‘Inspirational’ Sussex children’s author given top honour

Raymond Briggs received the BookTrust Lifetime Achievement Award.� photograph by David Sandison SUS-171002-134559001
Raymond Briggs received the BookTrust Lifetime Achievement Award.� photograph by David Sandison SUS-171002-134559001
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Children’s author Raymond Briggs has been honoured with a lifetime achievement award by the BookTrust.

The East Sussex author and illustrator, whose work include Fungus the Bogeyman and Christmas classic The Snowman, is only the third person to ever receive the award.

Childrens Laureate Chris Riddell, who was taught illustration by Raymond Briggs at Brighton Polytechnic, created a piece to mark the lifetime award. SUS-171002-134707001

Childrens Laureate Chris Riddell, who was taught illustration by Raymond Briggs at Brighton Polytechnic, created a piece to mark the lifetime award. SUS-171002-134707001

Mr Briggs, who lives in Westmeston, accepted the prize from Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell at a presentation in London yesterday (Thursday, February 9).

He said: “It’s lovely to be given an award for all my life achievements. Drawing, telling stories and sharing these adventures is something I’ve always been passionate about.

“Being awarded the BookTrust Lifetime Achievement Award is an incredible honour and I’m so glad I’ve been able to make such an impression on people.”

The BookTrust award, which celebrates those who have made an outstanding contribution to children’s literature, was set up in 2015.

Raymond Briggs at yesterday's award ceremony � photograph by David Sandison SUS-171002-134544001

Raymond Briggs at yesterday's award ceremony � photograph by David Sandison SUS-171002-134544001

The first winner was Shirley Hughes, author of Dogger and the Alfie series, whilst Judith Kerr was awarded the accolade in 2016.

He was chosen for this year’s award by a panel of six judges, including the Labour Peer Shami Chakrabarti and Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell, who was taught illustration by Raymond Briggs at Brighton Polytechnic.

In a piece created to mark the award (pictured), the Children’s Laureate said Mr Briggs was an ‘inspirational’ teacher.

Speaking about the artist’s work, judge Shami Chakrabarti said: “Raymond is a true artistic genius who has touched the hearts of millions of children of all ages.

“They say that a picture is worth a thousand words and his particular style of illustration is unmistakable, as are his understated and poignant words of narrative and dialogue.

“His talent expresses his values and with his choice and treatment of subjects, he brings our history and contemporary challenges to life.”

Other members of the panel included the writer Nicolette Jones, author and illustrator Cressida Cowell, poet John Agard and the BookTrust’s CEO Diana Gerald.

Ms Gerald said: “It is truly an honour to be presenting our third Lifetime Achievement Award to someone with such captivating and inspiring work.

“Raymond continues to have such a widespread impact on both children and adults and the award is so very well deserved.”

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