The FAB Prize

Faber is an award-winning, independent publisher of high-quality picture books, fiction, middle-grade, young adult, non-fiction and poetry. Our books support teachers, libraries and book clubs with relevant, inclusive and necessary stories that are edited and illustrated responsibly, and in which all children feel represented and important. Our aim is to develop empathy, character and confidence, allied to a long love of reading for the journey of a lifetime! 

That is what Growing up with Faber means. Our authors include Emma CarrollNatasha FarrantJason ReynoldsSwapna HaddowKieran Larwood and Kacen Callender. Founded in 1929, our first catalogue included Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, on which the Cats musical is based, and The Iron Man. It said ‘It is by reading such books that children learn the difference between the shoddy and the genuine.’ We still believe reading has the power to change children’s lives.

In 2017, Faber created the FAB Prize to help discover new writers and illustrators of colour. This prize is the first of its kind in the UK and our alumni have gone on to release amazing books that are rich in culture and colour. 

Every child deserves to see themselves in books, and in the authors and illustrators whose work they read. The FAB Prize aims to discover and showcase new talent, closing the gap between what is currently published and the reality for many families.

The Prize is judged by Faber’s Publisher Leah Thaxton, Curtis Brown Agent Davinia Andrew-Lynch, Faber Children’s Art Director Emma Eldridge and Faber Children’s Assistant Editor/FAB Website Editor Ama Badu.

The FAB Prize is proud to be supported by BookTrust and the AOI who both offer opportunities to our FAB Prize entrants.

If you’d like to read more about children’s books and diversity, we recommend the BookTrust Represents research as well as the CLPE Reflecting Realities Survey.

‘We’d love to see a range of styles within the art submissions: gorgeous new characters for toddlers; clever, humorous, emotive storytelling for older readers; strong, design-led approaches for covers . . . For the text entries, we hope to see animal series, humour, fantasy adventure, modern romance, poetry, verse novels – we are open to pretty much anything . . . Please do surprise us!

– Leah Thaxton

Meet the Judges

Leah Thaxton

Leah Thaxton is the Children’s Publisher at Faber, in charge of a list that reaches from picture books to Young Adult. She is also a published author under the pen name Katie Blackburn, including the bestselling Where the Wild Mums Are and Dozy Bear and the Secret of Sleep.

I’d like to see this prize associated first and foremost with quality not diversity, identifying writers with exceptional voices, who will go on to advocate and influence the politics of publishing, and illustrators who will themselves influence publishing decisions because they are every bit as powerful as the authors they illustrate! In celebrating our diversity and humanity, let’s come out of our safe personal spaces and engage in a much wider wonderful world.

Davinia Andrew-Lynch

Davinia Andrew-Lynch is a Literary Agent and the founder of boutique literary agency Andlyn. She’s always on the lookout for big, bold and heartfelt narratives across all genres but ultimately she aims to encourage, nurture and champion authors to tell the authentic stories they want to tell.

It’s been a genuine joy watching how the prize has developed each year, and seeing how some of our unearthed talent has gone on to forge a career in the industry. Working with Leah and the rest of the Faber Children’s team has been a pleasure. I cannot wait to see who we discover next!

Emma Eldridge

Emma Eldridge is Children’s Art Director at Faber. She is responsible for the look of the books inside and out. She is always on the hunt for design inspiration and illustrators she’d like to collaborate with.

This is the prize that you enter to become a household name for writing or illustrating children’s books.

Ama Badu

Ama Badu is the Assistant Editor and FAB Website Editor at Faber Children’s. In her time there, Ama has championed bold, brave books and rebranded the FAB platform into a hub that showcases the work of exceptional creatives who are underrepresented within the publishing industry. Ama is also the voice of Shudu, the world’s first virtual model, and is currently working on building her platform through narrative and storytelling. 

It’s been such a beautiful experience watching the FAB Prize grow over the years and seeing the shifts in the industry since its launch. We’ve encountered amazing creatives at the beginning of their careers and marvelled as their stories took on wings of their own.

How to enter
What you win

Entries Open 19th April 2024

Deadline 11:59pm on Friday 28th June 2024

Shortlistees Informed 27th September 2024

FAB Prize Ceremony and Winner Announcement November 2024