Georgian nominees shortlisted for major literary award

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award celebrates the legacy of late Swedish author known for her books for children and young readers. Photo by Stefan Tell., 18 Nov 2015 - 14:58, Tbilisi,Georgia

Three Georgian nominees are in contention for the largest international award for children and young adult literature next year, with both individual authors and a book organisation selected for the shortlist of candidates from around the world.

The 2016 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) will celebrate one or more laureates and their work for promoting and developing literature for young readers, awarding the winners a cash prize of $760,000.

The shortlist of 215 candidates from 59 countries was announced at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October and included three Georgian nominees: authors Natalie Davitashvili and Tea Topuria as well as the Tbilisi-based Book Art Centre who worked to promote book design and illustration.

ALMA jury chair Boel Westin announced the shortlist for the 2016 award at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October. Photo by Stefan Tell.

The jury now has the hard but very pleasant and rewarding job of finding one or more laureates for 2016. We have meetings once a month and between meetings we read piles of books and documents,” jury chair Boel Westin announced while revealing the shortlist.

The two Georgian authors have published a number of works from 2010-2015, with Davitashvili receiving the 2011 GALA prize in Georgia for the Best Children’s Book and Topuria being the 2012 laureate of the same prize.

The award organisers said 15 judges "with broad expertise in international children’s and young adult literature, reading promotion and children’s rights” would be working to choose one or more laureates of the prize, with the announcement of the winners due in Stockholm and Bologna on April 5 next year.

The ALMA is awarded annually to individuals and groups involved in literature, with authors, illustrators and promoters all eligible for nomination.

Established by the Swedish government in 2002 to celebrate the legacy of internationally celebrated late Swedish author Astrid Lindgren, the award is administered by the Swedish Arts Council and is one of the three literary awards related to Lindgren’s name.

See the full shortlist of candidates on the official ALMA website here.