Thursday 7 May 2020

Carnegie Greenaway and THAT virus (or The Party Doesn't Stop Here) by Dawn Finch

Sadly, it was announced earlier in April that the wonderful celebration in June for the announcement of the winner of the Carnegie and Greenaway Awards has been cancelled. However, this does not mean that the CKG itself has been cancelled – far from it!

The announcement itself will still go ahead as planned on June 17th with a big media splash. This is definitely something we can all get involved in thanks for this new digital world. If you are not already following @CILIPCKG on twitter, now is the time to do so because as the announcement date rolls closer the team will be tweeting about their favourite past winners, and there will be lots of things linking out to the current shortlists.
The 2020 CKG shortlists are definitely something to shout about.

If you would like to get more involved, why not take a look at some of the winners and shortlisted titles from the past 84 years and let people know why you feel a personal bond to that title. Did Pigeon Post by Arthur Ransome make you take up sailing? Are you a dancer because someone gave you a copy of Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild? Do you still look under hedges because of The Little Grey Men by BB? When things go missing in your house do you blame Mary Norton’s Borrowers?

Support the announcement and online celebration for #CKG20 by writing about the winners and shortlisted titles that you remember most, and sharing that on twitter. We are hoping to raise enough digital noise to have a twitter takeover in the days up to the announcement on June 17th.

You can find a list of previous winners on the CKG official website ( and Wikipedia has a good list of all previous awards including the shortlisted titles for both the Carnegie Medal and Greenaway Medal. I would also recommend reading our own Paul May's brilliant blog posts on here as he's been rummaging through the CKG archives for the last few months. These articles have been a joy to read and lots of times have made me remember books that show just how high the standards are for these awards.

The changes forced on the CKG process by Covid-19 are not all bad though, it has forced something into play that could be highly beneficial for both schools and authors. One of the most enjoyable aspects of the CKG for most of us working in the field of children’s reading is the Shadowing part of the awards. This is where the books are read by pupils in schools who then discuss the titles and pick their own favourites. These votes are pooled and the CKG panel reveals who are the Shadowers’ Choice Award winners. As Shadowing can’t currently take place, the CKG team have decided to roll the Shadowing Scheme into October. This will give everyone in schools a chance to get the shortlisted books in and to see who will be the winner chosen by the Shadowers. This will be announced during Libraries Week 5-10 October.

Having the Shadowers’ Choice Awards in October means that we will all get a chance to properly engage and focus on the shortlists (and the winners) and schools will have the opportunity to really celebrate books and reading. I would strongly advise authors (and school librarians!) to be ready for National Libraries Week and really make a time to share a joy of wonderful books. This would be a great time for author visits and so do keep your diaries handy!

To support and engage with the whole process – from the weeks running up to the announcement on June 17t to the Shadowers’ Choice Awards announcement during Libraries Week – follow @CILIPCKG on twitter and keep an eye on the CKG Awards website. Tweet using the hashtags #CKG20 and #BestChildrensBooks

Just because we can’t be together on June 17th, doesn’t mean the celebration of children’s books has to be put on hold!

Dawn Finch is a writer and librarian and trustee of the Chartered Insitute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP). She is also the current chair of the Society of Authors’ Children’s Writers and Illustrators Group (CWIG) and wishes she was Nancy Blackett dropping anchor from the Amazon and climbing Kanchenjunga.


1 comment:

Paul May said...

Thanks for this Dawn, and thanks for the mention! I must get my head out of the past and read something new. For those interested in past winners I strongly recommend this website by Dr Lucy Pearson who is working on a history of the Carnegie and has written about past winners (and many non-winners) in some detail.