The Walter Dean Myers Grant program was established to provide grants of $2,000 each to promising diverse writers and illustrators who are currently unpublished. Since 2015, we have awarded 16 grants, and we are set to award three new grants in 2021.
Prior recipients have secured literary representation and book deals, including our 2015 winner Angie Thomas who used her grant to purchase a computer to complete her Black Lives Matter-inspired manuscript. That YA manuscript, titled The Hate U Give, went on to sell in a 12-house auction, received 8 starred trade reviews, and is now a #1 New York Times’ Best Seller and a major motion picture.
We will start accepting applications for the 2021 Walter Grants at 12:01 AM EST on August 1, 2021. Our submission window will remain open until August 31, 2021. Applications must be in by 11:59 PM EST on August 31. Check back here to submit your application during the submission window.
- Applicants must identify as diverse, as per WNDB’s definition of diversity.
- Applicants must be unpublished as illustrators and/or authors. This includes both trade publishing and self-publishing. If the applicant has a book deal for an as yet unpublished book, the applicant is considered published for purposes of this grant. Essays, short stories, and articles do not render an applicant ineligible.
- Applicant must be working toward a career as a children’s author and/or illustrator. This includes but is not limited to: Picture Books, Early Reader Books, Chapter Books, Middle Grade Books, Young Adult, Graphic Novels, Non-Fiction, Poetry.
- Applicant must be a U.S, resident or a refugee living in the States. (Note for refugee applicants: receiving a grant might affect your income limitations and any government assistance you may receive. You may want to reach out to appropriate officials, like an immigration attorney, for advice.)
- Applicant must be at least 18 years in age.
Walter Grant FAQ
Please choose one category to submit, whichever you feel is a better fit for consideration.
You are eligible to apply if you have legal residence in the United States regardless of citizenship.
Unfortunately, we cannot have original works or copies mailed in. Any illustration must be submitted electronically.
Applicants who have books on submission to publishing houses are not eligible for the Walter Grant. Books on submission to procure an agent however will not render the applicant ineligible.
No. Authors who have published outside of children’s literature are also not eligible for the Walter Grant.
There are no degree or publication credits required to apply for the grant.
No, authors who have have self published are not eligible for the Walter Grant.