For a number of years I have been very active with PEN NEW ENGLAND, an organizaton for writers and anyone who loves the printed word and who cares about literary freedom.

Here is some information about our annual award, the Susan P. Bloom Children’s Book Discovery Award, and right now is the time of year to think about sending in your work to be considered.

Several winners from past years have gone on to have their work published successfully.


Each year, the PEN New England Children’s Book Caucus honors emerging writers and writer/illustrators with its Susan P. Bloom Children’s Book Discovery Award. Winners will present their work to the public at the PEN New England Children’s Book Discovery Evening in April 2008, and winning manuscripts will be read by editors from Candlewick, Houghton Mifflin, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, or Little, Brown and Company.

Entrants must be residents of New England who have not been published in any genre (with the exception of magazines or self-publishing), and the submitted work (or another work) must not be under contract. We are able to accept only one entry per person, in one of the following four categories: picture books, novels, poetry and nonfiction.

The deadline for submissions is Friday, February 1, 2008. Entries need only be postmarked by that date. If you want to be sure your entry has been received, enclose a self-addressed and stamped postcard. Please do not require a signature for delivery.

All work should be—in both format and quality—ready for consideration by a publisher. The Caucus does not determine ahead of time the number of winners or the categories to be represented. Winners will be notified by late March.

To submit your work, please follow these guidelines:

1. Each submission of text should be approximately 10 pages in length, though picture books may be shorter. PLEASE NOTE: Manuscripts will not be returned.

Picture books: Send complete text. If you are a writer and not an illustrator, there is no need to send along illustrations. Similarly, illustrators are encouraged to submit illustrations without text. Author/illustrators should include sample illustrations or a book dummy, which will be returned if an appropriate SASE is provided. Do not send original artwork.
Middle grade or Y/A novels: Send one or two chapters.
Poetry: Send up to ten poems.
Nonfiction: Send one or two chapters, plus a brief outline or table of contents.

2. For longer works, submissions may include a synopsis or outline, although it is not required.

3. Include a short biographical statement about your experience and interest in the field.

4. Include a phone number and e-mail address (if available).

5. Enclose a business-sized SASE for notification of decisions.

6. Mail your submission to:
PEN New England/CBC Discovery Night
c/o Kim Ablon Whitney
1663 Cambridge St. #3
Cambridge, MA 02138