by Elizabeth Bleacher
The International Reading Association (IRA) Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award is intended for an outstanding new writer of children’s poetry. The award, given every three years, was established to recognize Lee Bennett Hopkins’ prodigious contribution to children’s poetry and to build upon his legacy. The deadline for submission is November 15.
The award committee is currently accepting applications for poetry copyrighted between 2010 and 2012. Perspective recipients may submit a book length poem for review when they apply. The poem must have been published within the appropriate time frame, and the author may not have more than two children’s poetry books published.
After they have submitted the initial application, authors will receive more instructions via the e-mail that they provided on the form. At that point, the author will be expected to supply each committee member with a copy of the book being reviewed, and the e-mail will provide the necessary shipping information. For applications to be considered complete and on time, committee members must receive the books by November 15.
Poems published in any language may be submitted; authors must simply accompany their original text with an English translation. All poetry will be judged on literary merit, appeal to children, and evidence of a fresh, insightful voice.
The 2010 award recipient was Gregory Neri for his debut poetry book, Chess Rumble. Originally from Los Angeles, he is an award-winning filmmaker that has always harbored a love for storytelling. Chess Rumble started out as a picture book that shifted towards children’s poetry when Neri felt a new story emerging. He currently devotes his time to writing for children and teens.
More information about the Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award application process can be found at the International Reading Association website.
Elizabeth Bleacher is the strategic communications intern at the International Reading Association.