ALCS Educational Writers’ Award 2023 shortlist

The shortlist for the UK’s only award for creative educational writing features five outstanding books for readers aged 5 – 11.

We are delighted to announce the shortlist for the 2023 ALCS Educational Writers’ Award. The award was established in 2008 by ALCS and the Society of Authors to celebrate educational writing that inspires creativity, encourages students to read widely and builds up their understanding of a subject beyond the requirements of exam specifications.

The winner of the 2023 ALCS Educational Writers’ Award will be announced at a reception at the Goldsmiths’ Centre in London on 22 February 2024. The winning author and illustrator/designer will share a prize of £2,000.

This year’s judges are award-winning author Atinuke, primary school teacher Imogen Thomas, and critic, author and children’s book consultant Jake Hope. The judges described the shortlisted works as “beautiful and mind-expanding” and praised their “transformative power to bring people together”.

The shortlist

Art of Protest

Author: De Nichols

Illustrators: Theo Dagadita, Olivia Twist, Raul Oprea, Molly Mendoza, Diego Becas

Publisher: Templar (Bonnier Books UK)

From Keith Haring to Extinction Rebellion, the civil rights movement to Black Lives Matter, what does a revolution look like? With an emphasis on design, Art of Protest analyses artworks from historical movements to understand how colour, symbolism, technique, typography and much more play an important role in communication.


If The World Were 100 People

Author: Jackie McCann

Illustrator: Aaron Cushley

Publisher: Red Shed

There are more than 8 billion humans living on Earth, but it’s difficult for us to picture so many people. To help put things in perspective, the book imagines the whole planet is a village where 100 people live – each person representing around 80 million people in the real world. What does this global village of 100 people look like?


You Are 25% Banana

Author: Susie Brooks

Illustrator: Josy Bloggs

Publisher: Red Shed

This humorous introduction to genetics aimed at children aged 5 years and over explains how we are made and how we relate to every living thing on the planet. The book brims with thought provoking facts such as: a grain of rice has more genes than you, we’re related to dogs, dung beetles and even daffodils, and that we share 99.9% of our genes with chimpanzees!


See Inside Why Plastic Is a Problem

Author: Matthew Oldham, Lizzie Cope

Illustrator: Spencer Wilson

Publisher: Usborne Publishing

This vividly illustrated book is packed with flaps that explain how plastic is made, what’s bad (and sometimes good) about different types of plastic, and the many ways it can harm our rivers, oceans and wildlife. There are lots of ideas for cutting down on your own reliance on plastic, too. The book was created with expert input from Plastic Oceans UK, a leading campaign and education group on the problem of plastic.


Lift-the-flap Questions and Answers about Racism

Author: Jordan Akpojaro

Illustrator: Ashley Evans

Publisher: Usborne Publishing

From ‘What’s wrong with the idea of ‘race’? and ‘Why is life harder for people with darker skin?’ to ‘Don’t ALL lives matter?’ and ‘What’s racism got to do with me?’ this book tackles powerful, pertinent questions in a direct, accessible and thought-provoking way. Discover why racism is everyone’s problem to solve, and how we can all be part of the solution.

Find out more about the ALCS Awards at ALCS | ALCS Annual Awards