The Awards honor diverse authors whose books have diverse primary characters and substantively discuss diversity.
Myers served as the third National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, a position that was given to her by the Library of Congress in 2012.
He was an advocate for diversity in children’s literature.
The Walter Awards celebrate diversity in children’s books while paying homage to Myers’ memory and creative legacy.
- There will be two categories for the 2023 Walter Awards: Teen and Younger Readers.
- The author of a submission must be diverse, and the submission itself must be diverse. If there are multiple authors on a piece, at least one of them must be diverse.
A varied work is one that was written by a diverse author and has a diverse main character.
- The 2023 Walter Awards will be given in two categories: Teen and Younger Readers.
- A submission must be written by a diverse author and the submission must be a diverse work. If a work has co-authors, at least one of the authors must be diverse.
- A diverse work constitutes a work written by a diverse author featuring a diverse main character. For works without a main character, the work must address diversity in a substantial capacity.
- Work must be an original work published in English for the first time in 2022 and must be readily available in the United States either from a U.S. publisher or U.S. distributor.
- Work may have been originally in another language and translated, but the first English publication date must be in 2022. Multilingual editions are also eligible as long as the primary language is English.
- For Teen consideration, work must be determined to be for an audience of ages 13-18.
- For Younger Readers consideration, work must be determined to be for an audience of ages 9-13. This category includes picture books in which the format and content are determined to be appropriate for this age bracket.
The submissions deadline for The 2023 Walter Dean Myers Awards consideration is November 15, 2022. All shipments must be postmarked no later than November 15, 2022. Shipments postmarked after this date will NOT be eligible for consideration.
Publishers are invited to submit eligible titles for consideration to the Walter Awards Judging Committee. One physical book must be provided to each of the committee members. Contact WalterAward@diversebooks.org to receive Committee members’ shipping addresses.
When publishers submit books, they must supply information regarding which book[s] they are sending. Requested information includes:
- A tally of the books included in the shipment, with the publication dates for each book.
- The diversity with which the author identifies.
- The diversity of the main character or the overall diversity of the work.
Publishers must submit physical copies. Physical copies may be a finished book or an ARC. All ARCs must be followed up with a final printed copy by December 31, 2022.