Information for Publishers

2020-21 figures

Our process

We are inviting publishers to make a submission to the 2021-22 Spark! School Book Award in any or all of our four award categories:

  • Ages 3-5: picture fiction

  • Ages 6-11: picture fiction

  • Ages 7-9: fiction

  • Ages 9-11: fiction

If you are having trouble determining whether a title falls into the picture fiction or fiction category, we consider the picture fiction categories to contain books where the text and illustrations are integrated and compliment one another, such as in picture books or graphic novels. The fiction categories are for titles that would work without the illustrations, i.e. they are more literal and only show what is currently happening in the text.


  • Titles should have been published or due to be published between 01 October 2020 and 30 September 2021. We will not accept resubmissions.

  • Each publisher may only submit one title per imprint in each category.

  • Titles should be written by authors who reside in the United Kingdom.

  • Shortlisted authors and/or illustrators must commit to submitting a short video to the awards and attending two virtual Q&A events (am/pm) in the spring with our schools and pupils. Details will be circulated following the shortlist announcement. A fee of £250 will be provided for this. We hope authors will also wish to attend our online ceremony.

  • Titles submitted should be paperback (or hardback with a RRP of £12.99 at most).

  • Submissions must be received by 15 October 2021.

Last year we helped to provide 4,500 copies of the shortlisted books to local schools and pupils (in the initial two weeks after we revealed our shortlist alone), with undoubtedly more being organised later and through other channels. Our shortlisting criteria is set our on our awards page.

Authors/illustrators will be invited to engage with our schools during the period January to May, through pre-recorded messages and must attend at least one online curated visit to groups of schools (we understand that this will be charged at Society of Authors’ rates). We also hope they will wish to be involved in terms of reaching a wider audience in our boroughs and the ensuing positive publicity for each shortlisted book. There is the potential for further visits and school bookings, where possible.

The winners will be chosen by the children of participating schools from a shortlist selected by our teachers, booksellers, librarians and other professionals working with children in our schools. All shortlisted authors will also be invited to our award ceremony in July when the winners will be announced, alongside the pupil's who have won the competitions for the best and most creative responses to the shortlisted books. A special trophy will be awarded to each winner.

Our plan is that the process will raise awareness and broaden understanding amongst local teachers, pupils and families of the great number of new and exciting books that are published each year for children and we hope you want to be involved.

Amanda Douglas

"It has made so many of them respond to books in a way that I haven't seen before from creating websites to writing their very own books. Many of those children who had part of a series within their shortlist have also asked to have more books from that series bought in. They have absolutely LOVED having new books that are inspiring and interesting to read rather than the normal diet they would self-choose, and it helped the teachers feel more confident in exploring new authors."


Make a submission

Please send four copies of your proposed book(s) in physical form to:

Spark! Book Awards,

Coombe Hill Junior School,

Coombe Lane West,

New Malden,

Kingston upon Thames,

KT2 7DD.

If possible, we would also appreciate an electronic version, which can be submitted to us at

Titles must be received by 15 October 2021. Please make sure you indicate the category you would like to enter each book into, either in the package itself or via email at the same address as listed above.

The final shortlisted books will be announced and promoted on social media, our website and in schools, libraries and local bookshops between January and July 2022, when the winners will be announced.