The dates for the 2019 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals are revealed today, Monday 21st January 2019, alongside two new major introductions to the 2019 cycle.

www.ckg.org.uk / #CKG19 / #bestchildrensbooks

This is a bumper year for the UK’s oldest children’s book awards, which are uniquely judged by librarians, with a record 254 nominations across both Medals: the Carnegie Medal awarded for outstanding writing, and the Kate Greenaway Medal for outstanding illustration.

This year sees the introduction of a new award to sit alongside the two Medals categories. The Shadowers’ Choice Award, which will be announced alongside the two Medal winners in June 2019, will be voted for and awarded by the children and young people who shadow the Medals. This award has evolved out of CILIP’s recent Diversity Review , which identified opportunities to empower and celebrate the young people involved in the Medals through the shadowing scheme by giving them a more significant voice and visible presence in the process and prize giving.

Another major addition to this year’s Medals is the introduction of an equality, diversity and inclusion advisory panel, who will work alongside this year’s judges to help ensure diversity and inclusion are embedded throughout the Awards. The panel will support CILIP and the Youth Libraries Group (YLG) in their ongoing commitment to address under-representation and embed diversity into the Awards processes by observing the 2019 judging processes, reading the shortlisted books and offering guidance and advice on inclusion, diversity and representation to help CILIP continue to develop and improve the Awards. The expert panel, chaired by Jake Hope (children’s book consultant and YLG National Chair), includes: Darren Chetty (academic and writer); Nyandavoh Foday (poet); Pete Kalu (writer and Co-Director of Commonword); Melanie Ramdarshan Bold (academic and writer); Karen Sands-O’Connor (academic and writer) and Megan Quibell (blogger and Inclusive Minds Ambassador).

Chair of the 2019 Judges, Alison Brumwell, comments:

“This has been a record-breaking year for nominations, and it’s a delight to see such vibrant and imaginative work from an array of outstanding writers and illustrators. Nominated titles include poetry, short fiction, novellas and narrative non-fiction, as well as middle-grade and YA fiction from new voices and established writers and illustrators. It’s also been a banner year for small publishers and translated works.

“I am honoured to Chair an incredible panel of expert volunteer judges from Youth Libraries Group across the UK. We have an exciting and challenging year ahead of us as we read all of the books against the medals criteria to decide the longlist, shortlist and eventual 2019 winners. I look forward to discovering who will be the recipients of the inaugural Shadowers’ Choice Awards, which give a voice to the thousands of children and young people who take part in the shadowing initiative every year, and whose commitment, insights and opinions we truly value.”

Amnesty International UK continues to support the Medals in partnership with CILIP. From 2016-2018, Amnesty International awarded the Amnesty CILIP Honour commendation to one book on each Medal shortlist, that most distinctively illuminated, upheld or celebrated human rights. From 2019 onwards, rather than awarding the Honour commendation, Amnesty will focus on strengthening its educational and training offer around human rights awareness and learning for shadowers, group leaders and shortlisted authors and illustrators. Amnesty will continue to create human rights-based materials for all the shortlisted books to aid reflection and discussion in classrooms and libraries.

Rowena Seabrook, Human Rights Education Manager at Amnesty International UK, comments:

“Following on from the success of the Honour, we are delighted to continue to work in partnership with CILIP on human rights educational resources and training developed for the children and young people who take part in the Awards shadowing scheme and librarians and teachers who lead their shadowing groups. Amnesty is proud to see children’s human rights being upheld and empowered through the new award to be judged and presented by children and young people, celebrating young people’s right to have a voice and to choose.”

Nick Poole, Chief Executive of CILIP adds:

“Both Amnesty and CILIP are very proud of the impact the commendation has had in raising awareness of the power of children’s books to explore human rights, encourage empathy and broaden horizons, and we look forward to seeing Amnesty implement its education and training programme in an even wider capacity.

“This is an exciting time for the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals as they evolve and strengthen their mission to inspire and empower the next generation to create a better world through books and reading. I eagerly anticipate the announcement of this year’s long- and shortlists, as well as the 2019 Medal winners as chosen by our librarian judges and the first ever recipients of the Shadowers’ Choice Award.”

Key dates for 2019:

Tuesday 19th February 2018  Longlist announcement

20-strong longlists for the Carnegie (writing) and Kate Greenaway (illustration) Medals revealed

Tuesday 19th March 2019      Shortlist announcement

6-8-strong lists for the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals revealed

Tuesday 18th June 2019          Winner announcement

Medal and Shadowers’ Choice Award winners announced at British Library ceremony hosted by Konnie Huq

Notes to Editors

About the CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medals

The Carnegie Medal, awarded annually to the writer of an outstanding book for children, was established in 1936 in memory of the Scottish-born philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919). A self-made industrialist who made his fortune in steel in the USA, Carnegie’s experience of using a library as a child led him to resolve that “If ever wealth came to me that it should be used to establish free libraries.” He set up more than 2,800 libraries across the English-speaking world and by the time of his death over half the library authorities in Great Britain had Carnegie libraries.

