The UK’s Yoto Carnegies Announce their 2024 Winners

In News by Porter Anderson

Joseph Coelho, Aaron Becker, and Tia Fisher are the winners of the 2024 Yoto Carnegie prizes and ‘Shadowers’ Choice’ awards.

Image: Yoto Carnegies

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

Winner Joseph Coelho is the Waterstones Children’s Laureate
While a great deal can be missed in the publishing press during one of the world’s most influential trade shows, the Yoto Carnegies—formerly known as the Carnegie Greenaway medals—announced their shortlists during London Book Fair, and we then carried the news of those shortlists as soon following LBF as was feasible, amid many other news items that were delayed and supplanted because they arrived during the news-overwhelm of trade fair.

Today (June 25), we have news announced on Thursday (June 20) of the three winners of this year’s contests in the Carnegie program.

Joseph Coelho

The 2022-to-2024 Waterstones “Children’s Laureate,” Joseph Coelho, is the Yoto Carnegie’s winner of the program’s medal for writing, for his book The Boy Lost in the Maze, which is illustrated by Kate Milner and published by Otter-Barry Books.

The book is described by its publisher as a novel told in poems, combining the ancient Theseus-and-the-Minotaur mythology with a contemporary boy’s efforts to find his biological father.

In illustration, Aaron Becker is this year’s winner for his work on Walker Books’ “wordless picture book,” The Tree and the River.

Aaron Becker

The publisher’s promotional copy reads, in part, “Borrowing from multiple cultures and architectural styles to craft astonishing new human-scapes, Aaron Becker tracks the evolution of our species—and its toll on the Earth—through the fates of a lone tree and an enduring river. River and tree bear silent witness over time as people arrive to harness water, wind, and animals; devise technology and transportation; redirect rivers; and reshape the land.”

Becker wins not only in the main category in in the writers’ part of the “Shadowers’ Choice” award in writing, voted on by school students.

Tia Fisher

The “Shadowers’ Choice” honor for writing—also voted on by students—goes to Tia Fisher for Crossing the Line from Bonnier Books UK.

Each of the two winners of this contest, Coelho and Becker, are to receive a golden medal and a £5,000 cash award (US$6,342). Winners from what’s called the “Shadowers’ Choice Medals”—the parallel contest voted on by children and young people, in this case Becker and Fisher—are to be given a medal and, a first this year, £500 worth of books to donate to a library of their choosing.

Publishing Perspectives readers are very familiar with these awards, of course, and we covered the 36-title longlists the program released in February here.

As mentioned, we then covered the shortlists here.

About the Yoto Carnegies

A distinction of these awards is that they’re juried by children’s librarians. They’re also awards that only part of the name might be familiar to you.

The name Carnegie, of course, is a tribute to the Scottish-American industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, and each of these awards has a relatively long track record by comparison to most of the many contemporary book and publishing awards based in the British market.

  • The Carnegie Medal has 88 years of history, having been established in 1936 by Andrew Carnegie. 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, meaning that it has 69 years of history of its own.

Yoto is a brand of audiobook player for children. Its sponsorship is to run three years and was agreed with CILIP, the library and information association, which manages the program. The medals are awarded annually by CILIP and the Youth Libraries Group.

A newly designed Yoto Carnegie medal. Image: Yoto Carnegie Medals

As mentioned in our shortlist write-up, many in the business surely would be glad to see the Yoto Carnegies follow suit with the Booker Prize Foundation, the British Academy Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding, and the Baillie Gifford Prize for Nonfiction in reporting the effect its awards have on winning titles in the marketplace. This would involve arranging with the publishers of winning books to provide CILIP with some data on unit sales during the weeks and months after winners are named, and it would offer a way to demonstrate the benefits of such awards in an industry that normally must take on faith the concept that those “golden stickers” sell books.

In addition, Publishing Perspectives has requested from organizers an understanding of the criterion or criteria by which the Yoto Carnegies refer to themselves when approaching the news media as the UK’s “best-loved book awards for children and young people.”

Should an answer be provided as to which metrics are used to determine this, we’ll update the information on this page.

In this image of shortlisted writers and illustrators on the front row are, from left, Mariajo Ilustrajo, Chloe Savage, Erika Meza, Catherine Rayner, Poonam Mistry, Hiba Noor Khan, Nathanael Lessore, Nicola Davies, Catalina Echeverri, Tia Fisher, and Sophie Cameron. On the back row, from left, are Steve McCarthy, Aaron Becker, Nathanael Lessore. Not pictured is the writing winner, Joseph Coelho. Image: Yoto Carnegies, Tom Pilston

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 UK 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 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.