First $3,000 Prizes to be Presented at 32nd Annual EJK Book Award Ceremony on April 12, 2018, During Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival
NEW YORK—November 8, 2017—The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation and the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi announced today that the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award has tripled the winners’ prizes, to $3,000.
Each year, the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award recognizes a writer and an illustrator early in their careers for outstanding work. Judging for the 32nd annual EJK Book Award will be held in January 2018, and winners and honorees announced in February. A award ceremony will take place on April 12, during the Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. In addition to the $3,000 prize, the winners will receive their award, a bronze medallion suspended in Lucite.
“We’re proud to increase the amount of the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award to bring greater recognition to these talented artists. Children’s picture books are critically important to a forward-looking culture, and we need to support authors and illustrators whose work reflects the wonderful diversity of our society,” said Deborah Pope, Executive Director of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation.
“We’ve seen the impact Ezra’s books have had on children’s book writers and illustrators. This bigger prize will highlight the fact that new artists who celebrate our multicultural world are worth watching,” said Ellen Ruffin, Curator of the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection.
Past EJK Book Award winners whose books continue to delight and make a difference include Bryan Collier, Sophie Blackall, Deborah Wiles, Don Tate, David Ezra Stein and Meg Medina. Submission guidelines can be found at www.ezra-jack-keats.org/section/ezra-jack-keats-book-awards/#submission.About the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation
The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation fosters children’s love of reading by supporting arts and literacy programs in public schools and libraries, and cultivating exceptional writers and illustrators of picture books that reflect our diverse culture. The Caldecott-winning children’s book The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats, was recently adapted by Amazon as a holiday special that earned two Emmys®, and is the theme of a set of Forever stamps issued by the United States Postal Service. For more about the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, visit www.ezra-jack-keats.org. Keats. Imagination. Diversity.About the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection
The de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi is one of North America’s leading research centers in the field of children’s literature. Since 1985, the de Grummond Collection has been the home of the Ezra Jack Keats Archive, which includes manuscripts, typescripts, sketches, dummies, illustrations and proofs for Ezra Jack Keats’ books. For more about the de Grummond, visit www.lib.usm.edu/degrummond.