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Frequently Asked Questions about the Ridgway Award

What are the Marion Vannett Ridgway Book Awards?
The Marion Vannett Ridgway Award is a memorial award given to an author or illustrator in recognition of an outstanding debut in the world of children’s picture books.

More than 25 American publishers submit 60 to 100 titles annually to the Ridgway Award committee. A First Prize and Honor Awards are announced each spring.

Who can win the Ridgway Award?
Any author or illustrator (or photographer if the book in question is illustrated with photographs) can win provided the book is a debut appearance for that person.

Why does this award focus on debut books?
Marion Vannett Ridgway was often supportive to lesser known artists and authors. She was eager to guide those who needed help. When these memorial awards were founded in 1993 it was decided they would best reflect Marion’s generous spirit by encouraging the sort of book most likely to be overlooked in the world of children’s literature — the debut appearances of authors and illustrators.

What are your submission guidelines?
In order to qualify for a Ridgway Award a book must:
1. Be a debut appearance for the author or illustrator.
2. Have been published initially in the United States.
3. Have a copyright date for the year under review.
4. Be a hardcover or paperback. Books that are available only in electronic form are not yet eligible.

I’m a publisher. How do I enter my books?
Publishers may enter their books for consideration by first getting on the Ridgway mailing list. Information regarding where to send entries will be distributed to all publishers in September. The deadline for 2018 submissions is February 9, 2018.

I’m a writer/ilustrator. How do I enter my books?
Only entries from publishers are accepted. Your publisher can join the online mailing list. Bookmark the page then email it to your editor or publisher. Your publisher will then be on the list to get the information they need in September to enter your book. Be sure to check which books qualify.

Will the books be returned to the publisher?
Sorry, entries cannot be returned.

Who finances these awards?
These awards are financed by the Elizabeth Park Trust. This private trust is managed by BMO Harris Bank in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Who are the judges?
The judges are a group of educators and librarians affiliated with the Kerlan Collection of Children’s Literature.

What is the deadline for entries?
The deadline is February 9, 2017 for the 2018 awards.
Important Qualification: All books must bear a copyright of 2017.

What is the prize?
First prize is $800. Honor book winners receive $200.
All winners receive The Marion Vannett Ridgway Award certificate.

How and when are the winners announced?
Award winners are announced in April in national magazines that focus on children’s literature. Press releases are distributed to media and publishers.

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