BookTrust Lifetime Achievement Award

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.

Lifetime Achievement Award 2017: Raymond Briggs

Raymond Briggs

Raymond Briggs, the iconic children’s author and illustrator, was awarded the BookTrust Lifetime Achievement Award 2017.

His most noted works include the classic Christmas tales The Snowman and Father Christmas, as well as Fungus the BogeymanUgThe BearWhen the Wind BlowsGentleman 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 JonesNicolette Jones

Writer, critic and broadcaster

Nicolette Jones is a writer, critic and broadcaster specialising in literary and arts journalism. 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.

Cressida Cowell

Cressida Cowell


Cressida Cowell wrote and illustrated 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. 


Chris Riddell

Chris Riddell

Author, illustrator and former Children's Laureate

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 has won the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal twice, in 2002 and 2004, and his solo work includes the Goth Girl and Ottoline series. 

John Agard

John Agard


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. He has also written verse plays and librettos and has been a writer-in-residence at the BBC, the South Bank and the National Maritime Museum.

Shami Chakrabarti

Shami Chakrabarti


Shami Chakrabarti CBE is Britain's leading human rights campaigner and Liberty's former director. 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. 

Diana Gerald

Diana Gerald

BookTrust CEO

Diana Gerald joined BookTrust as Chief Executive in March 2015 and works closely with partners in Government, the Arts Council, publishing, libraries, children's centres, school and local authorities. She is also a trustee of SA-YES, a South African charity which mentors young people leaving care homes in Cape Town.

Entry guidelines

The BookTrust Lifetime Achievement 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

Why we love Raymond Briggs


Our favourite Raymond Briggs books

Discover our favourite Raymond Briggs books, from Fungus the Bogeyman to The Snowman.


Why Raymond Briggs has so many fans

Our Lifetime Achievement Award judges and more stars of the children's book world explain why they are such devotees of Raymond Briggs.


See Raymond Briggs' best illustrations

Let yourself get lost in some of Raymond Briggs' most famous illustrations in our gallery of his work.

Former Lifetime Achievement Award winners

Lifetime Achievement Award 2016: Judith Kerr

Judith Kerr was the second winner of the BookTrust Lifetime Achievement Award, picking up the prize in 2016.

Lifetime Achievement Award 2015: Shirley Hughes

Shirley Hughes was the first ever winner of the BookTrust Lifetime Achievement Award, picking up the prize in 2015.

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