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Karl Nova shortlisted for prestigious children’s poetry award

We are delighted that Karl Nova’s debut novel, which we published, has been shortlisted for the CLiPPA 2018!

See the official announcement below:


“The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) is delighted to announce the 2018 shortlist for the CLiPPA (Centre
for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award). Established in 2003, the CLiPPA encourages and celebrates outstanding poetry
published for children. This year sees the largest ever number of poetry book submissions following a bumper year for
eligible poetry.

The 2018 shortlist celebrates and highlights the diversity of voices in the UK poetry scene. From debut collections Sue
Hardy-Dawson’s Where Do Zebras Go and Karl Nova’s Rhythm and Poetry, to the legendary John Agard’s The Rainmaker
Danced. From books already receiving recognition – Sarah Crossan’s Moonrise and Joseph Coelho’s Overheard in a Tower
Block – to the Rising Stars collection celebrating under-represented voices publishing their poems for the first time. The
shortlist is evenly split between 3 previous winners and 3 debut collections, with 3 out of the 6 shortlisted books coming
from independent publisher Otter-Barry Books.

Louise Johns-Shepherd, Chief Executive, CLPE said “CLiPPA is leading an essential movement to build on the current
huge popularity of poetry and the growing poetry market to ensure that poetry for children is acknowledged as an
essential part of this landscape. The shortlist recognises not just great children’s poets but great poets full stop. We
want as many people as possible to know about these wonderful works and CLiPPA, the Shadowing Scheme and the
resources we produce all come together to make sure that they receive the high profile they deserve.”
This year has seen an increase in submissions of almost 70%, from 19 books from 9 publishers in 2017 to 32 books from
19 publishers in 2018.

The full shortlist is:

  • John Agard: The Rainmaker Danced, illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura, Hodder – witty and satirical poems that
    focus on social observations, play with myths and traditional tales and reflect on the nature of humanity.
  • Ruth Awolola, Victoria Adukwei Bulley, Abigail Cook, Jay Hulme, Amina Jama: Rising Stars, Otter-Barry Books,
    illustrated by Riya Chowdhury, Elanor Chuah and Joe Manners – a showcase for five fresh and exciting emerging
  • Joseph Coelho: Overheard in a Tower Block, illustrated by Kate Milner, Otter-Barry Books – a powerful
    collection, offering glimpses into the challenges of a boy’s life, ingeniously threaded through with fantasy, story,
    myth and magic.
  • Sarah Crossan: Moonrise, Bloomsbury – a moving verse novel for young adults, seen from the viewpoint of a
    young man whose brother is on death row.
  • Sue Hardy-Dawson: Where Zebras Go, Otter-Barry Books – a first solo collection uniting a variety of voices with
    a wide range of poetic forms.
  • Karl Nova: Rhythm and Poetry, illustrated by Joseph Witchall, Caboodle Books – the first published collection
    from a Hip Hop poet, demonstrating the currency and significance of rap as a form, especially for young people.


Grace Nichols, Poet, winner of the first ever CLiPPA and Chair of the CLiPPA 2018 Judges commented: “The judging
process involved passionate discussions about which books to shortlist, leading us to come up with a variety of fresh
new voices joined by established ones. This shortlist showcases a vibrant selection of poetry books that children willlove
to explore“


The judging panel is chaired by much loved poet and CLiPPA 2003 winner, Grace Nichols along with Kate Wakeling, poet
and CLiPPA 2017 winner for Moon Juice, Imogen Lycett Green, Director of the Betjeman Prize for Young Poets, Charlotte
Hacking, CLPE Learning Programme Leader and Anthony Anaxagorou, poet, poetry educator and founder of Out-Spoken

The winner of the 2018 Award will be announced on 22nd June in the Olivier Theatre at the National Theatre in London.
This will be the 4th year that CLPE has partnered with the National Theatre to deliver the Poetry Show which will include
performances from children participating in the Shadowing Scheme and the shortlisted poets. The winner of the Award
will receive £1000. Former Children’s Laureate, Chris Riddell, will live draw the Award Ceremony.

The free Shadowing Scheme to involve schools in the Poetry Award 2018 is also launched today. This has run for 3
years, reaching more than 600 teachers and 14,000 children. To support schools to take poetry into the classroom,
videos of poets performing from the shortlisted books and talking about their work and high quality teaching resources,
are available free of charge to all schools Shadowing schools are invited to apply for free
tickets to attend the Award Ceremony.

New for 2018, CLPE will be partnering with ALCS (Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society) to educate teachers and
children about copyright and about the rights of writers. The Siobhan Dowd Trust will also be supporting the Shadowing
Scheme by helping CLPE to provide free copies of the shortlisted books to selected shadowing schools.
For further information please visit or contact / 020 7401 3382

Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE)

CLPE is an independent UK charity working to raise the literacy achievement of children by putting quality children’s
literature at the heart of all learning. CLiPPA, the CLPE Children’s Poetry Award, was developed to ensure that children’s
poetry has a recognised place within children’s literature. For free poetry resources including films of poets performing
visit For further information about CLPE please visit The full list of
previous winners is available at

Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS)

ALCS provides a unique service for all types of author. ALCS collect money for authors that can’t be administered on an
individual basis, from all over the world, from a wide variety of sources and pay it to them. ALCS campaigns for the rights
of authors and provides a collective voice for the wide variety of individuals that make up their membership. They
educate about the principles of copyright and intellectual property and their importance to authors to the general
public. ALCS currently has over 95,000 writer members and, since its inception in 1977, has paid over £450million to the
nation’s writers

National Theatre

The National Theatre is dedicated to making the very best theatre and sharing it with as many people as possible. They
produce productions on the South Bank in London each year, ranging from re-imagined classics to modern masterpieces
and new work by contemporary writers and theatre-makers. The National’s work is seen on tour throughout the UK, in
London’s West End, internationally (including on Broadway) and in collaborations and co-productions with theatres
across the country.

The Siobhan Dowd Trust

The Siobhan Dowd Trust works to give young people the opportunity to access and enjoy books. It is the money earned
through UK and International book royalties and other income from Siobhan’s work that allows the trust to support
deserving projects. Find out more at & on Twitter @sdowdtrust”


We have our fingers crossed for Karl and his ‘Rhythm and Poetry’ book!


Karl Nova