Former associate publisher at Penguin Random House Children’s Annie Eaton, Knights Of co-founder Aimée Felone and school librarian Karen Windmill were the inaugural winners of three new prizes for children’s publishing introduced by the Children’s Book Circle (CBC).
The awards were given in a ceremony held on Wednesday night (30th November) at Foyles, Charing Cross Road, where the Eleanor Farjeon Award and Patrick Hardy Lecture were also hosted.
Eaton, who retired from her role at PRH earlier this year, was given the lifetime achievement award for her services to the children’s publishing industry. During her acceptance speaking, she reminisced about her work with a host of authors including Philip Pullman, Dick King-Smith, John Boyne and Malorie Blackman, who sent a speech congratulating her former editor.
Felone was named Young Publishing Professional of the Year, beating competition from Emily Campan, brand manager at Egmont, and Lorna Hargreaves, head of marketing at Shrine Bell Publishing. Windmill, who works at Kingsbury Green Primary School, took home the Children’s Librarian of the Year award. Ruth Griffiths, a teacher at Histon and Impington Junior School, and Greenwich Centre Library’s Sarah Wright were also shortlisted for the accolade.
(Left-right) CBC co-chair Holly Tonks, Felone, Windmill, Eaton, CBC co-chair Helen Chapman
The annual Eleanor Farjeon Award, which recognises the outstanding contribution to the world of children’s books of an individual or organisation, was this year given to the Keats Community Library in Hampstead. Anne Harvey, executor of the Eleanor Farjeon Estate, delivered the award and gave a speech about the importance of libraries to the children’s publishing industry. The Keats Community Library was established five and a half years ago by a group of volunteers, led by actor Lee Montague, when the government announced the closure of their local library.
The evening was rounded off by the Patrick Hardy Lecture, this year given by Elizabeth Laird, award-winning author of children’s books including The Garbage King, The Fastest Boy in the World and Welcome to Nowhere (Macmillan Children's Books). She recounted stories of her travels across the world and how this inspired her children’s novels and urged the audience of publishers, authors and librarians to remember that "what we write reflects our moral universe".
The CBC is a not-for-profit organisation made up of young publishing professionals. This year was the first time that the organisation has hosted the Eleanor Farjeon Award and Patrick Hardy Lecture on the same evening.