Who do YOU think deserves £450,000 for services to children's literature?

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award is the world’s largest children’s literature award – and YOU have a chance to influence who wins it. Words & Pictures Co-editor Claire Watts explains how. 

We’re thrilled to announce that SCBWI-BI has been invited to nominate candidates for the 2018 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award! And of course, that means we want all you SCBWI-BI members, to get involved.

What is the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award?

In 2002, the Swedish government set up the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) as an annual international award for children’s and young adult literature. It’s the richest award in children’s literature – worth 5 million Swedish Krona, or over £450,000. The aim of the award is to strengthen and increase interest in literature for children and young adults all over the world and to promote children’s rights to culture.

The ALMA takes its name from Swedish writer, Astrid Lindgren, most famous for her much-loved character Pippi Longstocking. Astrid Lindgren argued in favour of peace and democracy and against all forms of violence, and the award is presented to people and organisations working to safeguard democratic values through children’s literature.

You can find out more about the ALMA here

Who is eligible? 

2016 ALMA laureate Meg Rosoff
The award is presented to people or organisations working to stimulate reading by children and young adults. These can be writers, illustrators, storytellers or reading promoters. You can find a full list of past laureates here.

Who gives the award? 

The ALMA jury consists of twelve members, including authors, literary critics, scholars, illustrators, librarians and a representative of Astrid Lindgren’s family. The jury selects one or more laureate from candidates nominated by organisations working in the area of children’s reading all over the world. The list of nominators for the 2018 award can be found here.

Each nominating body is entitled to nominate a maximum of four candidates, two from the nominating body’s own country and two candidates from a different country. Nominations must be supported by evidence of why the candidate deserves the award.

How you can get involved 

We’d like our members to suggest candidates for our nominations. Add your suggestions either in the comments below or on the SCBWI Facebook page. We’re looking for nominations not just from Britain but from around the world, and remember that as well as writers and illustrators you can suggest people and organisations working in storytelling or reading promotion in any form.

We don’t just want to know WHO you want to nominate, but WHY you think they ought to receive the award. Giving evidence to the jury as to why our nominees deserve the award is a vital part of our nomination.

We’ll use your suggestions as the basis to create a shortlist for a discussion as to who to put forward in our nomination.

I know you’re bursting with ideas already!
Get set!


  1. The first name that comes to my mind is
    Malorie Blackman. She was a great laureate here, and her books reach out across all age ranges. She's talented, kind, and makes wonderful connections with people - her books tell stories that need to be told but, above all, they are captivating reads.

  2. I'd like to see an organisation such as the Siobhan Dowd Trust win, someone who specifically works to put books in the hands of children who would otherwise have no access to them.


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