With their announcement of the New Visions Award, I'm delighted to see Tu Books take the lead in calling for more genre fiction by writers of color for middle grade and YA audiences. It seems to me that if writers of color venture into this terrain then characters in these genres will become more diverse, more nuanced, more blended, more multifaceted, more real.
The New Visions Award will be given for a middle grade or young adult fantasy, science fiction, or mystery novel by a writer of color. Authors who have not previously had a middle grade or young adult novel published are eligible.
Eligibility and submissions guidelines here.
The New Visions Award was established to help more authors of color break into publishing and begin long, successful careers, while also bringing more diverse stories to speculative fiction.Don't you love the ring of that? Long, successful careers? Writing books with cultural grounding, slant, perspective, voice, heft? In genres young readers love?
The award is modeled after Lee & Low's successful New Voices Award, which was established in 2000 and is given annually to a picture book written by an unpublished author of color. Since it was started, the New Voices Award has led to the publication of outstanding picture books such as Bird by Zetta Elliott and The Blue Roses by Linda Boyden.
I'm anxious to see what works turn up on the editors' desk in response to this call for submissions. Over the years,
the editors and publishers at Lee & Low, and now Tu, have chosen to place themselves in an important space in the ongoing conversation on culture and literature for young readers.
Read more from Stacy Whitman of Tu Books: Is Multicultural the Right Word?