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Shoreline         Alliance


The Tassy Walden Awards
for New Voices in Children's Literature

Image © Deborah Freedman, adapted from her book This House, Once, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2017

Who is Tassy Walden?

An accomplished champion of children’s literature, Katherine ”Tassy” Gessel Walden (1913-2008) was a generous and beloved member of Connecticut’s literary and library community. A graduate of Vassar College, Tassy also earned master’s degrees in education and library science. She taught in New York City and in Guilford, and she served as president of the Connecticut State Library Association. She taught children’s literature at Connecticut College and was active with the Literacy Volunteers of America. In short, Tassy understood excellence in children’s literature.


Tassy Walden Awards Mission

Our mission is to provide invaluable educational support that helps unpublished artists learn to prepare polished, professional-quality work under widely accepted industry standards, and to create a community of published and unpublished Connecticut artists united in their goal to support one another in the effort to produce meaningful and artful work for children.

In service of our mission, the Shoreline Arts Alliance provides the following benefits to the artists:

- Extensive support materials for all entrants, including FAQs, Sample Manuscript pages, tips for illustrators and writers, and an email address to which entrants can direct questions.

- Substantial publicity of finalists and winners through newspaper

announcements, website announcements, and announcements to

related arts organizations.


- An annual Awards Ceremony and Reception, featuring keynote

speakers and refreshments. All entrants and their guests are invited

to attend and to meet others in the Tassy community.

- All entrants may continue to submit new and revised work in subsequent years, provided they remain unpublished and are not a previous winner in the same submission category.

- All entrants are welcomed to attend local/regional chapters of the

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and are

encouraged to form or join small critique groups​ for continuing

professional feedback.

- All entrants are welcomed to independently seek further support

from others in the Tassy community.

Throughout its history, the Shoreline Arts Alliance and the Tassy Walden Awards have offered this fully inclusive program without restrictions related to ethnicity, faith, gender or sexual identity. We welcome entries from all unpublished CT residents aged 16 or older.



We have tremendous appreciation of the expertise that has been generously offered by nearly 150 top professionals to the Tassy Walden Award in its first twenty-two years. These judges may have moved from the publishing house or agency listed under their names—or they may be altogether retired from the industry—but the list illuminates the quality of the judging we gratefully rely on. Click the button below to view our judges list.

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