Big congratulations to Gaylene Gould, winner of Commonword’s inaugural Children’s Diversity Writing Prize, run in association with Puffin Books and RCW Literary Agency.  Such a worthy winner, chosen from a very strong shortlist that included Clare Weze, George Kirk and Jude Ensaff- all names to watch out for!

Gaylene triumphed from a close-run short list comprising:

Georgina Kirk, for Sarah’s Sari

Clare Weze, for The House of Ash

Gaylene Gould, for The Sacrifice

Jude Ensaff for, One of a Kind

The Commonword Children’s Diversity Writing Prize welcomed submissions from unpublished children’s authors whose writing embraced ethnic diversity either through their own ethnicity and culture and/or in their writing. In a fun ceremony as part of the Manchester Children’s Book Festival, the winner Gaylene Gould received a £500 cash prize, presented to her by celebrity CBBC presenter, Cerrie Burnell,  and £100 worth of Puffin books of the winner’s choice.

Commonword’s Artistic Director, Pete Kalu said:

“Children’s publishing in the UK has not yet managed to reflect the diverse nation that we have become.  This prize ceremony has uncovered and encouraged a substantial number of talented, diverse, as-yet unpublished writers.  It is a marvellous conclusion to a year-long programme of writing activity to boost the numbers of people from diverse backgrounds writing children’s books. The high quality of the entries we received and the number of writers who have come forward to engage with our diversity children’s writing programme augurs  well. We look forward to discovering more great writing talent when we run the competition again next year.”