LONDON, December 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
2012 Judges describe winner as: "One of the finest children's non-fiction books for many years".
The winner of the 2012 ALCS Educational Writers' Award is Terezín: A Story of the Holocaust by Ruth Thomson.
The result of this year's Award was announced this afternoon by Ed Vaizey MP, Minister for Culture, Communications and the Creative Industries, on behalf of the Authors' Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS) and The Society of Authors at the All Party Writers Group (APWG) Winter Reception at the House of Commons. Ed Vaizey presented winner Ruth Thomson with a cheque for £2000, and commented:
My congratulations to the winner of the Educational Writers' Award, Ruth Thomson, and indeed to all the shortlisted authors on their outstanding writing for young people. I'm very pleased to support this ALCS & Society of Authors award which celebrates inspiring educational writing and encourages a spirit of enquiry in young people.
The 2012 Award focused on books for 11-18 year olds, published in 2010 and 2011. Terezín beat off strong competition from the other three titles shortlisted for this year's Award. They were: Really Really Big Questions About Faith, written by Dr Julian Baggini and illustrated by Nishant Choksi (Kingfisher); The Story of Britain, written by Patrick Dillon and illustrated by PJ Lynch (Walker); and Into the Unknown: How Great Explorers Found Their Way By Land, Sea and Air, written by Stewart Ross and illustrated by Stephen Biesty.
Terezín: A Story of the Holocaust, published by Franklin Watts is an outstanding reference book for children of 11+, which tells the story of the Terezín/Theresienstadt fortified ghetto in occupied Czechoslovakia during the Second World War, where the Nazis imprisoned thousands of Jews, and from where they subsequently sent many to their deaths. Copiously illustrated, the book features first-hand accounts of life in the town, as well as many moving works of art from some of the artists who were incarcerated there.
This year's judges - writer and former publisher, Simon Adams, secondary school modern languages teacher, Louise Trevelyan, and school librarian, Jenny Berggren - were unanimous in their praise for the winning title, describing it as:
A quietly impressive and unforgettable book which shows exactly what good non-fiction writing should be about. Striking images from Terezín are powerfully combined with first-hand accounts from those who lived there, to tell a remarkable and harrowing story few us knew much about before. By investigating life inside one camp, the author lays bare the horrors faced by everyone caught up in the Holocaust. This is an exemplary winner, which packsa massive emotional punch. We'd go as far as to call this one of the finest children's non-fiction books for many years.
The author of Terezín, Ruth Thomson is an educational writer who specialises in art and history. She has written titles and art packs for the National Gallery, the Tate Galleries and the Imperial War Museum, and her history books include a series about Victorian childhood, and books about the Plains Indians and the Aztecs.
Her interest in Terezín was sparked during research for an educational pack on Holocaust art for the London Gallery of Jewish Art. The gallery owns a powerful series of prints by Leo Haas, one of the artists featured in Terezín, and Ruth found herself compelled to find out more about the place that had inspired them.
The Educational Writers' Award was established in 2008 by ALCS and The Society of Authors "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". Previous winners of the Award include Bill Bryson, Ian Gilbert, and one of this year's shortlisted authors, Stewart Ross.
About the Judges
Simon Adams was born in Bristol and studied at London and Bristol universities. He worked as a managing editor of children's reference books before becoming a full-time writer. He has written and contributed to more than 70 books on subjects as varied as the history of exploration and the sinking of the Titanic, to the World Wars, and the history of jazz. He lives in London and is an avid reader and devourer of music of all types.
After completing a BA in Literature, Jenny Bergrenn came to England from Sweden in 1998. She worked for Waterstone's for several years, and wrote reviews for magazine, Waterstone's Books Quarterly. In 2005 she became school librarian at Mossbourne Community Academy. As well as her 'regular' library duties she is involved in literacy initiatives for different year groups and also leads book groups and homework clubs.
Louise Trevelyan lives in West London with her husband, a primary school teacher, and their three children aged 14, 10 and 4. She trained as a secondary school teacher at Oxford University, having completed a degree in French and English literature at Liverpool University. She has taught French and Spanish in West London for the past 16 years and recently headed an outreach project promoting foreign languages in primary schools.
The Society of Authors
The Society of Authors has been serving the interests of professional writers for more than a century. Today it has more than 9,000 members (from novelists to doctors, textbook writers to ghost writers, broadcasters to academics, illustrators to translators) writing in all areas of the profession. Services include the confidential, individual vetting of contracts, and help with professional disputes. In addition, the Society holds meetings and seminars, publishes a quarterly journal, The Author, and maintains a database of members' specialisations. It administers a wide range of prizes, as well as the Authors' Foundation, which is one of the very few bodies making grants to help with work in progress for established writers. For further information, contact email@example.com or see http://www.societyofauthors.org
The Authors' Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS)
ALCS collects fees on behalf of the whole spectrum of UK writers: novelists, film & TV script writers; literary prize winners; poets; freelance journalists; translators and adaptors, as well as thousands of professional and academic writers who include nurses, lawyers, teachers, scientists and college lecturers. All writers are eligible to join ALCS: further details on membership can be found at http://www.alcs.co.uk. ALCS collects fees that are difficult, time-consuming or legally impossible for writers and their representatives to claim on an individual basis: money that is nonetheless due to them. Fees collected are distributed to writers twice a year in February and August. Since its inception, ALCS has distributed over £280 million to the nation's writers. For further information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or see http://www.alcs.co.uk
The All Party Parliamentary Writers Group (APWG)
The APWG is a forum for Parliamentarians in Westminster to consider and discuss matters of importance to writers. As a focal point for authors' interests, with its links to UK writer organisations, APWG is well placed to draw attention to the current issues facing writers amongst an audience of decision-makers in Westminster and beyond. The chairman is John Whittingdale MP.
SOURCE The Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS)