The Jhalak Prize has announced the longlist for the inaugural Jhalak Children’s & Young Adult Prize.
The Jhalak Prize is an annual literary prize for British or British-resident writers of colour established in 2016 and founded by Sunny Singh and Nikesh Shukla in conjunction with Media Diversified and supported by the Author’s Club. A celebration of the rich array of work from writers of colour, whether it be fiction, non-fiction, short stories, graphic novels or poetry, the prize is also open to self-published writers. The Jhalak Children’s and YA Prize was announced in 2020 with the first award being made in 2021. Open to picture books, chapter books, graphic novels, poetry, or non-fiction, both prizes award £1000 to the winner.
The longlist for the 2021 Jhalak Children’s & Young Adult Prize is:
Too Small Tola, Atinuke & Onyinye Iwu (Walker)
The GA Picture Alphabet, Nii Ayikwei Parkes & Avril Filomeno (Self-published)
The Girl Who Stole an Elephant, Nizrana Farook (Nosy Crow)
When Life Gives You Mangoes, Kereen Getten (Pushkin Press)
Baby Girl, Emma Hill (Self-published)
And the Stars Were Burning Brightly, Danielle Jawondo (Simon & Schuster)
Queen of Freedom, Catherine Johnson (Pushkin Press)
The Little War Cat, Hiba Noor Khan & Laura Chamberlain (Macmillan Children’s)
Eight Pieces of Silva, Patrice Lawrence (Hachette Children’s)
Mohinder’s War, Bali Rai (Bloomsbury Education)
A Fox Called Herbert, Margaret Sturton (Andersen Press)
Cane Warriors, Alex Wheatle (Andersen Press)
The judges are writers Kiran Millwood Hargrave and Candy Gourlay.
Candy Gourlay said, ‘It was humbling to read this treasure chest of entries, a revelation of talent! Our list puts on display the best an author for children can offer, always perfectly pitched to the young reader, whether an illustrated book to read aloud or a young adult with all the burgeoning emotion that involves. I was especially excited by the untold histories now finding their way into books, the unheard voices singing from their pages.’
Kiran Millwood Hargrave said, ‘Judging any prize is always a mix of joy and touch decisions, and the quality of the entries to the Jhalak CYA Prize this year made it an especially exciting experience. We have settled on a longlist that foregrounds and rewards storytelling in all its forms, from picture books made to be seen and shared aloud, to fantastical, moving middle grade, and YA that grips and confronts. It’s an extraordinary longlist, and I can recommend every book on it with my full and whole heart.’
The shortlist for both awards will be announced on 13 April 2021. The winners will be announced on 25 May 2021 in partnership with the British Library.