I currently work as: aFreelance illustrator (hooray!)
This year I have worked for: Random House, Bloomsbury Children's Books, Oxford University Press, WHSmith, Higgidy (mmm lovely pies), Usborne Publishing, Macmillan, Historic Royal Palaces (Kensington Palace) and many more . . .
In a former life I was: a social worker
One of my proudest work moments was: when I finally quit my day job and concentrated on the job I love - being an illustrator! My favourite children's book is: Alice in Wonderland. I remember seeing Sir John Tenniels illustrations when I was a tiny child and being amazed by them.
You'd never guess but: I once made a hat for Lady Bracknell!
The Eleanor Farjeon Award - 30th November 2016 Generously sponsored by the Estate of Eleanor Farjeon 10th Floor, 80 Strand London WC2R 0RL
6:30 for 7pm start
Guest speaker: Anne Harvey, of the Eleanor Farjeon Estate
Please join us to celebrate the winner of the annual Eleanor Farjeon Award, which will this year be given in recognition of an outstanding contribution in the world of children's poetry.
We are delighted to invite members and ticketholders to vote for this year’s winner from the following nominees (in alphabetical order):
A NOTE ABOUT VOTING PROCEDURE
Please note that both member and non-member votes can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of the nominee you would like to win in the subject line. PLEASE NOTE: only one vote per person.
VOTES MUST BE RECEIVED BY 11PM ON THURSDAY 24TH NOVEMBER IN ORDER TO BE COUNTED
Tickets now available. Please click on the 'Events' tab.
£5 Members / £10 Non-members
About Our Nominees:
Dr Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah was born and raised in Handsworth, Birmingham. At that time he called it the Jamaican capital of Europe due to the large Jamaican community there. His first real public performance was at 11 years old and by the age of 15 he had attracted a strong following in Handsworth and had gained a reputation as a young poet who was capable of speaking on local and international issues. His poetry was strongly influenced by the music and poetry of Jamaica and what he called ‘street politics’.
At 22, he headed south to London where his first book Pen Rhythm was published. The book sold well, but it was in performance that the Dub (Reggae) Poet would cause such a revolution. It was once said of him that he was the most filmed, most photographed, and most identifiable poet in Britain. His live performances on stage and, most of all, on television bought Dub Poetry straight into British living rooms. He then began to take his poetry worldwide and over a 22 day period in 1991 he performed on every continent on the planet!
Benjamin’s first book of children’s poetry, called Talking Turkeys, went to the top of the children’s books bestseller list straight after its publication. Young writers have said that the accessibility of his work inspired many of them to take up writing and he has inspired a new generation of rappers and many of the performance poets that emerged in the late seventies/early eighties. And now his novels for teenagers have proved as influential as his poetry.
As well as writing poetry, novels, screenplays, and stage plays, he has also written and presented documentaries for television and radio. He has been awarded 13 honorary doctorates in recognition of his work and a wing at The Ealing Hospital in West London has been named after him. As passionate about politics and poetry as he has ever been, Benjamin now lives in Lincolnshire.
Grace Nichols was born and educated in Guyana. She has been living in Britain since 1977 and since then has written many books for both adults and children. Her first poetry collection, I Is A Long-Memoried Woman (Karnak House) won the 1983 Commonwealth Poetry Prize.
Among her children's books of poetry are; The Poet Cat (Bloomsbury), Everybody Got A Gift, Sun-Time, Snow-Time and Paint Me A Poem (A&C Black) which was awarded the Children's Poetry Bookshelf Best Children's Author collection. Her children's collection, Cosmic Disco was published by Frances Lincoln in 2013. She has also edited anthologies and won a CLPE award for the anthology; Under The Moon And Over The Sea (Walker Books) edited with John Agard.
Her adult books include the popular, The Fat Black Woman's Poems, Sunris (winner of the Guyana Poetry Prize and Startling The Flying Fish, all published by Virago who also published her first novel set in Guyana, Whole Of A Morning Sky.
Her latest poetry collections are; Picasso, I Want My Face Back and I Have Crossed An Ocean both published by Bloodaxe Books who will also be publishing her latest, The Insomnia Poems in February 2017.
She was poet-in-residence at the Tate Gallery, London (1999 – 2000). She received a Cholmondeley Award in 2001 and more recently an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Hull. She is among the poets on the current GCSE syllabus and is a fellow of The Royal Society of Literature.
