The BookTrust Lifetime Achievement Award 2017
Raymond Briggs, the iconic children’s author and illustrator, has been awarded the prestigious BookTrust Lifetime Achievement Award.
Raymond Briggs' most noted works include the classic Christmas tales The Snowman and Father Christmas, as well as Fungus the Bogeyman, Ug, The Bear, When the Wind Blows, Gentleman Jim and Ethel and Ernest.
Born in 1934 to dad Ernest, a milkman, and Ethel, a former lady's maid-turned-housewife, Briggs showed interest in cartooning from an early age and attended various art schools. He briefly pursued painting before becoming a professional illustrator, winning several awards throughout his extended career, including the 1966 and 1973 Kate Greenaway Medals from the British Library Association, the Horn Book Award in 1979 and the British Book Award in 1993 and 1999.
Briggs, who has become synonymous with Christmas, said:
It's lovely to be given an award for all my life achievements. Drawing, telling stories and sharing these adventures is something I've always been passionate about. Being awarded the BookTrust Lifetime Achievement Award is an incredible honour and I'm so glad I've been able to make such an impression on people.
Nicolette Jones is a writer, critic and broadcaster, specialising in literary and arts journalism, who has worked for national newspapers and the book trade press. She has been the Children's Books Reviewer of The Sunday Times for more than two decades, and in 2012 was shortlisted for the Eleanor Farjeon Award for distinguished service to the world of children’s books. She has been Director of the children’s programme at the Oxford Literary Festival, is an experienced trustee and chair, and a judge of many adults’ and children’s book awards including, this year, the Independent Booksellers Week awards.
She compiled Channel Four’s list of Britain’s Favourite Children’s Books for a programme presented by David Walliams in December 2015, and in 2014 selected 100 Modern Children’s Classics for The Sunday Times online.
Her double award-winning book about the Victorian philanthropist Samuel Plimsoll and his campaign on behalf of sailors, The Plimsoll Sensation (Little, Brown/Abacus), was a Radio 4 Book of the Week. She has also co-authored, with writer and illustrator Raymond Briggs, an anthology of his work: Blooming Books (Cape).
Cressida Cowell grew up in London and on a small, uninhabited island off the west coast of Scotland. Cressida has written and illustrated 12 books in the popular How to Train Your Dragon series, which has sold over 7 million copies worldwide and is published in 38 languages. How to Train Your Dragon is also an award-winning DreamWorks film series, and a TV series shown on Netflix.
Also the author of picture books, Cressida has won the Nestle Children's Book Prize and has been shortlisted for many others. She has been a proud Ambassador for the National Literacy Trust for almost ten years.
Cressida lives in Hammersmith with her husband and three children.
Chris Riddell is a prolific writer and illustrator whose work is familiar to both children and adults, and who served as Waterstones Children’s Laureate 2015-2017. He is known especially for his distinctive line drawings with their clever caricature, fascinating detail and often enchanting fantasy elements.
He has won the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal twice, in 2002 for Pirate Diary and in 2004 for Jonathan Swift's Gulliver. His solo work includes the Goth Girl series, the Ottoline series and the picture books The Emperor of Absurdia and Alienography. The first Goth Girl novel won the Costa Children's Book Award in 2013. He received the Hay Festival Medal for Illustration at the 2015 Hay Festival.
Chris has worked widely with a variety of collaborators, including illustrating A Great Big Cuddle: Poems for the Very Young by former Children's Laureate Michael Rosen, published in September 2016.
In addition to his children's books, Chris is a renowned political cartoonist whose work appears in The Observer, The Literary Review and The New Statesman. He lives in Brighton with his wife and has three grown-up children.
John Agard is one of the most exciting poets writing in the English language, and in 2013 he was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry. His highly acclaimed The Young Inferno (Frances Lincoln) fires Dante into the 21st century in a red-hot retelling, while Bloodaxe publish his poetry for adults including such classics as Listen Mr Oxford Don and The Palm Tree King. Faber are to publish a tender picture book story – Come All You Little Persons.
Alongside poetry, he has written verse plays and librettos for venues including Little Angel Theatre and the Glyndebourne Festival. He has been a writer-in-residence at the BBC, the South Bank and the National Maritime Museum. He tours widely, giving performances and talking to school children studying his poetry for GCSE.
John was born in Guyana and lives with his wife, poet Grace Nichols, and family in Lewes.
He is the winner of many awards, including the Smarties Award, the Paul Hamlyn Award, the Cholmondeley Award, the Casa de las Americas Poetry Award, the Guyana prize and the CLPE Award.
Shami Chakrabarti is Britain’s leading human rights campaigner. A lawyer, she is Chancellor of the University of Essex, Honorary Professor of Law at the University of Manchester, Honorary Fellow of Mansfield College, Oxford and a Master of the Bench of Middle Temple. Chakrabarti was Director of Liberty, the National Council for Civil Liberties from 2003 to 2016, and a member of the panel of the Leveson Inquiry, the judicial inquiry into UK phone hacking in 2011. She was awarded a CBE in 2007, was one of eight bearers of the Olympic Flag at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics, and chaired the Baileys Prize for Women’s Fiction in 2015.
Her first book, On Liberty, is published by Penguin.
Diana Gerald joined BookTrust as Chief Executive in March 2015. Diana continues to develop Book Trust's world-class programmes, working closely with partners in Government, the Arts Council, publishing, libraries, children's centres, school and local authorities.
In 2012 she was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Ark Schools, an education charity that runs a network of high-achieving academies in the most disadvantaged parts of the country.
Prior to this, she worked for the social enterprise charity the Young Foundation and was Deputy Chief Executive of the Girls Day School Trust
Diana is currently Chair of Ark Tindal, an inner city primary in Balsall Heath, Birmingham; and has been a governor for over a decade of a large primary in north London
She is also a trustee of SA-YES, a South African charity which mentors young people leaving care homes in Cape Town.
About the The BookTrust Lifetime Achievement Award 2017
The BookTrust Lifetime Achievement Award is given to a children's writer or illustrator whose body of work, in the opinion of the panel of judges, merits recognition for a lifetime's achievement in children's literature. It is a separate recognition to the Children's Laureate in that it is purely celebratory and is not attached to any wider purpose of promoting children's literature. BookTrust intends it to be awarded to a person who is not likely to become Children's Laureate in the future.
The Award recognises children's writers and illustrators who are citizens or permanent residents of the United Kingdom. It is open to writers and illustrators working across all disciplines of children's literature, including but not limited to fiction writers, non-fiction writers, illustrators, graphic novelists and poets.
The Award can only be awarded to a living writer or illustrator and it cannot be awarded twice to the same person. Former Children's Laureates are not eligible for the Award.
There are no set criteria for eligibility, only the requirement that the writer has produced a substantial body of work that has make an outstanding contribution to children's books. The following attributes may be considered by the judges:
- A substantial body of writing and/or illustration over a number of years
- Consistent quality, and a significant contribution to excellence in the field of children's books
- A significant contribution to the creation of a generation of readers, writers and illustrators
- The ability to work across a range of forms and mediums, and to engage children of different ages
- Formal innovation - an eagerness to explore and experiment with ideas, genres and the possibilities of their craft
- International recognition