London Book Fair: Klaus Flugge To Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

In News by Porter Anderson

The founder of Andersen Press and the Klaus Flugge Prize, the Hamburg-born Klaus Flugge will be honored in London on April 19.

Klaus Flugge, winner of London Book Fair’s Lifetime Achievement Award for 2023. Image: LBF, Marcus Duran

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

‘Incredible Stories and Phenomenal Illustrations’
Our Publishing Perspectives readers are familiar with the work of the Klaus Flugge Prize, based in England and founded by the eponymous publisher—who now is the recipient of the 2023  London Book Fair Lifetime Achievement Award.

A part of the trade show’s annual International Excellence Awards program—which opened its submissions period in November—the career accolade will be presented to Flugge on LBF Wednesday, April 19, during a reception honoring this year’s International Excellence Award winners.

In a sense, Flugge is a prize-giver who becomes here a prize-winner.

The award that bears his name is funded personally by the Hamburg-born Flugge, now 89, and run independently of his Andersen Press, according to a statement on its site. Typically, his award program for illustrators has carried a purse of £5,000 (US$6,250) for its winner, and this year’s Klaus Flugge Prize is to issue a shortlist on May 17. Our report on its longlist is here.

In its commentary on announcing Flugge award, London Book Fair says that after founding Andersen Press, named for Hans Christian Andersen, in the autumn of 1976, he went on to publish illustrators including David McKee, Tony Ross, Satoshi Kitamura, Sir Quentin Blake, and Chris Riddell.

In 1999, he became the first publisher to receive the Eleanor Farjeon Award for outstanding contribution to children’s books and in 2010 he became the first publisher to be awarded an honorary membership with the Youth Libraries Group. In 2013 ,Klaus was made an honorary citizen of the City of Bologna in association with Bologna Children’s Book Fair, in recognition of his commitment to children’s books abroad.

He created the Klaus Flugge Prize for illustration in 2016, when his Andersen Press reached its 40th year.

Gareth Rapley

In comments on the selection of Flugge for this  year’s honor, London Book Fair director Gareth Rapley is quoted, saying, “For nearly five decades, Klaus has been a luminary in children’s publishing, bringing incredible stories and phenomenal illustrations to millions of children” in many parts of the world.

“His passion for championing emerging talent is hugely inspiring, as is recognized yearly in the picture book prize established in his name.

“As a dad to young children myself, I love sharing Andersen Press books with my kids, and I look forward to celebrating Klaus in person at the fair, less than a month from now.”

David Roche

David Roche, the non-executive chair of London Book Fair, says, “Klaus started Andersen Press in 1976 and built an extraordinary roster of talent that has inspired generations.

“The company is still going strong today, as is he. It’s wonderful and typical of Klaus that a prize in his name, and funded personally by him, was set up while he was in his 80s to recognize the most promising and exciting new illustrators. We’re full of admiration and love for Klaus, and it’s fitting that, like Elmer, we will never forget his fantastic contribution to the international book world.”

Gail Rebuck

And the baroness Gail Rebuck, DBE (Dame of the British Empire), says, “Boundless energy, a passion for publishing, and brilliant taste in children’s illustration all characterize Klaus Flugge, the remarkable publisher who founded Andersen Press.

“Klaus combines great taste, a feel for the children’s market and a strong business sense, but it’s his effervescent creativity and love of books that keep his top roster of authors and illustrators loyal.

“I’m so pleased that after a stellar career and many awards, Klaus is given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the London Book Fair.”

The trade show’s Lifetime Achievement Award is open to publishers, agents, editors, scouts, “and anyone else involved in international publishing from any country in the world.”

Previous Lifetime Achievement Award Winners
  • 2022 – Hiroshi Hayakawa, Hayakawa Publishing, Japan
  • 2021 – Margaret Busby, Allison & Busby, UK
  • 2020 – Nigel Newton, Bloomsbury Publishing, UK
  • 2019 – Dorotea Bromberg, Brombergs Bokförlag, Sweden
  • 2018 – Sara Miller McCune, Sage Publishing, US
  • 2017 – Luiz Schwarcz, Companhia das Letras, Brazil
  • 2016 – Gail, Baroness Rebuck DBE, Penguin Random House, UK
  • 2015 – Peter Usborne, Usborne, UK
  • 2014 – Deborah Rogers, Rogers, Coleridge & White, UK
  • 2013 – Michael Krüger, Hanser Verlag, Germany
  • 2012 – Jorge Herralde, Editions Anagrama, Spain
  • 2011 – Sonny Mehta, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., US
  • 2010 – Antoine Gallimard, Éditions Gallimard, France
  • 2009 – Drenka Willen, Harcourt, USA
  • 2008 – Peter Mayer, Overlook Press and Duckworth, UK & USA
  • 2007 – Lord Weidenfeld, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, UK
  • 2006 – Christopher MacLehose, MacLehose Press, UK
  • 2005 – Lynette Owen, Pearson Education, UK
  • 2004 – John Lyons, Little, Brown, UK & USA

More on London Book Fair is here, more on the International Excellence Awards is here, more from us on the international book business’ industry and book awards programs is here, more on world publishing’s book fair and trade show events is here, and more on the United Kingdom’s publishing market is here. Porter Anderson is a recipient of the International Excellence Awards’ Trade Press Journalist award.

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.