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BookTrust steps up to support the FAB Prize

Announced yesterday at their event launching BookTrust Represents, BookTrust are joining Faber & Faber and the Andlyn Agency for the third annual FAB Prize, which searches for undiscovered UK-based BAME talent in both writing and illustration.


BookTrust will be offering additional prizes to both prize winners and runners up, as well as supporting the commended and highly commended entries. They will arrange and fund the opportunity for both the winners and runners up to shadow already established authors on school visits, and will invite all commended and highly commended entrants to one of their author/ illustrator training sessions. Book Trust’s Jill Coleman says: ‘Knowing how to navigate a new career as a creative within the publishing world can be a daunting experience. The training will provide insights and guidance into finding a place for yourself in the children’s book industry, including tips on how to grow and establish your career as an author or an illustrator.


Leah Thaxton, Publisher, Faber & Faber, says of this new partnership:

‘I am delighted that BookTrust – the most influential children’s reading charity in the U.K. – will now be supporting the FAB Prize. After only three years, we have seen a growing number of winners go on to secure significant book deals at a variety of major publishers, and we have been proud to see a supportive writing community develop alongside. Not to mention various other artistic projects that have come out of the experience.

BookTrust has the reach and influence to go one step further, highlighting the individual talents of FAB writers and illustrators for a far broader audience beyond the publishing community. I am so excited to see what happens next for the FAB prize crew.’

Jill Coleman, Director, BookTrust, adds:

‘We’re really excited to be supporting the FAB prize; offering the winners a chance to shadow experienced authors and illustrators of colour, and the runners up a place at one of our training events. This prize is another great opportunity for new authors and illustrators of colour to showcase their talent and help create the next generation of fantastic children’s books. Children need and deserve to see themselves in books, and to have access to a rich and diverse range of voices. If they do, it can be life-changing. BookTrust Represents is a three-year initiative to support and subsidise authors and illustrators of colour to promote their work and support them to reach more readers through events in bookshops, festivals and schools, as well as offering training and mentoring for less experienced authors and illustrators.’

Davinia Andrew-Lynch, Founder and Agent, the Andlyn Agency, says:

‘I’m thrilled that the FAB Prize will be collaborating with BookTrust this year! Their commitment to increasing the range of voices in children’s publishing is greatly needed and these additional prizes will help encourage a new wave of talent to thrive in our industry.’


The FAB prize is judged by a panel comprising two new judges; author Polly Ho-Yen (The Boy in the Tower) and illustrator John Aggs (Noughts and Crosses Graphic Novel), adding further breadth to the original judging line up of the Faber Children’s team, and the Andlyn Agency’s Davinia Andrew-Lynch.

Further information on the FAB prize can be found at:


ENTRIES to the FAB Prize:

Entries to be sent by email to or postal entries, marked ‘TEXT SUBMISSION, FAB PRIZE’ or ‘ILLUSTRATION SUBMISSION, FAB PRIZE’, to: Faber & Faber, 74–77 Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DA.

Queries about criteria to:

  • Competition opens: 27 February 2019
  • Competition last date for entries: 14th June 2019

Winner announcement: 14th August 2019

  • Entrants must be of black, Asian or minority ethnic background

Entrants must be previously unpublished

  • Entries must be text or artwork for children (i.e. 1–18 years), not for adults
  • UK and Ireland residents only
  • Applicants must be over 18
  • Applicants can apply for both prizes – text and illustration – but can only submit one entry per text or art category. All email entries will be acknowledged on receipt, but only winners will be contacted directly, so please watch out for the announcement in July 2019!

Text submission criteria

  • Please email or send by post a maximum of 5,000 words of text.
  • There is no minimum word count and the maximum 5,000 words can be a sample of a longer work – it does not have to be a short story (though those are welcome too!)
  • Please send in the complete story if the text is for a picture book. (Picture books should not be longer than 5000 words!)
  • If your text competition entry is for an illustrated book, you do not need to submit illustrations.
  • If sending by post, NO handwritten entries please.
  • Please do not send original work. Please do not send CDs of work.
  • We will not be able to return entries.
  • If emailing, please send the text either as a Word document or a PDF attachment, not in the body of the email, and put ‘Text Submission’ as the subject of your email heading.
  • Please include your name in the file name.


Illustration submission criteria

  • Please email or send by post either 1) a maximum of ten A4 pages of illustration OR 2) the full layouts and illustrations for a 32-page picture book.
  • Please do not send original work. Please do not send CDs of work.
  • We will not be able to return entries.
  • Entries can include text, but text is not necessary to enter the illustration competition.
  • If emailing, please send your art as a PDF attachment, and put ‘Art Submission’ as the subject of your email heading.
  • Please include your name in the file name.



First Prize

For illustration:

£500 (or £300 and a one-year portfolio membership for the Association of Illustrators, worth £200), plus a private consultation with Donna Payne (Faber Creative Director), Emma Eldridge (Faber Children’s Art Director) and Davinia Andrew-Lynch, followed by a year of regular mentoring, plus a selection of Faber books.

For text:

£500, plus a private consultation with Leah Thaxton and Davinia Andrew-Lynch, followed by a year of regular mentoring, plus a selection of Faber books.

Second Prize:

Consultation with Leah Thaxton, Donna Payne, Emma Eldridge and Davinia Andrew-Lynch, plus a selection of Faber books.

Follow the prize on social media using: #FABprize19