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The dates for the 2020 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards are revealed today, Tuesday 3rd September, alongside news of revised judging criteria for the CILIP Carnegie Medal and an exciting new partnership with Inclusive Minds.

The Awards – the oldest of their kind in the UK – celebrate outstanding writing and illustration for children and young people and are uniquely judged by librarians. Since 2018, CILIP, the library and information association, has been working closely with representatives from across the publishing and library industries to ensure the Awards best champion diversity, inclusion and representation in everything they do.

Revised criteria for the CILIP Carnegie Medal

In 2019, the Awards evolved to include a new Shadowers’ Choice Award for both Medals – chosen by school children across the UK – as part of its response to CILIP’s independently chaired Diversity Review, which identified opportunities to empower and celebrate the young people involved in the Awards.

For 2020, CILIP is taking further steps towards a more inclusive, child-focused Awards, by piloting a revised judging criteria for the CILIP Carnegie Medal for writing. The new criteria – the result of an extensive consultation process during 2019 – focuses on outstanding reading experiences, asking judges and shadowers alike to reflect on the experiences and representation within each nominated book, the author’s treatment of the characters and plot, and the book’s relatability to and potential resonance with its readership. A similar review process will take place for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal for illustration during the 2020 Awards cycle.

Jake Hope, the recently appointed new Chair of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards Working Party, comments: “I am pleased to share that CILIP and Youth Libraries’ Group (YLG) are re-positioning the Awards’ criteria in order that they connect with the broadest range of readers possible. This is an ongoing process towards greater inclusivity across both Medals, as we continue to celebrate the brilliant writing and illustration published in the UK and the outstanding reading experiences they offer.

“We hope our new criteria will facilitate open consideration and discussion both by judges and shadowing groups as they read the books in contention for the Medals, and lead to lists of titles that reflect the broad range of perspectives, experiences and voices encompassed by our readers. We are grateful to all those who have collaborated with us on the review process for the Carnegie Medal, with special thanks to the team at the University of Central Lancashire who carried out extensive research to help us shape the new criteria.”

Further details on the above, and a report showing progress since the Diversity Review concluded, can be found here.

Partnership with Inclusive Minds

CILIP today also announces a new partnership with Inclusive Minds, a collective whose mission is to change the face of children’s books through inclusion, diversity, equality and accessibility.

Throughout the 2020 cycle, Inclusive Minds will provide guidance on titles in contention for the Medals and contribute to the Shadowing Scheme resources. Awards judges will have access to an expert network of Inclusion Ambassadors, to help increase their awareness and understanding of inclusion and representation within nominated titles. A dedicated Inclusion Ambassador Shadowing Group will read the shortlisted titles, providing feedback from their lived experience to help inform judges’ decision-making.

Alexandra Strick and Beth Cox, co-founders of Inclusive Minds, comment:

“Inclusive Minds is very proud to be partners with CILIP on the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards. The best children’s books are outstanding stories that are naturally inclusive, representing diverse perspectives and experiences.  These Awards represent such an important way of highlighting and celebrating the very best such books.  

“We are delighted that our network of Inclusion Ambassadors will also be directly involved in feeding into the process. It is vital that young people with lived experience of different facets of diversity have a real voice in the world of children’s books.” 

Nick Poole, Chief Executive of CILIP, adds:

“It is a really proud moment for CILIP to be partnering with Inclusive Minds on the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards. I am excited to be working closely with an organisation that makes inclusivity and reflecting lived experience its driving mission.

“In 2019, we were fortunate to work with an expert equality, diversity and inclusion panel who observed the Awards’ processes and shared their insights and experience, and we look forward to building on this work through this new partnership. By working with Inclusive Minds and their Ambassadors alongside our network of volunteer librarians, we can ensure a diversity of perspectives feed into the Awards processes. I can’t wait to see the wonderful books in contention for the 2020 Medals, and am grateful to Inclusive Minds for helping CILIP to ensure the Awards continue to evolve and thrive.”

Key dates for 2020

Nominations for the 2020 Awards will open on Friday 13th September 2019. Nominations are open to all CILIP members and, following the diversity review of the Awards, several external nominating bodies. BookTrust, CLPE, CommonWord, IBBY, National Literacy Trust and RNIB are continuing to support the Awards in 2020 and are joined this year by the English and Media Centre. Nominations will be announced in November 2019 followed by longlist, shortlist and winner announcements in 2020 (outlined below). The 2020 Judging Panel is chaired by Julia Hale, School Libraries Advisor and South West Representative for the Youth Libraries Group.

Monday 4th November 2019                  
Nominations announcement

Thursday 20th February 2020    
Longlist announcement

Thursday 19th March 2020                    
Shortlist announcement

Wednesday 17th June 2020                   
Winner announcement: Medal and Shadowers’ Choice Award winners announced

Notes to Editors

About the CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Awards and Shadowing Scheme
The CILIP Carnegie Medal is awarded annually to a children’s book author whose writing creates an outstanding reading experience. It was established in 1936 in memory of the Scottish-born philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919). The Kate Greenaway Medal, established in 1955, is named after the popular nineteenth century artist, known for her beautiful children’s illustrations and designs. The Kate Greenaway Medal is awarded annually to a children’s book illustrator whose artwork creates an outstanding reading experience.

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, get involved in reading related activity in groups and vote for their favourite books to win the Shadowers’ Choice Awards.

About Inclusive Minds
Launched in 2013, Inclusive Minds is a collective for people who are passionate about inclusion, diversity, equality and accessibility in children’s literature and are committed changing the face of children’s books.  Inclusive Minds offers a range of consultancy services and training, runs events such as A Place at the Table and founded the Everybody In charter and the network of Inclusion Ambassadors. The Inclusion Ambassadors Network is a team of young people (and some parents and youth workers) who share a real interest in seeing better representation of one or more facets of diversity. These are individuals (generally aged between 8 and 30) with important first-hand knowledge of particular facets of diversity and a genuine interest in sharing their expertise and experience to the benefit of children’s books.