Roald Dahl Funny Prize on hold

Roald Dahl Funny Prize on hold

Booktrust and the Roald Dahl Literary Estate have put the Roald Dahl Funny Prize on hold until 2016, the year of Dahl’s centenary.

The prize has been postponed because of its “overwhelming success” and so “warrants a review of future options in light of the increasing popularity of the awards”, Booktrust said.

C.e.o. Viv Bird said she wants the prize to have a “robust future” and will look at increasing the number of children who have a say in the winner.

She said: “The 900 children involved in the judging process over the last three years have told us how much they love humorous books, so we’ll be looking at how we might extend this participation to reach more children and young people, giving them a greater voice in choosing their favourite funny books in the future."

 The Roald Dahl Funny Prize was created in 2008 by Booktrust, the estate of Roald Dahl and author Michael Rosen, as part of Rosen’s work as children’s laureate.

Booktrust today (1st August) also announced that author Philip Ardagh is taking on the position of writer in residence at the charity. Ardagh, the author of the Eddie Dickens trilogy (Faber & Faber) and The Grunts books (Nosy Crow) will write a blog post every Monday.

In the first blog post, which will be published 4th August, he writes: “Shouldn’t we all be able to find books peopled with people like us or the people around us?  Diversity in books is about reflecting the world about us. If I were profoundly deaf, I'd like to stumble upon a profoundly deaf character between the covers of a book once in a while. It's common sense!”

Ardagh will also talk to his fans on the first Monday of every month, encouraging twitter users to ask him questions using the hashtag #AskArdagh.

The Writer in Residence programme started in 2009 with Patrick Ness. Since then writers and illustrators such as Nii Ayikwei Parkes, Evie Wyld, Polly Dunbar, Clare Wigfall, Bali Rai, Hannah Berry, Matt Haig, Laura Dockrill and Chris Riddell have taken the mantle, each holding the post for a six-month period.