CWIG Reading for Pleasure Award

“When I visit a school I can tell if they have a great librarian long before I walk into the library. You can feel it in the enthusiasm the young people have for reading, see it on the walls in posters and certificates, and you can sense the buzz leaking out from that magical space.”

Dawn Finch

Reading is the core skill that opens up all aspects of education and we believe that reading for pleasure is the best way to build reading skills.

Every term day, children’s authors visit schools up and down the country. Sometimes we are so inspired by the work a particular school is doing that we want to give them a pat on the back and let them know that we appreciate what they are doing.

The Society’s Children’s Writers and Illustrator’s Group decided upon a simple way for members to express their joy when we come across schools and individuals who are a little bit special, and who are dedicated to promoting a love of reading.

The award, which is given immediately after authors send details, comes with window transfers, a letter and a certificate (English and Welsh – where applicable) to put in the reception or the library to let everyone know that all the hard work and dedication of the school did not go unnoticed.

“You can always tell a school where books are valued. The displays, the art, posters, competitions and incentives are one thing. But what really tells is the children. They hold books, embrace them, talk about them, make them, illustrate and write them. They know books are special….”

James Mayhew

As a group of children’s writers and illustrators we visit thousands of schools and see a wide range of approaches to teaching literacy and encouraging reading. We all meet staff who are doing exceptional work, so we have developed an immediate way for individual authors to honour a school that has impressed them with their promotion of reading for pleasure, with a CWIG Reading for Pleasure Award.

Your award shouldn’t just be for a great visit or if you were given a wonderful lunch! If you visit lots of schools, you will know when you have come across a school that is doing that little bit more – maintaining the library at all costs, making strong links with the community library, encouraging peer-to-peer recommendations, working with reluctant readers, running book clubs or reading groups and putting on mini-festivals or literary and illustrative activities that go beyond the remit of the curriculum.

Join us in rewarding those schools that go the extra mile in encouraging children to read for pleasure.

FAQs for authors

How many awards can I give?

CWIG members can honour, via the SoA, schools with 3 awards from now until 13 August 2022.

You must have visited the school, either virtually or in person, over September 2021-July 2022.

Schools can receive more than one award from different authors.

Awards can be given to any nursery, primary, secondary or special schools throughout the world that an author has visited (either virtually or in person) during the 2021/22 school year. 

Members can reward schools with an award in whatever combination they like e.g. one primary, two secondaries.

Welsh schools will receive certificates in English and Welsh.

Who is the scheme open to?

SoA members only.

When do I submit details?

This scheme operates on a rolling basis, so members can reward schools in whatever order or timing that suits. You could spontaneously gift your award immediately after your visit when you feel really inspired; or leave your decision to the end of a term or the school year. We would prefer early nominations to sustain interest in the award throughout the year.

This year’s deadline is 13 August 2022.

How do I nominate?

You will need to send us contact details along with a citation (no more than 150 words) detailing why you are presenting an award. An optional paragraph of why the school deserves the award and images would be appreciated for publicity purposes. Please complete this form.

Press and publicity

We will let you know when we have sent the school their certificate by circulating details of your award on our social media platforms – so be be sure to include your Twitter handle. 

Do encourage your school to make the most of their achievement by downloading the award logo for this year to use on their official letters, newsletters and any publicity materials, including a sample press release they can send to local press. Do send a quote directly!

When tweeting about the award, please use #CWIGAward #readingforpleasure, tag @Soc_of_Authors and mention the school, librarian, staff or headteacher. If the award is given around an annual event or local festival you may like to mention that too, e.g. World Book Day, National Libraries Week etc. You can also download a flyer to send to schools.

Sample tweets:

I’ve given @school @librarian/teacher a @Soc_of_Authors #CWIGAward for their work inspiring #readingforpleasure.

Congratulations to @secondaryschool @librarian/teacher for their @Soc_of_Authors #CWIGAward for their amazing promotion of #readingforpleasure

I awarded @secondaryschool @librarian/teacher a @Soc_of_Authors #CWIGAward for developing #R4P. Congratulations, you are an inspiration!

