Posted by: Kathy Temean | February 22, 2021

Opportunity for Unpublished Authors: SCBWI Karen and Philip Cushman Late Bloomer Award

Karen and Philip Cushman Late Bloomer Award

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.

Congratulations to this year’s winners!

View 2020 Work-in-Progress Award Winners

The Work-in-Progress Awards showcase outstanding manuscripts from the members of the SCBWI. One winner in each of the following 6 categories will be selected.

-Picture Book Text

-Chapter Books/Early Readers

-Middle Grade

-Young Adult Fiction

-Nonfiction (Anna Cross Giblin Nonfiction Award)

-Underrepresented Fiction or Nonfiction (previously called Multicultural) Note: Members may apply to this category in addition to one of the above

Award: The works submitted by winners will be made available on a secure webpage and presented to a hand-selected group of editors for their consideration. Although this is not a guarantee of publication, the opportunity to have your work presented to acquiring editors, along with an SCBWI endorsement, is a unique opportunity.

Deadline Update: NOW OPEN

Deadline: Submissions will be accepted March 15 – April 15, Midnight PDT 2021 only.



1. You must be a current SCBWI member when your work is submitted and when the award is announced.

2. You may not submit a work that is under contract.  If the work becomes under contract before the award is announced, you will become ineligible.

3. Each member may submit only one manuscript to the WIP awards each year.

4. Illustrators can apply for one of the Don Freeman Grants.  You may not apply for both the Don Freeman and the picture book category of the WIP Award.

5. Applying to the Cushman Grant or the Underrepresented Category? Simply check the relevant box on the Work-in-Progress submission form. That’s it! You will not receive an additional automated confirmation.

6. If you are self-published you may submit to the WIP.

Submission Guidelines:


Please submit your application via our online submission portal. Link will open on March 15 and close April 15. Please include all info as ONE PDF ATTACHMENT.  We will NOT accept a Word Document.


A cover page that contains:

Your name

Manuscript Title

Grant Category

A double-spaced synopsis, max 250 words

Put all of these elements in ONE PDF Document

The first 10 pages (US letter size) of your completed manuscript with page numbers in the bottom corner. You must have a complete draft to submit. Please include your name (First_Last) in the upper corner of your 10 pages.

Your manuscript sample must be double-spaced and cannot exceed 10 pages. WE DO NOT NEED A SEPARATE TITLE PAGE. YOUR COVER PAGE DOUBLES AS A TITLE PAGE. Please use 12 point, Times New Roman font. Your submission with total 11 pages: Cover page + 10 manuscript pages.

Please label your PDF as Category First Name_Last Name (example: MG Mary_Ford)

Submit your PDF HERE


Please read the FAQs before contacting us.

Winners will be announced in early October.



Talk tomorrow,



  1. Thanks for the reminder, Kathy. I’ve entered this for several years, but so far not successful. 🙂 But one year, maybe I will be successful! If nothing else, I’m revising and submitting and getting lots of practice.


  2. Thanks, Kathy. I appreciate the reminder.


  3. Awesome, thank you Kathy!


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