• Poetry collection goes head-to-head with novels by giants of children’s fiction in UK’s oldest book awards for children and young people

  • Debut works from Angie Thomas, Júlia Sardà and Sam Winston vie with Carnegie and Kate Greenaway alumni including David Almond, Geraldine McCaughrean, Patrick Ness, Philip Reeve, Lane Smith, Levi Pinfold, Jim Kay and Jon Klassen on the 20-strong longlists

  • First longlisting for small independents Otter-Barry Books and Troika Books / #CKG18 / #bestchildrensbooks

Today (Thursday 15th February 2018), the longlists for the prestigious CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals, the UK’s oldest book awards for children and young people, are revealed. Celebrating the best in children’s writing and illustration respectively, the Medals are unique in being judged by children’s librarians. The 40-strong list of titles for the 2018 Medals (20 on each longlist) were selected from 237 nominations, read by an expert judging panel of 12 volunteer Youth Librarians from across the UK.

In a year that saw an increase in poetry nominations, Joseph Coelho’s Overheard in a Tower Block – a poetic narrative about a city childhood − makes it onto the Carnegie longlist. Should the book be shortlisted, it will be the first poetry collection by a single author to be shortlisted since James Reeves’ Robin Ragged in 1961. Should it win, it would be the second work of poetry to win the Carnegie Medal in its 81-year history, following Sarah Crossan’s 2016 win with One.

The 20-strong longlist for the CILIP Carnegie Medal for writing also includes former teen rapper Angie Thomas’ debut, The Hate U Give. The book, already a bestseller and currently being adapted for film, is the only debut novel in this category competing against longlisted titles by a mixture of multi-Carnegie Medal winners and shortlistees including David Almond, Lissa Evans, Jim Kay, Jon Klassen, Geraldine McCaughrean, Patrick Ness, Levi Pinfold, Katherine Rundell, Philip Reeve, Marcus Sedgwick and Lane Smith.

2017 Kate Greenaway Medal winner Lane Smith is one of 20 illustrators included in the 2018 longlist, with Penguin Problems. He is joined by former Kate Greenaway winner Levi Pinfold, who is longlisted twice this year for two different books: The Secret Horses of Briar Hill and The Song from Somewhere Else. Alongside a raft of well-known illustrators, they are up against Júlia Sardà’s debut picture book, The Liszts, and A Child of Books, a collaboration between first-time children’s writer and illustrator Sam Winston and Oliver Jeffers. 

For the second year in a row, one book is in the running for both Medals. The Song from Somewhere Else, written by A.F. Harrold and illustrated by Levi Pinfold, appears on both the Carnegie and the Kate Greenaway longlists, just as Brian Selznick’s The Marvels did in 2017. Should it win both categories, it would be the second double win in the Medals’ long history, the first being A Monster Calls in 2012, written by Patrick Ness and illustrated by Jim Kay. Ness, who has won the Medal twice (with A Monster Calls in 2012 and Monsters of Men in 2011), continues his unbroken record of being longlisted for every one of his seven books for young people.

The inclusion of Joseph Coelho’s Overheard in a Tower Block and Sarah Matthias’ A Berlin Love Song mark the first longlisting for two small independents, Otter-Barry Books and Troika Books. Walker Books takes the largest share of longlisted titles, with 11 out of 40 titles for both Medals.

Jake Hope, Chair, CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals judging panel, comments:

“After a lifetime living in and loving libraries, chairing the panel of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals has felt a tremendous honour – especially the opportunity to reach the thousands of children and young people involved in the Medals from reading groups to our shadowing groups. It is so important that young people growing up today have access to and are represented in books that fire their imaginations and open worlds of possibilities. Which is why I am so pleased that we will shortly open a public consultation as part of the ongoing diversity review of the Medals which aims to ensure we can be the best champions of equality, participation and inclusion possible.

“Regardless of tastes or interests, this year's longlists offer something for everyone, from established winners to exciting debuts, from fiction based in the past, to stories of the present and those in possible futures, from real life to fantasy, from factual books about the world around us, to richly imagined representations of the emotions and experiences that are familiar to children and young people in their everyday. This year’s list continues the exhilarating tradition of the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals in showcasing the vibrancy and range of form and style in contemporary children's literature, with mind-blowing writing and eye-popping illustrations.”

The shortlists for both the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals 2018 will be announced on Thursday 15th March 2018, with the winners being announced on Monday 18th June 2018 at a special daytime event at The British Library, hosted by June Sarpong. The winners will each receive £500 worth of books to donate to their local library, a specially commissioned golden medal and a £5,000 Colin Mears Award cash prize.

Once the shortlists are selected by the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals judges, a separate team of judges will select a title from each shortlist to be the recipient of the Amnesty CILIP Honour: a commendation for books that most distinctively illuminate, uphold or celebrate human rights. The Honour aims to increase awareness of how great children’s books encourage empathy and broaden horizons.

