December 11, 2017  

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Ezra Jack Keats Foundation Triples Prize for Winners of Book Award

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The winners of the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award, a writer and an illustrator early in their careers, will each receive a $3,000 prize and a bronze medallion suspended in Lucite.

The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation and the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi recently announced that the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award has tripled the winners’ prizes to $3,000.

Each year, the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award recognizes a writer and an illustrator early in their careers for outstanding work. Judging for the 32nd annual EJK Book Award will be held in January 2018, and winners and honorees announced in February. An award ceremony will take place April 12 during the 51st annual Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival at the Southern Miss Hattiesburg campus. In addition to the $3,000 prize, the winners will receive their award, a bronze medallion suspended in Lucite.

“We’re proud to increase the amount of the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award to bring greater recognition to these talented artists. Children’s picture books are critically important to a forward-looking culture, and we need to support authors and illustrators whose work reflects the wonderful diversity of our society,” said Deborah Pope, executive director of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation.

“We’ve seen the impact Ezra’s books have had on children’s book writers and illustrators. This bigger prize will highlight the fact that new artists who celebrate our multicultural world are worth watching,” said Ellen Ruffin, curator of the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection.

Past EJK Book Award winners whose books continue to delight and make a difference include Bryan Collier, Sophie Blackall, Deborah Wiles, Don Tate, David Ezra Stein and Meg Medina. Submission guidelines can be found at www.ezra-jack-keats.org/section/ezra-jack-keats-book-awards/#submission.