The Kate Greenaway Medal was established in 1955 for distinguished illustration in a book for children. Named after the popular nineteenth century artist, known for her beautiful children’s illustrations and designs, the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal is awarded annually for an outstanding book in terms of illustration for children and young people.

About the Awards Shadowing Scheme

Each year thousands of reading groups in schools and libraries in the UK and overseas get involved in the Awards, with children and young people ‘shadowing’ the judging process. They read, discuss and review the books on the shortlists and get involved in reading related activity in groups and online. Free shadowing educational resources include visual literacy teaching notes, talking points, human rights teaching notes produced by Amnesty, activity ideas and video interviews with the shortlisted authors and illustrators. Shadowing groups are encouraged to publish their own creative response to the books online including reviews, blogs, and videos.

About CILIP, the library and information association

CILIP is the leading voice for the information, knowledge management and library profession. Our goal is to put information and library skills and professional values at the heart of a democratic, equal and prosperous society. CILIP is a registered charity, no. 313014. The Youth Libraries Group (YLG) of CILIP works in a ‘pressure group’ role to preserve and influence the provision of quality literature and library services for children and young people, both in public libraries and school library services.

YLG has 12 regional committees covering all of the UK and each committee advertises and democratically elects a YLG judge to represent them on the panel of judges. Each judge serves a two-year term and each year the panel is a unique mix of new and experienced judges led by the Chair of Judges.

About Amnesty International UK

Amnesty International is the world’s leading human rights organisation with more than seven million supporters worldwide.

About the equality, diversity and inclusion advisory panel:

Darren Chetty is a Teaching Fellow at University College London. He was a contributor to The Good Immigrant, and co-author, with Jeffrey Boakye, of What Is Masculinity? Why Does It Matter? And Other Big Questions. He writes, with Karen Sands O’Connor, a regular column for Books for Keeps on the representation of ‘BAME’ people in children’s literature. Darren wrote the foreword to A Change is Gonna Come, and has been a judge on the YA Book Prize, Blue Peter Book Awards, and the Little Rebels Prize. Darren is a member of the steering group for the CLPE Reflecting Realities survey.

Nyandavoh Foday was Young Poet Laureate of Birmingham 2016-18, and is inspired by the impact that words can have to create, unite, explain and enjoy.  She strives to connect with others where she can by sharing and listening to others’ work.

Pete Kalu is Co-Director of Commonword, the Manchester based writing development agency with a thirty year focus on the writing of voices under-represented in the mainstream publishing industry, particularly BAME / PoC communities. He coordinates Commonword’s  Diversity Writing For Children and Young Adults Award.  He is a writer and the author of nine novels and a number of award-winning plays for theatre and radio. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2013 and has judged a number of literary prizes including most recently the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation.  

Melanie Ramdarshan Bold is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Information Studies at University College London. Melanie teaches and researches topics relating to contemporary authorship, publishing, and reading, with a focus on books for children and young adults. Melanie is undertaking research for BookTrust to evaluate the number of children’s books created by authors and illustrators of colour. Melanie is a member of the steering group for the CLPE Reflecting Realities survey.

Karen Sands-O’Connor is a Professor of English at SUNY Buffalo State College, where she was awarded the Chancellor’s Medal for Research in 2018.  She was appointed a Leverhulme Visiting Professor at Newcastle University in 2015-16, during which time she worked closely with Seven Stories, the National Centre for the Children’s Book, on increasing and highlighting the diversity of their archival collections.  In 2017, she helped organise the ‘Diverse Voices? Curating a National History of Children’s Books’ symposium with Seven Stories and Newcastle University; and she was an advisor to CLPE’s Reflecting Realities report, which looked at diversity in children’s publishing.

Megan Quibell is a 22-year-old English Literature student who has been blogging since the age of 14.  She’s been a reader for as long as she can remember and books have always been her escape from reality, hospital visits and boredom. Since the age of 12, she’s been a full-time wheelchair user and it’s become a passion of hers to see diversity reflected in books in a way that she never saw as a child.  This desire led her to Inclusive Minds and she’s now a proud ambassador.

About the CILIP Equality and Diversity Action Plan

An independent Diversity Review, chaired by Margaret Casely-Hayford, took place throughout the 2018 Medals cycle. CILIP announced the review of Medals – as part of the organisation’s wider Equality and Diversity Action Plan – following concerns raised about the lack of BAME representation on the 2017 Carnegie Medal longlist. The Review informed the annual evaluation process and long-term planning around the Awards and accompanying shadowing scheme. The full final report can be found here.