Friday, March 03, 2017

Hull, which is UK City of Culture 2017, has today (Tuesday 28 February) been confirmed as the location for the announcement of the new Waterstones Children’s Laureate. The recipient of the honour will take over from the current Laureate, Chris Riddell, at an afternoon ceremony in Hull City Hall on Wednesday 7th June 2017. The role of Children’s Laureate is awarded once every two years to an eminent author or illustrator of children’s books to celebrate outstanding achievement in their field and to acknowledge their importance in creating the readers of tomorrow. Previous laureates include Quentin Blake, Jacqueline Wilson and Malorie Blackman.
Rosie Millard, Chair of Hull UK City of Culture 2017 said: "Hull has a great literary heritage, which we are celebrating across the year and it is wonderful that it will host the announcement of the new Waterstones Children's Laureate during its year as UK City of Culture. Reading and literacy are a key part of our No Limits Learning programme and this is an opportunity to inspire a new generation of readers. It is also going to help build the anticipation of young people ahead of the city's first ever children's literature festival The Big Malarkey in July."
At the ceremony, Chris Riddell will present the new Laureate with a specially commissioned solid silver Waterstones Children’s Laureate medal and a £15,000 bursary cheque.
Abigail Campbell, Chair of the Waterstones Children’s Laureate Steering Group, said: “The work of the Waterstones Children’s Laureate during their two year tenure is not only an inspiration to children and families, but also of huge influence on the publishing industry and policy-makers at the highest level. The panel can’t wait to announce the new champion of children’s books.”
Waterstones Managing Director, James Daunt, said: “Chris Riddell has been an inspirational Waterstones Children's Laureate, adding to an extraordinary lineage in the post. They perform wonders to encourage reading and to bring issues of literacy to public attention. We could not be more proud to be associated with their work and to be supporting the new Laureate over the next two years.”
BookTrust CEO, Diana Gerald said: “BookTrust are incredibly honoured to manage the Children’s Laureate programme, it is a vital element in championing, and embedding, the importance of children reading for pleasure. We are delighted the announcement will be held in Hull and look forward to finding out who will take over from Chris Riddell, promoting the power of reading to children across the country.”
The post of Children’s Laureate was established in 1999. Previous Laureates are: Quentin Blake 1999 – 2001, Anne Fine 2001 – 2003, Michael Morpurgo 2003 – 2005, Jacqueline Wilson 2005 – 2007, Michael Rosen 2007 – 2009, Anthony Browne 2009 – 2011, Julia Donaldson 2011 – 2013, Malorie Blackman 2013 – 2015, the current Laureate is Chris Riddell 2015 – 2017.
Waterstones is the lead sponsor of the Children’s Laureate post, with other sponsorship and funding coming from children’s publishers and Arts Council England. Children’s reading charity BookTrust continues to manage the award.
The Twitter hashtag for the Children’s Laureate is #ChildrensLaureate
For further information please contact Thi Dinh at Riot Communications on / 020 3174 0118 or 07391 677103

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