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Creative Contest Continues for Junior High and High School Students at Emma Clark

Setauket, NY – October 28, 2020 –

These are difficult times for so many, and sometimes a creative outlet is just what we need to help get us through. In addition, the artwork of others can inspire and uplift us. That is why now more than ever, Emma Clark Library is thrilled to continue the annual Helen Stein Shack Picture Book Contest for junior high and high school students in Three Village.

The Library is once again calling for teens who live in the Three Village Central School District to create an original children’s picture book using their own artwork and text.  The entries will be judged, and winning authors will receive a sizable monetary prize and have their work bound, made into a hardcover book, and added to the Library’s shelves. Additional copies of the winning books will also be available for purchase by family and friends. In the past, there has been a lovely ceremony where Library Trustees and staff, teachers and top school district administrators, as well as representatives and elected officials from New York State, Suffolk County, and Brookhaven Town, all honor the winners.

The contest is divided into two grade categories, grades 7 through 9 and grades 10 through 12, with one First Prize Winner and one Second Prize Winner selected from each group.  Each entry can be the work of a single author/illustrator or can be a joint effort between an author and an illustrator (in the event that a winning entry is a collaboration, the prize will be shared).  Each of the First Prize award recipients will receive $400, and each of the Second Prize award recipients will receive $100.  All entrants will receive a Certificate of Participation. Winners and their families will be invited to an awards ceremony in the Spring (subject to change). Please note, since the 2020 ceremony could not take place due to COVID-19 restrictions, winners from both the 2020 and the 2021contests will be honored at the 2021 event.

Teens may obtain an Official Entry Form in-person in the Library’s lobby or online at emmaclark.org/picturebookaward starting November 18, 2020. Included with the form are the contest procedures & guidelines.  They should bring their completed picture book, along with a completed Official Entry Form, to the Children’s Department by the contest deadline, January 29, 2021.

Last year’s Grand Prize winners were Celia Gordon (Grades 7 – 9 category) and Rebecca Blumenthal (Grades 10 – 12 category).  The public may view previous year’s winning entries at emmaclark.org/picturebookaward.

This award is given in memory of Helen Stein Shack by her family.  As a teacher, Mrs. Shack was committed to the education of children, and she especially loved literature written for them.  She was a frequent visitor to Emma Clark Library where, even in retirement, she kept current with the latest children’s books.  The Library is grateful to the children of the late Mrs. Shack who have established a substantial endowment with the Library to cover the ongoing cost of the prizes.

Please note:  A maximum of one entry will be accepted per author. Entries may be a collaboration of no more than one author and one artist/illustrator. Emma Clark employees, trustees, and their immediate family members are not eligible to enter.


The Emma S. Clark Memorial Library, located at 120 Main Street in Setauket and on the web at www.emmaclark.org, provides public library service to all residents of the Three Village Central School District.

“The Heart of the Three Village Community”