Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Varian Johnson Wins Coretta Scott King Honor Award!

Austin SCBWI member Varian Johnson recently received a Coretta Scott King Honor award for his MG novel, THE PARKER INHERITANCE (Arthur A. Levine, 2018) from the American Library Association.

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards are given annually to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values. The award commemorates the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and honors his wife, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, for her courage and determination to continue the work for peace and world brotherhood.

THE PARKER INHERITANCE has also received several other accolades: 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Book, Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2018, Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2018, School Library Journal Best Book of 2018, 2018 Horn Book Fanfare Selection, NPR Best Book of 2018, Boston Globe Best Children’s Books of 2018, Parents Magazine 2018 “Best Chapter Book to Read With Your Kid”, New York Public Library “Top Ten” Best Books for Kids of 2018, Chicago Public Library Best Books for Kids of 2018, BookPage Best Books of 2018.

Varian is the author of nine novels for MG & YA readers. He will serve as mentor for the 2019 winner of the Cynthia Leitich Smith Writing Mentor Award.

Selection process for this award begins with the critiques at the 2019 Writers & Illustrators Working Conference. Critiquers nominate one of the manuscripts submitted to them for the award, if they feel the manuscript is of a high enough level. The nominated writers will make up the finalists, who will be announced after the Saturday sessions of the conference. The finalists’ work will then be submitted to the mentor, who will choose the winner, announced on our website after the conference.