Children's Laureate

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Children's Laureate is a position awarded in the United Kingdom once every two years to a "writer or illustrator of children's books to celebrate outstanding achievement in their field."[1][clarification needed] The post stemmed from a discussion between the (now deceased) Poet Laureate Ted Hughes and children's writer Michael Morpurgo.[1]

A panel of judges considers nominations from a range of organisations representing librarians, critics, writers and booksellers, including the International Board on Books for Young People. They also consider writers and illustrators nominated directly by children, who now vote online.[1]

The award is funded by several publishing industry and charity sector sponsors, including the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. As of 2013 its main sponsor is Waterstones, the UK's largest bookseller; it was sponsored by Ottakar's before the two companies merged. A bursary of £15,000 is offered for the two-year term.

The Children's Laureate receives a silver medal at the announcement ceremony, most recently held on 9 June 2015 for Chris Riddell.[2]


Term Laureate
1999–2001 Quentin Blake Laureate's Progress (Random House, 2000) is "a kind of diary in pictures". Blake created a few other books as Laureate and initiated the House of Illustration arts charity, established 2002.[3][4]
2001–2003 Anne Fine
2003–2005 Michael Morpurgo
2005–2007 Jacqueline Wilson  Judges chaired by Shami Chakrabarti, director of pressure group Liberty
2007–2009 Michael Rosen
2009–2011 Anthony Browne Judges chaired by Andrew Motion, Poet Laureate from 1999 to 2009
2011–2013 Julia Donaldson
2013–2015 Malorie Blackman
2015– Chris Riddell

Comparable offices elsewhere

United States

In January 2008 the Library of Congress inaugurated its National Ambassador for Young People's Literature scheme, as the U.S. equivalent of the Children's Laureate. The inaugural Ambassador was Jon Scieszka.[5]


Ireland has a Laureate na nÓg, a two-year office inaugurated by the Arts Council of Ireland in May 2010. The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is one supporter.[6]


The Swedish Arts Council appoints an author as "Ambassador for reading", Läsamabassadör, for a two-year office since 2011. The ambassador is announced at Gothenburg Book Fair by the Swedish Minister of Culture.[7] As part of the tenure the ambassador help communicate to children about books and reading,

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Children's Laureate, About the Children's Laureate.
  2. "Literacy has a new superhero" (PDF). Retrieved 9 June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Children's Laureate, "Quentin Blake".
  4. "About Us". House of Illustration ( Retrieved 2013-09-29.
  5. The Children's Book Council - National Ambassador for Young People's Literature (US)[dead link]
  6. "About the Project". Laureate na nÓg ( Arts Council of Ireland. Retrieved 2013-09-29.
  7. "Om Läsambassadören - Kulturradet" (in swedish). 2015-09-15. Retrieved 2015-10-30. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links