Faber announces the opening of the 2024 FAB Prize for undiscovered writers and illustrators of colour. The prize is now open to receive text and artwork entries from picture book to young adult. Launched in 2017 and the first of its kind in the UK, the FAB Prize highlights new talent from underrepresented backgrounds, closing the gap between what is currently published and the reality for many families.
FAB prize entries will be judged by Faber’s Publisher Leah Thaxton, Curtis Brown Literary Agent and co-
founder Davinia Andrew-Lynch, Faber Art Director Emma Eldridge and Faber Assistant Editor Ama Badu. This year’s guest judges include award-winning Times journalist Lucy Bannerman and BookTok influencer, John-Paul Kunrunmi (@jpreads6).

Lucy Bannerman is an award-winning journalist at The Times, who has been chasing stories for the past 20 years. She has reported from 24 countries around the world, covering everything from the funeral of Nelson Mandela to the Eurovision Song Contest in Azerbaijan. She is a regular contributor to The Times magazine, Times Radio and the Stories of Our Times podcast. As The Times’ children’s book critic, the best part of her working week is sifting through the hundreds of stories and picture books that arrive in the mail room every week – from the fantastical and magical to the comical and historical – to find the one that will become ‘The Times children’s book of the week.’ It is the only weekly review space dedicated to children’s literature in the mainstream press. She was Young Journalist of the Year 2006 but is older now.

John-Paul Kunrunmi (aka jpreads6 on TikTok) is a Black Book enthusiast with a particular love for literary fiction, thrillers, and romance. He sets out to put more black and queer reads from authors around the world on people’s bookshelves and brings to their attention authors that mainstream media may not always pay attention to. He plans to continue to encourage everyone to diversify their bookshelves and enjoy stories from perspectives that they may have never considered before.

Alumni of the FAB Prize include many bestselling and award-winning authors and illustrators such as Tọlá
Okogwu, Rashmi Sirdeshpande, Kereen Getten, Ngadi Smart, Aisha Bushby, Varsha Shah, Michael Mann,
Akhran Girmay and Hannah Lee. More than 150 books have now been published or acquired by publishers from FAB alumni. Most recently, Faber published There’s a Tiger on the Train by debut author and FAB Prize winner Mariesa Dulak. Beautifully illustrated by Rebecca Cobb, the picture book was an Indie bestseller for the first three weeks of publication.

Leah Thaxton, Publisher says: ‘The FAB Prize has become a glittering event in the publishing calendar – we feel so proud of our brilliant alumni.’

Ama Badu, Assistant Editor says: ‘Seeing this prize grow is such an inspiration. I can’t wait to welcome the next generation of talented creatives into the industry.’

First prize winners each receive a cash prize of £1,500, a place on the Faber Academy writing course (Text), a one-year membership to the AOI (Illustration) and the opportunity to shadow already established authors and illustrators on virtual school visits thanks to the support of BookTrust. All shortlistees will see their work included in a bespoke booklet that Faber sends out to agents in the industry.