Friday 17 June 2016

Cilip Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Children's Book Awards - Judges Blog Tour 2016

Thanks to the amazing Matt Imrie, I was given the chance to interview some of the Cilip Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Children's Book Awards judges. These awards are one of the oldest and most prestigious in the country. Every author and illustrator would LOVE to win one of these awards. Both awards are judged and awarded by children's librarians. Previous winners include Children's Laureate, Chris Riddel, Terry Pratchett and Philip Pullman. 

This year the awards will be live streamed on the 20th June at 12pm. This year's shortlist includes authors Sarah Crossan and Patrick Ness.

I will now pass you over to the judges.
1) How did you become a judge for CKG?

For YLG London committee there is a process of progression from vice-chair to chair and as a pat on the head the chair becomes the branch representative on the judging panel. I am aware that other regional committees have a slightly different process. Matt Imrie, CKG Judge for YLG London.

The judges are chosen from the 12 Youth Library Group regions across the UK plus the Chair to act as tie-breaker if necessary. The position is filled by representatives from the regional committees, who are members of CILIP and a librarian for children and young people in either school or public libraries. Elizabeth McDonald, CKG Judge for YLG South East

As a Librarian I represent my authority on the regional committee of YLG. I then volunteered within my regional committee for the honour of being a national judge and was approved by my committee. 
Tracey Acum, CKG Judge for YLG Yorkshire & Humberside.

2) How do you come to a final decision on the winners? Does the majority win or does it have to be an overall win?

Discussions and judging continue until a decision can be made that every judge is happy with. We do not leave the judging room until everybody is happy that the most deserving book has won. 
Amy McKay, CKG National Coordinator.

3) How does it feel to be part of such a prestigious award?

I’m so humbled and excited to be part of CKG. This is my first year as a judge, with another year to go, and it has without doubt been one of the highlights of my career so far. The whole experience, from reading such brilliant books that I’d never have picked up otherwise to meeting and working with the other judges from all over the country, has been so memorable, and knowing our decisions will make some worthy authors very happy is a real honour. 
Jennifer Horan, CKG Judge for YLG Scotland

It is an honour and a privilege. What is so lovely about it is that it gives you the chance to be in a room discussing books with people who love reading just as much as you do. Tanja Jennings, CKG Judge for YLG Northern Ireland.

This year as Chair it has been an honour to be part of the awards. I grew up reading Carnegie and Kate Greenaway winners, and throughout my career I have contributed to them by nominating titles, promoting nominated and shortlisted titles and the Shadowing scheme. I thought being a judge, which I was in 2010/2011, was exciting but to be Chair, there are no words!! Being a judge is hard work and requires giving up a lot of your own time, however the opportunities make up for it; the excitement of meeting authors, making new friends, an excuse to read all the time and not feel guilty for not doing the housework to name just a few. Although this sounds pretentious there is also a feeling of contributing to the making of history. The Awards have been running for almost 80 and 60 years respectively and many past winners are still in print and have influenced generations of readers. As Chair I’m very aware of this legacy and hope that this year’s titles have the same impact. Sioned Jacques, CKG Chair of Judges

4) Have you noticed any genre trends over the years?

There are often trends in the books. This year saw lots of books about truth and lies. This is accidental as a result of what has been published but it is very common. 
Tracey Acum, CKG Judge for YLG Yorkshire & Humberside.

5) As there can be only one winner, is there a book in the past years, that you would have like to see jointly win the awards?

No. I’m well aware of just how much thought, time and effort judges put into the process so am entirely confident that the best decision has always been made. I, of course, have my personal favourites from previous shortlists, but I respect the decisions made by judges and think that unless you are a current judge, reading strictly to criteria is incredibly difficult. Reading is such a wonderful, intense and personal experience that stopping your own preferences creeping in is very difficult! Amy McKay, CKG National Coordinator.
2015 winners: William Grill, winner of the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal and Tanya Landman, winner of the CILIP Carnegie Medal, 
Thank you to all the judges for answering my questions honestly. Well done with this year's choices. We all wait with baited breath for the results on Monday. 

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