Coretta Scott King - Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement

About the Coretta Scott King - Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement The Coretta Scott King - Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement is named in memory of beloved children’s author Virginia Hamilton. The annual award is presented in even years to an African American author, illustrator or author/illustrator for a body of his or her published books for children and/or young adults, and who has made a significant and lasting literary contribution. The recipient of the inaugural award was Walter Dean Myers in 2010. In odd years, the award is presented to a practitioner for substantial contributions through active engagement with youth using award winning African American literature for children and/or young adults, via implementation of reading and reading related activities/programs. Dr. Henrietta M. Smith was the recipient of the first practitioner award in 2011. A medal and check for $1,500 is presented to the winner during the Coretta Scott King Awards Breakfast at the ALA Annual Conference.

Administered by:

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Award and Frequency

A plaque and $1,500 cash award.

This award is given out on an annual basis.

Applicant Responsibility

Recipient must attend Coretta Scott King Book Awards Breakfast during ALA Annual Conference and deliver acceptance speech.  

Application Instructions

In even-numbered years, the award will be given to authors, illustrators or author/illustrators; in odd-numbered years, practitioners will be recognized.  Selection criteria and the submission form can be found at


Contact Information

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 Recipient is announced during the ALA Youth Media Awards Announcement on the Monday morning of the ALA Midwinter Meeting in January.  Recipient is contacted that morning.