CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards 2017: ALCS shadowing competition winners announced


We're delighted to announce both the winners of the 2017 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals, and of the ALCS CKG shadowing scheme writing competition.

This year's award ceremony for the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway medals took place at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in London on Monday 19 June. These prestigious awards celebrate outstanding writing and illustration in books for children and young people in books.

Acclaimed artist and author Lane Smith won the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal in its 60th anniversary year for his illustrated book There is a Tribe of Kids. Smith, who is American, paid tribute to British illustrators as his source of inspiration: "To be acknowledged from the land of many of my favourite illustrators is an enourmous honour."

Ruta Sepetys won the CILIP Carnegie Medal for Salt to the Sea a novel that explores the events leading up to the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff in the Baltic Sea in 1945. It was the worst maritime disaster in history in which over 9,000 people, mainly refugees, perished and more than half of them children. In her winner's speech, Sepetys, who is the daughter of a Lithuanian refugee, with a family connection to the disaster indicated the timeliness of her novel winning the prize in what is National Refugee Week. She advocated for stories as a powerful and important medium in giving refugees and victims of war a voice.

The ceremony also saw two writers from each category awarded Amnesty CILIP Honour commendations, introduced in 2016, to support the discussion of human rights in children's literature. From the CILIP Carnegie Medal shortlist, the Honour went to Zana Fraillon for The Bone Sparrow (Orion Children's Books), the story of a boy living in an immigration detention centre in Australia. The Amnesty CILIP Honour from the Kate Greenaway Medal shortlist went to Francesca Sanna for her debut, The Journey, a picture book depicting a family fleeing their war-torn country in search of refuge.

See more about the awards ceremony on the CKG website.

ALCS has supported the CILIP Carnegie Shadowing scheme for the past 10 years. The scheme is designed to run alongside the book awards, with reading groups from schools and libraries from around the country shadowing the awards and reading the books from the shortlists. The scheme is one of the biggest reading for pleasure programmes in the UK, with participants not only reading but also critiquing the shortlisted books, and accessing the creative resources on the shadowing website to enhance their reading experience.

In September 2016, CKG recorded over 5,800 registered reading groups, reaching an estimated 100,000 children.

ALCS runs an annual writing scheme through the shadowing scheme process. This year, our competition "The Pitch", asked entrants to write a pitch for their favourite book to be filmed for the screen, either as a film or TV show. The final entries were judged by ALCS board member and screenwriter, Paul Powell.

ALCS would like to congratulate Ellie O'Connor of Latymer Upper School, who took first prize for her pitch on The Morning Gift by Eva Ibbotson. Paul Powell commented: "Ellie delivered the dream pitch. A captivating summary of the story, characters, music and how she’d adapt the book for screen. A well deserved winner."

Congratulations also to Sasha Lacey of Kingston Grammar School who took 2nd place for her pitch on The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson. Commenting on her work, Paul Powell said: "Sasha produced a sensitive pitch for a challenging story. The opening lines did an excellent job of grabbing the reader’s attention and then reeling them in."

Not forgetting Hattie Palmer of Alton Convent School for her 3rd place pitch on Sophie Bennet's The Look. Paul said: "Hattie expertly captured both the drama of the story and the appeal of the characters. A great pitch for a television series."

Paul Powell took to Twitter to praise this year's entries: "Hugely impressed by the standard of the finalists. My congratulations to everyone who entered. Looking forward to your first screenplays!"

Paul was also impressed with a couple of other pitches who didn't win but came very close:

Samual Edwards from East Point Academy wrote a great pitch on The Very Hungry Caterpillar: "I loved Sam’s wild idea of reinventing this much-loved book as an action-horror movie. Lots of dramatic images and great humour."

Eloise Gordon-Stable of Lees Brooke Community School also wrote a fantastic pitch for Judy Blume's Blubber: "Eloise put a lot of thought into making this book attractive for a wider audience. She was particularly adept at highlighting key scenes in the story."

As ever the quality of the work was extremely high and it was extremely hard to pick the winners. Thanks to all who took part, particularly for the numerous and enthusiastic entries from East Point Academy, many of which came very close. Please keep taking part, and most of all, keep writing.

The winning entries for The Pitch will be published in a future issue of ALCS News - watch this space!

ALCS competition winner Ellie O'Connor meets the CKG medal winners. From left to right: Ruta Sepetys, carnegie Medal winner, Ellie O'Connor, ALCS competition winner and Lane Smith, Kate Greenaway medal winner. Photo © Anthony Upton