The Branford Boase Prize
A new annual award for an outstanding first-time novel for children has been announced. The first Branford Boase Award will be presented in June 2000 to a first-time writer of a book for young people. As well as celebrating a promising new writer in the field of children’s books, it will highlight the importance of the editor in identifying and nurturing new writers. The writer will receive a cheque for £1,000; both writer and editor will be presented with an award. The Branford Boase Award has been set up in memory of the writer, Henrietta Branford, and the editor of her later books, Wendy Boase, Editorial Director of Walker Books. They both died of cancer in 1999.
The Award is supported by a partnership of publishers, headed by Walker Books, and with a grant from the Arts Council, and donations from a Friends Scheme and charitable trusts. David Lloyd, Chairman of Walker Books, said, ‘Henrietta and Wendy were both so vital and brilliant, and they so thoroughly enjoyed themselves and one another. I know how happy they would be now to have their names linked in this way, in support of excellent writing and the future of children’s fiction.’
Mother Goose Award
Books For Children has announced the cancellation of the Mother Goose Award due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’. Awarded to an illustrator for their first major book, the award has fulfilled an important function in encouraging new talent. It is hoped that it will return next year.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
I don’t think it is true to say (BfK 120) that it’s the first time the winner of the Whitbread Children’s Book category has been allowed to compete for the overall prize. As far as I know, kids’ books were only given their separate prize in ’98: I was a Whitbread judge when Peter Dickinson won the children’s novel category, and then, as there had always been each year for decades, there was an anguished debate about whether a children’s book could ever win against a good adults’ book, and whether comparing them was even possible. Every year, people went round saying, Could this be year? So I actually think that far from its being the first year, it’s the few years when it wasn’t compelled to compete that were the exceptions.
Judging the Greenaway Dear Editor
I agree with Shirley Hughes’s comments about judging the Kate Greenaway (BfK 120, January ’00) and feel entitled to put in my penn’ orth both as a one-time member of the Library Association and a founder member of the Maschler Award. After a few years of judging of the Maschler (with luminaries such as Margaret Meek as part of the panel) it became clear to me that we needed the input of an illustrator to inform us about the techniques of the art work for each submission – which we were judging for balance of text and the illustration. Accordingly, it was decided that year by year we should invite an artist (preferably one who had already won the Award) to join us on the panel.
I am sure that other Maschler judges will agree with me that the comments of Quentin Blake and his fellow artists were eye-openers which helped us to make better informed choices over the years.
Jonathan Douglas has recently been appointed Professional Adviser, Youth and School Libraries at The Library Association. He has taken over from Trish Botten, who has gone to work in New Zealand. Jonathan has most recently been the National Year of Reading Co-ordinator for Westminster Libraries, helping to raise the profile of children’s books and libraries. He is currently Chair of the Youth Libraries Group in London and the South East and is also Membership Officer for the Children’s Book Circle as well as being involved in Launchpad and World Book Day. He is well known to many librarians and publishers for his great enthusiasm and commitment to children’s books and he will undoubtedly prove a great asset to The Library Association.
Congratulations to Lucy Juckes , the director of Barrington Stoke, who has won the 1999 Women in Publishing New Venture Award. Set up 18 months ago, Barrington Stoke specialises in books for ‘reluctant’ readers and those with reading difficulties.
At Macmillan Children’s Books Marion Lloyd has been appointed Associate Publisher. Sarah Davies has been appointed Publishing Director and Gaby Morgan has been appointed Editorial Director.
At Random House Children’s Books Ian Craig has been appointed Executive Publisher while Gill Evans , former Publishing Director of Egmont, has been appointed Head of Publishing.
Egmont has appointed Susannah McFarlane Publishing Director of Egmont Children’s Books.
Contributors BfK team, Anne Marley. Submissions welcome.
The Federation of Children’s Book Groups The Federation’s 32nd Annual Conference explores the role of myth and fantasy in children’s books. It takes place from 14-16 April at Woldington School, near Oxted, Surrey. Speakers include Jacqueline Wilson, Robin Jarvis, Jean Ure and Philip Pullman. Details from Jane Damesick on 01883 714541.
Kathleen Hale established herself as a book illustrator and designer after studying under Cedric Morris in the thirties at the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing. She created her most famous character, Orlando the Marmalade Cat, for her two sons. The first Orlando books appeared in 1938 and with their large format and freely drawn lithographed illustrations in bright colours, they were a landmark in children’s illustrated books. While Hale’s cats were depicted naturalistically, her humans tended to caricature. Another 18 Orlando titles followed, all endowed with Hale’s characteristic liveliness and humour. Kathleen Hale was elected FSIA and awarded the OBE.