Children's Laureate

The role of Children's Laureate is awarded in the United Kingdom once every two years to an eminent author or illustrator of children's books to celebrate outstanding achievement in their field. The position acknowledges the importance of exceptional children's authors or illustrators in creating the readers of tomorrow.

The position originally began after a discussion between the late Poet Laureate, Ted Hughes and children's writer Michael Morpurgo. A panel of judges considers nominations from a range of organisations representing librarians, critics, writers and booksellers, including the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). They also consider writers and illustrators nominated directly by children.

The award was originally funded by several publishing industry and charity sector sponsors which included the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA). Sadly, this was abolished in 2012 and now, the main sponsor is Waterstones, the UK's largest bookseller.  The Children's Laureate receives a silver medal and a £15,000 bursary.

Quentin Blake was the first Children's Laureate (1999-2001), followed by:

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) and

Chris Riddell (2015-2017).

Click here to find out more about the current and previous Children's Laureates.