New judges joining the panels for the 2018 Amnesty CILIP honours include: Jordan Stephens (writer, performer and one half of hip-hop duo Rizzle Kicks), Jamila Gavin (award-winning children’s author) and Autumn Sharif (singer-songwriter) for the Carnegie honour; Carlos Reyes (Chilean social documentary photographer and poet and an Amnesty prisoner of conscience in Chile during Pinochet's civic-military dictatorship) and Chris Riddell (former Children’s Laureate & Amnesty Ambassador) for the Kate Greenaway honour.

On the day of the shortlist announcement, Thursday 15th March 2018, Amnesty International UK will also host a drinks reception in London to celebrate the longlist and shortlist author and illustrators for both medals.

The 2018 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals are sponsored by ALCS and Peters, and funded by Carnegie UK Trust and Arts Council England.

In 2017, CILIP announced an independent review into how equality, diversity, inclusion and participation can best be championed and embedded into the work of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals. Chaired by Margaret Casely-Hayford, the Diversity and Equality Review is taking place throughout the 2018 Medals cycle and is currently in consultation phase, which involves an online survey and focus groups. The survey − in development with Coventry University – will be launched by March 2018.

2018 CILIP Carnegie Medal longlist
(alphabetical by surname):

1. The Tale of Angelino Brown by David Almond – illustrated by Alex T. Smith (Walker Books)

2. The Hypnotist by Laurence Anholt (Penguin Random House)

3. Overheard in a Tower Block Joseph Coelho – illustrated by Kate Milner (Otter-Barry Books)

4. Wed Wabbit by Lissa Evans (David Fickling Books)

5. The Island at the End of Everything by Kiran Millwood Hargrave (Chicken House)

6. The Song from Somewhere Else by A.F. Harrold – illustrated by Levi Pinfold (Bloomsbury)

7. After the Fire by Will Hill (Usborne)

8. Welcome to Nowhere by Elizabeth Laird (Macmillan)

9. Out of Heart by Irfan Master (Bonnier Zaffre)

10. A Berlin Love Song by Sarah Matthias (Troika Books)

11. Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean (Usborne)

12. Rook by Anthony McGowan (Barrington Stoke)

13. Release by Patrick Ness (Walker Books)     

14. The Call by Peadar O'Guilin (David Fickling Books)

15. Black Light Express by Philip Reeve (Oxford University Press)

16. The Explorer by Katherine Rundell – illustrated by Hannah Horn (Bloomsbury)

17. Saint Death by Marcus Sedgwick (Hachette)

18. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (Walker Books)

19. Encounters by Jason Wallace (Andersen Press)

20. Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk (Penguin Random House)

2018 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal longlist
(alphabetical by surname):

1. Wild Animals of the South written and illustrated by Dieter Braun (Flying Eye Books)

2. King of the Sky by Nicola Davies – illustrated by Laura Carlin (Walker Books)      

3. The Pond by Nicola Davies – illustrated by Cathy Fisher (Graffeg)

4. Night Shift written and illustrated by Debi Gliori (Bonnier Zaffre)

5. The Bad Bunnies' Magic Show written and illustrated by Mini Grey (Simon & Schuster)

6. A First Book of Animals by Nicola Davies – illustrated by Petr Horácek (Walker Books)

7. A Child of Books written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston (co-creators) (Walker Books)

8. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling – illustrated by Jim Kay (Bloomsbury)

9. We Found a Hat written and illustrated by Jon Klassen (Walker Books)

10. The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd – illustrated by Levi Pinfold (Walker Books)

11. The Song from Somewhere Else written by A.F Harrold – illustrated by Levi Pinfold (Bloomsbury)

12. The Liszts written by Kyo Maclear – illustrated by Júlia Sardà (Andersen Press)

13. The Pavee and the Buffer Girl written by Siobhan Dowd – illustrated by Emma Shoard (Barrington Stoke)                               

14. Penguin Problems written by Jory John – illustrated by Lane Smith (Walker Books)

15. Town is by the Sea by Joanne Schwartz – illustrated by Sydney Smith (Walker Books)

16. Thornhill written and illustrated by Pam Smy (David Fickling Books)          

17. Lots: The Diversity of Life on Earth written by Nicola Davies – illustrated by Emily Sutton (Walker Books)                       

18. Storm Whale written by Sarah Brennan – illustrated by Jane Tanner (Old Barn Books)

19. Under the Same Sky written and illustrated by Britta Teckentrup (Little Tiger Press)        

20. The Secret of Black Rock written and illustrated by Joe Todd-Stanton (Flying Eye Books)


For further information or interview requests, please contact

Katy MacMillan-Scott or Katherine Bovey at Riot Communications: / / 020 3174 0118


· About the CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medals

The Carnegie Medal, awarded annually to the writer of an outstanding book for children, was established in 1936 in memory of the Scottish-born philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919). A self-made industrialist who made his fortune in steel in the USA, Carnegie’s experience of using a library as a child led him to resolve that “If ever wealth came to me that it should be used to establish free libraries.” He set up more than 2,800 libraries across the English-speaking world and by the time of his death over half the library authorities in Great Britain had Carnegie libraries.

The Kate Greenaway Medal was established in 1955 for distinguished illustration in a book for children. Named after the popular nineteenth century artist, known for her beautiful children's illustrations and designs, the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal is awarded annually for an outstanding book in terms of illustration for children and young people.

