On September 23rd 2020, the winners of the 2019 Writers’ League of Texas Book Awards were announced, celebrating the best books published by Texan writers during the year 2019—and the Austin SCBWI chapter won big! Six chapter members placed as finalists or Discovery Prize winners in both the Middle Grade/Young Adult category and the Picture Book category. (The Discovery Prize is given to self-published books or books that were published by small, independent, or university presses.)
Britta Jensen won a Discovery Prize in the Middle Grade/Young Adult category for Eloia Born, a YA science fiction novel about a teenage girl with a visual impairment who is forced to run away from her village with her best friend.
Meredith Davis was named a finalist in the Middle Grade/Young Adult category for Her Own Two Feet: A Rwandan Girl’s Brave Fight to Walk, co-authored with Rebeka Uwitonze, a middle-grade nonfiction book about Rebeka, who, at age 9, traveled from Rwanda to America for corrective surgery on her feet.
Donna Janell Bowman was named a finalist in the Picture Book category for King of the Tightrope: When the Great Blondin Ruled Niagara, illustrated by Adam Gustavson, which recounts how Jean-François Gravelet pulled off a tightrope walk across the Niagara River in 1859.
Cate Berry was also named a finalist in the Picture Book Category for Chicken Break!: A Counting Book, illustrated by Charlotte Alder, which features ten chickens trying to break out of their chicken coop.
Debbie Loren Dunn, along with co-author Tami Lewis Brown, was also named a finalist in the Picture Book category, for Instructions Not Included: How a Team of Women Coded the Future, illustrated by Chelsea Beck, which tells the story of Betty Snyder, Jean Jennings, and Kay McNulty, who made groundbreaking contributions to the emerging field of computer science.
Carmen Oliver was also named a finalist in the Picture Book category for A Voice for the Spirit Bears: How One Boy Inspired Millions to Save a Rare Animal, illustrated by Katy Dockrill, a picture-book biography of young conservationist Simon Jackson, who founded the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition.
Congratulations to all these writers!