The 2016 Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards process has begun. As I write this the 12 regional judges are busy reading the nominations for this year’s awards.
To introduce myself, before I go any further, I’m Sioned, chair of this year’s judging panel. To be honest I’m so excited about this year. Firstly, for the personal reason of having a dream come true; the medals have been a part of my life since my childhood, many books I read as a child and teen were Carnegie and Greenaway winners.
Secondly, having recently started a new job that for the first time will give me the opportunity to lead a shadowing group rather than just give talks (which I also hope to continue!).
Thirdly, there are so many new things being introduced this year – a newly designed website coming in March and not forgetting the partnership with Amnesty and the launch of their award The CILIP Amnesty Honour.
Though I am Chair I consider myself part of a team. A team of talented judges you will all get to meet through this blog and through visits to your shadowing groups. This year a map showing which region of the country each judges represents will be available on the website and shadowers like yourselves will have the opportunity to contact them, and they may even be able to visit your school.
All of us have to read every book on the Carnegie nominations list and study the art work of all the Greenway titles thoroughly. I consider the task very much a labour of love. I read at every opportunity, at the breakfast table, on the bus to and from work, during my lunch break and all evening. Ask me what was on telly or happened on the news and I wouldn’t have a clue!
I have been a judge before, back in 2010/11 – an amazing experience. Before this year’s judging process I was lucky to be part of discussions around the new Amnesty Honour and was conscious that knowing about these awards must notaffect my reading for this year’s medals. The Honour will have its own judging panel and set of criteria, so has no influence over judging for the Carnegie and Greenaway medals. And actually I have been surprised, not once during my reading have I thought about the Honour. However, as Chair I am looking forward to sharing the stage with Amnesty at a joint shortlisting / launch party on the 15th March!
In the same way I am looking forward to working with twelve judges from across the nation and selecting a longlist, a shortlist and winner that will be as memorable and enjoyable to you shadowers as the many titles that were part of my childhood reading experience.