Jerry Pinkney Children's Book Awards Sponsored by

Submissions for the 2022 Awards are now CLOSED. The submission process for the 2023 Awards opens Jan. 1, 2023.

The Jerry Pinkney Children’s Book Awards is named for the world-renowned African-American children’s book illustrator, Jerry Pinkney, who passed away in 2021. The 2022 award winners were announced during the Children’s Festival at the annual National Black Book Festival, which was held Oct. 22, 2022 in Houston, Texas. View the 2022 winners HERE.

For 2023, one grand prize winner will be selected for best overall book and content. The remaining awards will be bestowed based on the best overall book in several categories of children’s books. In some categories, there will be awards for books at the K-Grade 6 level and also for age 12+.

Eligibility: Children’s book written by an African-American author or with an African-American theme. Books can be for children of any agefrom toddlers to teens. Books may be independently published or through a traditional publisher. For the 2023 awards process, the book must have a copyright date in either 2022 or 2023. Books may be submitted in multiple categories, if desired, as long as they are applicable and germane to the category.

Categories (separate awards for best overall book will be granted for each):

  • African Diaspora
  • Biographical
  • Coloring Books/Workbooks
  • Comic Books
  • Educational - K-Grade 6
  • Educational - Age 12+
  • Graphic Novels
  • Motivational - K-Grade 6
  • Motivational - Age 12+
  • Religious/faith
  • Social Commentary/Justice - K-Grade 6
  • Social Commentary/Justice - Age 12+
  • Best Illustrator

There will be five (5) finalists in each category. All finalists will receive recognition in a national press release and a set of 50 gold foil stickers designating “Jerry Pinkney Children’s Book Award Finalist.” Finalists may purchase additional gold foil stickers in batches of 50 for only $19.99 (If you'd like 100 stickers, for example, the quantity should be "2" when you add to cart. Volume pricing is available for orders of 200+.)

Order Finalist stickers by clicking "Add to Cart" here:

50 Jerry Pinkney Award Finalist Gold Stickers @ $19.99/set



View the video featuring the 2022 finalists here.

What Winners Receive
Grand Prize: $250 for best overall book

The grand prize winner and the winners in each category will be selected from among the finalists and there will be a winner for best overall book.

Winners in individual categories receive the following benefits:

  • Jerry Pinkney Children's Book Award - Acrylic award, ideal for display on desk or mantle
  • Black Authors Matter Mug and Playing Cards (view items here)
  • Recognition in a national press release announcing the Jerry Pinkney Children's Book Award winners
  • Set of 100 gold foil stickers designating "Jerry Pinkney Children's Book Award Winner." Winners may purchase additional gold foil stickers in batches of 100 by contacting our office.

A panel of award-winning and/or award-nominated authors will evaluate each of the entries, select the finalists and, ultimately, the winners in each category. The panel will be comprised primarily of children’s authors, but authors of other genres may also be included.

Entry Fee
The 2023 Awards Process opens Jan. 1, 2023. The entry fee will be $59/book per category. For multiple category entries, only ONE book needs to be submitted. An author can self-nominate or a publishing company can nominate one or more of its signed authors. One entry form per title. A copy of the confirmation email must be mailed with the books. The mailing address will be provided once payment and the entry form are submitted. All entry fees are non-refundable. The transaction will be from ""

Pay your entry fee per book/per category by selecting "Add to Cart" below. For example, if you are entering one title in one category, the quantity should be 1. If you are entering one title in three different categories, the quantity should be 3.

Complete your book entry form and submit it HERE.

Milestones/Deadlines for 2023:

  • January 1, 2023: Jerry Pinkney Children's Book Award submissions open.
  • June 5, 2023: Deadline for receipt of book submissions and entry fee payments. All books must be postmarked by June 5, 2023, without exception. Authors/publishers will be notified when books are received by NBBF.
  • August 15, 2023: The five finalists in each category will be announced on Black Authors Matter TV, live-streamed on Facebook at 8 pm CST/9 pm EST. Finalists will also be announced on our Facebook and Instagram pages.
  • October 28, 2023: The winners for best overall book in each category will be announced at the 2023 National Black Book Festival immediately before the Children's Festival on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023 at 10:45 a.m. in Houston, Texas. Winners will also be announced on our Facebook and Instagram pages.
  • Book Donations
    At the end of the award evaluation process, all books submitted will be donated to the Shepherd-Acres Home Public Library in Houston, Texas, which serves an African-American community. Book submissions will not be returned to authors.

    Staff and managers of the National Black Book Festival and/or are prohibited from entering the award competition.


    If you have any questions, please contact Gwen Richardson, NBBF National Coordinator, toll-free at 1-800-340-5454.