Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Sue Alexander Grant

About Sue Alexander

Calling for Entries in the Year’s Most Competitive Writing Contest

The winner of the SUE ALEXANDER GRANT receives a guaranteed spot and free tuition to the Working Writer’s Retreat. The Working Writer’s Retreat and the Sue Alexander Grant are currently on hold. Check back for updates about the 2023 contest.

Author Sue Alexander was a founding member of SCBWI and was instrumental in the formation of the L.A. region. Her clear vision of the need for an organization to support children’s literature made her a vital force in establishing the early structure of SCBWI and growing it into the international society we enjoy today. For 35 years, she mentored writers, illustrators, librarians and teachers — always nurturing, but setting the highest standards for the craft. Established in her memory, this grant brings her encouraging spirit to one promising writer.

2022: Contest on hold.


1. You must be a member in good standing of the SCBWI-L.A. region.
2. Published or unpublished SCBWI-L.A. members may apply.
3. The submitted manuscript must NOT be under contract for publication at the time of application.
4. The submitted manuscript must NOT have won first place in any other SCBWI-L.A. contest at the time of application.
5. Limited to one entry per person.

Submissions not in compliance with the following rules WILL BE DISQUALIFIED. To ensure fairness for all, no questions will be answered. Please read carefully.


1. Limit the length of your fiction or non-fiction submission based on its genre:

– Picture Book – text only (no illustrations or dummies)
– Middle Grade – first 10 pages
– Young Adult – first 10 pages
– Poetry – 10 poems or 10 pages total

2. Format your manuscript as follows:

– 1-inch margin on all sides
– Font: Times New Roman, 12 point
– Double-spaced
– Header including PAGE NUMBER AND TITLE ONLY. Do not include your name or any other information on your manuscript.
– Save your manuscript as a PDF file named with SURNAME_TITLE. Example: Rowling_Harry Potter

3. Send your submission in an email to:

– Subject line of email must read: SUE ALEXANDER GRANT
– In the body of your email include:

– Your current SCBWI member name
– Address
– Contact phone numbers
– Email
– Title of your submission
– Category of your submission (PB, MG, YA or Other)

– Attach your PDF file

4. One winner will be announced on TBD in the Kite Tales blog. In announcing the award, we may wish to publish a brief, attributed selection from the winning manuscript in our Kite Tales blog or on our website. If you do NOT agree to this, please state so in the body of your email.

5. Complete entry must be emailed by 11:59pm (PST) on TBD.

Judges will remain anonymous.


2021: Christine Van Zandt for Butterfly Dreams (PB)
2020: Nicholas Ponticello for Pigs in Clover (YA)
2019: Jennifer Rawlings for Empty (YA)
2018: Julia Edwards for Anno Catti (MG)
2017: Andrea Custer for Forgotten Angels (YA)
2016: Karen Lyn Jameson for Woodland Dreams (PB)
2015: Kes Trester for Collision (novel)
2014: Melody Mansfield for Between the Wish and the Word (novel)
2013: Amanda Hollander for Crumbs (novel)
2012: Penelope Merrell for SQUAWK! (A Graphic Story in Fowl Language) (PB)
2011: Abi Estrin for Stricken (novel)
2010: Susan Lendroth for Not So Loud, Natsumi (PB)
2009: Connie Summer for Garbage Day (PB)