2017 Educational Writers’ Award #EWA17: A HIVE OF INFORMATION! THE BOOK OF BEES Wins the UK’s Only Award for Creative Educational Writing

LONDON, December 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ —

The winner of the 2017 Educational Writers’ Award is THE BOOK OF BEES , written by Wojciech Grajkowski, illustrated by Piotr Socha, and translated into English from the Polish by Agnes Monod-Gayraud.

The Society of Authors (SoA) Logo (PRNewsFoto/The Society of Authors (SoA))

The result of this year’s Award – the UK’s sole award for creative educational writing – was announced this afternoon at the All Party Parliamentary Writers Group (APWG) Winter Reception at the House of Commons. John Whittingdale MP, chair of the APWG presented the winning author and illustrator with a cheque for £2000.

Published by Thames & Hudson, THE BOOK OF BEES is a striking, witty and many-layered hive of a book which tracks bumble bees from the age of the dinosaurs to their current plight, swarming with information along the way about the role bees have played throughout history and in the rest of the natural world. It also answers such buzzing questions as: Who survived being stung by 2443 bees? What does a beekeeper actually do? And how do bees communicate?

This year’s judges – school librarian Marion Le Lannou; London headteacher Mike Reeves; and writer, editor and publisher of books for young people Annemarie Young – were full of praise for the winning title which they described as:

A wonderfully imagined and wittily illustrated compendium of information all about bees their central role in our world, which pitches contrasting elements together in just the way that children love. Full of humour, it takes in the ancient Greeks and Egyptians, entomology, botany, the Bible, design, technology and more, breaking the subject of bees out of its traditional confines. Everything is beautifully explained in detail on a double-page spread for a deeper understanding. Quite magnificent.

Further information about the winning authors can be found in the Editor’s Notes below.

The 2017 Educational Writers’ Award focuses on books for 5-11 year-olds, published in 2015 and 2016.THE BOOK OF BEES beat off strong competition from the five other titles shortlisted for this year’s Award. They were SECRETS OF THE SEA, written by Kate Baker and illustrated by Eleanor Taylor (Big Picture Press/Templar); FLUTTERING MINIBEAST ADVENTURES, written by Jess French and illustrated by Jonathan Woodward, with paper engineering by Keith Finch (Red Shed/Egmont); GENIUS! THE MOST ASTONISHING INVENTIONS OF ALL TIME, written by Deborah Kespert and designed by Karen Wilks (Thames & Hudson); HOW TO CODE IN 10 EASY LESSONS, written by Sean McManus and illustrated by Venitia Dean (QED Publishing/Quarto); and TREE OF WONDER: THE MANY MARVELOUS LIVES OF A RAINFOREST TREE, written by Kate Messner and illustrated by Simona Mulazzani (Chronicle Books).

Now in its tenth year, the Educational Writers’ Award was established in 2008 by the Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS) and the Society of Authors (SoA) to celebrate educational writing that inspires creativity and encourages students to read widely and build up their understanding of a subject beyond the requirements of exam specifications.


About the Winning Author, Illustrator & Translator

Wojciech Grajkowski is a Polish author of text books, and popular science books, as well as a translator of popular science texts for periodicals and for Polish radio.

Piotr Socha is also Polish and the son of a beekeeper! He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts inWarsaw and now works as an illustrator for books, as well as for many newspapers and magazines. He has won an award for his artwork for Polish TV, and is one of Poland’s most popular cartoonists.

Agnes Monod-Gayraud is a writer, editor and translator of children’s books from Polish into English. She is based in Warsaw.

About the 2017 Judges

Marion Le Lannou is a school librarian at the College Français Bilingue de Londres in central London. She has been working with junior students for over 15 years in an international school environment. Marion is an enthusiastic professional, passionate about reading and learning. She is involved in two major British library associations; the Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals (CILIP) and the School Library Association (SLA), and has been an active committee member of the Londongroups of both organisations.

Mike Reeves has taught English in three boys’ comprehensives for 29 years: Southborough School inKingston (1986-1989); Ravens Wood School in Bromley (1990-1991); and Wimbledon College (1991-2005). In 2000 he became Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) at Wimbledon College and six years later left mainstream education to become Assistant Headteacher (Curriculum and Assessment) at Garratt Park, a special school in Wandsworth. He also completed an MSc in Education and an NPQH.  He became Deputy Headteacher of Garratt Park in 2015, and is currently its acting Headteacher.

Annemarie Young is a writer and series editor of non-fiction for older children, and fiction for young readers. She was a publisher for twenty years at Cambridge University Press before turning to writing. Her belief in the power of books to counter the effects of prejudice was the impetus for her and her husband Anthony Robinson’s first non-fiction project, the award-winning Refugee Diaries (Frances Lincoln). Her latest projects include Young Palestinians Speak: Living Under Occupation (Interlink), written with Anthony Robinson, Who are Refugees and Migrants? (shortlisted for the SLA non-fiction award 2017) and What is Humanism?, written with Michael Rosen (Wayland). A third book in the Big Questions series, What is Right and Wrong? Who Decides? Where do Values Come From?  will be published in Spring 2018.

The Society of Authors (SoA)

The Society of Authors is a trade union for all types of writers, illustrators and literary translators, and has been advising individuals and speaking out for the profession for more than a century. The SoA administers many other prizes and grants, including the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award and the Betty Trask Award. It distributed more than £400,000 in prizes and grants in 2015.


Authors Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS)

The Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) is a not-for-profit organisation for the benefit of all types of writers. Owned by its members, ALCS collects money due for secondary uses of writers’ work. It is designed to support authors and their creativity, ensure they receive fair payment, and see their rights are respected. It promotes and teaches the principles of copyright and campaigns for a fair deal. Today we represent around 90,000 members, and since 1977 have paid over £450 million to writers.


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