World Literature Today, the award-winning magazine of international literature and culture, has announced who the jury members will be to select the finalists for the renowned NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature. The biennial NSK Prize, which will next be awarded in 2019, recognizes the significant achievement of a writer, either over a lifetime or in a single publication, as well as an ongoing, positive impact on children’s literature.

The NSK Prize is awarded to a living writer or illustrator from anywhere in the world. The international jury is composed of esteemed authors who select finalists based on literary merit alone. The jury’s selections are not affected by book sales or publisher influence.

The jury’s list of finalists will be announced on June 4 , and deliberations will take place on June 12 .

The jury for the 2019 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature   is composed of the following members:

·         Socorro Acioli, Brazil

·         Jorge Argueta, El Salvador/United States

·         Chris Haughton, Ireland

·         Tiffany D. Jackson, United States

·         Uma Krishnaswami, India/United States/Canada

·         Kit Pearson, Canada

·         Lilliam Rivera, United States

·         Duncan Tonatiuh, Mexico/United States

·         Jonah Winter, United States

The 2019 NSK Prize winner will be announced on Oct . 9, th e opening night of the 2018 Neustadt Festival , which runs through Oct. 11 . Hosted  on the University of Oklahoma Norman  campus each fall, the Neustadt Festival  is a three-day event featuring music, art , dance, and drama representing that year’s  winning writer’s culture as well as roundtable discussions of literary trends and the author’s  literary and cultural influence. At the 2019 festival, which will be hosted in the NSK Prize winner’s honor, the recipient will receive $25,000, a silver medallion, and a certificate.

The NSK Prize was first awarded in 2003 to Newberry Medal winner Mildred D. Taylor. Other notable winners include National Book Award recipients Katherine Paterson (2007) and Virginia Euwer Wolff (2011), two-time Hans Christian Andersen Award finalist Brian Doyle (2005), and Naomi Shihab Nye (2013). Last year’s NSK Prize was awarded to poet Marilyn Nelson, who that year received the Arnold Adoff Poetry Award and the NCTE Award for Excellence.    

The NSK Prize is given in alternating years with the Neustadt International Prize for Literature. The 2018 Neustadt Prize winner is author Edwidge Danticat of Haiti, an influential writer and winner of the Pushcart Prize and a MacArthur Fellowship, among other awards. Danticat will be recognized at the 2018 Neustadt Festival from Oct. 9 through 11 .


Editor’s Note: Full jury bios are attached to this release.

About the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature

The NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature is a $25,000 prize awarded biennially to a living writer or illustrator with a significant impact on children’s or young adult literature. A jury of children’s literature authors nominates candidates and selects the winner of each prize. Made possible through the generosity of Nancy Barcelo, Susan Neustadt Schwartz, and Kathy Neustadt, and sponsored by World Literature Today, the NSK Prize celebrates literature that contributes to the quality of children’s lives.

About the Neustadt International Prize for Literature

The Neustadt International Prize for Literature is a $50,000 prize funded by a generous endowment from the Neustadt family. Each laureate is chosen by a jury of writers that World Literature Today convenes on the University of Oklahoma campus. They choose the winner, as much as possible, solely on the basis of literary merit. The Neustadt Prize is the first international literary award of its scope to originate in the United States and is one of the few international prizes for which poets, novelists, and playwrights are equally eligible.

About World Literature Today

Founded in 1927, World Literature Today is the University of Oklahoma’s award-winning magazine of international literature and culture. Serving the international, state, and university communities by achieving excellence as a literary publication, a sponsor of literary prizes, and a cultural center for students, WLT is in its tenth decade of continuous publication.  It has been recognized by the Nobel Prize committee as one of the “best edited and most informative literary publications” in the world and was recently called “an excellent source of writings from around the globe by authors who write as if their lives depend on it” (Utne Reader).

The 2019 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature Jury Bios


NSK Jury PhotosSocorro Acioli, born in Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil, is a journalist with a master’s degree in Brazilian children’s literature and a Ph.D. in literary studies from the Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rio de Janeiro. She started her career in 2001 and has since then published books in various genres, such as the biographies Frei Tito (2001) and Rachel de Queiroz (2003), children’s short stories, and young adult novels. In 2006, she attended a workshop called “How to Tell a Tale” conducted by Nobel Prize winner Gabriel García Márquez, who afterward supported publication of her novel A cabeça do santo / The Head of the Saint in Brazil, London, France, and the US. The Head of the Saint was shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and was chosen as one of the 50 best books in 2017 by the New York Public Library. In 2007, Acioli was a visiting researcher at the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany. She has given lectures in several countries and is a translator, essayist, and literary theory teacher.

