Waterstones Children's Laureate

Award-winning poet, playwright and author Joseph Coelho is the Waterstones Children's Laureate for 2022-24.

The Waterstones Children’s Laureate is the foremost representative of children’s literature, awarded biannually to a renowned writer or illustrator in recognition of exceptional talent. This prestigious role celebrates creativity and storytelling, promotes the vital importance of reading and children’s literature, and champions the right of every child to enjoy a lifetime enriched with books and stories. Each Laureate brings their own passion and creativity to their tenure.

Waterstones Children’s Laureate Joseph Coelho is an award-winning performance poet, playwright and children's author based in Kent. He aims to inspire young people through stories and characters they can recognise and explores themes including fear, courage, diversity, gratitude, empathy and loss. In addition to exploring emotional landscapes, Coelho is inspired by magic, the ancient world and often draws on his own experiences transforming them into something universal that can be shared. Throughout his career he has highlighted the power of poetry and reading, championing and campaigning for local libraries and spotlights new voices and diversity throughout his work.

In this section

About the Waterstones Children's Laureate

Everything you need to know about the laureateship and the current children's author in the role, Joseph Coelho.

More about Joseph Coelho

Joseph Coelho is an award-winning performance poet, playwright, and children's author whose books include the Luna Loves... series, Werewolf Club Rules, and The Girl Who Became a Tree.

Children's Laureate events

Would you like to see Joseph Coelho and the former Waterstones Children's Laureates? If so, why not head along to one of a number of events this year.

Former Laureates

Take a look at our League of Laureates: eleven star authors and illustrators who have previously held the role.

Our supporters

Find out about everyone who supports the Waterstones Children's Laureate and makes the role possible.

Celebrating 20 years of the Waterstones Children's Laureate

In 2019, we reached a milestone: the 20th anniversary of the Waterstones Children's Laureate. Here's what we did to celebrate!

Celebrating 20 years of the Waterstones Children's Laureate

In 2019, we reached a milestone: the 20th anniversary of the Waterstones Children's Laureateship in the UK. 

Find out how we celebrated

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