Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

The Marguerite W. Davol Picture Book Critique Scholarship

The email for submissions and all questions regarding the Davol Scholarship is

For the seventh year, NE-SCBWI is happy to honor the memory of Peg Davol with a scholarship for a two-part picture book manuscript critique. Peg was a longtime SCBWI member and the author of picture books including The Paper Dragon, illustrated by Robert Sabuda, which won the Golden Kite Award. Peg was the mother of grown children and a retired preschool teacher when she began writing most seriously. After that, she was rarely seen without a yellow pad of paper. She may never have missed a NE-SCBWI conference, where she was a welcoming presence recognized by her elaborate dangling earrings and big infectious smile.

Each year the Marguerite W. Davol Picture Book Critique Scholarship is given to two NE-SCBWI members: one to a published member and one to a pre-published member. This year, the published winner will receive a critique from Megan Dowd Lambert, author of award-winning picture books and a member of the Simmons College faculty. The pre-published winner will receive a critique from Rob Broder, editor/publisher from Ripple Grove Press. After working with their mentor, the winners will receive a free agent or editor critique at the NE-SCBWI annual spring conference, (May 1-3, 2020). Recipients will need to register for at least one day of the NE-SCBWI conference (critiques are scheduled for either May 1 or May 2).

This year’s judges are writers Brian Lies, Janet Costa Bates, and Anika Denise. They will be looking for distinguished language in this genre that may be a child’s introduction to literature, and a sense of hope, joy, and perhaps humor or sadness. The work should be entertaining or enlightening primarily to the child, but also to the adult who reads aloud.

Eligible writers must live in one of the six New England States and must be members of SCBWI. Winners of any previous Davol scholarships may not submit again.

Manuscripts should be submitted as they’d be sent to a publisher, but please do not put your name anywhere on the manuscript, including the header. Instead, include a separate cover letter with contact information. Please include your publication status (published or pre-published) and the title of the submitted work in your cover letter. For this contest, self-published counts as published. Pre-published is defined as not published in book form or for children.

We ask that your manuscript not exceed a thousand words, and remind you that in this short form, every word matters, for both meaning and sound.

Each submitter may only submit one (1) manuscript, in the following format:

Two (2) separate documents, saved in Microsoft Word:
o The manuscript
o The cover letter.

The Manuscript:
o Text only. This scholarship is for the story only, so no sketches or dummies.
o The author’s name may not appear anywhere on the manuscript, including the headers or footers.

The Cover Letter will include:
o The author’s name
o The author’s contact information
o The title of the manuscript
o Whether the author is published or pre-published.
· Published means in the field of children’s literature/OR in picture book format, and text only.
· Self-published counts as published.
· Illustrators whose texts have not been previously published are considered pre-published.
o NEW THIS YEAR: Please include a few sentences about what inspired you to write this manuscript. If there are diversity elements within the piece, please describe why you were compelled to write this story and what connects you to those elements.

The manuscript and the cover letter will both be attached to a single email. (One (1) email with two (2) attachments.)
o Send the email to

Submissions that are not in the correct format will be considered ineligible. Due to the number of submissions received, you will not be contacted and asked to resubmit. If you think you might have made a mistake, such as putting your name in the header of the manuscript or not attaching one of the required documents, simply resubmit.

Send your manuscript and cover letter to That is also the email to use for any questions.

The deadline for submissions is December 10, 2019.

Announcement of the winners will be made within the first couple weeks of the new year.