Helen Sheehan Book Prize

sheehanbadgeWe award the book prize every other year to the strongest full-length YA novel received. We designed that snazzy seal ourselves. A panel of three judges reads and reviews the top manuscripts, and selects the winner. The contest winner receives $1,000 and publication with Elephant Rock Books. Then our internal team edits and designs a lovely piece of literary art. Thanks to thousands of readers, we’ve had great success. We do not read YA manuscripts outside of our contest.





Elephant Rock launched our YA imprint in 2014. We acquire YA manuscripts through our Helen Sheehan YA Book Prize. So who was Helen Sheehan and how come I can’t find her online? Helen Sheehan was a modest woman. She attended Normal school in Tiverton, Rhode Island in the 1920s, and taught elementary school for many years, eventually becoming a principal. She was also our publisher’s revered great aunt Hiya. The prize honors her love of education and young people.

Past winners:
2014 The Carnival at Bray
 by Jessie Ann Foley, Printz Honor Book, Morris Award Finalists, BFYA Top 10

2016: The Art of Holding on and Letting Go by Kristin Bartley Lenz, Junior Library Guild Selection, Michigan Great Lakes Great Books Award Nominee

Judge Hall of Fame:
Emil Ostrovski, Louise Brueggmann, Becky Quiroga Curtis, Kelly Jensen, Anne Rouyer and Meghan Dietsche Goel.


The 2018 Sheehan YA Prize Submission Period is Closed

Thank you to all the writers who entered our 2018 contest. We received over 100 submissions. Stay tuned. We’ve got lots of reading to do this summer.

2018 Judges:


Categories: ERB YA, writing

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