LONDON, Dec. 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The winner of the 2019 Educational Writers' Award is Alastair Humphreys' GREAT ADVENTURERS: The Incredible Expeditions of 20 Explorers.
Written by adventurer and author Alastair Humphreys and illustrated by Kevin Ward, this is an enthralling and visually captivating book containing the remarkable stories of the intrepid journeys undertaken by Humphreys' explorer heroes.
The result of this year's Educational Writers' Award - the UK's only award for creative educational writing - was announced this evening at a reception at the Authors' Licensing & Collecting Society in London.
Children's author and Chair of ALCS, Tony Bradman presented Alastair Humphreys and Kevin Ward with a shared cheque for £2,000.
Published by Big Picture Press, Alastair Humphreys' GREAT ADVENTURERS: The Incredible Expeditions of 20 Explorers is a compendium of great expeditions, hand-picked by Alastair Humphreys, whose own adventures include cycling the world and rowing the Atlantic Ocean. It retells the extraordinary stories of 20 men and women who have ventured into space, and across oceans, continents, deserts and jungles - inspiring Alastair's own adventurous travels. They include Amelia Earhart, Apsley Cherry-Garrard, Dervla Murphy, Ibn Battuta and Sacagawea.
This year's judges – Hollie Davis, a primary school teacher; Michaela Morgan, a prolific author of fiction, non-fiction and poetry for children; and Fiona Shufflebotham, a junior school librarian – were full of praise for the winning title: Intertwining Alastair Humphreys' own experiences with those of his explorer heroes, this book has something for everyone. The thoughtfully chosen range of adventurers stretches across history, ages and genders which means that any child can pick this book up and find at least one person they can relate to or feel excited about. A particular charm of the book is the authorial voice, full of excitement and humour. Even the dedication which reads "…a book full of madcap adventurers, daft exploits, dubious career paths…" provides a breath of fresh air.
Full marks to illustrator Kevin Ward and to the design and editing team too who have also adventured, explored, and succeeded beautifully. A book to inspire future adventurers as well as inform children across the age range in an exciting, original and accessible way.
Further information about the winning author and illustrator can be found below. The 2019 Educational Writers' Award focused on books for 5-11-year-olds, published in 2017 and 2018. Alastair Humphreys' GREAT ADVENTURERS beat off strong competition from the five other titles shortlisted for this year's Award. They were: A HISTORY OF PICTURES FOR CHILDREN, written by David Hockney & Martin Gayford and illustrated by Rose Blake (Thames & Hudson); ALL BIRDS HAVE ANXIETY, written by Kathy Hoopman and designed by Adam Peacock (Jessica Kingsley); SUFFRAGETTES AND THE FIGHT FOR THE VOTE, written by Sarah Ridley and designed and illustrated by Jeni Child (Franklin Watts); MR SHAHA'S RECIPES FOR WONDER, written by Alom Shaha and illustrated by Emily Robertson (Scribble); and 2019 NATURE MONTH-BY-MONTH: A CHILDREN'S ALMANAC, written by Anna Wilson and illustrated by Elly Jahnz (Nosy Crow).
Now in its twelfth year, the Educational Writers' Award was established in 2008 by the Authors' Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS) and the Society of Authors (SoA) "to celebrate educational writing that inspires creativity and encourages students to read widely and build up their understanding of a subject beyond the requirements of exam specifications".
3 December 2019
About the Winning Author & Illustrator
A modern-day adventurer, Alastair Humphreys was named as National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 2012 after spending four years cycling round the world, a journey of 46,000 miles through 60 countries and five continents. Sir Ranulph Fiennes called it 'the first great adventure of the millennium'. He has also walked across India, rowed across the Atlantic Ocean, run six marathons through the Sahara Desert, and crossed Iceland by foot and packraft. Alastair has recently become the pioneer of 'microadventures', a movement encouraging people to seek out short, local adventures.
Kevin Ward is a Canadian illustrator, writer and educator living in Madrid. Kevin's work mixes hand-drawn & digital processes: he has created editorial illustrations, comics, books, animation, story games and is drawn to curious histories and travel. He studied literature and creative writing in Montreal and visual communication in London, and subsequently worked as a graphics tutor in the fine art department of Goldsmiths College, London for thirteen years. He has run workshops with the Architecture Foundation, De La Warr Pavilion, YMCA, ELCAF, Alternative Press Fair and others and now tutors on Falmouth University's online Illustration MA.
About the 2019 Judges
Hollie Davis has worked with children across both KS1 and KS2 after studying at the University of Reading. Now a primary school Team Leader, she is currently working with Years 2, 4 and 6.
Michaela Morgan has written over 200 fiction, non-fiction and poetry books. She also regularly visits schools, speaks at conferences and runs story writing and poetry workshops both at home and overseas.
Fiona Shufflebotham has worked in children's books and literacy support for 20 years, the last three as Junior School Librarian at Wimbledon High School for Girls in South West London.
The Society of Authors (SoA)
The Society of Authors is a trade union for all types of writers, illustrators and literary translators, and has been advising individuals and speaking out for the profession for more than a century. The SoA supports and runs many other prizes for poetry, short stories, fiction and non-fiction, and in addition to the ALCS Educational Writers' Award also administers the Sunday Times/University of Warwick Young Writer of the Year Award. The SoA distributed more than £600,000 in prizes and grants in 2019.
The Authors' Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS)
The Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) is a not-for-profit organisation for the benefit of all types of writers. Owned by its members, ALCS collects money due for secondary uses of writers' work. It is designed to support authors and their creativity, ensure they receive fair payment, and see their rights are respected. It promotes and teaches the principles of copyright and campaigns for a fair deal. Today ALCS represents over 100,000 members, and since 1977 has paid out more than £500 million to writers.