LONDON, Dec. 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The winner of the 2020 ALCS Educational Writers' Award is Black History Matters: The Story of Black History, From African Kingdoms to Black Lives Matter.
Written by acclaimed Black historian, Robin Walker, the 2020 judges praised this accessible, comprehensive and inspiring book which provides a timely introduction both to Black history and the Black Lives Matter movement.
The result of this year's ALCS Educational Writers' Award – the UK's only award for creative educational writing – is announced this evening by Tony Bradman at a virtual awards ceremony hosted by the Authors' Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS). Robin Walker receives prize money of £2,000.
Published by Franklin Watts, Black History Matters aims to provide young people with a comprehensive resource throughout Black History Month and beyond. It chronicles thousands of years of Black history, from African kingdoms, to slavery, apartheid, the battle for civil rights and more. Important and inspiring Black personalities, from Olaudah Equiano to Oprah Winfrey, are highlighted throughout, while achievements and progress are balanced alongside a look at the issues that continue to plague Black communities.
This year's judges – children's author, Bali Rai; school librarian, Liz Annetts; and secondary school teacher, Charlotte Baggley– were full of praise for the winning title:
"This accessible, comprehensive and inspiring book provides a balanced and timely introduction, both to Black history and to the BLM (Black Lives Matter) movement. It's an excellent classroom resource that will be used time and time again by teachers."
Runner-up for the 2020 ALCS Educational Writers' Award is How to Be Autistic, written and illustrated by Charlotte Amelia Poe, and published by Myriad Editions. The judges praised this highly personal account of autism, mental illness, gender and sexual identity as: "araw, honest and potentially life-changing personal story which fills a gap in the resources currently available, and illustrates how far we still need to travel in order to understand and support those with autism."
Further information about the winning author can be found below. The 2020 ALCS Educational Writers' Award focused on books for 11–18-year-olds, published in 2018 and 2019. Black History Matters beat off strong competition from the four other titles shortlisted for this year's award. They were:
AFRICA, AMAZING AFRICA: COUNTRY BY COUNTRY, written by Atinuke and illustrated by Mouni Feddag (Walker Books) EARTH HEROES: 20 INSPIRING STORIES OF PEOPLE SAVING OUR WORLD, written by Lily Dyu and illustrated by Jackie Lay (Nosy Crow) HERSTORY: 50 WOMEN AND GIRLS WHO SHOOK THE WORLD, written by Katherine Halligan and illustrated by Sarah Walsh (Nosy Crow) HOW TO BE AUTISTIC, written and illustrated by Charlotte Amelia Poe (Myriad Editions)
The ALCS Educational Writers' Award was established in 2008 by 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."
About the winning author
Robin Walker, also known as The Black History Man, is one of the UK's most pre-eminent African scholars. Born in London, Walker read Economics at LSE, and later African World Studies. Since 1992, Robin has lectured in adult education and has authored and co-authored 13 books including renowned titles such as Everyday Life in a West Africa Empire about the Songhai Empire of West Africa. Perhaps his most notable and critically acclaimed work is When We Ruled, which has been hailed as the single most advanced historical synthesis on the history of Africa and its people to date. It established Robin as a leading authority on African Studies in the English-speaking world.
About the 2020 judges
Charlotte Baggley teaches English at Little Heath School in Tilehurst, Berkshire. She has been a secondary school teacher for 11 years, working in a variety of schools with a wide range of students, abilities, personalities and needs. She feels passionately that reading is something that can unite us all and that we all have an imagination and thirst for knowledge.
Bali Rai has written over 40 novels about teenagers and children. Born in Leicester, his writing is inspired by his working-class, multicultural background, and he is a passionate advocate of libraries, reading for pleasure and promoting literacy. With nearly 20 years of experience working with young people across the UK and further afield, he has also been nominated for and won numerous awards since 2001.
Liz Annetts is a school librarian at one of the 25 Girls' Day School Trust (GDST) schools. She has worked in libraries in the education sector for over 40 years and is passionate about promoting books and reading to young people, helping them to become independent learners. Reading stories to Reception pupils and helping Sixth Formers with their EPQs (Extended Project Qualification) are just two areas of her day job.
Society of Authors (SoA) societyofauthors.org
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. Last year the SoA distributed more than £600,000 in prizes and grants.
Authors' Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS) alcs.co.uk
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 110,000 members, and since 1977 it has paid out more than £500 million to writers.