Saturday, March 26, 2011

Children's Book Awards 2011 BIAJ

The Book Industry Association of Jamaica (BIAJ) had its biennial Book Awards which focus on publishing, on Thursday evening, in what was a lovely gala event. When you hear the number of books submitted it really sounds as if we have a vibrant publishing industry. So that gives all of us a hopeful feeling. In addition, there were significantly more self-publishers than the last time. This also suggests vibrancy, and indicates that with increasing access to technology and the practitioners who use the technology, more authors are moving forward without a traditional publishing house. The pros and cons of this are an entirely different matter from the subject of this post.

This post is to tell you what happened with the children’s books, and I’m very pleased to say that I’ve highlighted these books before on my blog as being delightful, significant etc.

So here it is:

Best Children’s Chapter Book went to Carlong Publishers, Bernie and the Captain’s Ghost by Hazel D. Campbell
Best Children’s Picture Book went to Jackmandora for Little Lion Goes for Gold by Kellie Magnus

Of course, even for awards to the publisher we know that the authors first have to write a good story, so for me it is a joint award.

For the first time BIAJ had a Readers’ Choice Awards for the writers (as different from the publishers), whereby readers voted for one of the books submitted for this category.
The winners were:
Best Children’s Picture Book: Kellie Magnus for Little Lion Goes for Gold
Best Children’s Chapter Book: Billy Elm for Delroy in the Marog Kingdom, Macmillan Caribbean

Adult Creative Writing: to LMH for Inner City Girl, by Colleen Smith-Dennis

This last book is interesting as it was entered as an adult book, which it can be. I think of it as a young adult novel; however perhaps the publishers wisely entered it in the adult category in the absence of a young adult category. Will there be a young adult category in the future? Who knows? The BIAJ introduced a number of new categories this time, and one has to be mindful of the ability to cope with numerous categories. So ‘big up’ for BIAJ and ‘big up’ for the publishers and writers!

No, for those who are asking, I did not have any books entered this time around.

Today we had readings by prize-winning authors, but that’s another blog.

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