Empire State Award

The Empire State Award is given annually and was first presented in 1990. It is a one-time award presented to a living author or illustrator currently residing in New York State. The award honors a body of work that represents excellence in children’s or young adult literature and that has made a significant contribution to literature for young people. Youth Services librarians throughout the state submit nominations to an awards committee. The committee makes a decision that is then approved by the YSS Executive Board.

Congratulations to 2016 winner Steve Sheinkin!  Steve Sheinkin
The 2016 winner of the Empire State Award for Excellence in Literature for Young People is Steve Sheinkin.  Mr. Sheinkin is a resident of Saratoga Springs and an award-winning author of nonfiction for children and young adults.  He began his career writing textbooks, including one-page biographies, skills lessons, and entire chapters.   In 2009 he wrote his last textbook and walked away never to return, instead releasing a graphic novel series, The Adventures of Rabbi Harvey, and eventually his first nonfiction work, King George: What Was His Problem?, which is a look at the stories of the American Revolution that would not be published in the textbooks he used to write.

Two of his books, Bomb: The Race to Build —and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon and The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights were both National Book Award finalists.  In 2013, Bomb was a Newbery Honor book and won the Sibert Medal from the Association for Library Service to Children.  His most recent work, Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War is a National Book Award finalist and was this year’s winner of the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults.
Please join YSS in honoring Steve Sheinkin at the Empire State Award Luncheon on Friday, November 4 during the NYLA Annual Conference and Trade Show in Saratoga Springs. 

Want to see your favorite author win the Empire State Award?  The 2017 Nomination Form is available here. The deadline for nominations is December 1, 2016.


Past winners of the Empire State Award are:

2015: Vivian Vande Velde

2014: Jacqueline Woodson

2013: Laurie Halse Andersen

2012 - Bruce Coville

2011 - Laura Vaccaro Seeger

2010 - Cynthia DeFelice

2009 - Linda Sue Park

2008 - Rafe Martin

2007 - Joseph Bruchac

2006 - Donald Crews

2005 - M. E. Kerr

2004 - Alice Provensen

2003 - Seymour Simon

2002 - Jerry Pinkney

2001 - Jean Fritz

2000 - Peter Spier

1999 - Vera B. Williams

1998 - Jean Craighead George

1997 - Richard Peck

1996 - Nancy Willard

1995 - Ed Young

1994 - Paula Fox

1993 - Russell Freedman

1992 - Leo and Diane Dillon

1991 - Madeleine L'Engle

1990 - Maurice Sendak


last updated 11/4/15