Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Golden Pen Award

Selected from manuscripts submitted for individual critique at the RMC SCBWI Letters and Lines Conference each fall, the Golden Pen Award is given to the manuscript deemed most promising for publication. Critique faculty from the conference determine the nominees. A panel of SCBWI regional team members from other regions make the final selection.

The winner will receive free admission to the following year’s conference. Only manuscripts submitted for conference manuscript critiques by full-time conference attendees are eligible; see deadline and submission guidelines, available each year in mid-August. There is no prior application process for this award.


2020 Golden Pen Award Nominees:

Name Title of Manuscript Category
Rachel Jensen (Winner) Black Lake Young Adult
Dea Brayden & Lindsay Ellis Mary Katherine Declares Independence Picture Book
E.E. Duncan (Runner-Up) I Am the Boss of Me! Rattlesnake Kate Earns Her Name Picture Book
Darcee Freier Pancake Summer Picture Book
Trish Holland Creatures of the Mist Picture Book
Ariane Peveto The Words We Know and Love Young Adult
Nancy Derey Riley Fly Anxiety Picture Book
Judith Robbins Rose Burn Young Adult
Wendi Silvano Rexarina Picture Book


2019 Golden Pen Award Nominees:

Name Title Category
 Shelly Steig (Winner)  The Truth (Sort Of) about the Iceberg   Middle Grade (fantasy retelling)
 Margaret Cate  The Stained-Glass People
 Kori Chubb  Last Chance
 Ana Crespo  Positively Differently
 Jolene Gutierrez  Days of the Dead
 Katherine Hahn  Glen Hollow
 Vanessa Hofmann  Lost Without Words
 Mary Kuehner  No More Carrots
 Laura Mitzner (Runner-Up)  The Island of the Diamonds   Young Adult
 Natasha Vizcarra  Dez and the Volcano
 Susan Wroble  How to Become a Miracle Fossil   Picture Book (Nonfiction)



2018 Golden Pen Award Nominees:

Name Title Category
 Kristen Crowley Held (Winner)  Ghost Wanted   Middle Grade
 Nancy Bentley  Field Trip! Field Trip!   Picture Book
 Ana Crespo  The Girl and Me   Picture Book
 Kellye Crocker  My Dad’s Girlfriend and Other Colorado Catastrophes   Middle Grade
 S.Y. Knoll  What It Takes   Young Adult
 Nancy D. Riley  Cupid’s Tango
 Sadee Schilling  Storm Skye   Picture Book
 Teri Shuch  Up and Away   Picture Book
 Sally Spear  Too Loud Lizzie   Picture Book



2017 Golden Pen Award Nominees:

Name Title Category
 Laura Perdew (Winner)  Undercurrents
 Cara Davies  Homestead
 Megan E. Freeman  Lone Girl   Middle Grade
 Ashley Hastings  Blame It on the Cow
 Katy Hess  The Pirate’s Hand
 Lori Himmel  Waiting for Kai   Picture Book
 Ann Morris  Thin
 Paula Obering  Grizzly Bird
 Nancy D. Riley  Chaska and the Great Flood
 Laura Wynkoop  Deer, Bear and Bicycle