For immediate release | October 18, 2017

Nominees sought for 2018 Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Author/Illustrator Award for Lifetime Achievement

CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) is accepting nominations for the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Author/Illustrator Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is named for award-winning children’s author Virginia Hamilton (1936-2002), recipient of the 1983, 1986 and 1996 Coretta Scott King Book Award, 1974 National Book Award and the 1975 John Newbery Medal. In 1994, she was awarded the prestigious Hans Christian Anderson Author Award for the body of her work and was named a fellow of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in 1995.

The award pays tribute to the quality and magnitude of Hamilton’s exemplary contributions through her literature and advocacy for children and youth, especially in her focus on African-American life, history and consciousness. Authors, illustrators or author/illustrators will be honored in even-numbered years, while practitioners will be recognized in odd-numbered years. Previous recipients of the Coretta Scott King - Virginia Hamilton Author/Illustrator Lifetime Achievement Award include Jerry Pinkney, Patricia and Fredrick McKissack and Ashley Bryan.

The Author/Illustrator Award honors an African American author, illustrator or author/illustrator for a body of his or her published books for children and/or young adults who has made a significant and lasting literary contribution. The body of work selected must represent distinguished writing and/or illustrations by and about the African American experience for children and/or young adults over a period of time. Committee members may also pay particular attention to bodies of work whose interpretation consistently motivates youth readers to stretch their imagination and thinking; that denote exceptional examples of specific types of literature; and that represent trend-setters, innovations or fresh explorations of themes or topics or perspectives in African American literature for children and/or young adult. The body of work must include at least one CSK Award winner (Author, Illustrator, New Talent winner or Honor Book for either category).

All nominees must be living at the time of the award to be considered. The winning recipient will be announced during the ALA Youth Media Awards during the ALA Midwinter Meeting on Monday, Feb. 12, 2018 in Denver. The winner will be honored at the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Breakfast during the 2018 ALA Annual Convention Conference in New Orleans and will receive a medal and a $1,500 cash award.

Nominations will be accepted through Monday, Dec. 4, 2017. The winning recipient will be notified on Monday, Feb. 12, 2018 during ALA Midwinter. To view the Award criteria and submit a nomination, please visit

The recipient will be selected by a five-member award jury from the Coretta Scott King- Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement Committee of the Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT). The award is administered by the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee of EMIERT and is supported by the ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services.

The Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award is part of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards, which honor African American authors and illustrators of outstanding books for children and young adults that demonstrate sensitivity to "the African American experience via literature and illustration." The award is designed to commemorate the life and works of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and to honor the late Mrs. Coretta Scott King for her courage and determination to work for peace and world brotherhood.


Jody Gray


Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services