Now in its seventeenth year the Branford Boase Award is recognised as one of the most important awards in children’s books, awarded for an outstanding book from a first-time writer of a book for young people.
Henrietta Branford was a gifted novelist for young people. During her short career she won the Smarties Prize in 1994 for Dimanche Diller (Harper Collins) and the Guardian Fiction Prize in 1998 for Fire, Bed and Bone (Walker Books); she was twice shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Prize, in 1994 and 1997. Her progress and development as a writer was watched with interest by publishers, critics and fellow writers alike.
Wendy Boase, Editorial Director of Walker Books, and one of its founders, was a passionate children's book editor wholly committed to developing new writers and nursing them through their early writing careers. She is credited with bringing on many new talents. She and Henrietta worked together on a number of her books, a partnership that was warmly appreciated by Henrietta.
Both Henrietta and Wendy died of cancer in early 1999. The Branford Boase Award wishes to celebrate and encourage, in their names and in their memories, the crucial early development of new writing talent.
The Award is the jointly run by Julia Eccleshare and Anne Marley. Julia is an expert in children's literature and children's director for the Hay Festival. Anne is the joint founder of Authors Aloud UK, an agency specialising in arranging author visits to schools, libraries and festivals and has served on many children’s book awards, including the CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Awards. She was recently awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for Services to Local Government.
For 2018, the long listed titles will be announced early in 2018, short listed titles will be announced late spring 2018, and winner will be announced in July 2018.
Take a look at this year's winner and short list.