Hans Christian Andersen AwardsHans Christian Andersen Awards

Every other year, IBBY UK nominates a British author and illustrator for the international awards, which are presented to a living author and illustrator whose complete works have made a lasting contribution to children’s literature.

Nominations are made by the member countries of IBBY and a jury of international children’s literature specialists select the recipients of the award. The author’s award has been presented since 1956 and the illustrator’s since 1966. Great authors and illustrators from all over the world have been honoured with a Hans Christian Andersen award, including a number from the UK.

Hans Christian Andersen Awards 2018


Author Melvin Burgess, noted for his sometimes controversial work for young adults, and the talented illustrator Jane Ray have been nominated by IBBY UK for the international Hans Christian Andersen Awards 2018. The Awards are the most prestigious in the international children’s book world and presented every other year by the International Board on Books for Young People. They honour a “living author and illustrator whose complete works have made a lasting contribution to children's literature”.

Melvin and Jane have been writing and illustrating for children and young people for more than twenty years. Melvin’s 1996 book Junk won both the Guardian Award and the Carnegie Award, an achievement shared only by five other writers. Its unflinching portrayal of the lives of young squatters in 1980s Bristol is widely recognised as extending the boundaries of fiction for young adults. Jane is as adept illustrating her own texts as she is the work of other writers and is perhaps best known for her luminous and intricate illustration of traditional tales and her sensitivity to culturally diverse ways of looking at the world.

Pam Dix, the Chair of IBBY UK, said, “We are very excited to be nominating two such highly respected contributors to the UK children’s literature world and look forward to working with them during the nomination process and holding an event with them later in 2017.”

The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) is a non-profit organization which represents an international network of people committed to bringing books and children together. There are 75 national sections including IBBY UK, all of which can make nominations for the awards, which are judged by an international jury. Five books for each nominee are submitted for consideration by the jury. The books, chosen by Melvin and Jane and IBBY UK from all their work, are: 

Melvin Burgess

Melvin Burgess, Bloodtide, The Cry of the Wolf, Junk, and Lady,  published by Andersen Press; and Kill All Enemies, published by Penguin.

Jane Ray HCAJane Ray, Ahmed and the Feather Girl, Frances Lincoln; The Little Mermaid and Other Fishy Tales, Boxer Books; and illustrations for Kevin Crossley-Holland, Heartsong, Orchard Books; Berlie Doherty, Classic Fairy Tales, Walker Books; and Carol Ann Duffy, The Lost Happy Endings, Bloomsbury.

You can read dossiers of their work by clicking on the links below.

For more information contact John Dunne: j.f.dunne[at]btinternet.com

UK Nominations 2018

Our nominations for 2018 are Melvin Burgess and Jane Ray. The shortlists for the awards will be announced in January 2018 and the winners at the Bologna Book Fair 2018. The Awards will be presented to the winners at the 36th IBBY World Congress, in Istanbul, Turkey in September 2018. You can read the dossiers submitted for the award by clicking on the images below:

Melvin BurgessJane Ray


UK Nominations 2016

Our nominations for 2016 are Elizabeth Laird and Chris Riddell. You can read the dossiers submitted for the award by clicking on the images below:

Chris Riddell HCAElizabeth Laird


UK Nominees 2014: John Burningham and Jacqueline Wilson

John Burningham and Jacqueline Wilson are IBBY UK's nominees for the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen awards. The winners will be announced at the IBBY Press Conference at the Bologna Children's Book Fair on Monday 24th March 2014.

John BurninghamJohn Burningham has been writing and illustrating picture books for more than forty years and has produced a number of classic titles including Borka: the Adventures of a Goose with No Feathers and Mr Gumpy’s Outing, both of which won the Kate Greenaway Medal in 1963 and 1970 respectively.

Jacqueline WilsonDame Jacqueline Wilson is one of Britain’s most prolific and best-selling authors. Her commitment to her craft and her readers has led her to being one of most honoured and best-loved of contemporary British writers. Her books, which are mainly read by girls, treat serious social and personal issues in a way that is accessible, enjoyable and thought provoking for pre-teen and early teenage readers. Her memorable female protagonists, like Tracy Beaker or Hetty Feather, sometimes sad or angry, survive and thrive through their energy, resourcefulness, imagination and capacity for friendship.

Past UK Winners of the Hans Christian Andersen Awards

Aidan Chambers
  • 1956: Eleanor Farjean
  • 2000: Anthony Browne
  • 2002: Quentin Blake
  • 2002: Aidan Chambers
  • 2010: David Almond