The Queen's Knickers Award to celebrate ‘quirky’ illustrated kids' books

The Society of Authors is accepting entries to the inaugural round of a new award, celebrating the writers and illustrators of ‘quirky’ illustrated books for children ages 0-7.

The Queen’s Knickers Award has been created by author / illustrator Nicholas Allan, named after his own book, and will aim to ‘recognise books that strike a quirky, new note and grab the attention of a child, whether in the form of curiosity, amusement, horror or excitement’.

At the 2020 Society of Authors’ Awards ceremony, the inaugural winner will receive £5,000, as well as a golden Queen's Knickers badge, as depicted in Nicholas Allan's original book. The runner-up will receive £1,000 and a silvered badge.

Commenting, Nicholas Allan said:

"I want to encourage authors and illustrators to take more risks and have more fun. The name of the award reflects how I felt when I began writing the book from which the name is taken. I started it purely for fun, without any sense of plot, moral, purpose – in fact, without sense, and maintained it to the end.

"I'd like the award to discover books that feel as if they've been created purely as fun for the author while, simultaneously, seeking astonishment and wonder in the reader. I’d particularly like to think it could go to new authors and illustrators, as well as more established, particularly as the former might be more open to risk, as they have everything to gain and little to lose."

The work may be any combination or words and/or pictures, or just pictures – and in any physical format including, pop-ups, flap books, and board books. The work must have been first published in the UK and Republic of Ireland between 1 September 2018 and 31 August 2019. There is no submission fee.

The Queen’s Knickers Award is open for entries until 15 November 2019, and will be awarded for the first time at the 2020 Society of Authors’ Awards ceremony.