Like many, I enjoy the acting awards’ seasons. We’ve seen a number of the nominated films for 2017, but have a few more to view-‘Moonlight’ is top of that list.

It’s award season in the world of children’s books also. We’ve read and reviewed a number of the titles included amongst the prizes and long lists announced recently, and shall have our favourites on sale through the Bookwagon site.

So what are the awards, how are the titles chosen and voted for?

Henrietta Branford and Wendy Boase enjoyed short, ground breaking writing and editing careers, together and separately, creating wonderful titles, like the ‘Dimanche Diller’ series, and.founding Walker Children’s Books. Editor and critic Julia Eccleshare and Authors’ Aloud founder Anne Marley, decided to create an award to remember the two. The Branford Boase award, is given to new writers, editors and their publishers, considered to offer the most promise in a nomination year. Past winners include Horatio Clare, Dave Shelton, Siobhan Dowd, Frances Hardinge and Meg Rosoff. This year’s long list was announced this week:-

A competition for young writers is held alongside the Branford Boase awards, in which entrants below the age of 19, are invited to complete a story started by a known, named author. Winners have the opportunity to attend the presentation of the Branford Boase award. Further details of this competition are announced to coincide with the release of the shortlisted titles, authors, editors and publishers.

Last week saw the long list of titles for the Carnegie Medal and Kate Greenaway Award revealed. Philanthropist Andrew Carnegie resolved that should he ever attain wealth, he would use it to ‘establish free libraries.’ Around the world more than 2800 libraries benefited from Carnegie’s pledge. Half of Britain’s libraries have their foundations in Carnegie’s generosity. In turn, a writing medal in his name was created in 1936. This year will be the 80th year of its presentation. Like the Kate Greenaway award, it is judged by librarians representing the different areas of Great Britain. Carnegie Medal winners include Anne Fine, Gillian Cross, Neil Gaiman, Patrick Ness and Philip Reeve.

The Kate Greenaway award enters its 60th year in 2017. It was established in memory of the popular, highly influential children’s illustrator and designer. Previous winners of this medal include children’s laureates Sir Quentin Blake, Anthony Browne, and Shirley Hughes and Raymond Briggs.

This year’s proceedings, despite the portent of anniversaries, is tinged with controversy as there are no BAME nominees amongst the list. It does seem bizarre, considering the range of talent and choice offered.

Raymond Briggs in turn, was presented with the Lifetime Achievement award by Book Trust last week, in a ceremony presided over by current children’s laureate, Chris Riddell. Raymond Briggs, is best known for works such as ‘The Snowman’, ‘Fungus the Bogeyman’, ‘Jim and the Beanstalk’, and ‘Ethel and Ernest’ (set just up the road from where I lived when I moved first to London). I hope many of you caught the televisation of the last title, that documents so empathically and poignantly, the 20th century lives of Raymond Briggs’ parents.

Finally, the Federation of Children’s Books, which works in local and national areas to support reading in schools, unveiled its nominees for its books of the year. These titles, within three age grouped areas, are voted for entirely by children:-

We will keep you posted on the nominations and the awards. Meanwhile, I’m off to dust off the spangles for my stretch down the red carpet at next week’s Academy Awards. If only….. Bronnie