Judges revealed for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2013
Edinburgh Comedy Newcomer John Kearns joins Roald Dahl Funny Prize Judging Panel
Fresh from his win at this year’s Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards as Best Newcomer, John Kearns joins a stellar panel of judges for this year’s Roald Dahl Funny Prize, which includes as ever, children’s author Michael Rosen as Chair. Joining them on the panel are Guardian columnist Marina Hyde, children’s author and illustrator Sarah McIntyre and last year’s winner of the older age category, Dark Lord: The Teenage Years author Jamie Thompson.
Previous comedians to feature on the judging panel include Bill Bailey, Shappi Khorsandi and Dara O’Briain, so this year Book Trust are delighted to welcome a new talent. Together the panel will unite in their quest to find two splendiferous winners: for children aged 6 years and under, and children aged 7–14 years. The announcement comes as the country celebrates Roald Dahl Day on Friday 13 September, as part of a month of Dahl celebrations.
John Kearns comments:
A funny book did all sorts to me when I was little. They made me shriek with laughter, collapse into giggles or silently rattle on a library bean bag. I'd cling on to my favourites, showing friends as though they were maps studded with all sorts of treasure. When you discover something funny it's incredibly intimate and personal. Your immediate reaction is to share it, to tell someone, anyone, quick! I'm extremely excited to get stuck in to this year's Roald Dahl Funny Prize nominees, and the true test will be if I'm made to wobble and snort when reading on a train.
Following on from last year, the prize will see schools involved in the judging process. Over 200 pupils from across the UK have been selected to read the shortlisted titles, discuss with their classmates, and pick their favourite funny book in the relevant category for their age. Their votes will then be combined with the votes of the adult judging panel to find the two winners for 2013. Classes who participate will also win a chance to attend and perform at the award ceremony.
The Roald Dahl Funny Prize is unique in its quest to honour those books that make young people, and all of us, roar with laughter. Concerned that the really side-splittingly funny books were being overlooked by other book awards, the Prize was created by Michael Rosen in 2008 as part of his work as Children’s Laureate. The Prize aims to reward those authors and artists who write and illustrate their books using humour in their stories, poetry and fiction.
Michael Rosen comments:
We all know that 'reading for pleasure' has a huge effect on children's achievement. So this amazing team of judges are not just mucking about having a laugh (which they are doing, by the way); they are doing the seriously serious job of winkling out hysterically funny books which will give children the best reasons for wanting to read, to read more, to read more and more and more. It's tough job, but someone has to do it.
The shortlists will be announced on Thursday 24 October. The winner of each category will receive £2,500, which will be presented at an awards ceremony at the Cambridge Theatre in London, the home of Matilda the Musical, on Tuesday 10 December.
Find out more about the Roald Dahl Funny Prize or follow #RDFP13 #RoaldDahlDay on Twitter for the latest news.