Connecticut's Shoreline Arts Alliance in Guilford sponsors the Tassy Walden Award for New Voices in Children's Literature. This is a program for unpublished Connecticut writers and illustrators, and awards are given in five categories. Entries are judged on the basis of literary or artistic quality, and the organizers are quite clear at the website that didactic and popular content are not considered. (Didactic material frequently raises its preachy head in children's literature.) The Tassy Walden people even run informational workshops for writers interested in submitting.
|Leslie Bulion and Lorraine Jay|
The Tassy, as you sometimes hear it called hereabouts, began fifteen years ago. Two of the founders were Leslie Bulion and Lorraine Jay. There are cash prizes for the top winners, but what really makes this a significant award in this state is that a number of winners have gone on to be traditionally published. Among them are A.C.E. Bauer, Leslie Bulion, Stacy DeKeyser, Frank Dormer, Deborah Freedman, Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Martha Seif Simpson, and Jane Sutcliffe.
And The Winners Are
The 2015 Tassy Walden Awards winners, finalists, and honor mention designees were announced a few weeks ago. Last night a reception was held for them at the James Blackstone Memorial Library (pictured above) in Branford. Attendee and finalist Nancy Tandon provided Original Content with photographs of the event.
Edward Tucchio - Illustrated Picture Book
Janet Croog - Illustrated Portfolio
Kelly Hill - Young Adult Novel
Jeanne Zulick - Middle Grade Novel
There was no winner in the Picture Book Text category this year, but there were four finalists: Erika Bajrami, Charlene Haukom, Cherish Ann Lisee,Wi and Linda Zajac.
Illustrated Picture Book: Carolyn Bull and Gabriella Svenningsen
Illustrator's Portfolio: Diane Holtzworth, Dominique Monroe, and Virginia Zimmerman
Young Adult Novel: Holly Howley, Karen Lindeborg, Christine Dokko, and Karen Fortunati
Middle Grade Novel: Jacquelin Devlin, Heather Sherlock DiLorenzo, Meira Rosenberg, Nancy Tandon, and Rudy Vene
Remember, this is an award for unpublished authors. Good luck to everyone going forth with your careers.