Friday, March 06, 2009

Who Wants Some Money!!!

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.


K. M. Walton said...

I am sooooo going to apply. I was at the SCBWI conference in NYC and I remember you talking about this during your presentation (which rocked by the way).

Thanks for the reminder. I have been on the querying roller coaster now for a year with my first novel and for 16 years with my picture books. Maybe this'll give it a shot in the arm.

Jay Asher said...

My fingers are crossed for ya, K.M.!

And thanks for letting me know you remember hearing this in NYC. It's the one part of my speech that, for some reason, I kept thinking I skipped over. Yet I thought it was an important story for that particular audience.

So now you've set my mind at ease...

Clementine said...

Jay, what about if I've just finished my last week. Can I still enter?

Jay Asher said...

Yep! Until a book is accepted for publication, it's considered a work-in-progress. As long as you submit before acceptance, you're good to go. (So hurry, maybe an editor's planning on calling you this week...)

Good luck!!!

Sherrie Petersen said...

How inspiring -- I downloaded the forms last week thinking I should do this, but I haven't printed them out yet. I think I'll get on that...