The Swedish Arts Council has appointed four new members of the jury for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. The new chairman from July 1 is Boel Westin, who has been Professor of Literature at Stockholm University since 1998, with a special focus on literature for children and young adults. She is Chief Editor of A History of Swedish Children´s Literature which is due to be published next year and internationally well-known for her biography on Tove Jansson.
– It’s an honour and an interesting task that I’m really looking forward to, says Boel Westin. The award has an important place in international children’s literature and it will be exciting to discuss all the nominees with my new colleagues.
The other new jury members are author and illustrator Anna Höglund, author Katarina Kieri and political science graduate Johan Palmberg, who represents Astrid Lindgren’s family. Previous chairman Larry Lempert will remain on the jury as an ordinary member for one year, while the others have been appointed for a period of four years.
Anna Höglund and Katarina Kieri have both won multiple awards for their books. Anna Höglund, who illustrates other people’s books as well as her own, most recently won the Snowball award for best Swedish picture book for Om detta talar man endast med kaniner (You only talk about this with rabbits) and has previously received prizes including the German Children’s Literature Award, the August Prize and the Elsa Beskow Plaque.
Katarina Kieri has published novels, poetry collections and ten books for children and young adults. Her awards include the August Prize, Tidningen Vi’s Literature Prize and the Astrid Lindgren Prize. Her latest children’s book Månkan och jag har en hemlighet (Månkan and I have a secret), which came out earlier this year, is a co-operation with illustrator Emma Virke.
Johan Palmberg recently moved back to Sweden after a year in London and, like his predecessor Annika Lindgren, works at Saltkråkan AB on copyright issues concerning the works of Astrid Lindgren.
– The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award has a jury whose expertise is both broad and deep, comments Staffan Forssell, Director General of the Swedish Arts Council. Like their predecessors, the new members possess both knowledge and integrity, while the fact that Larry Lempert is staying on brings continuity to the work of the jury.
The new jury members replace Mats Berggren, Ulf Boëthius, Ulla Rhedin and Annika Lindgren. The new jury will meet for the first time in August and will announce the nominees for the 2015 award at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October.
The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) is the world's largest award for children's and young adult literature. The award, which amounts to SEK 5 million, is given annually to a single laureate or to several. Authors, illustrators, oral storytellers and reading promoters are eligible. The award is designed to promote interest in children's and young adult literature. The UN convention of rights of the child is the foundation of our work. An expert jury selects the laureate(s) from candidates nominated by institutions and organisations all over the world. The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award was founded by the Swedish government in 2002 and is administrated by the Swedish Arts Council.