The 2020 Queen’s Knickers Award – children’s illustrators in lockdown

2020 is the inaugural year of the Queen’s Knickers Award, founded by children’s author Nicholas Allan and based on the book of the same name. Find out more about this award for an original children’s illustrated book, to discuss the shortlist and what it’s like being an illustrator in lockdown.

Paula Johnson, the SoA’s Head of Prizes and Awards, talked to Alexis Deacon, Dawn Finch and Nicholas Allan.

Broadcast live by the Society of Authors during Week Nine of the SoA @ Home Festival, on 17 June 2020.

Nicholas Allan
After studying life painting at The Slade School of Art and an MA in Creative Writing at UEA, Nicholas worked as a waiter whilst publishing short stories and exhibiting paintings. He created his first picture book in 1989 and became a full time author/illustrator from then. Many of his books are international and national bestsellers, including Jesus’ Christmas Party, Picasso’s Trousers, Where Willy Went, The Queen’s Knickers, and Father Christmas Needs A Wee. His book Hilltop Hospital, was adapted for television and won a BAFTA award and has sold to over 40 countries.


Alexis Deacon
Alexis Deacon is a writer and illustrator of children’s books. He has twice been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal and is a two-time recipient of The New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books Award.

Dawn Finch – Chair of the SoA’s Children’s Writers and Illustrators Group

Dawn Finch has worked with children’s books and reading for over 30 years. She began her career in public libraries before moving on to children’s and school libraries where she specialised in the development and support of young readers.
Website: Twitter: @dawnafinch