Awards Process


To inspire and empower the next generation to create a better world through books and reading.

We will do this by:

  • Celebrating outstanding writing and illustration for children and young people.

  • Recognising a broad range of perspectives, experiences and voices.

  • Championing the power of librarians to connect children and young people with outstanding books that represent their identities and help them shape a better world.

  • Encouraging authors, illustrators and publishers to create more books for children and young people that reflect all identities and promote diversity.

  • Promoting a readership and market that values diversity, representation and inclusion in books for books for children and young people.

  • Challenging children and young people with a diversity of ideas and perspectives to promote empathy, tolerance and understanding.


To be eligible for the Awards, titles must have been first published in the UK between 1 September and 31 August of the previous calendar year. Books first published in another country must have been co-published in the UK within three months of the original publication date.

The book must be written in the English language (either as an original work in English or a first English translation of a foreign-language work) and specifically published for children and young people.

The book may be co-authored; however, multiple author anthologies are excluded.

In the case of e-books and short stories or poetry previously published in a magazine or elsewhere, the point of publication should be considered as the date when the work is published as a whole. At least 75% of the complete work must be original material published for the first time within the specified time frame.

All categories of books, including poetry, non-fiction and graphic novels, in print or ebook format, for children and young people are eligible.

Books by previous CILIP Carnegie and/or CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal winners are eligible.

Criteria: Carnegie Medal

The book that wins the Carnegie Medal should be a book of outstanding literary quality. The whole work should provide pleasure, not merely from the surface enjoyment of a good read, but also the deeper subconscious satisfaction of having gone through a vicarious, but at the time of reading, a real experience that is retained afterwards.

All criteria will not necessarily be relevant to every title nominated. Where appropriate, consider and assess the following:


Is the style or styles appropriate to the subject and theme and conducive to the establishment of voice?

Do dialogue and narrative work effectively together?

How effective is the use of literary techniques and conventions?

How effective is the use of language in conveying setting, atmosphere, characters, action etc.? How appropriate is that to the theme?

Where rhyme or rhythm are used, is their use accomplished and imaginative?

Where factual information is presented, is this accurate and clear?

The plot

Is it well-constructed?

Do events happen, not necessarily logically, but acceptably within the limits set by the theme?

Is the final resolution of the plot credible in relation to the rest of the book?


Are the characters believable and convincing?

Are they well-rounded, and do they develop during the course of the book?

Do they interact with each other convincingly?

Are the characters' behaviour and patterns of speech consistent with their known background and environment?

Do they act consistently in character throughout the book?

How effectively are the characters revealed through narration, dialogue, action, inner dialogue and through the thoughts, reactions and responses of others?

Criteria - Kate Greenaway Medal

The book that wins the Kate Greenaway Medal should be a book of outstanding artistic quality. The whole work should provide pleasure from a stimulating and satisfying visual experience which leaves a lasting impression. Illustrated work needs to be considered primarily in terms of its graphic elements, and where text exists particular attention should be paid to the synergy between the two.

All criteria will not necessarily be relevant to every title nominated. Where appropriate, consider and assess the following:

The artistic style

Is the medium appropriate?

Is the personal style creative and distinctive?

Does the style work with the subject?

Is there a consistent quality of illustration throughout the book?

The format

Is the typography (i.e. format, typeface, print size, spacing, novelty features etc.) integral or intrusive?

Does the layout draw the reader in or is it distracting?

How appropriate are the size and shape of the book?

What use is made of covers, end-papers and title page?

Synergy of illustration and text

Are there recurring visual themes or images that enhance the reader's understanding of the book?

How well do the illustrations and text relate to each other in terms of layout?

Are the images and text consistent with each other?

Do the illustrations enhance the text or are they 'pictorial upholstery', i.e. for decorative purposes only?

In the case of information books, how accurate and clear are the illustrations?

The visual experience

How well does the book either offer the reader new experiences, or reflect their pre-existing experiences?

Does the book succeed in working at different levels for different readers?

What are the aesthetic qualities of the book?

What is the overall impact of the book on the reader?

Awards Process

Nominations for the next year's awards are submitted September-October each year by members of CILIP. All nominations published are checked and verified for their eligibility and have received at least one nomination from a CILIP member.

The process is organised by the Youth Libraries Group (YLG), one of CILIP's Special Interest Groups, which itself has over 3000 members. 12 children's librarians - members of CILIP's Youth Libraries Group - form the panel of judges, and read and assess all nominations.

From the eligible nominations, the judging panel meet to decide the longlists, then the official shortlists and finally, the medal winners, based on the official medals criteria. Longlists are published in February and shortlists in March, with the winners announced at a ceremony in June.

You can find out about recent shortlists and winners on the press desk and the most recent shortlist is featured on the award shadowing pages.

Rules of entry

Publishers of nominated titles which go on to be shortlisted for the Medals will be asked to contribute a sum of approx £1.5k per shortlisted title. This will be used to help fund the design, print and distribution of shortlist publicity materials into approx 5000 UK schools and public libraries.

Shadowers’ Choice Awards

2019 will see the first ever Shadowers’ Choice Awards voted for and presented by shadowers. Shadowing groups will be invited to vote for their favourite book from each Medal shortlist when voting opens in June. The winners of the Shadowers’ Choice Award will be presented with a commemorative Award by shadowing participants at the ceremony. Look out for details of competitions on our website and in the weekly shadowing news emails to be in with a chance of attending the ceremony and presenting this Award.

Further details on how to submit your votes will be available in June. Each shadowing group is entitled to one vote per medal, so shadowers will have to work together to decide which book they want to win.

As you read the shortlisted books, shadowing groups can use the reading barometers on their shadowing group homepage to log their group’s favourite books before submitting the final vote on the CKG website in June.