Established in 1986, the Keene State College Children's Literature Festival Award was given to an author and/or illustrator in recognition of continuing distinguished contributions in the field of children's literature.
Presented each spring, the award was given to an author and/or illustrator who had made outstanding contributions over a period of at least ten years, was currently writing or illustrating, and whose body of work showed variety and diversity while maintaining the highest standards in literature for children.
In 2000, the painful decision was made to discontinue the awards due to low attendance at the awards ceremony. The money that was allocated to the ceremony is now used to support the Festival Gallery Collection
Award-winning illustrator Charles Mikolaycak's drawing of an owl (above), Keene State College's mascot, is used on various Festival Award promotions.