Actress Gillian Anderson will be on the judging panel for this year’s Oscar’s First Book Prize, which awards the best first book for children aged five or under published in 2014.
The £5,000 prize was set up by the Evening Standard last year in memory of Oscar Ashton, the son of the paper’s executive editor and columnist James Ashton, who died in 2012 at the age of three-and-a-half from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. It is sponsored by Waitrose.
Anderson joins Dame Marjorie Scardino, former c.e.o. of Pearson, Rupert Thomas, marketing director of Waitrose, and Oscar’s parents, James Ashton and Viveka Alvestrand, on this year’s panel of judges.
The prize’s aim is “to find the best pre-school book of the year that celebrates a child’s love for magical stories and that would have satisfied Oscar’s vivid imagination”.
UK publishers may submit up to three books per imprint by the deadline of 5pm on Friday 20th March 2015. A shortlist of the best five books will be announced in April 2015 and the winner will be announced at an awards ceremony on Thursday 7th May 2015.
Last year’s winning title was The Storm Whale (Simon & Schuster’s Children’s Books) by author-illustrator Benji Davies.