The laureates of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award are appointed by a jury with knowledge of international children’s and young adult literature, reading promotion and children’s rights. The twelve-member expert jury includes reseahers, authors, illustrators, librarians and critics. One of the members represents Astrid Lindgren’s family.
The jury members are appointed for a four-year period at a time by the board of the Swedish Arts Council. Each member can be a part o f the jury up to twele years to ecure continuity and integrity.
The jury calls for nominations
The jury invites organisations from all over the world to nominate candidates in January. These nominating bodies must have a good knowledge of authors, illustrators, oral storytellers and reading promoters in their countries or regions. The jury can also nominate candidates. No groups nor individuals can nominate themselves.
Selecting a laureate
The list of approved nominated candidates is presented in October at Frankfurt Book Fair and the new laureate is announced at a press conference immediately after the last jury meeting in March. The hard work for the jury is to read the works of all the candidates and information on them. They meet eight times a year for discussions and exhange of views and ideas.
Larry Lempert, jury member and former Chairman of the jury, emphasizes the importance of the nominating bodies:
– I cannot enough stress the importance of the nominating bodies. The award office is in contact with more than 400 nominators all over the world through which the jury gets information on the enormous literary treasure that exists globally. They keep us informed on writing and reading worldwide, they are our eyes and ears in children’s libraries. They also give us insight into the tremendous work undertaken by reading promoters in different parts of the world right now.