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Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award

Award Overview

The Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award recognizes unpublished manuscripts of Jewish fiction targeting ages 8-13. The award was established by Sydney’s husband Ralph Taylor to encourage aspiring authors of Jewish children’s books. It was first awarded in 1985. The winner receives a cash award of $1000.

The committee defines an unpublished author as not having previously published any works of fiction for young readers. This includes self-published as well as commercially published work. The manuscript must be a work of fiction in English with universal appeal of Jewish content for readers aged 8-13 years, both Jewish and non-Jewish. It should reveal positive aspects of Jewish life. Short stories are not acceptable.

While AJL cannot guarantee publication, the prize money has been an incentive for writers with varying experience to try their hands at writing for this genre. The award carries prestige in the publishing world and several Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award winners have subsequently been published. Published books that have won the Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award prior to publication are eligible to carry the Sydney Taylor Manuscript seal. To order seals to place on your own copies of winning titles, please contact the chair of the Sydney Taylor Manuscript Committee.

The next call for submissions will be placed in the fall of 2023.

The winner will be announced in January. Questions can be referred to the Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award coordinator, Aileen Grossberg.

This Year's Winner

Echo of Light by Noah Weisz

Past Winners

´╗┐Award YearAuthor(s)TitlePublished TitlePublisherPublication Year
2019Littman, JessicaA Corner of the World
2018Pransky, JudithThe Seventh Handmaiden
2016Drazin, MeiraHoney and Me
2015Krawitz, SusanViva, Rose
2013Propp, KarenFreestyle
2011Ross, Susan A.In Search of Lottie
2010Schoettler, JoanOn the Run
2009Liss-Levinson, NechamaWhen the Hurricane Came to New OrleansWhen the Hurricane Came2012
2008Chaiken, MargaretStealing the Show
2007Mermelstein, YaelGetting Rid of Jeremy
2004Ferber, Brenda A.Cara's KitchenJulia's KitchenFarrar, Straus & Giroux2006
2002Schwabach, KarenA Pickpocket's TaleA Pickpocket's TaleRandom House2006
1999Nislick, June E.Zayda Was a CowboyZayda Was a CowboyJewish Publication Society2005
1998Wulfe, Linda PressDevorahThe Night of the Burning: Devorah's StoryFarrar, Straus & Giroux2006
1997Propp, Vera W.When the Soldiers Were GoneWhen the Soldiers Were GoneG.P. Putnam's Sons1999
1997Yavin, Tovah S.All Star BrothersAll Star SeasonKar-Ben2006
1996Agins, Donna BrownPassover Promise
1995Johnson, Sheila GolburghAfter I Said No
1994Silton, FayeOf Heroes, Hooks and HeirloomsOf Heroes, Hooks and HeirloomsJewish Publication Society1996
1993Ducharme, Lilian FoxThe Treasure in the Tiny Blue TinTexas Christian University Press1998
1991Meir-Levi, DavidGarden of the Gentle Giant
1991Roisman, LoisLeaving Egypt
1991Cantor, AvivaTamar's Cat
1990Bandes, HannahRabbi Aaron's TreasureReb Aharon's TreasureTargum/Feldheim1993
1990Rogers, Dr. KirbyOperation DeweyOperation Dewey2002
1988Wizowaty, SuziBorders
1987Weissenberg, FrancesThe Streets Are Paved with GoldThe Streets Are Paved with GoldHarbinger House1990
1986Soloway, ElaineCubs of the Lion of Judah
1985Fleisher, RosalieSpirit
2021Spear, SonjaCats and Honey Cake
2022Weisz, NoahEcho of Light