John Agard is one of our leading poets who has written widely for both adults and children. He was born in Guyana and moved to England in 1977, becoming a touring lecturer for the Commonwealth Institute. He was appointed Writer in Residence at the South Bank Centre and thereafter Poet in Residence at the BBC and at the National Maritime Museum. His published poetry includes Man to Pan (1982), Limbo Dancer in Dark Glasses (1983), Weblines (2000) and his new collection is Playing the Ghost of Maimonides (Bloodaxe Books, 2016).
As a children’s writer Agard has also received wide critical acclaim, writing many works including The Young Inferno (Frances Lincoln, 2009), Book (Walker, 2014) which tells the history of the stolen voice of the book and was longlisted for 2016 CILIP Carnegie Medal, and Tiger Dead! Tiger Dead! Stories from the Caribbean (HarperCollins, 2009), a collaboration with his wife, poet Grace Nichols. The Young Inferno (Frances Lincoln, 2009) was winner of the Centre for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award in 2009, and Goldilocks on CCTV (Frances Lincoln, 2011) was shortlisted in 2012. 2017 will see John’s delightful new picture book,Come All You Little Persons (Faber & Faber) and his playful new children’s collection The Rainmaker Danced (Hodder).
John Agard has also written a number of verse dramas for venues as diverse as the Little Angel Theatre and Glyndebourne. In 2012, John Agard was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry, an honour he shares with Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin and W.H. Auden.
John Mole (b.1941) published Boo to a Goose, his first collection for young readers, in 1987 – with illustrations by his wife, the artist Mary Norman. It received the Signal Award and was followed by The Mad Parrot’s Countdown (1990). Both volumes were published by Peterloo Poets and a selection was made from them as Back By Midnight (Puffin, 1994). Other children’s collections have appeared from Hodder, OUP, and most recently from Salt (All the Frogs). His poetry for adults has received the Gregory and Cholmondeley Awards. As a librettist he has worked with the composer Bob Chilcott on Songs for Seven Storeys to celebrate the opening of the Evelina Children’s Hospital, and a community opera, Alban, first performed in St. Albans Cathedral in 2009.
Kit Wright was born in Kent in 1944 and lives in East London. A journeyman bard, he writes for both adults and children. He has been Lecturer in English at Brock University, Ontario, Education Secretary for the Poetry Society, and Fellow-Commoner in the Creative Arts at Trinity College, Cambridge; subsequently freelance writer, performer, teacher and broadcaster. His books for adults include The Bear Looked Over the Mountain (Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, Alice Hunt Bartlett Prize), From the Day Room, Bump-Starting the Hearse, Short Afternoons (Hawthornden Prize, Heinemann Award), Hoping It Might Be So, Talking to the Weeds and Ode to Didcot Power Station. For children he has written the poetry collections Rabbiting On, Hot Dog, Cat Among the Pigeons, Great Snakes and the new and collected volume, The Magic Box. His poetry picture books include the Arthur’s Father quartet, Professor Potts in Africa, Tigerella and Dolphinella. He has edited the anthologies Poems for 9 Year Olds and Under, Poems for 10 Year Olds and Over and Funnybunch: the New Puffin Book of Funny Verse.
His poem ‘The Magic Box’, which he wrote for the purpose, has been used in hundreds of schools and by many thousands of children to stimulate their creative writing. He has himself taught writing classes and performed his poetry in a great number of schools, as well as being a regular at festivals and on such national projects as the Children’s Book Show.
Born in Liverpool, Roger McGough had a number one hit ‘Lily the Pink’ in 1968 with the Scaffold and helped write the script for the animation film The Yellow Submarine. Following the success of the best-selling collection The Mersey Sound he has published more than a hundred books for both adults and children and won several awards including the J.M.Barrie, CLPE and Signal. In 2001 he was honoured with the Freedom of the City of Liverpool and awarded a CBE for services to Literature in 2004. Roger is President of the Poetry Society and a familiar voice on Radio 4 where he presents Poetry Please.
2017 Events - more details coming soon!
Who are we?
Founded in 1962 as an informal association of children’s book editors, we are a not- for-profit organisation run entirely by a committee of volunteers from the industry. Over the past 50 years, the CBC has expanded to embrace anyone with a professional interest in children’s books, from publishers, librarians, authors and illustrators, to teachers, booksellers and agents.
What We Do
Each year, we put on 10-12 children’s book events in order to promote, explore and celebrate the importance of children’s publishing. These can range from Meet and Critique evenings, to panel debates about everything from digital futures to where to draw the line in teen literature. Hosted by a diverse range of industry experts, we believe that discussion and debate are key factors in driving the children’s book industry forward, and audience participation is actively encouraged.
In order for industry professionals to meet in a less formal setting, we also organise several purely social events, from pub quizzes to spring and christmas drinks evenings.