BookTrust Storytime Prize 

Dad and daughter reading together

This new prize celebrates and promotes the best books for sharing with young children. We are looking for books which have wide appeal to parents and carers across our diverse nation, and for stories which can be read and enjoyed over and over again.

Publishers were invited to enter up to five books per imprint, with all books being first published in the UK between 1 March 2018 and 28 February 2019.

A shortlist of six books will be announced in May 2019 in a special event which celebrates the joy of sharing stories. All shortlisted authors and illustrators will be invited to be part of the event.

Over the 2019 summer holidays, the six shortlisted books will be shared with children, carers and families by public librarians from each of the nine English regions (organised in partnership with the Youth Library Group), along with Wales and Northern Ireland, to find the best book for sharing.

The winning book will be announced at a special ceremony in London in November 2019, with a prize of £5000 to the author and illustrator.

Submissions are now closed.

Meet the judges

A panel of seven judges will choose which titles make it onto the Storytime Prize 2019 shortlist. They are:

Alison BrumwellAlison Brumwell
Librarian and literacy consultant

Alison has nearly 20 years' experience as a librarian. During this time, she has held a variety of posts related to children's and young people's services, including Bookstart/Early Years Co-ordinator.

Alison, who is 2019 Chair of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal judging panel, currently works at Kirklees College and freelances as a literacy consultant. She is passionate about promoting the value of reading for pleasure and has been a volunteer with Africa Educational Trust since 2011, which has involved several trips to Uganda. Alison will most often be found reading or walking (but never at the same time) and is an unashamed bibliosmiac!


Amy McKayAmy McKay
School librarian of the year 2016

A familiar face at festivals and on judging panels, Amy makes regular appearances at Edinburgh and has judged the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway medals, the Blue Peter Book Awards and the Nibbies.

Describing herself as a 'stealth librarian', Amy lures readers in to the library with innovative clubs and activities using her natural rapport to introduce them to the world of books and reading.


Floella BenjaminBaroness Floella Benjamin
Author and TV presenter

Floella has a varied background, having worked as an actress, presenter, writer, author, producer and regulator and policy maker in government. She first appeared in children's television programmes 43 years ago in the iconic Playschool and Play Away and became a household name.

She has also founded her own production company, served on the board of Ofcom and as chair of BAFTA Television, created the Children's BAFTA Awards and campaigns passionately for diversity.


Jake HopeJake Hope
Chair of the Youth Libraries Group

Jake Hope is a reading development and children's book consultant. He has chaired numerous book awards including the prestigious CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals and has judged nearly every major children's book award in the UK.

Alongside delivering training and international public speaking on books and reading, Jake is an active reviewer and a passionate advocate for libraries, books and reading.


James Mayhew

James Mayhew
Author and illustrator

From the best-selling Katie series, to Ella Bella Ballerina, Gaspard the Fox and now Mrs Noah's Pockets, James Mayhew has been creating books for children for 30 years.

James also works with a variety of musicians and symphony orchestras, developing and presenting classical concerts that incorporate traditional storytelling and art created live on stage. A passionate advocate of art, music, story and culture for children, James is in demand internationally as a speaker, performer and educator at museums and galleries, universities, and both literary and music festivals. He also tweets #BookIllustrationOfTheDay.


Joy CourtJoy Court
Reviews editor for The School Librarian journal

Joy Court is Reviews Editor for The School Librarian journal and Chair of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals.

She previously managed the Schools Library Service in Coventry where she established the Coventry Inspiration Book Awards and the Literally Coventry Book Festival, but now she just concentrates on books and libraries as a freelance consultant. She is also a Trustee and member of the National Council of the United Kingdom Literacy Association, where she sits on the selection panel for the UKLA Book Awards, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of The English Association.


Julia HaleJulia Hale
Librarian for over 20 years

Julia has been a librarian in local authorities for 20 years in Westminster, Dorset and Plymouth. She has worked in many roles, from Sure Start Outreach Officer to Young People's Services Manager, and she is currently Advisor for the Schools Library Service.

Part of her role involves training public library staff for sharing books with babies and under-5s at rhymetimes and storytimes, so she's always seeking out those books that are not only gorgeously illustrated and well produced, but also work brilliantly when read out loud.

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