GUIDELINES AND CRITERIA FOR THE EZRA JACK KEATS AWARD

Ezra Jack Keats Award for Writer

The EJK Award is given to a new writer for a picture book written in the tradition of EJK that:

● Highlights the universal qualities of childhood and the strength of the family.

● Reflects the multicultural nature of our world.

● Has an original text and original story (no folktales or retelling of folktales).

● Unifies illustrations and text.

● Avoids stereotypes.

● Is respectful of the child’s intelligence, sensitivity, curiosity, and love of learning.

● Displays freshness and originality of language and literary expression.

 

The Award is given for distinguished writing and text, not for illustration.  The intent of the Award is to identify and encourage early talent. To be eligible, the author will have no more than three books published under any name, prior to the year under consideration. Both U. S. and international artists are eligible for books that are published in North America, and in the English language.

 

Self-published books are not eligible for consideration.

Ezra Jack Keats Award for Illustrator

The EJK Award is given to a new illustrator for a picture book illustrated in the tradition of Ezra Jack Keats that:

● Highlights the universal qualities of childhood and the strength of the family.

● Reflects the multicultural nature of our world.

● Unifies illustrations and text (if present).

● Avoids stereotypes.

● Is respectful of the child’s intelligence, sensitivity, curiosity and love of learning.

● Demonstrate excellent command of the chosen medium.

● Display freshness and originality in style and/or form of artistic expression.

 

The Award is given for distinguished artwork that creatively and skillfully embodies the essence of the story or text. The intent of the Award is to identify and encourage early talent. To be eligible, the illustrator will have no more than three books published under any name prior to the year under consideration. Both U. S. and international artists are eligible for books that are published in North America, and in the English language. 

 

Self-published books are not eligible for consideration.

 

Nature of the Awards and the Award Ceremony

 

The winning author and illustrator will each receive a cash award of $3,000 and the EJK medallion suspended in lucite and inscribed with the recipient’s name, the name of their book and the year it was published. If one book receives both awards, the author and illustrator will each receive $3,000 and the EJK medallion suspended in lucite and inscribed as indicated above, to be presented to the recipients at the award ceremony. 

The EJK Award ceremony is held in April during the Fay B. Kaigler Children's Book Festival at The University of Southern Mississippi. In order to receive the award, the winning writer and illustrator must attend the ceremony. The publishers are responsible for making arrangements for authors and illustrators to be at the Award ceremony.

The award for Honor Books will be a glass plaque inscribed with the recipient’s name, the name of their book and the year. It is required that the publisher purchase and affix the Gold medallion book seals depicting Peter in a red snowsuit from The Snowy Day, or a digital image of the seal, to all copies of the winning books. A silver seal with the same image is available for use on the covers of all honor books. The foil seals and the digital image of the seals can be purchased at cost by the publisher. 

 

Submissions

Entries from publishers, based on the Award criteria, are welcomed through December 31 of each year. Publishers will identify submitted books as EJK Award entries for Writer and/or Illustrator, and send one copy of each book to each Committee member; to the Curator of the de Grummond Collection; and to Dr. Deborah Pope, Executive Director of the EJK Foundation. It is critical that each Committee member, the Curator and the Director receive a copy of each book in order that it be properly considered for the Award.

 

For additional information, please contact:

 

Ellen Ruffin, Curator of the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection, ellen.ruffin@usm.edu, or

Claire Thompson, Ezra Jack Keats Book Award Coordinator, claire.thompson@usm.edu

The University of Southern Mississippi

118 College Dr., #5148

Hattiesburg, MS 39406

Phone: 601-266-4349

2019 - 2020 Ezra Jack Keats Award Committee

 

Rita Auerbach, Chair

EJK Award Committee

140 West End Ave., #12J

New York, NY 10023

                                                                                                                                 

Dr. Claudette S. McLinn

EJK Award Committee

2681 Sasha Court

Simi Valley, CA 93063

 

Vaunda Nelson

EJK Award Committee

925H Country Club Drive SE

Rio Rancho, NM 87124

Chris Raschka

EJK Award Committee

599 West End Ave., #6A

New York, NY 10024

 

Melissa Sweet

EJK Award Committee

37 Saint Lawrence St. 

Portland, ME 04101-4315

 

Don Tate

EJK Award Committee

2224 Desco Dr.

Austin, TX 78748

 

Deborah Taylor

EJK Award Committee

912 N Central Avenue

Baltimore, MD 21202

Lettycia Terrones

ATTN: Lettycia Terrones, PhD Student

School of Information Sciences

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

112 LIS

501 E. Daniel Street

Champaign, IL 61820-6211

 

Paul O. Zelinsky

EJK Award Committee                                                                                                                                                             

54 Orange Street 1D                                                                                                                                                      

Brooklyn NY 11201 

Ex Officio Members

Deborah Pope, Executive Director                                                                                                                             

Ezra Jack Keats Foundation                                                                                                                                                   

450 14th Street                                                                                                                                                                

Brooklyn, NY 11215  

 

Ellen Ruffin, Curator, de Grummond Collection   

EJK Book Award Committee                                                                                                                                                        

c/o Claire Thompson, de Grummond Collection Assistant

de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection                                                                                                                 

118 College Drive, #5148                                                                                                                                         

Hattiesburg, MS 39406

 

Karen Rowell

EJK Book Award Committee

School of Library and Information Science

Cook Library, 206

118 College Drive, #5146

Hattiesburg, MS 39406

The de Grummond Children's Literature Collection

The University of Southern Mississippi

118 College Drive #5148

Hattiesburg, MS 39406

601.266.4349

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