North East children's writers vying for prestigious CILIP Carnegie Medal

North East writers Anne Fine and David Almond have been shortlisted for prized children's book awards

Author Anne Fine talking to children at Balsall Common Primary school kids about her work
Author Anne Fine talking to children at Balsall Common Primary school kids about her work

North East writer Anne Fine could become the first author to win the prized children’s book award the CILIP Carnegie Medal three times after being shortlisted once again.

The former children’s laureate, who lives in Barnard Castle, County Durham, is up for her acclaimed novel Blood Family, which tackles issues of self-worth and violence. She previously triumphed at the awards in 1992 for Flour Babies and 1989 for Goggle-eyes.

Best known for her book Madame Doubtfire - which was made into the Robin Williams film Mrs Doubtfire - Mrs Fine has written more than 50 books and regularly reads in North East schools.

As well as her two Carnegie triumphs, she has won the the Guardian Prize, one Smarties Prize, two Whitbread Awards, and she was twice the Children’s Author of the Year.

To win her third Carnegie, she will have to beat art critic Susan Cooper, who has been loved by generations of children for her Dark Is Rising fantasy series, William Sutcliffe, best known for his comic novel about gap year travel Are You Experienced? and art critic Rachel Campbell-Johnston.

The Carnegie was first awarded in 1936 to Arthur Ransome for Pigeon Post, one of the books from his Swallows series which have enchanted young readers for decades.

Judged by the nation’s librarians, they have recognised some of children’s literature’s greatest talents, with CS Lewis among those who have taken the Carnegie.

Chair of the judging panel Helen Thompson said: “We know that children’s authors and illustrators say that these are the awards that they most want to win - indeed, whoever emerges victorious from these superbly strong shortlists will have achieved an extraordinary feat.”

The nominees for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal for children’s illustrators have also been announced, with the North East again in with a chance of winning.

David Almond, who was born in Gateshead and now lives in Northumberland, is shortlisted for his book Mouse, Bird, Snake, Wolf along with illustrator Dave McKean.

Also up for the prize is Where My Wellies Take Me by Michael and Clare Morpurgo and illustrated by Northumberland-based Olivia Gill.

The book has already won the English Association 7-11 Picture Book Award 2013.


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