In England, the Yoto Carnegies Announce Children’s Books Shortlist

In News by Porter Anderson

From the Yoto Carnegies, the Shadowers’ Choice Medals will again engage selected school programs, with sponsorship from Scholastic.

Covers of books in the Yoto Carnegies’ 2023 illustration medal competition

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Three Small Presses Have Their First Shortlistings
Our Publishing Perspectives readers will recall the longlist announced by the Yoto Carnegie Medals—formerly the Carnegie Greenaway—honors in children’s book writing and illustration.

Today (March 24), we have the shortlists that have come from those longlists. Applications have opened today, to run through March 31, for the Shadowers’ Choice Medals” program that runs in selected schools parallel to the main contest.

Yoto, the product name of an audiobook player for children, as committed to a three-year branded sponsorship of the awards, hence the name which may still seem new to you.

  • The Carnegie Medal was established in 1936 by Andrew Carnegie, and it was first awarded to Arthur Ransome for Pigeon Post.
  • The Carnegie Medal for Illustration was originally named the Kate Greenaway Medal when it was established in 1955.

These awards are juried by children’s librarians, and there’s a “Shadowers’ Choice Medals” series of honors, too, voted for by younger readers.

The programs are run by CILIP, which draws its acronym from its original 1898 charter as the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. Today it calls itself the “Library and Information Association.” Prior to being called the Yoto Carnegies, these awards were referred to in logos as the CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Children’s Book Awards.

Among the shortlisted works, the smaller presses Little Island, Firefly Press, and UCLan Publishing are publishers with titles shortlisted for the first time. Otherwise, Bloomsbury Children’s Books is the most-shortlisted publishing house, with three titles on these lists.

The Yoto Carnegies’ shortlists will lead to a winners’ announcement on June 21 in a program streamed from London’s Barbican Centre.

Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing, 2023 Shortlist

Covers of books in the Yoto Carnegies’ 2023 writing medal competition

There are seven titles shortlisted in the writing category, from the longlist of 15.

  • The Light in Everything, by Katya Balen (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
  • When Shadows Fall, by Sita Brahmachari, illustrated by Natalie Sirett (Little Tiger)
  • Medusa, by Jessie Burton, illustrated by Olivia Lomenech Gill (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
  • The Eternal Return of Clara Hart, by Louise Finch (Little Island)
  • Needle, by Patrice Lawrence (Barrington Stoke)
  • I Must Betray You, by Ruta Sepetys (Hodder Children’s Books)
  • The Blue Book of Nebo, by Manon Steffan Ros (Firefly Press)
Yoto Carnegie Medal for Illustration, 2023 Shortlist

Although the illustration category started with a bigger longlist of 18 works, it has only six titles in its shortlist. Our regular readers will recall our Rights Roundup listing from September 2021 that carried extensive information on Saving Sorya: Chang and the Sun Bear.

  • Rescuing Titanic, illustrated and written by Flora Delargy (Wide Eyed Editions)
  • Alte Zachen: Old Things, illustrated by Benjamin Phillips, written by Ziggy Hanaor (Circada Books)
  • The Worlds We Leave Behind, illustrated by Levi Pinfold, written by A. F. Harrold (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
  • The Visible Sounds, illustrated by Yu Rong, written by Yin Jianling (UCLan Publishing)
  • The Comet, illustrated and written by Joe Todd-Stanton (Flying Eye Books)
  • Saving Sorya: Chang and the Sun Bear, illustrated by Jeet Zdung, written by Trang Nguyen (Kingfisher)
Each Medal Winner Receives £5,000

The winners will each receive a £5,000 (US$6,107) Colin Mears Award cash prize, as well as £500 (US$610) of books to donate to a library of their choice and a specially commissioned and newly designed golden medal

The “Shadowers’ Choice Medals,” voted for and awarded by children and young people shadowing the shortlists, will also be presented at the ceremony in June. Following the Yoto re-branding of the program, the Shadowers’ Choice winners will also receive a golden medal for the first time.

As the designated official book supplier to the program, Scholastic is working with CILIP to donate shortlist packs to 10 schools in disadvantaged areas, making it possible for them to take part in the shadowing and widen the reach of the awards’ activities. 

Scholastic also is planning a week of activities around the shortlists to its Scholastic Schools Live program, starting on May 27.

Each 30-minute event will feature a shortlisted author or illustrator as well as a behind-the-scenes event with jurors. Schools can sign up for free at the Scholastic site.

In the June 21 program at the Barbican, Lauren Child CBE, the United Kingdom’s former children’s laureate and a winner of the illustration medal in 2000, is scheduled to  host the event.


More from Publishing Perspectives on children’s books is here, more on the Carnegie Greenaway honors—now called the Yoto Carnegies—is here, more from us on publishing and book awards programs is here, and more on the United Kingdom’s market is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.