Photo: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

The Jacqueline Woodson Award for LGBTQ+ Children’s/YA Literature is a prestigious literary honor that celebrates outstanding works of literature geared towards children and young adults that explore themes related to LGBTQ+ experiences, identities, and issues. This award recognizes the importance of representation and inclusivity in literature, acknowledging the power of stories to foster understanding, empathy, and acceptance among young readers.

Jacqueline Woodson is the author of more than thirty books for young people and adults including Another Brooklyn, Red At The Bone and The Day You Begin. She received a 2023 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, a 2023 E. B. White Award, a 2020 MacArthur Fellowship, the 2020 Hans Christian Andersen Award, the 2018 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, and the 2018 Children’s Literature Legacy Award, and was the 2018–2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. Her New York Times bestselling memoir, Brown Girl Dreaming, won the National Book Award, the Coretta Scott King Award, a Newbery Honor, and the NAACP Image Award. Her books for young readers include Coretta Scott King Award and NAACP Image Award winner Before the Ever After, New York Times bestsellers The Day You Begin and Harbor Me, Newbery Honor winners Feathers, Show Way, After Tupac and D Foster, and Each Kindness. In 2018, she founded BALDWIN FOR THE ARTS (, a residency serving writers, composers, interdisciplinary, and visual artists of the Global Majority.

Each year, The Jacqueline Woodson Award for LGBTQ+ Children’s/YA Literature will seek to highlight books that effectively address LGBTQ+ topics in an age-appropriate and sensitive manner, helping young readers better comprehend the diversity of human identities and relationships. These books may cover a wide range of subjects, from coming out stories to LGBTQ+ historical narratives, from queer romances to explorations of gender identity and non-binary experiences.

The Jacqueline Woodson Award for LGBTQ+ Children’s/YA Literature committee will carefully evaluate submissions to identify works that not only provide accurate and authentic portrayals of LGBTQ+ characters and experiences but also possess engaging storytelling, compelling characters, and a positive impact on readers. By recognizing and promoting these exceptional literary works, The Jacqueline Woodson Award for LGBTQ+ Children’s/YA Literature aims to encourage the creation and availability of high-quality LGBTQ+ literature for children and young adults, ultimately fostering a more inclusive and accepting society.

This award serves as an essential platform for acknowledging authors, illustrators, and publishers who contribute to the enrichment of children’s and young adult literature by promoting diversity and representation within its pages. Through The Jacqueline Woodson Award for LGBTQ+ Children’s/YA Literature, the literary community reinforces the idea that everyone’s story deserves to be told and celebrated, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The winner receives a prize of $1000. Each year’s finalists were published the preceding year.

The finalists and winners are determined by a panel of judges appointed by the Publishing Triangle’s awards committee.