Jorge Argueta, a prizewinning poet and author of more than twenty children’s picture books, has written Una película en mi almohada / A Movie in My Pillow (Children’s Book Press, 2001), Guacamole: Un poema para cocinar / A Cooking Poem (Groundwood Books, 2016), Agua, Agüita / Water, Little Water (Piñata Books, 2017), and Somos como las nubes / We Are Like the Clouds (Groundwood Books, 2016).  This last title won the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award and was named to USBBY’s Outstanding International Book List, that of the ALA Notable Children’s Books, and the Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choices. En carne propia: Memoria poética / Flesh Wounds: A Poetic Memoir (Arte Público Press, 2017) is his adult poetry collection. In spring 2018, he received the Courage to Act Award from the California Association for Bilingual Education, and his trilingual picture book, AguaAgüita / Water, Little Water, won the inaugural Campoy-Ada Award in Children’s Poetry. He is also the founder of the Library of Dreams in El Salvador, a nonprofit organization that promotes literacy in rural and metropolitan areas of El Salvador. Jorge lives and works in San Francisco, California, and El Salvador.

Chris Haghton, an Irish author/illustrator based in London, he was listed in Time magazine’s “Design 100” for the work he has been doing for the fair-trade clothing company People Tree. He has written and illustrated four books: A Bit LostOh No George!Shh! We Have a Plan, and Goodnight Everyone. His iOS app, Hat Monkey, came out in 2014, and his virtual reality experience, Little Earth, launched in August 2017. Chris has also created a socially-oriented business,, to connect design and fair trade and make rugs and toys.

Tiffany D. Jackson, author of the NAACP Image Award–nominated Allegedly and forthcoming Monday’s  Not Coming (HarperCollins / Katherine Tegen Books), is also a TV professional and has worked for various networks and media companies including National Geographic (focused on documentaries such as Lockdown, a prison subculture series). In 2009, she wrote and directed the short horror film The Field Trip. She received a B.A. in film from Howard University and an M.A. in media studies from The New School University. A Brooklyn native, she currently resides there.

Uma Krishnaswami, born in India and now living in Victoria, British Columbia, has been writing books, poems, and short stories for young readers since the last century. Her story collection, The Broken Tusk: Stories of the Hindu God Ganesha, has been in print continuously for twenty-two years. Uma’s historical middle-grade novel, Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh, is the 2017 winner of the APAAL (Asian Pacific American Award for Literature) in the children’s literature category. Her chapter book Book Uncle and Me won the International Literacy Association’s Social Justice Literature Award and is on the USBBY Outstanding International Books list. Krishnaswami teaches in the MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults at the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Kit Pearson, born in Edmonton, Alberta, in 1947, has worked for ten years as a children’s librarian in Ontario and British Columbia and received the M.A. from the Simmons College Center for the study of Children’s Literature in Boston. Since 1986, she has written eleven novels, a picture book, and an anthology. Two of her novels, A Handful of Time and Awake and Dreaming, are fantasies.  The rest are set in the past from 1812 to 1962 and have been published in Canada in English and French and in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, France, China, and Korea. Pearson has won seventeen writing awards, including the B.C. Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence (2014). Her latest novel,A Day of Signs and Wonders, is about one day in the life of the artist Emily Carr when she was nine. Pearson will have two new books published in 2019: Be My Love, about a young teen in 1951 realizing that she is a lesbian, and The Magic Boat, a picture book written with her partner, Katherine Farris. Pearson and Farris live in Victoria, B.C.  For more information see

Lilliam Rivera, author of The Education of Margot Sanchez, is a contemporary young-adult novelist. This novel was nominated for a 2017 Best Fiction for Young Adult Fiction by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) and has been featured on NPR, in the New York Times Book Review,New York magazine,, and Teen Vogue, among others. Named a “2017 Face to Watch” by the Los Angeles Times, Rivera has a second young-adult novel, Dealing in Dreams, forthcoming in March 2019.

Duncan Tonatiuh, author-illustrator of Dear PrimoDiego Rivera: His World and OursPancho Rabbit and the CoyoteSeparate Is Never Equal,Funny BonesThe Princess and the Warrior, and Danza! , is the illustrator of Esquivel! and Salsa. His books have received many accolades, among them the Pura Belpré Medal, the Sibert Medal, The Tomás Rivera Mexican-American Children’s Book Award, the Américas Award, the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, and the New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book Award.  A Mexican-American, he grew up in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and graduated from Parsons School of Design in New York City. His artwork is inspired by pre-Columbian art, especially the Mixtec codex. His aim is to create images and stories that honor the past but that are relevant to people, especially children, today.

Jonah Winter, award-winning author of more than thirty nonfiction picture books that promote social justice, relevant cultural facts, and artistic expression, has been recognized by the New York Times best illustrated books list for DiegoHere Comes the Garbage Barge!, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The Case of RBG vs. Inequality—along with New York Times best-seller BarackNew York Times editors’ choice You Never Heard of Willie Mays?!, and New York Times notable My Name Is James Madison Hemings. Recent books include The Founding Fathers!(illustrated by New Yorkercover artist Barry Blitt) and Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a Kirkus Prize finalist and Jane Addams Children’s Book Awardee, and The Secret Project, about the making of the atom bomb. Also the author of two children’s books for which he is also the illustrator,Fair Ball: 14 Great Stars from Baseball’s Negro Leagues and Béisbol: Latino Baseball Pioneers and Legends, and of two volumes of poetry for adults,Maine and Amnesia. In 2019, he has three forthcoming nonfiction picture books—Elvis Is KingThurgood, and Oil (about the Exxon Valdez oil spill)—and one fictional picture book, The Sad Little Fact.