The New Voices Award

The New Voices Award

Name: The New Voices Award
Category: Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry
Word count: maximum of 1500 words
Entry fee: Free
Prize: $2000 and publication deal
Closing date: August 31, 2020.

Lee and Low Books are accepting manuscripts for The New Voices Award. Writers of colour or Native/Indigenous writers can submit their children’s picture book manuscript. Established in 2000, the New Voices Award encourages writers of colour and Native nations to submit their work to a publisher that takes pride in nurturing new talent.

The New Voices Award Eligibility
  • The contest is open to writers of colour and Native nations who are residents of the United States and are at least 18 years old at the time of entry.
  • The writer must not have previously published a children’s picture book traditionally.
  • Participants will be eligible for the contest if they have published work in other venues and genres, including children’s magazines, middle-grade and young adult fiction or nonfiction, and adult fiction or nonfiction.
  • Authors of self-published books are also eligible. However, they will be required to submit a new manuscript, not a project that has been previously self-published. Writers cannot have had a picture book traditionally published if they’re applying for the New Voices Award.
  • Only manuscripts that are forwarded by the writer will be considered. No agent allowed to send in manuscripts.    
  • If you previously submitted your manuscripts for this award or to LEE & LOW BOOKS’ general submissions, do not submit the same manuscript again. 
  • Manuscripts should address the needs of children of colour and Native nations by providing stories with which they can identify and relate. The manuscript should promote a greater understanding of one another.
  • Themes relating to non-traditional family structures, gender identity, or disabilities may also be included.  
  • Submissions may be FICTION, NONFICTION, or POETRY for children ages 5 to 12.
  • Stories must have human protagonists. Only stories with human protagonists will be considered.
  • The maximum word count for the manuscripts is 1500 words.
  • Manuscripts should be accompanied by a cover letter that includes the author’s name, address, phone number, email address, brief biographical note, relevant cultural and ethnic information, how the author heard about the award, and publication history if any.
  • Manuscripts should be typed double-spaced.
  • An author can submit up to 2 manuscripts for this contest. Each submission should be submitted separately.  
  • Simultaneous submission is not allowed. Once you submit your manuscripts for this contest, you may not submit the same to other publishers, agents, mentorship contests or writing contests till the contest this over.

To submit a manuscript to the New Voices Award, please use the link below to access and complete the New Voices Award Submission Form. You will receive a confirmation email once you have successfully submitted your manuscript to the contest.


The Award winner will get a cash prize of $2,000 and a standard publication contract with Lee and Low Books. This contract includes a basic advance and royalties for a first-time author. An Honor Award winner will receive a cash prize of $1,000. The winners will be around on or before December 31, 2020

Find other writing contests here


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