Judging criteria for the CILIP Carnegie Medal have been revised to create a “more inclusive, child-focused” awards and a new partnership launched with Inclusive Minds.
The annual Carnegie Medal and Kate Greenaway Awards, which open this year on 13th September, celebrate outstanding writing and illustration for children and young people and are judged by librarians.
Following a consultation, new criteria for the CILIP Carnegie Medal for writing will ask judges to reflect on experiences and representation within each nominated book, the author’s treatment of characters and plot, and the book’s relatability to its readership.
A similar review process will take place for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal for illustration during the 2020 awards cycle.
Jake Hope, chair of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards Working Party, explained: “This is an ongoing process towards greater inclusivity across both Medals, as we continue to celebrate the brilliant writing and illustration published in the UK and the outstanding reading experiences they offer.
“We hope our new criteria will facilitate open consideration and discussion both by judges and shadowing groups as they read the books in contention for the medals, and lead to lists of titles that reflect the broad range of perspectives, experiences and voices encompassed by our readers.”
CILIP has also launched a project with Inclusive Minds, which will see the charity provide guidance on titles in contention for the medals, providing access to a network of “inclusion ambassadors” – young people with first-hand knowledge of diverse experience.
Alexandra Strick and Beth Cox, Inclusive Minds co-founders, said: “The best children’s books are outstanding stories that are naturally inclusive, representing diverse perspectives and experiences. These awards represent such an important way of highlighting and celebrating the very best such books.
“We are delighted that our network of Inclusion Ambassadors will also be directly involved in feeding into the process. It is vital that young people with lived experience of different facets of diversity have a real voice in the world of children’s books.”
Nick Poole, CILIP c.e.o, added: “In 2019, we were fortunate to work with an expert equality, diversity and inclusion panel who observed the awards’ processes and shared their insights and experience, and we look forward to building on this work through this new partnership. By working with Inclusive Minds and their ambassadors alongside our network of volunteer librarians, we can ensure a diversity of perspectives feed into the Awards processes. I can’t wait to see the wonderful books in contention for the 2020 medals, and am grateful to Inclusive Minds for helping CILIP to ensure the awards continue to evolve and thrive.”
Nominations are open to all CILIP members and, following a diversity review of the awards, several external nominating bodies. Nominations will be announced on 4th November 2019 followed by longlist, shortlist and winner announcements in 2020.
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