Alethea Kontis Wins 2020 Jane Yolen Midlist Author Grant

The SCBWI is proud to announce the winners of the 2020 Jane Yolen Mid-List Author Grant: Tanuja Desai Hidier and Alethea Kontis. This grant of $3,000, split between two writers, was created to honor mid-list writers and help raise awareness about their current works-in-progress. The grant was named for legendary children’s author Jane Yolen, who also serves as judge. 

Alethea Kontis is the author of 21 books including AlphaOops: The Day Z Went First (Candlewick), Enchanted(Harcourt), and Hero (Harcourt) and has published everything from board books to YA fantasy novels. Tanuja Desai Hidier is an author and musician who has published two novels, Born Confused (Scholastic) and its sequel Bombay Blues (Scholastic). Born Confused is considered a modern classic, chosen as one of the best YA novels of all time by PasteEntertainment Weekly, and Rolling Stone Magazine. Both Kontis and Desai are building on their proven successes, prepared to use this opportunity to revitalize their careers.

Yolen said of the winners, “I was looking for true professionals who had slipped off their trajectory for whatever reason. Those two stood out above the rest.Both had award-winning and bestselling books from traditional top publishers and also side projects with small publishers, but suddenly had their careers yanked from under their feet. Both seem to be continuing to work hard despite this caesura in their writing lives. Both are still working on projects to help other women writers. Both seem to still be emotionally connected to the field and are eager to get back to publishing again.”

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Mid-List Authors Grant