With less than a month to go until the Carnegie and Greenaway winners are announced, we caught up with Tricia Adams, YLG Chair and CKG Chair of Judges to get a behind the scenes peek at the judging process…
Could you tell us a little more about your role as part of the Carnegie and Greenaway awards, and how long you’ve been involved?
The Awards are only a part of the involvement I have had from being a member of Youth Libraries Group – and I have been involved with YLG for 20 years in both the East Midlands, where I live, and also the national committee. Carnegie and Greenaway is the icing on the cake though – and I have been lucky enough to do that twice, both times as Chair, once in 2008 and again this year. As Chair it is my job to make sure each book has it’s slot in the proceedings and gets a fair hearing, as well as try and make sure all the judges get a chance to speak and advocate for the books they want to champion. It’s also my role to manage any feelings that may be running high – there’s a great deal of passion expended in the judging process! I’m also the voice ensuring we stick to the criteria – so every book has a chance to have its day.
What is your favourite part about the Carnegie and Greenaway judging process?
There are two really – one is the actual process of all the reading; yes, it is pressured due to the number of titles and the short time available to read, but it’s also great to have the chance to say ‘sorry – can’t do that I have to read!’ Secondly it’s the opportunity to share the celebration of so much good reading with so many shadowers – their enthusiasm and honest reviewing bowls me over every time!
What do you think forms the basis for the ideal Carnegie or Greenaway winning title?
In either award it is a matter of picking out the excellent – and having criteria, on which all the judges are trained every year, makes that easier. It’s not just your favourite, it has to meet a majority of the criteria and thus shows itself to be a winner.
Have you got a favourite Carnegie or Greenaway book from years gone by, be it longlist, shortlist or winner?
So many it’s difficult to mention only one! As a child I was a big fan of BB (Little Grey Men), Philippa Pearce (Tom’s Midnight Garden), Lucy Boston (A Stranger at Green Knowe) and Alan Garner (The Owl Service). As an adult there are so many more! The 2008 winner, Philip Reeve with Here Lies Arthur, is a definite favourite.
What are you reading at the moment?
Release by Patrick Ness – I’m only about half way through, but finding it a challenging, clever, well written read, as Patrick always is!
Many thanks to Tricia for this insight – we’re desperate to find out who the winners are now! Don’t forget there’s still time to order the shortlists with 35% off, free jacketing and free delivery.