The Bechtel Prize is named for Louise Seaman Bechtel, who was an editor, author, collector of children’s books, and teacher. She was the first person to head a juvenile book department at an American publishing house. As such, she took children’s literature seriously, helped establish the field, and was a tireless advocate for the importance of literature in kids’ lives.
The 2020 Bechtel Prize
In 2020, we invited teachers/teaching artists to submit an innovative classroom project that supports student development as creative writers and thinkers. The prize was awarded to Amy Young for “Jibseria: A Garden Mythology.” We thank all of those who submitted projects and commend you for your creativity and dedication to your students.
The 2021 Bechtel Prize
The criteria and submission guidelines for the 2021 Bechtel Prize will be announced in November. The submission deadline is January 15, 2021. Please check again for more details.
General Selection Criteria
Selection criteria for the Bechtel Prize include the project’s relevance and appropriateness for readers of Teachers & Writers Magazine, most of whom teach writing at the elementary, secondary, or post-secondary level. Teachers & Writers Magazine publishes work that is concise, lively, and geared to a general audience. Prospective entrants for the Bechtel Prize are encouraged to visit the magazine to become familiar with the work of Teachers & Writers, and to read past published lesson plans and articles. The prize selection committee is made up of members of the editorial board of Teachers & Writers Magazine.
Questions regarding these guidelines may be sent to [email protected]
Previous Bechtel Prize Winners
Amy Young, Jibseria: A Garden Mythology
Emily James, At First the Ground Shakes
Julie Landsman, Words, Images and Music: How We Enter
Christian McEwen, Alastair Reed: Traveling Light
Chris Belden, Inside Words: How to Teach Writing in Prison
Barbara Flug Colin, Now Let’s Stare at the Purple
Janet L. Bland, The Possum
Garth Greenwell, A Native Music: Writing the City in Sofia, Bulgaria
Emily Raboteau, A Slip Into the Breaks: Teaching Jazz Poetry
Michael Bazzett, Within Words: Making Students at Home in the Language of Literature
Anna Sopko, Writing Standards: Finding One’s Way with Words