FROM YOUR EDITORS The 'one to win' announces nominees

The most prestigious children’s book awards in the UK include a healthy number of SCBWI names among this year’s nominees. But why are the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway medals so important? Ellie Brough, Co-editor, investigates and celebrates the SCBWI names on the coveted list.

Earlier this month the nominations for the 2018 Carnegie and Kate Greenaway medals were published and everyone scrambled to the nearest internet-enabled device to see who made the list. We were thrilled at Words & Pictures to see so many SCBWI names on the list this year and as we were celebrating, it got us thinking; why are these awards so prestigious? Why do all children’s authors and illustrators dream mainly of these medals and not say the Waterstones Children’s book prize? I mean winning that would be great (I wouldn’t say no!), but what gives a medal the upper edge?


The book that wins the Carnegie Medal should be a book of outstanding literary quality. The whole work should provide pleasure, not merely from the surface enjoyment of a good read, but also the deeper subconscious satisfaction of having gone through a vicarious, but at the time of reading, a real experience that is retained afterwards.

The book that wins the Kate Greenaway Medal should be a book of outstanding artistic quality. The whole work should provide pleasure from a stimulating and satisfying visual experience which leaves a lasting impression. Illustrated work needs to be considered primarily in terms of its graphic elements, and where text exists particular attention should be paid to the synergy between the two.

These awards are very clear in their aim – they are looking for quality literature and art that resonates beyond a first reading. They are not distracted by market trends, they are not limited by sales figures and they are not struck dumb by celebrity authors. If you are nominated for a medal, you know that you have produced a work of the utmost quality.

Inclusivity of format

All formats of children’s literature are eligible for the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals. The library and information specialists behind the awards understand that all reading is good reading and they treasure all mediums that provoke a love of word. Whether these are traditional picture books or graphic novels, all are welcome.


The awards are run and judged by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), specifically by the Youth Libraries Group. This is a group of library and information specialists who are dedicated to preserving the provision of quality literature for children through the library system. They are not blinded by trends, names or quantity, they are only concerned with quality. Their expertise and their seal of approval are a validation of the quality of the material that the author and illustrator has produced. No wonder then that the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway medals have become so prestigious. They are described by authors and illustrators as the one to win and some of our lovely members have a chance! Please join us in celebrating with our SCBWI nominees!

SCBWI nominees for the Carnegie Medal

Catherine Barter – Troublemakers
Peter Bunzel – Cogheart
Jack Cheng – See You in the Cosmos
Joseph Coelho – Overheard in a Tower Block
Maria Farrer – Me and Mister P
Penny Joelson – I have No Secrets
Patrice Lawrence ­– Indigo Donut
Mimi Thebo – Coyote Summer
Piers Torday – There May be a Castle
Len Vhalos ­– Life in a Fish Bowl
Elizabeth Wein – The Pearl Thief
Laura Williamson – Just Call me Spaghetti-hoop Boy
Amy Wilson – A Girl Called Owl
Jill Calder – What is Poetry?
Laura Watkinson – The Story of Seven

SCWBI nominees for the Kate Greenaway Medal

Lou Carter ­– There is No Dragon in this Story
Cathy Fisher – The Pond
Morag Hood – When Grandad was a Penguin
Glenda Millard – Pea Pod Lullaby
Drew Daywault – The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors

Ellie Brough is co-editor of Words & Pictures

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