Posted by: Kathy Temean | January 9, 2022

THE OMA AWARD Out from the Margins


A Marketing Award for Underrepresented Creators of Children’s Literature

SCBWI takes great pride in the creation of the OMA Award (which stands for Out from the Margins), a new and substantial award for early-career underrepresented creators of children’s books. There will be 8 winners selected to be part of a cohort that will provide a pathway to visibility for creators who might otherwise not be seen or heard. The OMA Award’s purpose is to help launch a new book and enhance a creator’s career with marketing skills and resources that will be useful throughout their career.

Deadline January 15, 2022.

Winners will be announced in March 2022.



The intent of this award is to provide an opportunity to launch their book with full support and visibility, as well as, to coach underrepresented authors and illustrators on how to create scaffolding for future book launches during their career in children’s literature. We hope to give them a set of skills, resources, and connections, along with the funds to accomplish their goals in successfully marketing their new book. Mentors and subject matter experts will focus on the US market. All winners will comprise a cohort that will meet monthly as a group with experts to learn about various areas and techniques to best market their books.

The package includes:

A $5,000 cash award
Group sessions focused on social media book launches, book trailers, school visits and curriculum materials, media training, independent booksellers, school and library markets, as well as promotions and publicity.
Free registration to SCBWI national/international digital conferences and workshops during 2022
Free SCBWI one-year membership upon your next renewal date
Featured stories in SCBWI publications
Spotlight in SCBWI marketing (BookStop, Insight ads, social media platforms)
Participation on a featured panel at an SCBWI national/international conference
Featured paid advertising in trade publications
Virtual lunch with key SCBWI staff and board members


Open to all Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC/BAME), disabled, LGBTQIA+ authors, illustrators, and author-illustrators of children’s literature.

You must be a current SCBWI member.
SCBWI member profile on new member profile page must be completed.
Must have a completed book coming out in Fall 2022 – Summer 2023.
Must show that they are under contract for a release from Fall 2022 through Summer 2023.
If self-published, must show that they are releasing a book within that same time frame.
Independently- or traditionally published eligible applicants may not have more than 4 published books prior to submission.


For traditionally-published work:

Personal artist’s statement
Synopsis of work
Completed manuscript along with:
expected publishing date,
name of editor, agent, and publisher

For independently-published work:

Personal artist’s statement
Completed manuscript and expected publishing date
Details about your method of publication

For illustrators:

Personal artist’s statement
5-10 illustrations from the work, of which 3 must be final pieces
Synopsis of the book (or full text)

All applicants should be prepared to provide more content and information as needed. Eight winners will be selected.


Winners will be required to show how they spent their money, participate in their cohort group, provide a summary report of their experience, and participate in at least one cohort session for future winners of the OMA Award.


Submissions will be judged on a combination of personal story and quality of the work. Children’s books representing all genres and formats are eligible. Consideration will be given to selecting authors and illustrators who reflect a range of underrepresented groups.


Talk tomorrow,


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