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Penguin Random House and We Need Diverse Books Open Submissions for the 2024 Creative Writing Awards

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Submissions opened October 16th for the 2024 Creative Writing Awards, which come through a collaboration between Big Five publisher Penguin Random House and We Need Diverse Books, a nonprofit organization that advocates for diverse literature. This year will be the first time the Freedom of Expression Award will be granted as part of the awards.

The inclusion of the new award comes as the occurrence of censorship and book bans have increased exponentially the last couple years.

Director of Corporate Communications and Social Responsibility Claire von Schilling said, “In the midst of rising book bans and censorship efforts, it’s crucial that we protect and celebrate freedom of expression, especially for young people whose voices we need and want to lift up now more than ever. As always, we are thrilled to partner with We Need Diverse Books on our Creative Writing Awards and can’t wait to hear from these inspiring and talented young writers.”

The competition will be open until January 16, 2024, or until 1,000 applications have been submitted. Public high school seniors are encouraged to apply. The prizes include a total of $60,000 in scholarships that Penguin Random House will grant over six first-place $10,000 prizes in the categories of: “the Michelle Obama Award for Memoir; the Amanda Gorman Award for Poetry; the Maya Angelou Award for Spoken Word; fiction/drama; and the new Freedom of Expression Award.”

Winners will be announced in early June. More information on the award can be found here.

Find more news and stories of interest from the book world in Breaking in Books.