomer Award

cushmanSo Sorry, I made a mistake. I just saw this announced and didn’t check the dates, so mark your calendars NOW for March 1st 2014. This is not to be missed! Some of you may even turn 50 during that time. 

Are you over 50 years old and have not been traditionally published? If so, this is something you should consider.

The Karen and Philip Cushman Late Bloomer Award is for authors over the age of fifty who have not been traditionally published in the children’s literature field.

The grant was established by Newbery Award winner and Newbery Honor Book recipient Karen Cushman and her husband, Philip Cushman, in conjunction with the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.  Karen published her first children’s book, The Midwife’s Apprentice (winner of the 1996 Newbery Medal), at the age of fifty-three and has gone on to become one of the field’s most acclaimed novelists.

“This award was established to encourage and celebrate late bloomers like me, who didn’t start to write until age fifty.  But then I bloomed, and I’d love to see others do so as well,” said Karen.

SCBWI Executive Director Lin Oliver agreed, “One of the great aspects of writing children’s books is that it’s not age-restrictive. The SCBWI hopes an individual’s creative expression can make a valuable contribution, no matter what his or her age.”

The award is open to both unpublished children’s book authors or author/illustrators over the age of fifty, and one winner will be chosen from the pool of those who have submitted material for the SCBWI Work-In-Progress Grants.

The winner will receive $500 in cash, and free tuition to any worldwide SCBWI conference.  The first winner will be selected this year and announced along with the other Work-in-Progress Grant recipients. Because this grant was started after the applications were due we will be contacting finalists to see if they are eligible for this additional award.

Application Process You do not apply directly for this award, rather it is chosen from among the Work-in-Progress grant entrees. To enter you will indicate on your application that you are over 50 and would like to be considered for the award. Must be an SCBWI Member to apply.

About Karen Cushman

Karen Cushman is the author of The Midwife’s Apprentice (winner of the 1996 Newbery Medal), Catherine, Called Birdy (a Newbery Honor book), The Ballad of Lucy Whipple (winner of the John and Patricia Beatty Award), and her latest book, Will Sparrow’s Road (Clarion 2012). Karen lives and writes on Vashon Island in Washington.  To learn more about Karen visit .

Talk tomorrow,



  1. There’s hope for me yet. 🙂


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