The full list of past winners of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals can be found here:

· About the Awards Shadowing Scheme

Each year thousands of reading groups in schools and libraries in the UK and overseas get involved in the Awards, with children and young people ‘shadowing’ the judging process. They read, discuss and review the books on the shortlists and get involved in reading related activity in groups and online. Free shadowing educational resources include visual literacy teaching notes, talking points, human rights teaching notes produced by Amnesty, activity ideas and video interviews with the shortlisted authors and illustrators. Shadowing groups are encouraged to publish their own creative response to the books online including reviews, blogs, and videos.

· About CILIP, the library and information association

CILIP is the leading voice for the information, knowledge management and library profession. Our goal is to put information and library skills and professional values at the heart of a democratic, equal and prosperous society. CILIP is a registered charity, no. 313014. The Youth Libraries Group (YLG) of CILIP works in a ‘pressure group’ role to preserve and influence the provision of quality literature and library services for children and young people, both in public libraries and school library services.

· About Amnesty International and the Amnesty CILIP Honour

Amnesty International is the world’s leading human rights organisation with over 7 million supporters worldwide. It was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 1977. The Amnesty CILIP Honour was introduced in 2016, to commend human rights in children’s literature. One book is selected from each of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal shortlists, chosen because it most distinctively illuminates, upholds or celebrates freedoms. The inaugural Amnesty CILIP Honours were awarded in 2016 to Robin Talley for Lies We Tell Ourselves (CILIP Carnegie Medal shortlist) and Ross Collins for There’s a Bear on My Chair (CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal shortlist).

The judges for the 2018 Amnesty CILIP honour are: Nicky Parker, Publisher, Amnesty International UK; Rowena Seabrook, Human Rights Education Manager, Amnesty International UK; Abie Longstaff, children’s author and former human rights lawyer; Jamila Gavin, award-winning children’s author whose dual Indian and English heritage has been a constant source of inspiration; Gabrielle Cliff-Hodges, former Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Cambridge, specializing in children’s literature; Louise Johns-Shepherd, chief executive of the Centre for Literary in Primary Education; Autumn Sharif, singer-songwriter and daughter of Somali refugees and Jordan Stephens, writer and performer best§ known as one half of pop duo Rizzle Kicks. The judges for the 2018 Amnesty Kate Greenaway honour are: Nicky Parker, Publisher, Amnesty International UK;  Rowena Seabrook, Human Rights Education Manager, Amnesty International UK; Dan Jones, artist, storyteller, collector of nursery rhymes and Amnesty human rights educator; Chris Riddell, former Children’s Laureate and Amnesty Ambassador; Manya Benenson, artist and storyteller, daughter of Amnesty’s founder; Carlos Reyes-Manzo, Chilean social documentary photographer and poet. He was an Amnesty prisoner of conscience in Chile during Pinochet's civic-military dictatorship and exiled to Panama in 1975. In November 1979 he was kidnapped in Panama by the Chilean secret police and sent back to Chile via London where he escaped from the plane; Evelyn Arizpe, educator specialising in children’s literature, senior lecturer in education at Glasgow University and Amy Leon, Harlem-born musician, poet and educator.

· CILIP Equality and Diversity Action Plan

A Diversity Review, chaired by Margaret Casely-Hayford, is taking place throughout the 2018 Medals cycle. CILIP announced the review of Medals - as part of the organisation’s wider Equality and Diversity Action Plan following concerns raised about the lack of BAME representation on the 2017 Carnegie Medal longlist. CILIP’s Equality and Diversity Action Plan follows previously published research commissioned in 2015 by CILIP and the Archives and Records Association, which outlined diversity issues in the library, archives, records, information management and knowledge management sector. The Review will inform the annual evaluation process and long-term planning around the Awards and accompanying shadowing scheme.

An interim report was published in December 2017 outlining the work carried out to date. In this report Margaret Casely-Hayford has stated: “I took on this role following criticism of the 2017 Carnegie longlist as it included no Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic (BAME) authors. Since then I have listened to comments, concerns and ideas about how the awards can be the best champion of diversity, inclusion and representation in order to create greater opportunity for the widest pool of talent to be drawn upon, providing authors and illustrators who can unlock a broader world of literary excellence for readers. This in turn should increase participation in reading and associated activities by all children and young people – regardless of who they are, their background and where they live.”

Nick Poole also stated in the report: “Librarianship is at the very heart of what makes the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards unique. A librarian is someone who behaves according to the ethics of our profession, who has made a lasting personal commitment to the universal rights of access to knowledge and of self-expression. Libraries are built on the twin ideals of universality and empowerment. They belong to everyone and everyone has the right to use them. But simply being universally accessible is not sufficient. As a sector, we have learnt that we need to be proactive in identifying and tearing down the barriers which prevent some people from discovering the joy of reading, of cultural participation and of seeing themselves reflected in literature.”

The Diversity Review is currently in the consultation phase, which involves an online survey and focus groups. The survey is in development with Coventry University and will be launched by March 2018. You can register here to take part in this survey and have your say.