Southwest Human Development, Arizona’s largest nonprofit dedicated to early childhood development, has introduced “Books for Babies … and Toddlers, Too!”—a comprehensive early literacy social venture that incorporates crowdfunding, a children’s book writing contest, and essentially turns the nonprofit into its own children’s book publisher.

The initial phase of the program was the launch of a 30-day Indiegogo campaign, which ends on Aug. 5, to raise the initial $10,000 seed money for the project. The first $10,000 will provide Southwest Human Development with what it needs to hire professional illustrators, copy editors and layout experts for the book. See more at

As part of the “Books for Babies … and Toddlers, Too!” initiative, Southwest Human Development also hosts the “First Edition Children’s Book Writing Contest” that will give one lucky author—or aspiring author—the opportunity to publish his or her manuscript.

Through Sept. 15, the nonprofit will accept manuscript submissions with an entry fee of a $50 donation. Manuscripts should be appropriate for children from birth to 3 years old, 600 words or less, and must be the original work of the author or co-authors and not previously published. Illustrations are not necessary. Contest entry and details are available at

The winning children’s book will be announced in January, with its first editions published in spring 2016. For more information, call 602-808-GIVE (4483) or visit


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