Woke Babies is a monthly subscription service that delivers children’s books centring on Black characters.
The subscription service is partnering with BookTrust, The National Literacy Trust, Black women’s youth charity Milk Honey Bees and World Book Day in celebration of Black authors and illustrators.
Woke Babies will launch its inaugural awards with sponsorship from DK. There will be four categories, including Author of the Year, Illustrator of the Year and Picture Book of the Year. A Special Recognition Award, sponsored by DK, will celebrate a self-published author who will receive a cash prize to support the funding of their next book.
Winners will receive a custom-designed award, and World Book Day will provide the opportunity for the winner of Picture Book of the Year to feature in its Share a Story Corner videos.
Natasha Vignon stated: “It’s an honour to be a part of the first-ever Woke Babies Book Awards, to be a part of this ground-breaking award ceremony for children’s books is incredible.“
Jasmine Richards said: “The Woke Babies Book Awards is a brilliant initiative that spotlights and celebrates the types of stories that I adore to read or create through my production company Storymix. Uplifting, positive pieces of literature that centre children of colour. Woke Babies has always supported Black authors and illustrators, which I believe is crucial to ending the cycle of under-representation within the industry. I am honoured to be on the judging panel.“
Submissions are currently open to publishers. Books must be suitable for readers aged three to six, feature a Black protagonist, be authored or illustrated by a Black creative, and not contain historical or social themes, such as allusions to slavery or racism.
Among the judging panel will be author Trish Cooke, Rykesha Hudson, co-ordinator at BookTrust, Natasha Vignon, children’s book researcher at Woke Babies and Elorine Grant, art director at HarperCollins, Marvyn Harrison, founder of Dope Black Dads, Ken Wilson-Max publisher at AlannaMax and HarperCollins, Liz Pemberton, director of the Black Nursery Manager and Jasmine Richards, director of Storymix.
Titles that are submitted should have been first published from 1st January 2021 to 31st December 2021. The deadline for entries is 11th February. Publishers will be notified by 21st February if their book has been shortlisted, and contacted by 15th April if their title has won a category.
The winners will be announced on 5th May via Woke Babies Instagram Live Reel
Visit Woke Babies to cast your vote!