This is really exciting--the WIFYR committee is sponsoring a contest to help a talented writer with the needed funds to further his/her work in progress. Here's the link: http://www.wifyr.com/blog/ That $1,000 could buy a lot of printer ink!
Seriously, this will be a great contest. Here's my tip for you--financial need will be a consideration, but it's just as important to have a great, polished manuscript. Unless you're incredible at first drafts, I wouldn't start something new. Take the manuscript (or picture books) you've been working on and polish until you can see your reflection in it.
If you have questions about who you should ask to write your letters of recommendation, please post them below.