Walter Award FAQ

What is your definition of diverse?

WNDB’s definition of who is diverse is stated in our mission statement. Our statement defines diversity as including (but not limited to) a person of color, Native American, LGBTQIA, a person with a disability, and/or a member of a marginalized religious or cultural minority in the United States.

I would like to nominate a book for consideration for the Walter Award. Can I share it with you?

Please check our submission guidelines on our website. The guidelines outline who is allowed to submit books and nominations. WNDB is not accepting nominations from the general public; eligible submissions must be sent directly to the Walter Judging Committee by the publisher.

Can a book by a diverse author who wrote outside their diversity qualify for the Walter Award?

WNDB’s mission is to amplify the voices of diverse authors and to highlight diverse works. If a diverse author wrote a diverse book, he/she/they are eligible for consideration for the Walter Award.

Are The Walters limited to young adult titles?

For our first and second year, the Walters were limited to young adult titles only. WNDB recognizes that children’s literature spans far beyond young adult. The 2018 Walter Awards will expand to include middle-grade; we plan to expand further to picture books in 2019.

What are the age groups for YA and MG?

For YA consideration, work must be determined to be for an audience of ages 14-18. For MG consideration, work must be determined to be for an audience of ages 9-13.

I wrote a diverse book but I am not a diverse author. Am I eligible?

No. As WNDB’s mission is to amplify both diverse works and diverse authors, both author and main character(s) must be diverse. WNDB admires and respects authors who may not meet this criterion but who write diversity in a thoughtful, respectful, and nuanced manner. This particular award has a specific aim to amplify diverse voices and diverse works and to address this specific issue.

I am a diverse author and wrote a diverse book. How can I submit my book?

Please get in touch with your publisher. All submissions must come through publishers.

When will the Award be announced?

The Walter Award and Honor Books will be announced in January of the year award. For example, books published in 2017 are eligible for the 2018 Walter Awards; those winners will be announced in January 2018.

Is there a submission fee?

There is no fee to submit books for Walter Award consideration.

I have self-published my book. Am I eligible to submit?

Self-published titles are no longer eligible for submission.

I have a question that is not answered here. Who can I contact?

For further questions, please email