Calling All Writers and Artists!

Jackson County Library Services (JCLS) and the Jackson County Library Foundation (JCLF) seek local Rogue Valley authors and artists to write and illustrate a nursery rhyme book to be distributed to newborns in Jackson County as part of the Baby’s First Book program.


  • Titled Rogue Reader: A Baby’s First Book 
  • This illustrated nursery rhyme book will consist of 12 rhymes that focus on Southern Oregon and Rogue Valley themes (i.e., wildlife, terrain, weather, local people or points of interest, etc.) 
  • Although not required for all rhymes, some rhymes can go to a familiar tune and/or have hand motions/movements that correspond to the text. 
  • Multicultural/bilingual Spanish-English book preferred 


  • The selected author will be awarded a one-time prize of $3,000.
  • The selected illustrator will be awarded a one-time prize of $5,000. 


  • Open to Jackson County residents of all ages. JCLS and JCLF staff and their immediate family members are not eligible to participate.  
  • Writing and artwork must be original, unpublished, and free of copyright restrictions. 
  • Upon submission, entrants grant JCLS rights to the work and consent that it may be displayed and/or reproduced without limitation by JCLS/JCLF for the Baby’s First Book program and without further compensation. 
  • Multiple submissions will be accepted, as well as submissions of writing and artwork by the same individual. 


  • Entries should include a cover letter with a brief “about the author” paragraph. 
  • Times New Roman, size 12 
  • Title your submission, “Last Name, First Name” 
  • Email your submission to (“BFB Writing Submission” in the subject line). Include your cover letter in the email body and attach work as [.doc] or [.pdf] 


  • Entries should include a cover letter with a brief “about the illustrator” paragraph.  
  • Submission of a portfolio of artwork in scannable or digital art medium. Portfolios featuring artwork designed for children are highly encouraged. 
  • The selected artist will receive the contents of the book so they can illustrate accordingly.
  • Book will include front and back cover illustrations and 12 spreads. 
  • JCLS and its vendors are not responsible for color shifts or other instances of reproduction inherent to the printing process. 
  • Title your portfolio submission, “Last Name, First Name” 
  • Email your submission to (“BFB Artwork Submission” in the subject line). Include your cover letter in the email body & attach portfolio file(s) as [.jpeg] or [.pdf]. 


  • All writing and artwork portfolio submissions are due by 5:00 PM on Friday, July 15, 2022. Awards will be announced in August 2022. 


Baby’s First Book helps create lifelong readers and library users, almost from birth. Through this program, the Jackson County Library Foundation guarantees that nearly all of Jackson County’s new families will have at least one children’s book in their home. Packets are distributed in either English or Spanish to ensure that all residents have equal access to literacy materials, including information on the importance of reading to babies. JCLF estimates that a total of 7,083 people will directly benefit from this program during one calendar year. 


The JCLS mission is to connect everyone to information, ideas, and each other. With 15 branches throughout the County, JCLS offers in-person and virtual programs, Take & Make kits, At Home Services for patrons who cannot come to the library, Outreach to Child Care, free internet access, 24-hour online resources, and a staff of experts. Patrons can browse the online catalog and curated staff booklists, subscribe to the Library Connect blog, and utilize readers advisory resources via an online form called JCLS Discovery. Learn more at 


Brystan Strong, Youth Services Coordinator || 541.774.6423