Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2021 Many Voices Prize


The Many Voices Prize recognizes an exemplary Work-In-Progress from a SCBWI-Illinois member. Winner receives a written critique AND 30 minute Zoom with literary agent…



Samantha Fabien!



 Samantha Fabien is a literary agent at Root Literary.

Before joining the Root team, Samantha worked at LDLA as a literary agent and International Rights Manager. Her background includes a Bachelor’s in PR and Journalism, a certificate from the Columbia Publishing Course, and internships/part-time work at Ayesha Pande Literary, Writers House, and Chalberg & Sussman. From these experiences, Samantha has fostered her love for sharing diverse, lasting, and inclusive stories with the world —both in the U.S. and abroad.

Samantha can also be found working with events and organizations like DVcon, SCBWI, #Edits4BlackSFF, Gotham Writers, and the New York Writing Room among others.



APPLICATION PERIOD FOR 2021 :   2.1.2021 – 3.1.2021




– Diverse SCBWI members (both writers and illustrators) who live in Illinois and are at lease 18 years in age. Membership must be good through February 2021.


-Definition of “Diverse” for the purpose of this prize: people of color, Native people, people with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ people, and people who identify as members of a religious or cultural minority.


-If this is an application by a duo, both applicants must satisfy all requirements.


-If you are not yet a member, you may become a member before submitting your application, or apply for the SCBWI-Illinois Diverse New Member Pathway.


-There is no application fee.  This prize is fully supported by the donation of a generous SCBWI Member. If you would like to contribute to future prizes, please email the Regional Advisor.


-Applications accepted between February 1 and March 1 (by 11:59 PM CST): No applications will be accepted outside this date range.


-The winner will be announced April 15, 2021 via taped address by Samantha Fabien, Agent, Root Literary.


-Winning applicant(s) will receive: a written critique and a 30-minute Zoom or phone chat about the submitted work-in-progress or portfolio from Samantha Fabien, Agent, Root Literary.




1. COVER PAGE including the following info:

-Full name

-Mailing Address

-E-mail address

-Phone number

-Diversity the with which the applicant identifies.

-SCBWI Membership expiration dateTo find this date log into your SCBWI webpage, go to MY HOME at the upper right.  This will take you to your MEMBER PROFILE page.  In the task bar at left, scroll down to MEMBERSHIP and click on Print Membership Card to see a .pdf of your card with your membership expiration date. Membership must be good through February 2021.  Click to renew your membership.

Sample Format: Picture Book, Early Reader, Chapter Book, Middle Grade, Young Adult, Graphic Novel, Non-Fiction, Poetry

50 words or less explaining how your work will bring forward an underrepresented voice

Submit as a Word Doc labeled as : Last_first.doc or Last_first.docx ( ex. Alcantara_Jacqueline.docx )




-Your name should NOT appear on any pages of your sample.

-Document should be named with the following naming convention:  Last_first.pdf



Submit a sample from a manuscript, no more than 5 pages in length. (Novels may include an additional one-page synopsis). Double-spaced, Times 12-point font, one-inch margins, no headers.


Poetry submissions (this includes rhyming picture books, picture books in verse, and stand-alone collections) should conform to the guidelines above. However, they may be single-spaced, with a double space between the stanzas, per industry standards. Stand-alone collections (i.e. a group of poems intended to be published as one book) must have a page break at the end of each poem.



Submit a pdf sample of 4-6 pieces suitable for children’s book illustration.



Submit a sample from a manuscript, no more than 5 pages in length (Novels may include an additional one-page synopsis) Double-spaced, Times 12-point font, one-inch margins, no headers.


Submit a pdf sample of 1 finished illustration from accompanying mss. 


*Graphic Novel submissions: IF YOU ARE BOTH THE WRITER AND ILLUSTRATOR, follow the directions for writers-illustrators. Your submission will contain up to 7 pages maximum: 5 script pages, a 1-page synopsis and 1 page of finished art. 




Application Questions? Email Jacqueline Alcántara, SCBWI-IL Diversity Committee Member and illustrator of the SCBWI-IL Many Voices Prize image.




2020 Alina Celeste Hevia / Judge: Penny Moore, Aevitas Creative Management

2019 Soton Roswano / Judge:Tanusri Prasanna, Foundry Literary & Media

2018 Traci Dant,/Judge: Linda Camacho, Agent Gault & Zacker Literary Agency

2017 Lily Frusciante/Judge: Marietta Zacker, Agent Agent Nancy Gault Agency

2016 Katie Otey/Judge: Adriana Dominguez, Agent Agent Full Circle Literary


Many thanks to the generous SCBWI-IL Member who supports this prize.


Back to SCBWI-IL Diversity Initiatives