Become a PJ Library or PJ Our Way Author or Illustrator

*Video art by Sara Varon

Are you an author, author-illustrator, graphic novelist, agent, or publisher who has a Jewish children’s story to share? If so, we want to read it! Here’s your guide to working with PJ Library and PJ Our Way:

Beginning January 1, 2020, all new, unpublished submissions to PJ Library or PJ Our Way are eligible for our new and continuing Author Incentive Awards. These awards are truly awards – they are separate from and in addition to any monies received by the author from a publisher.

Stories may be submitted by anyone, including authors, author-illustrators, agents, and publishers. Multiple stories by one author are eligible. The only disqualifying factor is if the story is already available in the trade market or has previously been considered by PJ Library’s or PJ Our Way’s book selection committee – that is to say, it must be new.

In addition to our existing awards, see below for NEW details about each program’s award:

As our programs have grown, PJ Library will soon be offering books to children from birth through age 8, which means we are looking for more engaging board books as well as early chapter books and graphic novels for developing readers. PJ Our Way will now be offering books for kids ages 9 through 12, which means the need for graphic novels, our most requested genre, has grown as well!

We are proud to offer new incentives for author-illustrators to help us meet these needs. Each option allows for author-illustrators to submit proposals and illustrations for a partial incentive and an opportunity to hear feedback from our committees prior to completing the project.

Program Type of book Full Incentive Partial Incentive
PJ Library Board book $4,000
(Complete board book including illustrations)
(3-5 illustrated pages with complete text)
PJ Library                Picture book $6,000
(Complete picture book generally 32 or fewer pages including illustrations)
(3-5 illustrated pages with text)
PJ Library Graphic novel $6,000
(Complete graphic novel generally 60 or fewer pages including illustrations)
(Proposal and outline with 3 illustrated frames)
PJ Our Way                 Graphic novel                 $10,000
(Complete graphic novel generally longer than 60 pages with illustrations)
(Proposal and outline with partial text and 3 illustrated frames)

Our incentives for text-only submissions will remain the same:

PJ Library: For each text manuscript for a new board book, picture book, and early chapter reader accepted for use in the program, PJ Library will present the author with $2,000.

PJ Our Way: For each new complete middle-grade manuscript accepted for use in the program, PJ Our Way will present the author with $5,000. PJ Our Way will also accept three complete chapters and an outline as an initial submission. If the Committee decides that this initial submission has potential to be a PJ Our Way selection, the author will receive $2,000. Once the completed manuscript is accepted for use in the program, the author will be awarded the remaining $3,000.

When a partial incentive award is given, for either authors or author-illustrators, the chair of the selection committee will be in touch to discuss the direction of the work.