STMA Winners

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The 2015 AJL annual conference will be held in Silver Spring, Maryland, June 21-24.

Proceedings and podcasts of the 2014 conference will be online shortly.

The Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award Competition Committee has finished its deliberations and has reached a decision about the 2013 award. Karen Propp, the author of Freestyle, will receive the 2013 Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award at the AJL Conference in June.

Ms Propp is an author, editor and writing coach from Cambridge, MA. 

Freestyle is based on the true story of champion swimmer Judith Deutsch and the Viennese Hakoah swim team of the 1930s, familiar to some from the documentary film Watermarks. Despite being selected by Austria to swim in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Deutsch and her teammates boycotted the Olympics to protest the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany.

The novel covers two years in the life of Elly Hirsch,  Propp’s fictional incarnation of Deutsch. The Award committee felt that Freestyle with its strong sense of history, sympathetic characters, and little known story, would appeal to a wide audience and epitomize the ideals of Sydney Taylor’s All of a Kind Family series. Freestyle looks at the years of the Holocaust with a unique light.

In addition to a cash award, Ms Propp will have her manuscript read by a professional literary agent.

Under the new Award schedule, submissions for the 2014 will be accepted until September 30, 2013.

YearSorted By Year In Descending OrderWinners
2013Karen Propp for "Freestyle"
2012No award given
Manuscripts of Merit
"Alice of Eastland" by Leslie Ann Birnbaum
"Amy's Grandma Problem" by Andrea Fooner
"The Calypso Shtetl" by Mary Rubin
"Echo Still" by Tim Tibbitstl
2011Susan A. Ross for "In Search of Lottie"
2010Joan Schoettler for "On the Run"
2009Nechama Liss-Levinson for "When the Hurricane Came to New Orleans"
Published by Create Space Independent Publishing Platform as "When the Hurricane Came" in 2012
2008Margaret Chaiken for "Stealing the Show"
2007Yael Mermelstein for "Getting Rid of Jeremy"
2006No award given
2005No award given
2004Brenda A. Ferber for "Cara's Kitchen"
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux as "Julie's Kitchen" in 2006
2003No award given
2002Karen Schwabach for "A Pickpocket's Tale"
Published by Random House, 2006
2001No award given
2000No award given
1999June E. Nislick for "Zayda Was a Cowbo"
Published by Jewish Publication Society in 2005
1998Linda Press Wulfe for "Devorah"
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux as The Night of the Burning: Devorah's Story in 2006
1997Tovah S. Yavin for "All Star Brothers"
Accepted for publication by Lerner/Kar-Ben, 2006
Honorable mention:
Vera Propp, for "When the Soldiers Were Gone"
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons in 1999.
1996Donna Brown Agins, for "Passover Promise"
1995Sheila Golburgh Johnson, for "After I Said No"
1994Faye Silton for "Of Heroes, Hooks and Heirlooms"
Published by JPS in 1996.
1993Lilian Fox Ducharme, for "The Treasure in the Tiny Blue Tin"
Published in 1998 by the Texas Christian University Press.
1992No award given
1991Lois Roisman, for "Leaving Egypt"
Honorable mention:
David Meir-Levi, for "Garden of the Gentle Giant"
1990Hanna Bandes, for "Rabbi Aaron's Treasure"
Published by Targum/Feldheim in 1993 under a different title
Aviva Cantor, for "Tamar's Cat"

Second Prize:
Dr. Kirby Rogers, for "Operation Dewey"
Published by Luthers Publishing in 2002.
1989No award given
1988Suzi Wizowaty, for "Borders"
1987Frances Weissenberg for "The Streets are Paved with Gold"
Published by Harbinger House in 1990
1986Elaine Soloway, for "Cubs of the Lion of Judah"
1985Rosalie Fleisher, for "Spirit"