“A stand-out school is one with: book-loving messages on classroom doors or posters; where the head teacher is talking about the value of reading for pleasure; where a variety of adults are reflecting the librarian’s enthusiasm; and where kids themselves are freely discussing books and using the library, happily, voluntarily and unselfconsciously.”

Nicola Morgan

The CWIG Reading for Pleasure Award was founded to allow individual authors to give thanks and appreciation to schools and librarians that have made impressive efforts to promote reading for pleasure. Your vital work helps improve reading, writing and research skills as well as vocabulary and the ability to access reference materials.

If you have received an award, read on to find out how best to promote your achievement and download the flyer to find out more.

FAQs for schools

Photo: Ashbridge Independent School and Nursery, nominated by author Rhona Whiteford (©)

Who is the scheme open to?

Awards can be given to any nursery, primary, secondary or special school throughout the world. Schools can receive more than one award from different authors.

How are submissions made?

Authors have to belong to the Society of Authors and must have visited the school over the 2020/21 school year (September to July) – either virtually or in person.

Members can present awards in whatever combination they like e.g. one primary, two secondaries on a rolling basis. You may receive an award immediately after the author’s visit or find that the author has waited until the end of a term or the school year. This year’s deadline is 13 August 2021.

If you are a Welsh school you will receive Welsh and English certificates.

Do I need to do anything?

Yes! We’d really like to help you celebrate the award and promote your school and your achievement, so we encourage you to do some of the following:

  • Display the certificate, letter and publicity materials with staff and pupils and send us a picture! Download a logo below for 2019/20 or here for 2018/19 and use it on all your publicity materials – newsletters, official letters and press releases (If you need a format other than PNG, let us know)
  • Email a short quote of what the award means to you and, if relevant, send us a picture of your school library or any displays related to reading for pleasure. Remember to include a credit – see below for more.
  • Contact your local press. This is an opportunity to make more of your recent author visit and to promote yourselves, your school and the love of reading for pleasure to the wider community. The author who has commended you will be very happy to have their citation quoted. Download a sample press release (and don’t forget to adapt it to fit your school).
  • Tweet! Please use #CWIGAward #readingforpleasure and mention @Soc_of_Authors and the author in any tweets. If the award is given around an annual event or local literary festival you may like to mention that, e.g. National Libraries Week, World Book Day etc. Other hashtags include #reading4pleasure, #reading, #lovetoread and #lovereading. Here are some sample tweets:

Calling all parents and pupils! We’ve won a @Soc_of_Authors #CWIGAward from @authorname for our work on #readingforpleasure

Whoop! Whoop! We’ve won a @Soc_of_Authors #CWIGAward from @authorname for our work inspiring #readingforpleasure


We would love you to send us images to use for the project, but any images you send us must be high resolution and fully rights cleared – that means:

  • You must warrant that permission has been given by the subject(s), or their parent/guardian.
  • You must attach permission from the copyright owner to use the pictures on the understanding that you are granting non-exclusive rights for the SoA to use them on a non-commercial basis. This might include (but is not limited to), the right to use them in our printed and online publicity, social media, press releases and funding applications.

Please let us have the photographer’s name so that we can give an appropriate credit whenever the photo is used.

For any further questions, please email

Photo above right © Helena Pielichaty

Resources for schools

The school clearly recognised the value of something popular and non-‘literary’ like ‘Doctor Who’ in engaging reluctant readers. Help with the visit on the day, and promotion beforehand, was invaluable. The children’s interest was very keen and genuine. 50 enthusiastic students, chosen from across the ability range, were actively involved in imaginative writing on the day. Many were very eager to share their work, and I had dozens of interested questions and a big queue for the book-signing at the end of the day. 

