Kate Dopirak Craft & Community Award

The Kate Dopirak Craft and Community Award provides tuition to the SCBWI Annual Summer Conference in Los Angeles to the author of a promising manuscript. We hope attending this conference will help the winner hone their craft and expand their writing community. This award is offered in celebration of Kate Dopirak, a picture book author and beloved SCBWI member who lived her life lighting the way for others.

The award includes full tuition to the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrator’s Annual Summer Conference and a phone consultation with an agent and/or editor. 

The award alternates years between honoring picture book authors and middle grade/young adult novel authors. 

Note: Award does not include travel, meals, accommodations, or optional conference intensives or critiques.

Submissions will be accepted between 8 a.m. central time Monday, January 15th and 8 p.m. central time Tuesday, February 20th, 2024.

Submissions for the 2024 award year are open to picture-book writers

Click here for more information and a link to the submission form.

Award Winners


2024: Maureen Tai for THE MAGIC IN MING’S HANDS (PB)

2023: Danielle McClean for SORAYA UNBOXED (MG/YA)

2022: Lauri Fortino for JINPA AND THE DUST CLOUD DOG (PB)

2021: Laurie Young for GROUNDED (MG/YA)



2024: Ritu Hemnani for ON THE STREETS OF MUMBAI (PB)

2023: Leanne Pankuch for LIAR’S SONG (MG/YA) 

2022: Remi Kathawa for NANA’S YOGURT (PB) and Amita Snyder for MEHNDI THE WORLD (PB)

2020: Alicia Salazar for ELENA AND HER MANDOLIN (PB)