Poetry award shortlist and other award news

CLiPPA (Centre for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award)

The shortlist has been announced for the annual poetry prize and includes a novel written in free verse, poems about food, a poet’s Trinidadian childhood, myths and legends, and fun poems for small children.



2016 shortlist

One by Sarah Crossan (Bloomsbury)

A powerful and moving verse novel narrated from the viewpoint of one of a pair of conjoined twins. A significant change in the girls’ lives is documented in verses that are contextualised within a page-turning narrative but also work as standalone poems.

“Being shortlisted for the CLiPPA award is so special as it recognises my novel as poetry, which is always how I see it. And I’m over the moon to be on the list with such a talented array of poets.” Sarah Crossan

Dancing in the Rain by John Lyons (Peepal Tree Press)

This collection provides an insight into the poet’s Trinidadian childhood described by the judges as ‘breath of fresh air’. Readers are treated to poems with themes including the climate, ghosts and ghouls from Caribbean folklore and sharing food with family.

“I am absolutely delighted to be shortlisted for the CLiPPA, especially as it gives me the opportunity to make a real connection with younger readers and encourage them to write poetry too!” John Lyons

Poetry Pie by Roger McGough (Puffin Books)

This collection is an invitation to be excited about poetry and not be limited by the world. Food is a subject often chewed upon whether it’s the fate of a chip summed up in English and French or the delicious variety of ingredients that can be baked in a poetry pie.

“Children are important, poetry is important. Put the two together and you have CLPE.” Roger McGough

Falling Out of the Sky, Poems about Myths and Monsters edited by Rachel Piercey and Emma Wright (The Emma Press)

This anthology brings together new poems inspired by myths, legends and folk tales. Poems inspired by classical Greek myths join those inspired by Norse myths and traditional tales. An exciting collection that challenges in a way few anthologies for children do.

“We are thrilled that Falling Out of the Sky has been shortlisted for the CLiPPA Award, especially as it’s our first venture into children’s poetry books. We hope we can encourage more poets to write for children, and more bookshops to stock children’s poetry books.” Rachel Piercey and Emma Wright

A Great Big Cuddle by Michael Rosen and Chris Riddell (ill.) (Walker)

Subtitled ‘Poems for the Very Young’ this is a collection children can have fun and identify with, enabling them to see the point of poetry. This large and beautiful book is a happy marriage between words and pictures, the illustrations like another version of each poem.

“I’m delighted to be on this shortlist. This book means a lot to me – it’s a collection of views of life as seen from a toddler’s angle so it was a way of looking back at the last toddler I was helping to bring up. But also, I love the way Chris’s pictures have entered that world and brought it to life visually.” Michael Rosen

The winner will be announced at The Poetry Show at the National Theatre on 13th July 2016.

(taken from clpe.org.uk)

CLiPPA Shadowing Scheme

The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) is running a schools shadowing scheme alongside the national children’s poetry award. CLiPPA is the only award for published children’s poetry in the UK. Primary schools from the UK and beyond are invited to take part. The CLPE will provide free teaching resources which show how the poetry shadowing fits into the English National Curriculum and enhances all aspects of literacy learning. These will include teaching sequences and films of the shortlisted poets performing and giving writing tips. There are also films from schools who participated in last year’s scheme to provide inspiration.

Visit the shadowing scheme website here for more details.

Little Rebel Children’s Book Award winner

Congratulations to Alexis Deacon and Vivianne Schwarz who have won the 2016 Little Rebels Award with their picture book, I Am Henry Finch (Walker Books). This thought-provoking  picture book about a philosophical bird called Henry Finch is a well-deserved winner of the award for radical children’s books.

Kerry Mason, from Letterbox Library which runs the award for the ARB (Alliance of Radical Booksellers) said: “It’s an absolute gem of a picture book. It deploys the simplest of graphics and text to ponder vast questions about our humanity. Viviane Schwarz’s blood red thumbprint finches get to the beating heart of our existence and Alexis Deacon’s minimalist, beautifully structured, sentences are like a beginner’s course in existentialist thought. This is a book which respects and honours the youngest of readers, believing them capable of and thirsty for philosophical thought.”




The Branford Boase Award shortlist 2016

The shortlist for the 2016 Branford Boase Award has been announced. The Branford Boase Award is given annually to the author of an outstanding debut novel for children and also honours the editor of the winning title and highlights the importance of the editor in nurturing new talent.

Now in its sixteenth year the Branford Boase Award has a track record in identifying authors with special talent at the start of their careers. Meg Rosoff recently awarded the world’s biggest children’s book prize, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, won in 2005 with How I Live Now, while Frances Hardinge, who this year won the Costa Book of the Year Award with her children’s novel The Lie Tree, was named Branford Boase Award winner exactly ten years ago. From this year’s longlist of 23 books, the judges have selected a shortlist of six:



Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot by Horatio Clare, edited by Penny Thomas. Illustrations by Jane Matthews (Firefly Press)

Stone Rider by David Hofmeyr, edited by Ben Horslen and Tig Wallace (Penguin)

The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones by Will Mabbitt, edited by Ben Horslen. Illustrations by Ross Collins (Penguin)

My Brother is a Superhero by David Solomons, edited by Kirsty Stansfield (Nosy Crow) Ages 7+

Time Travelling with a Hamster by Ross Welford, edited by Nicholas Lake (HarperCollins Children’s Books) Ages 9+

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson, edited by Bella Pearson (David Fickling Books)

The judging panel is chaired by Julia Eccleshare, children’s books editor of the Guardian.

Julia Eccleshare says: ‘UK children’s publishers are more eager than ever to find and nurture talented new authors and this is an extremely exciting shortlist. All areas of the children’s book market are flourishing so this list includes books for young readers and for teenagers. It reflects current trends and features some wildly inventive books that play with language and ideas; a time travel story; a book that explores a transgender teenager’s struggle with identity; a book about a parent’s depression. They are all distinguished by the quality of the writing, the author’s ability to control plot and create character, and by an originality of approach.’

The winner of the 2016 Branford Boase Award will be announced on Thursday 7 July at a ceremony in London. The winning author receives a cheque for £1,000 and both author and editor receive a unique, hand-crafted silver-inlaid box.

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