If The World Were 100 People wins the 2023 ALCS Educational Writers’ Award

McCann and Aaron Cushley win the UK’s only award for creative educational writing 

LONDON, Feb. 22, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS) and the Society of Authors (SoA) are delighted to announce the winners of the 2023 ALCS Educational Writers’ Award, the UK’s only award for educational writing that inspires creativity, encourages students to read widely and builds up their understanding of a subject beyond the requirements of exam specifications.

If The World Were 100 People helps children to better understand the world they live in by imagining the world was condensed to a small village of 100 people and explaining what this global village would look like.

Jackie McCann and Aaron Cushley were presented the 2023 Educational Writers’ Award, along with a prize of £2,000, at the ALCS Annual Awards ceremony held at the Goldsmiths’ Centre in London on 22 February.

ALCS Chief Executive Barbara Hayes said: “Good educational writing not only imparts knowledge to the reader, but also inspires a curiosity to go and learn more about the world. The five books shortlisted are all fantastic examples of this and it was fascinating to hear about the wide range of topics covered. Congratulations to our winners Jackie and Aaron!”

The other shortlisted books for readers ages 5-11 encouraged young readers to think about the role of art in historical social movements; learn about themselves through genetics; find out about the plastic crisis and what can be done; and answered their questions about racism.

This year’s judges were award-winning author Atinuke, primary school teacher Imogen Thomas, and critic, author and children’s book consultant Jake Hope.

Atinuke said: “This book is absolutely stunning. The idea is original. The facts provoke thought and discussion in everyone aged 5 to 95 (without the book being remotely preachy). And the presentation is fun and clear. This is one of those books that seems simple – but is profound. A joy of a book!”

Imogen Thomas said: “Shortlisting and ultimately deciding on a winner was far from an easy process but this incredible little picture book jumped out from the moment I saw it and was never far from my thoughts throughout the whole process. Jackie McCann has taken an immensely huge and very adult subject, ‘global citizenship’ and turned it into an easy to read, original and accessible picture book that can be enjoyed by a wide range of readers. What a stunning little book that I can’t wait to share with the teachers and students in my school. ‘If the World Were 100 People’ is a worthy winner!”

Jake Hope said: “Opening the best books enables us to have our minds opened to other ways of thinking, being and leading our lives. If the World Were 100 People encourages readers to grapple with complex and sophisticated ideas as wide-ranging as population, language, resources and genetics. It’s an impressive book which uses a clever mathematical conceit of reducing the world’s population to 100 people to help make each of its topics relatable and engaging.  In an age when there has been much focus on fractures in society, a book that unites and explores our common and shared experience is incredibly inspiring.”

#ALCSAwards #EWA23


Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS)

ALCS is a not-for-profit organisation started by writers 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 for writers. It represents over 120,000 members, and since 1977 has paid over £650million to writers.


Society of Authors (SoA)

The Society of Authors is the UK trade union for all types of writers, illustrators and literary translators, at all stages of their careers. They have more than 11,500 members and have been advising individuals and speaking out for the profession for more than a century. In 2023 they gave out just over £1M in grants and prizes. In all, the Society of Authors administers twenty-one prizes, including the ALCS Educational Writers’ Award and the Sunday Times Charlotte Aitken Young Writer of the Year Award.


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