About the Awards
The Virginia Hamilton Conference Advisory Board offers several awards to recognize those who make contributions to the field of multicultural literature for youth.
The Virginia Hamilton Literary Award
Established in 1998 by the Advisory Board of Kent State University’s Virginia Hamilton Conference, this award recognizes an American author or illustrator whose books demonstrate artistic excellence and make a significant contribution to the field of multicultural literature for children and adolescents. The award is conferred at the Virginia Hamilton Conference.
For further information, contact conference Chair, Mary Anne Nichols, M.L.S.
Previous Literary Award winners
The Virginia Hamilton Essay Award
Established in 1991, the Virginia Hamilton Essay Award recognizes a journal article published in a given year which makes a significant contribution to professional literature concerning multicultural literary experiences for youth. Members of the Virginia Hamilton Conference Advisory Board select the winning essay from among those which were nominated.
For more information or nominations, contact conference Chair, Mary Anne Nichols, M.L.S.
The Virginia Hamilton and Arnold Adoff Creative Outreach Grants for Teachers and Librarians
The Virginia Hamilton and Arnold Adoff Creative Outreach Grants for Teachers and Librarians awards two grants of up to $1,000 each. One grant is given to a teacher and another to a librarian for proposals to develop new classroom or library programs that raise awareness of multicultural literature among young people; particularly but not exclusively through the works of Virginia Hamilton.
The next round of the Virginia Hamilton and Arnold Adoff Creative Outreach Grants for Teachers and Librarians will be offered prior to the 2025 Conference. Complete instructions and proposal guidelines are available on the Grant Application. For more information, contact conference Chair, Mary Anne Nichols, M.L.S.
Creative Outreach Grant information and application (pdf) Previous Creative Outreach Grant winners
The Arnold Adoff Poetry Awards
First awarded in 2016, the Arnold Adoff Poetry Awards seek to recognize excellence in multicultural poetry for youth, for readers at the primary level, middle level, and teens. The awards also hope to inspire a poet early in his or her career with the “New Voices” award. The purpose of the awards is to highlight the power of poetry, encourage publishers to publish works of poetry from a variety of perspectives, commend poets for various student populations, and encourage the reading of poetry. Four awards are announced yearly at the Virginia Hamilton Conference.
Award winners each receive a check for $500, a certificate, and an award, affectionately named the “Rudini” to honor Rudine Sims Bishop, professor emerita from The Ohio State University. An author, historian, and foremost expert on African American youth literature, she has been a tireless activist for more than 50 years in the struggles for diversity and excellence. Honor Award recipients receive a certificate.
The Virginia Hamilton Conference Advisory Board is making efforts to continue this important award. For the 35th Virginia Hamilton Conference, the Arnold Adoff Poetry Award will not be given. Efforts to continue this award are currently being made. We ask for support and patience as we work through our goal of retaining this award. In the next round, the board will honor submissions that have previously been made.
For more information, please contact Michelle Baldini.
EXAMPLE Arnold Adoff Poetry Awards submission form (pdf) Previous Arnold Adoff Poetry Award winners