Don’t worry, just because you read past the above title does not mean you’re money-hungry.
On second thought...that’s exactly what it means. But in these economic times I won’t fault you for that. I just want to remind you writers out there that the deadline for SCBWI’s Work-in-Progress Grants is coming up fast. Packets need to be in their hands by March 15th if you want them to pass judgment on you and your writing.
Up for grabs are four grants worth $1,500 each and four runner-up grants worth $500 each. While I’m sure the money would be nice for anyone, the recognition is worth much more than any dollar amount. I received one of those grants in 2003 for Thirteen Reasons Why (back then it was called Baker’s Dozen: The AudioBiography of Anna Baker). And while the money was definitely appreciated, it was not the best part. One of the judges that year was an editor at a major publishing house. During the length of time it took me to finish the manuscript, that editor periodically reminded me to send it to her when I was done. When my agent began submitting the manuscript, I made sure that editor received a copy. While the book ended up going to the wonderful crew at Razorbill instead, that original editor did prompt a very fun and exciting auction!
So you never know where the grant will lead. But as LeVar Burton from Reading Rainbow would say, “You don’t have to take my word for it.” Just ask previous winners Jeanne Birdsall, Holly Cupala, Gail Giles, Jo Knowles, Cynthia Lord, Linda Urban, Deborah Wiles, and Paula Yoo.
And don’t worry if your manuscript isn’t finished yet. These grants are specifically designed for manuscripts ‘in progress’. In fact, you’re only allowed to submit the first 2,500 words. When I submitted my manuscript, I had only written a couple words beyond that.
(Hmm... Maybe I shouldn’t have said that.)
Good luck, everyone! When this time rolls around next year, hopefully I can add a link to your blog in the above list.