Judges, Submission Guidelines Announced for the 2017 Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature

Margaret Wise Brown

Hollins University has named three distinguished authors as judges for the 2017 Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature.

Presented annually, the Margaret Wise Brown Prize recognizes the author of the best text for a picture book published during the previous year. The award is a tribute to one of Hollins’ best-known alumnae and one of America’s most beloved children’s authors. Winners are given a $1,000 cash prize, which comes from an endowed fund created by James Rockefeller, Brown’s fiancé at the time of her death. Each recipient will also receive an engraved bronze medal as well as an invitation to accept the award and present a reading on campus during the summer session of Hollins’ graduate programs in children’s literature.

Judges for the 2017 prize include:

  • Phil Bildner, author of the Margaret Wise Brown Prize-winning picture book Marvelous Cornelius, which was also a Junior Library Guild Selection and a recipient of the Parent’s Choice Gold Award. Bildner has also written numerous other picture books.
  • Jane Yolen, co-author of the Margaret Wise Brown Prize Honor Book You Nest Here With Me, as well as more than 350 other books. Her works have garnered two Nebula Awards, the World Fantasy Award, a National Book Award nomination, three Mythopoeic Fantasy Awards, and the Golden Kite Award.
  • Heidi E.Y. Stemple, co-author of the Margaret Wise Brown Prize Honor Book You Nest Here With Me and many others.

Publishers should submit four copies of each book they wish to nominate for the Margaret Wise Brown Prize:

  • One copy should be mailed to Hollins University, with contact information included, at:Margaret Wise Brown Prize
    Graduate Program in Children’s Literature
    Hollins University
    Box 9678
    7916 Williamson Road
    Roanoke, VA 24020
  • One copy should be mailed to each of the three prize judges. Mailing addresses for each judge may be obtained by contacting Amanda Cockrell, director of Hollins University’s graduate programs in children’s literature, at acockrell@hollins.edu.

The deadline for submission for books published in 2016 is January 15, 2017. Books must have been first published in 2016; reprints are not eligible. The winner of the Margaret Wise Brown Prize will be announced in May 2017.

Brown graduated from Hollins in 1932 and went on to write Goodnight Moon, The Runaway Bunny, and other children’s classics before she died in 1952. Hollins celebrated her life and work with a year-long Margaret Wise Brown Festival in 2011 and 2012, which featured stage and musical adaptations of her work along with readings, workshops, guest lectures, and other activities for all ages.

The study of children’s literature as a scholarly experience was initiated at Hollins in 1973; in 1992, the graduate program in children’s literature was founded. Today, Hollins offers summer M.A. and M.F.A. programs exclusively in the study and writing of children’s literature, an M.F.A. in children’s book writing and illustrating, and a graduate-level certificate in children’s book illustration.