Finalists Announced for Prestigious NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Finalists for the 2015 NSK Neustadt Prize

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Lauren Simpson
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Robert Con Davis-Undiano
Executive Director, World Literature Today
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Finalists Announced for Prestigious NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature

Seven nominated for the seventh awarding of the biennial $25,000 Prize

NORMAN, Okla. (July 15, 2014) – World Literature Today, the award-winning magazine of international literature and culture, announces today the finalists that will be considered for the 2015 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature, which is given biennially to celebrate great accomplishments in the world of children’s literature. Established in 2003 with inaugural recipient Mildred D. Taylor and open to authors and illustrators working anywhere in the world, NSK Prize winners receive $25,000, a silver medallion, a certificate of recognition, and a literary festival hosted in their honor.

Unique in the crowded field of children’s literary awards, NSK finalists are chosen solely by an international jury panel of peer authors, all esteemed for their own contributions to children’s literature. Deliberations are scheduled to begin on Tuesday, June 17, and the winner will be announced at the Neustadt Festival at the University of Oklahoma in October 2014.

The 2015 NSK Neustadt Prize finalists are:

  • Benjamin Alire Sáenz, USA. Selected work: Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood. Nominated by J. L. Powers.
  • David Small, USA. Selected work: The Gardener. Nominated by Kathryn Otoshi.
  • Jamila Gavin, England and India. Selected work: Blackberry Blue. Nominated by Elizabeth Laird.
  • Julie Flett, Canada. Selected work: Owls See Clearly at Night: A Michif Alphabet. Nominated by Richard Van Camp.
  • Leonard Everett Fisher, USA. Selected work: The Jetty Chronicles. Nominated by Eric A. Kimmel.
  • Meshack Asare, Ghana and Germany. Selected work: The Brassman’s Secret. Nominated by Nii Ayikwei Parkes.
  • Peter Sis, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic) and USA. Selected work: The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain. Nominated by Katherine T. Horning.

The NSK Prize is highly respected within the literary community for its recognition of excellence in children’s storytelling. Jurors are not influenced by book sales or movie deals, but rather by literary merit as well as the perceived importance of an author’s or illustrator’s overall contribution to literature. In addition to Ms. Taylor, past winners have included Brian Doyle (2005), Katherine Paterson (2007), Vera B. Williams (2009), Virginia Euwer Wolff (2011) and, most recently, Naomi Shihab Nye (2013).

 

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About the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature

The NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature is awarded every other year to a living writer or illustrator with significant achievement in children’s or young-adult literature. Made possible through the generosity of Nancy Barcelo, Susan Neustadt Schwartz, and Kathy Neustadt and sponsored by WLT, the NSK Prize celebrates literature that contributes to the quality of children’s lives. A jury of children’s literature peer authors nominates candidates and selects the winner of each biennial prize.

 

About World Literature Today

Founded in 1927, World Literature Today is the University of Oklahoma’s bimonthly magazine of international literature and culture. The mission of WLT is to serve the international, state and university communities by achieving excellence as a literary publication, a sponsor of literary prizes, and a cultural center for students. Now in its ninth decade of continuous publication, WLT has been recognized by the Nobel Prize committee as one of the “best edited and most informative literary publications” in the world and has been called “an excellent source of writings from around the globe by authors who write as if their lives depend on it” (Utne Reader, January 2005).