Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Emma Press has announced plans to launch a call for picture book proposals from writers – including those who illustrate their own work – in 2019. The independent publisher, which is based in the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham, will be looking for manuscripts for picture books for children with potential for crossover appeal.
The call will open on 14th January 2019 and closes on 20th April 2019.

Writers will be invited to send in full manuscripts for the first round of submissions. All finished picture books will be 32 pages long, including front-matter and end-matter. The editorial team reading the submissions will consist of Yen-Yen Lu, Charlotte Geater, Emma Wright, Richard O’Brien and Philippa Barker. Successful proposals will be matched with illustrators.
The editors are particularly keen to see picture book manuscripts from authors who are underrepresented in publishing. They are keen to see submissions from BAME writers, from writers with immigrant backgrounds, from LGBTQ+ writers, and from disabled writers. They are seeking new stories, and fresh perspectives on the world for a curious, contemporary readership.
Publisher Emma Wright said:
‘Picture books are a vital part of childhood. They are where we start to learn about ourselves and the world around us, and about the possibilities of literature, art and the imagination. There is still so much work to be done to make the world of picture books an inclusive, welcoming place where children can see themselves and also learn about others. I am looking forward to building an exciting, outward-looking list for children of all backgrounds.’
The Emma Press’s newest picture book is The Dog Who Found Sorrow, publishing at the end of this month. It is written by Rūta Briede and illustrated by Elīna Brasliņa, who were both award winners at the 2017 International Jānis Baltvilks Awards in Children’s Literature and Book Art. It is translated from the Latvian by Brasliņa.
The Emma Press celebrated its fifth anniversary in 2018, and they won the Michael Marks Award for poetry pamphlet publishers in 2016. They have published a number of illustrated poetry books, including many for children, and they launched their picture books list in early 2018 with Rūta Briede’s award-winning book Queen of Seagulls.
In 2019, alongside their call for picture book manuscripts, the press is launching Bicki-Books, a series of bijou poetry picture books, which each feature a classic Latvian poem translated into English. Every book is fully illustrated by a top Latvian illustrator. The series is art-directed by Rūta Briede.
This will be their first open call for original picture books written in English.
Check out our children’s books in our webshop to see the kind of thing we publish – shop now.

Winners announced for the first international Lauren Child Poetry Illustration Prize

•First time international award combines poetry and illustration. Prize for young illustrators from 18-25 at the start of their career.
•Exhibition of winners and runners-up artwork and the poems on display at St Pancras International until 3 January 2019.
•Prize set up by Lauren Child, current Waterstones Children’s Laureate and bestselling author of Charlie and Lola and Hubert Horatio, in association with the Betjeman Prize, the House of Illustration and St Pancras International.

The finalists of the first international Lauren Child Poetry Illustration Prize are announced today 20th November at a special celebration at the House of Illustration, London. The poems and illustration will be on display at the Upper Concourse of St Pancras International Station until 3 January.
The overall winner is Bryony Usher, 21, from Windsor, Berkshire, who illustrated a poem called His Place by Indra Carigiet. The three runners up are Jacob Courtney, from Harlow, Essex, Kerrie Maccauley, from Deptford, South East London, and Laura Wade from Edinburgh

The thirteen finalists are James Bailey, Frances Bicker, Riannon Bristow, Hyelim, Cho, Jacob Courtney, Kerrie Mccauley, Emily Morris, Juliania Shugaeva, Catriona Sweeney, Ursi Tolliday, Bryony Usher, Laura Wade, Bethany Wheeler.

All the entrants were asked to choose and illustrate one poem from a selection of ten Betjeman Poetry Prize winning poems by young poets aged 10-13. The overall winner received a cash prize of £1k. The runners-up received art materials donated by Winsor and Newton.

The prize is a collaboration between the House of Illustration, St Pancras International, Betjeman Poetry Prize and 2017-2019 Children’s Laureate, Lauren Child. Judges for the Prize were director of the House of Illustration, Colin McKenzie; Queen’s Gold Medal winning poet and illustrator, Imtiaz Dharker, and current Waterstones’ Children’s Laureate, Lauren Child.

Lauren Child comments: ‘The entries we received exceeded our expectations. We were looking for twelve finalists but in the end picked thirteen. Of the final thirteen, five illustrators were selected for special commendation because they so perfectly answered the brief, and do so with great personality and skill. The illustrator’s job is to go beyond the obvious and reach towards a response that truly evokes the poem and moves the reader and is personal to the illustrator.’

Wendy Spinks from HS1 comments: “We are celebrating St Pancras International’s 150th birthday in 2018, so it is fitting that we will help celebrate young talent like never before by putting on this wonderful exhibition. As a destination known for offering new and exciting arts and music experiences, we look forward to displaying this wonderful work from the world’s up and coming illustrators.”

To see all the finalists’ entries go to: www.betjemanpoetryprize.co.uk/laurenchildprize