Daniel Blythe on Holmfirth High, Yorkshire  

2020/2021 Awards

Primary Schools

Campton Lower School, Shefford, Lou Treleaven (November 2020)
Ryhope Junior School, Tyne and Wear, Em Lynas (December 2020)
Collège Français Bilingue de Londres, London, Timothy Adès (January 2021) 
Weaverham Forest Primary School, Catherine Cooper (January 2021)
School 21, Dan Freedman (January 2021)
Werrington Primary School, Kathy Tallentire (January 2021)
Dervaig Primary School, Dervaig, Isle of Mull, Barbara Henderson (March 2021)
Egremont Primary School, Wallasey, Isabel Thomas (March 2021)
Tunstall C of E Primary School, Sittingbourne, Isabel Thomas (March 2021)
Parkfield Community School, Birmingham, Maisie Chan (March 2021)
Springwell Park Community Primary School, Jemma Hatt (June 2021)
Sarisbury Primary School, Shelagh Moore (July 2021)

Junior and Secondary Schools

Cornelius Vermuyden, Essex, Beatrice Twumasi (October 2020)
St. Andrews and St. Bridges High School, East Kilbride, Elizabeth Wein (April 2021)
Warwick Junior School, Warwick, Chris Bradford (June 2021)

In recognition of the pressures facing authors during the pandemic, we gave a short extension (until 7 December 2020) to members to make retrospective awards for the 2019/20 academic year. We are delighted to announce that awards went to Meersbrook Bank School, Sheffield, Kathryn White (March 2019) and Bourne Academy, Bournemouth: Alison Gardiner (December 2019).

2019/2020 Awards

Primary Schools

Ashcott Primary School, Bridgwater:  Mike Brownlow (March 2020)
Badminton School, Bristol: John Harris (March 2020)
Beck Primary School, Sheffield: Sita Brahmachari (September 2019)
Broomhill Primary School, Glasgow: Richard Dikstra (March 2020)
Chestnuts Primary School, London: Jane Porter (March 2020)
Charnwood Primary School, Leicester: Candy Gourlay (February 2020)
Cranham Primary School, Worcestershire: Kevin Brooke (December 2019)
Georgetown Primary School, Dumfries: Alison Page (November 2019)
Great Kingshill Church of England Combined School, High Wycombe: B B Taylor (March 2020)
Green Oaks Primary Academy, Northampton: Sue Nicholson (March 2020)
Hamilton Primary School, Essex: SF Said (November 2019)
Halesowen C of E Primary School, Halesowen: Kevin Brooke (March 2020)
Hestersway Primary School, Cheltenham: Beth Webb (March 2020)
Joseph Cash Primary, Coventry: Nicki Thornton (November 2019)
Littlecoates Primary Academy, Grimsby: Shoo Rayner (March 2020)
Little Green School, Rickmansworth: Sita Brahmachari (November 2019)
Meersbrook Bank School, Sheffield, Kathryn White (March 2019)
Newbold Verdon Primary School, Leicestershire: Shoo Rayner (February 2020)
Parklands Primary School, Leeds: Brian Abram (January 2020)
QEGS Junior School, Wakefield: John Harris (February 2020)
Seely Primary and Nursery School, Nottingham: Janie Hampton (February 2020)
Skyswood Primary, St Albans: Jeanne Willis (March 2020)
St Helen’s Primary School, Huntingdon: Gillian McClure (February 2020)
St Mary’s RC Primary, Manchester: Ross Montgomery (November 2019)
St Peter’s Droitwich C of E Academy, Worcestershire: Kevin Brooke (January 2020)
Stoneyholme Primary School, Burnley: Alan Durant (February 2020)
Thaxted Primary School,  Dunmow: Rosemary Hayes (March 2020)

Junior and Secondary Schools

Cavendish School, Eastbourne: Simon James Green (March 2020)
Cramlington Learning Village, Northumberland: Dan Freedman (February 2020)
Dawlish College, Devon: John Townsend (March 2020)
Freebrough Academy, North Yorkshire: Robin Stevens (November 2019)
Highcliffe School, Christchurch: Julie Ratcliffe (March 2020)
Holmfirth High, Yorkshire: Daniel Blythe (October 2019)
Howden Junior School, East Yorkshire: James Nicol (March 2020)
Larkmead School, Abingdon: Nicki Thornton (October 2019)
Millais School, Horsham: Lauren James (December 2019)
Millbrook Combined School: Meriet Duncan (March 2020)
Outwood Grange Academy, Wakefield: Daniel Blythe (March 2020)
The Bourne Academy, Bournemouth: Alison Gardiner (December 2019) 
Thorp Academy, Gateshead: Dan Freedman (February 2020)
Tollgate Junior School, Eastbourne: Marina Castledine  (December 2019)
Toot Hill School, Nottingham: Simon James Green (February 2020)
Wirral Grammar School for Girls, Wirral: Simon James Green (November 2019)

