FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The 2021 Walter Dean Myers Awards for Teen and Younger Readers Call for Submissions
April 3, 2020
Washington, DC — WNDB is pleased to invite submissions for the annual Walter Dean Myers Awards for Outstanding Children’s Literature, also known as “The Walters,” named after celebrated children’s book author Walter Dean Myers (1937-2014).
The 2021 Walter Awards will be given in two categories: Teen and Younger Readers.
One book will be awarded the 2021 Walter Award for Teen Readers. One to two books will be chosen as 2021 Walter Honor Book(s) for Teen Readers. The age range for these titles is 13-18.
Additionally, one book will be awarded the 2021 Walter Award for Younger Readers. One to two books will be chosen as 2021 Walter Honor Book(s) for Younger Readers. The age range for these titles is 9-13.
The Walters will be decided by a judging committee of esteemed librarians and educators. The Chairperson of the 2021 Judging Committee is Morika Tsujimura.
The 2021 Walters will be announced in January 2021. The 2021 Walters Awards Ceremony and Symposium will follow in March 2021.
The deadline for submissions is November 16, 2020. All shipments must be marked no later than Monday, November 16, 2020
- A submission must be written by a diverse author and the submission must be a diverse work. If a work has co-authors, at least one of the authors must be diverse.
- A diverse work constitutes a work written by a diverse author featuring a diverse main character. For works without a main character, the work must address diversity in a substantial capacity.
- Work must be an original work published in English for the first time in 2020 and must be readily available in the United States either from a U.S. publisher or U.S. distributor.
- Work may have been originally in another language and translated, but the first English publication date must be in 2020. Multilingual editions are also eligible as long as the primary language is English.
- For Teen consideration, work must be determined to be for an audience of ages 13-18.
- For Younger Readers consideration, work must be determined to be for an audience of ages 9-13.
WHAT IS MEANT BY “DIVERSE”?
Authors must identify as one or more of the following. The main character of the story must also identify as one or more of the following:
- Person of color
- Native American
- Person with a disability
- Marginalized religious or cultural minority in the United States.
- If the work does not include a main character, the subject matter must pertain substantially to diverse experiences and content.
- Socioeconomic status and class do not qualify as diverse for the purposes of this award.
Any submission received that does not meet these requirements will not be read.
Publishers are invited to submit eligible titles for consideration to the Walter Awards Judging Committee. One physical book must be provided to each of the committee members. Please contact WalterAward@diversebooks.org to receive Committee members’ shipping addresses.
When publishers submit books, they must supply information regarding which book[s] they are sending. Requested information includes:
- A tally of the books included in the shipment, with the publication dates for each book.
- The diversity with which the author identifies.
- The diversity of the main character or the overall diversity of the work.
Publishers must submit physical copies. Physical copies may be a finished book or an ARC. All ARCs should be followed up with a final copy by the November 16, 2020 deadline.
COVID-19 UPDATE FOR MAILINGS: In these unprecedented times, final e-books will be accepted until further notice.
Self-published titles are not being accepted.
To maintain a professional boundary between judges and authors, no author, their family member, or their business partner may directly send any materials to a judge. If any author, their family member, or their business partner sends a work to a judge directly, that work will be disqualified.
Please note: The last date to mail eligible titles is Monday, November 16, 2020. Entries must be postmarked by this date to be eligible for consideration.
For any questions, please contact WalterAward@diversebooks.org.
We look forward to your submissions.
About We Need Diverse Books. We Need Diverse Books is a grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people. It is our mission to put more books featuring diverse characters in the hands of all children. You can learn more about WNDB programs at www.diversebooks.org.
Press Contact: Alaina Lavoie, firstname.lastname@example.org