The first Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Children's Book Award has been won by Cristy Burne (above left, with Commended author Ruth Patterson) for her story Takeshita Demons . Created in memory of Frances Lincoln - whom Julia Eccleshare described in the TES as 'the publisher best known for pioneering multicultural books for children' - the award is given to the best manuscript for eight to 12-year-olds that 'celebrates diversity in the widest possible sense'. It is worth £1,500, along with the option for Janetta Otter-Barry at Frances Lincoln Children's Books to publish the novel. Kate Edwards of Seven Stories, where the award was presented, said, 'The Diverse Voices Children's Book Award has been an invaluable experience for Seven Stories...We believe the publication of Takeshita Demons will help to improve the range and richness of stories available for children to read.'
Takeshita Demons is an adventure story about a Japanese schoolgirl who confronts the demons from her grandmother's tales. On accepting the award Burne said, 'This award is a tremendous opportunity for writers to showcase and share voices and stories from all over the world. I am thrilled that Miku and her adventures have met with such a great response and I can't wait to share her with a wider audience.' The Gift by Gemma Birss received a Highly Commended, The Ever-changing Mum by Ruth Patterson a Commended, and The Queen of Sheba's Feet by Clare Reddaway a Special Mention. The panel of judges were Chair of The Equality and Human Rights Commision Trevor Phillips, former TES books editor Geraldine Brennan, co-founder of Seven Stories Mary Briggs, Children's Librarian for Lancashire Libraries Jake Hope, and Janetta Otter-Barry.
Frances Lincoln is on the shortlist for the Diversity Award at the British Book Industry Awards ().