We acquire YA manuscripts through the Helen Sheehan YA Book Prize. We award the book prize every other year to the strongest full-length manuscript. We designed that snazzy seal ourselves. A panel of judges reviews the top manuscripts. 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.


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. She lived most of her life on Archer Street in Fall River, Massachusetts. The prize honors her love of education, books, and Canada Dry ginger ale.




Lucia DiStefano

Forthcoming FA 2018



Kristin Bartley Lenz

The Art of Holding on and Letting Go

Kristin Barley Lenz

JLG Selection



Carnival at Bray

Jessie Ann Foley

Printz Honor Book Morris Finalist



Judge Hall of Fame: Emil Ostrovski, Louise Brueggmann, Becky Quiroga Curtis, Kelly Jensen, Anne Rouyer, Meghan Dietsche Goel, Suzy Takac, Jennie Kendrick, and Mark E. Pumphrey.


Thank you to all the writers who entered our 2018 contest—all 110 of you. Submissions for the 2010 contest will open in 2019.