Youth Services Section | 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.

Submission deadline is December 1st annually.


Submit An Author Suggestion


Past Empire State Award Winners

2023: Nina Crews
2022: Kate Messner
2021: Brian Selznick
2020: Rita Williams-Garcia
2019: Bryan Collier
2018: Ann M. Martin
2017: James Howe
2016: Steve Sheinkin
2015: Vivian Vande Velde
2014: Jacqueline Woodson
2013: Laurie Halse Anderson
2012: Bruce Coville
2011: Laura Vaccaro Seeger
2010: Cynthia DeFelice
2009: Linda Sue Park
2008: Rafe Martin
2007: Joseph Bruchac
2006: Donald Crews
2005: ME 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