We are thrilled to share that The Week Junior Book Awards are back for 2024 to again celebrate the brilliant world of children’s books and the talented people who create them. These awards honour the authors, illustrators and publishers who inspire children to read for pleasure. The emphasis is on original ideas, outstanding illustration and smart storytelling, as well as new and diverse talent, and this year they have added brand new categories, making it 14 in total.

The five new categories, include Graphic Novel, Poetry, Wellbeing, Hobbies & Interests and Animals & Nature to "reflect the interests of today’s young readers, providing fresh opportunities for publishers to showcase their most innovative and engaging titles”.

The awards were first launched in 2023, to rapturous applause, check out the 2023 winners here.

The awards also feature a Children’s Choice Award, which The Week Junior’s readers will vote on. 

The full list of 2024 categories are:

● Children’s Book of the Year: Younger Fiction (5–9 year-olds)

● Children’s Book of the Year: Older Fiction (9–12 year-olds)

● Children’s Book of the Year: Non-Fiction

● Children’s Picture Book of the Year

● Children’s Book of the Year: Graphic Novel

● Children’s Book of the Year: Breakthrough

● Children’s Book of the Year: STEM in association with TWJ Science + Nature 

● Children’s Book of the Year: Wellbeing

● Children’s Book of the Year: Hobbies & Interests

● Children’s Book of the Year: Animals & Nature

● Children’s Audiobook of the Year

● Children’s Book of the Year: Poetry

● Children’s Book Cover of the Year (voted for by The Week Junior readers)

● Children’s Choice (also voted for by The Week Junior readers)

This year the awards are partnering with WHSmith.

“With WHSmith’s extensive network of outlets across the UK, including high-street stores and an established online platform, we are excited to provide increased opportunities for the shortlisted and winning titles to reach consumers,” organisers said. 

LoveReading4Kids is delighted to be involved with the Awards again for 2024 as their social value partner. Anna Bassi commented:  "Their strong social purpose aligns perfectly with our brand values and they are always an absolute pleasure to work with."

Speaking at last year’s ceremony, author of The Week Junior Book Award-winning title, Tyger, SF Said told the audience, “Reading for pleasure is life-changing. Kids who read for pleasure do better in every way than kids who don’t ... I really do believe children's books are the most important books of all. They do change lives. So the existence of something like The Week Junior Book Awards is phenomenal.”

This year’s judges include Children’s Laureate Joseph Coelho, BBC “Newsround” presenter Ricky Boleto and award-winning author and illustrator Nadia Shireen. The full judging panel will be announced later this month.

Anna Bassi, Editorial Director of The Week Junior, added: "I am thrilled to be bringing The Week Junior Book Awards back for a second year. Our mission remains steadfast: to recognise the incredible talent within the children’s publishing industry and to inspire children to discover the joy of reading. With new categories and an exciting retail partnership, I am excited to build on last year’s success and continue championing exceptional books that capture the imaginations of young readers."

The deadline for entries is 27th March and the shortlist will be announced on 18th June. All shortlisted authors, illustrators and publishers will be invited to a drinks reception and award ceremony taking place after The Bookseller Children’s Conference at County Hall, London on 30th September 2024. 

The following month, The Week Junior Book Festival will take place at the Barbican in London on 29th October, during half term. With an anticipated turnout of 1,000 children, organisers said “attendees can expect an engaging range of activities, from captivating storytelling to interactive workshops, all designed to ignite a passion for reading”.  

Entries for The Week Junior Book Awards are now open and interested publishers should visit theweekjuniorbookawards.co.uk