Little, Brown Books for Young Readers announces Morgan Leung as third annual winner of "Little, Brown Emerging Artist Award" for 2019

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NEW YORK, NY (November 1, 2019)—Little, Brown Books for Young Readers has selected debut talent Morgan Leung as the winner of the third annual Little, Brown Emerging Artist Award. This initiative seeks promising new illustration talent and encourages the development of high-quality picture books that resonate with readers of diverse backgrounds and experiences. The program also provides valuable mentorship by an acclaimed illustrator and a group of children’s book professionals. This year’s judge and mentor was celebrated Caldecott Honoree and Coretta Scott King Award winner Bryan Collier.

The third annual winner Morgan Leung is Chinese-American, born and raised in the small town of Meadville, Pennsylvania. Growing up, he struggled trying to learn Chinese, especially remembering and recognizing the countless different characters. So he set out to create his own book of characters in order to provide a fun and easy way for other kids to learn Chinese characters.

This past spring, he graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art with a degree in graphic design and an emphasis in illustration. He currently works as a UI/UX designer at a medical software company in Cleveland, Ohio.

Winning the Emerging Artist Award opens up a variety of opportunities for these talented creators. The winner of the very first Little, Brown Emerging Artist Award, Jin Xiaojing, has had her debut picture book I Miss My Grandpa selected as one of the New York Times 2019 Best Illustrated titles. The news and a review of the book will run in the November 10 print issue of the New York Times. The book will also be honored at a luncheon at the New York Public Library on November 12.  I Miss My Grandpa received starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly as well as praise from Working Mother and GeekDad.

Qualifying submissions for the award draw from the rich cultural experiences of this country—whether they manifest in character, theme, setting, plot, or are derived simply from the artist’s own experience of identity. Diversity includes literal or metaphorical inclusion of characters of underrepresented ethnicity, religious background, gender identity, class, mental or physical disability, or of any other nondominant population.

Additional prizing for the Emerging Artist Award includes American Express Gift Cards in the amount of $1,500 and round-trip travel to New York City. The individual who submits the most accomplished picture book idea, in the form of a mock-up, is honored with a full-day mentorship with a professional children’s book design and editorial team and distinguished Artist Mentor. The winner will also have his or her submission reviewed by the Little, Brown Books for Young Readers editorial team for possible future publication.

Artists must be previously unpublished and not currently represented by a publishing agent. In March of each year, one winner will be selected by a panel of three representatives from the Little, Brown Books for Young Readers editorial team along with an Artist Mentor. Submissions are judged based on the quality of their text, art, and storytelling; the incorporation of diversity; and the originality and creativity of their work. For more information and to enter, artists may visit LBArtistAward.com.

NYT: The 2019 New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children’s Books

Jin Xiaojing’s child protagonist tries to imagine her grandfather, whom she has never met, based on family resemblances. How do you capture a likeness of someone you’ve never seen? The jury thought the use of illustration in “I Miss My Grandpa” was particularly strong — a variety of visual styles are skillfully dispatched to deftly explore the idea of ancestry and absence. What makes us unique also binds us together. — J.T.

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PW: Little, Brown Chooses 2018 Emerging Artist Winner

January 17, 2019
Publisher’s Weekly

In Brief: January 17, 2019

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers announced Chiao-Chih Su as the recipient of its Emerging Artist Award, given each year to an aspiring illustrator whose work provides a diverse perspective. Su won the award for her picture book Whose Princess? As part of the honor, Su received a day of mentorship with children’s book writer and illustrator Grace Lin. Here, Su (l.) and Lin display a spread from Su’s book.

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PW: Little, Brown Acquires Jin Xiaojing's Picture book

October 24, 2017
Publisher's Weekly

Rights Report: Week of October 23, 2017

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Alvina Ling and Nikki Garcia at Little, Brown have bought author-illustrator Jin Xiaojing's I Miss My Grandpa, a picture book in which a child asks different family members about her late grandfather and learns his characteristics through the various features he passed down to his kin. Xiaojing was the winner of the 2017 Little, Brown Emerging Artist Award. Publication is planned for 2019; Hannah Mann at Writers House did the deal for world rights.

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Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Announces Winner of the First "Little, Brown Emerging Artist Award," to Encourage New Artists in the Development of Diverse Children's Books

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Jin Xiaojing wins for her story I Miss My Grandpa

NEW YORK, NY (June 16, 2017)—Little, Brown Books for Young Readers announces Jin Xiaojing as the winner of the first Little, Brown Emerging Artist Award. This initiative seeks promising new talent and encourages the development of high-quality picture books that resonate with readers of diverse backgrounds and experiences. The program will provide Xiaojing with a valuable day of mentorship by acclaimed illustrator Jerry Pinkney and children’s book professionals, and a monetary prize.

Submissions to the Little, Brown Emerging Artist Award were judged based on the quality of their text, art, and storytelling; the manner in which they supported the award’s diversity mission; and the originality and creativity of their work. Xiaojing was selected by a panel of three representatives from the Little, Brown Books for Young Readers editorial and design team along with artist mentor Jerry Pinkney. For more information, visit LBArtistAward.com.

Jin Xiaojing is a previously unpublished artist who lives in New York, NY, and was born in China. Xiaojing is a recent graduate of the Master of Fine Arts “Illustration as Visual Essay” program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Her picture book manuscript, I Miss My Grandpa, is a thoughtful exploration of family lineage. It tells the autobiographical story of a young girl who never met her deceased grandfather but who yearns to understand the influence his life still has on her and her family. The poignant story is told in both English and Mandarin Chinese. To depict this promising story for young readers, Xiaojing used a striking mix of media, including watercolor, marker, acrylic, colored pencil, and ink, which were applied with a variety of tools, including paintbrush, pen, sponge, and comb. “I wrote this book because I never met my own grandfather,” Xiaojing said. “He died at the age of thirty-four, but I still want to know everything about him, and have always felt he is with us.”

“Jin’s evocative artwork and emotive story made I Miss My Grandpa a standout submission for the Little, Brown Emerging Artist Award,” said Megan Tingley, Executive Vice President and Publisher, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. “The premise of a child learning about ancestry and how family lives on through its descendants, and the bilingual element beautifully meets the contest’s mission of bringing more diverse perspectives into children’s literature. Jin’s mixed-media art style is entirely distinctive, daring, and arresting. We couldn’t be more pleased to have her as our winner of the first Little, Brown Emerging Artist Award.”

Xiaojing responded to the news with pleasure. “I’m delighted to receive this award! It is especially meaningful because I’ve just graduated from the School of Visual Arts with a master’s degree after having studied children’s book illustration for four years. Having a chance to meet publishing professionals is an exciting next step.”

The details of next year’s Emerging Artist Award contest will be posted at LBArtistAward.com in September.

About Jerry Pinkney

Jerry Pinkney was recently awarded the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal and the Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. He also has the rare distinction of being the recipient of five Caldecott Honors, and is the winner of the 2010 Caldecott Medal for The Lion & the Mouse, published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Pinkney has won the Coretta Scott King Award five times and the Coretta Scott King Honor four times, has been named to the New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books list five times, and has been nominated for the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award. He was also the first children’s book illustrator elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Pinkney has been illustrating children’s books since 1964 and has over one hundred titles to his name. In addition to his work in children’s books, he has had over thirty one-man exhibitions in such venues as the Art Institute of Chicago; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York, New York; the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and many more. Pinkney has been called “an unparalleled artist” (Kirkus Reviews). He lives in Croton-on-Hudson, New York.

About Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers publishes a boutique, acclaimed picture book list featuring a wide variety of topics, genres, and art styles. The award judges from our publishing team include senior-level art directors and editors with decades of experience, all of whom have worked on multiple Caldecott award recipients, national bestsellers, classic children’s book characters, and New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book recipients on our backlist. Releasing approximately two dozen new hardcover titles per year, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers’ carefully curated collection of picture books seeks to balance depth, diversity, and genuine child appeal to create accessible stories worthy of multiple readings.

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers is a division of Hachette Book Group, a leading trade publisher based in New York and a division of Hachette Livre (a Lagardère company), the third-largest trade and educational publisher in the world. HBG is made up of eight publishing groups: Little, Brown and Company; Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Grand Central Publishing; Perseus Books; Orbit; Hachette Books; Hachette Nashville; and Hachette Audio. For more information, visit hbgusa.com.

PW: Little, Brown Launches Award for New Illustrators

Jerry Pinkney ( photo by Jacob Blickenstaff )

Jerry Pinkney
(photo by Jacob Blickenstaff)

by Sally Lodge • Publishers Weekly

Caldecott Medalist and five-time Caldecott Honor artist Jerry Pinkney will act as a judge and the inaugural artist mentor for the first annual Little, Brown Emerging Artist Award, recognizing new illustration talent and encouraging the development of high-quality picture books that resonate with readers of diverse backgrounds. In March 2017, the winner will be selected by a panel of jurors that includes Pinkney and three members of the Little, Brown Books for Young Readers editorial team.

Diversity is, in fact, the keynote of the initiative. The publisher expects qualifying submissions to draw from this country’s rich cultural experiences, manifested in character, theme, setting, or plot. Diversity also extends to the inclusion of characters of unrepresented ethnicity, religious belief, gender identity, class, and mental or physical disability.

“We are both proud of our long history of publishing diverse books and passionate about fostering new talent in children’s literature,” said Megan Tingley, LBYR executive v-p and publisher, in a statement. “Founding an award that brings both of these goals together has long been a goal of ours, given that many aspiring artists don’t have equal access to the resources, education, and connections that can be essential to breaking into the business.” ...

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