The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators has announced the recipients of the 2015 Jane Yolen Mid-List Author Award —
- Karen Coombs, author of Woody Guthrie, America’s Folk Singer (Lerner, 2002)
- Sallie Wolf, author/illustrator of The Robin Makes a Laughing Sound: A Birder’s Journal (Charlesbridge, 2010).
The award is a $3,000 grant to mid-list authors to honor their contribution and help raise awareness about their current works-in-progress. The grant was created and is funded by acclaimed children’s book author Jane Yolen, one of the first SCBWI members.
Karen Coombs of San Marcos, California, is the author of several nonfiction, middle grade novels, and a young adult novel, Sarah on Her Own (Avon, 1996). Her nonfiction books include Jackie Robinson, Baseball’s Civil Rights Legend (Enslow, 1997) and Children of the Dust Days (Carolrhoda, 2000). Karen has several completed projects currently circulating. Her website is http://www.karencoombs.com/index.html
Sallie Wolf of Oak Park, Illinois, is the author of Truck Stuck (Charlesbridge, 2008) and Peter’s Trucks (Albert Whitman, 1992). Peter’s Trucks, now in reprint, will be an Illinois Reads IRC pick for 2016. Sallie’s current projects include a poetry collection based on twenty years of observing the moon, and another truck book. Learn more at www.salliewolf.com.
Jane Yolen explained her inspiration for this award:
It’s no longer front page news that publishing is changing. However, our ability to deliver story has changed more thoroughly these days than at any time since Guttenberg. Because of this, the mid-list authors are finding it harder and harder to find a traditional publisher to stick with them. It’s not simply that their books aren’t selling. . .for they backlist just fine. The problem is they are not mega-bestsellers on the front end. I know this because on many—indeed on most of my books—I am in the same boat.
Even well-known mid-list authors are struggling. They lose editors, publishers, their books go out of print. So, I wanted to give back to my peers and that’s how the Mid-list Award was born. It’s not a great deal of money, but it’s a love note of recognition. SCBWI and I are saying, “Please know that we love your books. We need your books. We remember your books. Don’t quit. Write more.”
Founded in 1971, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators is one of the largest existing writers’ and illustrators’ organizations, with over 22,000 members worldwide.
[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]