Ends on August 31, 2018

New Visions Award for Authors of Color


About the Award

TU BOOKS, the middle grade and young adult imprint of LEE & LOW  BOOKS, award-winning publisher of children’s books, is pleased to  announce the fifth New Visions Award. The award will be  given for a middle grade or young adult novel or graphic novel by a writer of color.  Established in 2012, the NEW VISIONS AWARD encourages writers of color  to submit their work to a publisher that takes pride in nurturing new  talent.

Winning submissions include Ink and Ashes by  Valynne Maetani, the recipient of an honor award from the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association; Rebel Seoul by Axie Oh, which received three starred reviews and was a Junior Library Guild selection; and Ahimsa by Supriya Kelkar, which received two starred reviews and was listed as a Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People.


Contestants must meet all of the following criteria to be considered:

  1. Self-identify as a person of color or a Native/indigenous person.
  2. Be at least 18 years old at the time of entry.
  3. Be a resident of the United States.
  4. Not have had a middle grade or young adult novel published.Writers who have had work published in other age categories are eligible.

Manuscripts previously submitted for this award or to Tu Books will not be considered. Work that has been published in its entirety in any format (including online and self publishing as well as in other countries) is not eligible.  


1.     Manuscripts may be novels or graphic novels in any fictional genre for children ages 8 to 12 or young adults ages 12 to 18. Picture books and short stories will not be accepted. 

2.     Manuscripts should address the needs of children and teens of color or of native nations by providing stories with which they can identify and relate, and which promote a greater understanding of one another. Themes relating to LGBTQ+ topics or disabilities may also be included. 

3.      Submissions should be full, unagented manuscripts or graphic novel scripts. Manuscripts/scripts should be composed in a clear 12-point font, double-spaced, saved as a Word document, and 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. 

a.     Middle grade novels are not to exceed 75,000 words in length; young adult novels are not to exceed 95,000 words in length.
b.     Graphic novels should not exceed 150 scripted pages. Include 6-10 pages of final art samples and optional character sketches in PDF format only if you are an author/illustrator. 

4.     Submissions should be submitted online at tubooks.submittable.com/submit in the New Visions Award category. You will receive a confirmation email stating your submission was received. 

5.     Manuscripts may not be submitted to other publishers, agents, mentorship contests, writing contests, or to Lee & Low’s general submissions while under consideration for this award. 

6.     All submissions must be submitted electronically between April 1st, 2018 and August 31, 2018. Allow plenty of time before the deadline to account for technical difficulties.

Dates for Submission 

Submissions will be accepted from April 1, 2018, through August 31,  2018, and must be submitted within that period. The submissions site  will be only open from midnight (morning) on April 1, to midnight (night) August 31. Please  make sure to give yourself plenty of time to allow uploading. 


The Award winner receives a cash prize of $2,000 and our standard  publication contract, including our basic advance and royalties for a  first time author. An Honor Award winner will receive a cash prize of  $1,000.

Announcement of the Award

  1. Submissions will not be returned. Be sure to retain a copy of your submission.
  2. Judges are the editors of TU BOOKS and LEE & LOW BOOKS. The decision of the judges is final.
  3. Winners will be notified no later than March 1, 2019. We will announce the winners no later than April 1, 2019.  

Help us spread the word! Download a printable PDF of the submissions guidelines to share with writers who may be interested.