Library of Virginia and William & Mary Libraries Announce Children’s Literary Award

crowd at Literary Awards 2023 ceremony
Library of Virginia Literary Awards Ceremony, October 2023

The Library of Virginia, in partnership with William & Mary Libraries, is accepting nominations for a new award honoring excellence in the field of children’s literature with a focus on Virginia. 

The 2024 Children’s Virginia Literary Award will recognize picture books and middle-grade works for reading levels up to age 12. Fiction or nonfiction books by authors with a connection to Virginia and books set in Virginia are eligible for the award, which includes a $2,500 monetary prize. For the 2024 award period, books must have been published during 2023.   

“We’re pleased to partner with William & Mary Libraries in recognizing excellence in books written for young readers,” said Librarian of Virginia Sandra Treadway. “Virginia and Virginians produce many outstanding works within children’s literature. The Library is looking forward to elevating awareness of these wonderful books through this annual award.” 

“Children’s books are critical to a child’s learning and growth. They support language development, creativity, and curiosity, and help children learn about themselves, others, and the world around them,” said Dean of University Libraries at William & Mary Carrie Cooper. “We are thrilled to recognize the writers of these important books.” 

Nominations can be submitted on the Library of Virginia's website through March 31. Up to five finalists, selected by an independent panel of judges, will be announced in July.  

The award will be presented at the annual Virginia Literary Awards, the commonwealth’s premier event honoring Virginia writers and their contributions to literature. The 2024 Virginia Literary Awards will be presented at the Library on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2024. 

“The Library’s Virginia Literary Awards have honored the best of the commonwealth’s literature for over 26 years,” said Scott Dodson, executive director of the Library of Virginia Foundation. “We are thrilled that this collaboration and award will shine a brighter light on Virginia’s incredible children’s authors and celebrate their amazing work.”  

For more information on the Children’s Virginia Literary Award, visit


In 1997, the Library of Virginia established its annual Virginia Literary Awards program to honor Virginia writers and celebrate their contributions to the literary landscape of our state and nation. Given to Virginia authors in the categories of fiction and poetry — and to nonfiction authors for works about a Virginia subject as well — the awards are presented at an annual celebration that has become the Library’s signature event and an eagerly anticipated cultural tradition in Richmond. While the main award recipients are selected by independent panels of judges, the Library also invites book lovers and readers to vote for their favorite works for the People’s Choice Awards for Fiction and Nonfiction. In the past, the Library has also bestowed a Literary Lifetime Achievement Award to recognize the enduring influence of an outstanding Virginia writer, with past winners including Earl Hamner, Lee Smith, Jan Karon, Tom Robbins, Charles Wright, Barbara Kingsolver, Rita Dove, John Grisham, Tom Wolfe and David Baldacci.