The Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award recognizes unpublished manuscripts of Jewish fiction targeting ages 8-13.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The committee defines an unpublished author as not having previously published any works of fiction for young readers.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
|Award Year||Author(s)||Title||Published Title||Publisher||Publication Year|
|2019||Littman, Jessica||A Corner of the World|
|2018||Pransky, Judith||The Seventh Handmaiden|
|2016||Drazin, Meira||Honey and Me|
|2015||Krawitz, Susan||Viva, Rose|
|2011||Ross, Susan A.||In Search of Lottie|
|2010||Schoettler, Joan||On the Run|
|2009||Liss-Levinson, Nechama||When the Hurricane Came to New Orleans||When the Hurricane Came||2012|
|2008||Chaiken, Margaret||Stealing the Show|
|2007||Mermelstein, Yael||Getting Rid of Jeremy|
|2004||Ferber, Brenda A.||Cara's Kitchen||Julia's Kitchen||Farrar, Straus & Giroux||2006|
|2002||Schwabach, Karen||A Pickpocket's Tale||A Pickpocket's Tale||Random House||2006|
|1999||Nislick, June E.||Zayda Was a Cowboy||Zayda Was a Cowboy||Jewish Publication Society||2005|
|1998||Wulfe, Linda Press||Devorah||The Night of the Burning: Devorah's Story||Farrar, Straus & Giroux||2006|
|1997||Propp, Vera W.||When the Soldiers Were Gone||When the Soldiers Were Gone||G.P. Putnam's Sons||1999|
|1997||Yavin, Tovah S.||All Star Brothers||All Star Season||Kar-Ben||2006|
|1996||Agins, Donna Brown||Passover Promise|
|1995||Johnson, Sheila Golburgh||After I Said No|
|1994||Silton, Faye||Of Heroes, Hooks and Heirlooms||Of Heroes, Hooks and Heirlooms||Jewish Publication Society||1996|
|1993||Ducharme, Lilian Fox||The Treasure in the Tiny Blue Tin||Texas Christian University Press||1998|
|1991||Meir-Levi, David||Garden of the Gentle Giant|
|1991||Roisman, Lois||Leaving Egypt|
|1991||Cantor, Aviva||Tamar's Cat|
|1990||Bandes, Hannah||Rabbi Aaron's Treasure||Reb Aharon's Treasure||Targum/Feldheim||1993|
|1990||Rogers, Dr. Kirby||Operation Dewey||Operation Dewey||2002|
|1987||Weissenberg, Frances||The Streets Are Paved with Gold||The Streets Are Paved with Gold||Harbinger House||1990|
|1986||Soloway, Elaine||Cubs of the Lion of Judah|
|2021||Spear, Sonja||Cats and Honey Cake|
|2022||Weisz, Noah||Echo of Light|