Carnegie Medal
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Award Criteria

70 Years Celebration


The Carnegie Medal
Award Criteria

The CILIP Carnegie Medal is awarded annually for the writing of an outstanding book for children and young people.


The book must be written in the English language (either as an original work in English or a first English translation of a foreign-language work) and specifically published for children and young people.

The book may be co-authored; however, multiple author anthologies are excluded.

The book must have received its first publication in the United Kingdom or have had co-publication elsewhere within a three month time lapse. In the case of e-books and short stories or poetry previously published in a magazine or elsewhere, the point of publication should be considered as the date when the work is published as a whole. At least 75% of the complete work must be original material published for the first time within the specified time frame.

All categories of books including poetry, non-fiction and graphic novels, in print or ebook format, for children and young people are eligible

Books by previous Carnegie medal winners are eligible


The book that wins the Carnegie Medal should be a book of outstanding literary quality. The whole work should provide pleasure, not merely from the surface enjoyment of a good read, but also the deeper subconscious satisfaction of having gone through a vicarious, but at the time of reading, a real experience that is retained afterwards.

All criteria will not necessarily be relevant to every title nominated. Where appropriate, consider and assess the following:


Is the style or styles appropriate to the subject and theme?

How successfully has the author created mood, and how appropriate is it to the theme?

Do dialogue and narrative work effectively together?

How effective is the author's use of literary techniques and conventions?

How effective is the author's use of language in conveying setting, atmosphere, characters, action etc.?

Where rhyme or rhythm are used, is their use accomplished and imaginative?

Where factual information is presented, is this accurate and clear?

The plot:

Is it well-constructed?

Does the author appear in control of the plot, making definite and positive decisions about the direction events take and the conclusions they reach?

Do events happen, not necessarily logically, but acceptably within the limits set by the theme?

Is the final resolution of the plot credible in relation to the rest of the book?


Are the characters believable and convincing?

Are they well-rounded, and do they develop during the course of the book?

Do they interact with each other convincingly?

Are the characters' behaviour and patterns of speech consistent with their known background and environment?

Do they act consistently in character throughout the book?

How effectively are the characters revealed through narration, dialogue, action, inner dialogue and through the thoughts, reactions and responses of others?