Submission Guidelines Announced for 2021 Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature

Margaret Wise Brown medal

Publishers of picture books released in 2020 are invited to have their works considered for the 2021 Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature. The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2021.

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 University’s 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 2021 prize include:

  • Liz Garton Scanlon, author of the 2020 Margaret Wise Brown Honor book One Dark Bird and the Caldecott Honor book All the World.
  • Anika Aldamuy Denise, author of the 2020 Pura Belpré Honor book Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré.
  • Chris Van Dusen, illustrator of over two dozen children’s books authored by himself and others, including the popular “Mercy Watson” series by Kate DiCamillo.

The publisher should submit four copies of each book they wish to nominate for the Margaret Wise Brown Prize: one copy to Hollins University and one copy to each of the three judges. Books must have been first published in 2020; reprints and translations are not eligible. The winner will be announced in May 2021.

Please contact Lisa Rowe Fraustino at for the judges’ addresses and further submission instructions.

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.