2018/2019 Awards

Primary Schools

Ashbridge Independent School and Nursery, Lancashire, Rhona Whiteford (March 2019)
Beatrix Potter Primary, London: Josh Lacey (February 2019)
Calthorpe Park School, Hampshire: Julie Sykes (February 2019)
Coastlands County Primary School, Haverfordwest: Jackie Morris (September 2018)
Colinsburgh Primary School, Fife: Richard Dikstra (November 2018)
Donnington Wood C of E Junior School, Donnington: Catherine Cooper (March 2019)
Gallions Primary School, London: Simon Mole (September 2018)
Glebe Primary School, Southwick: Sarah McIntyre (June 2019)
Grasmere C of E Primary School, Grasmere: Jackie Morris (October 2018)
Great Bridge Primary School, West Midlands: Ian Macdonald (February 2019)
Headcorn Primary School, Kent:  Richard Dikstra (March 2019)
Heatherside Junior School, Hampshire: Ally Sherrick (October 2018)
Holy Cross Primary School, Oldham, BB Taylor (February 2019)
Huntingtree Primary School, Halesowen: P.G. Bell (February 2019)
Icknield Infant and Nursery School, Hertfordshire, James Mayhew (May 2019)
Jubilee Park Primary School, Newport: Eloise Williams (March 2019)
Jubilee Park Primary School, Newport: Hilary Robinson (November 2018)
Kaimhill Primary School, Aberdeen: Sheena Blackhall (November 2018)
Kentisbury Primary School, Kentisbury: Claire Barker (October 2018)
Kings Road Primary, Manchester: Dianne Hofmeyr (April 2019)
Kingswood Primary School, Kent, Richard Dikstra (March 2019)
Little Plumstead Church of England Primary School, Norwich, Jennifer Killick (March 2019)
Luncarty Primary School, Luncarty: Barbara Henderson (January 2019)
Manor Primary School, Birkenhead: Jude Lennon (January 2019)
New Hinksey C of E Primary School, Oxford: Janie Hampton (July 2019)
Northumberland Heath Primary School, Kent:  Ian Macdonald (July 2019)
Norwood Infants School, London: Heather Maisner (November 2018)
Paddox Primary School, Rugby:  Jackie Morris (December 2018)
Parkfield Community School, Birmingham: Michaela Morgan  (March 2019)
Ridgefield Primary School, Cambridge:  Pippa Goodhart (June 2019)
Skerton St Luke’s CofE Primary School, Lancaster: Frank English (November 2018)
St Andrew’s CofE Methodist Aided Primary School, Dronfield, Genna Rowbotham (December 2018)
St Ita’s Primary School, Belfast: Paul Howard (March 2019)
St Martin’s School, Northwood, Matt Oldfield, (February 2019)
St Silas CofE, Liverpool: Piers Torday (September 2018)
St Stephen’s Catholic Primary School, Kent, Matt Oldfield (February 2019)
Steam Mills Primary, Gloucestershire, Shoo Rayner (February 2019)
Suckley Primary School, Worcestershire, Kevin Brooke, (March 2019)
Templefield Lower School, Bedfordshire: Lou Treleaven (October 2018)
Trinity First CE VA, Dorset: Michelle Robinson (November 2018)
Walker Road Primary, Aberdeen, Sheena Blackhall (December 2018)
Whipton Barton Federation, Exeter: Beth Webb (October 2018)
Yorkley Primary School, Lydney, Gloucestershire: Andy Seed (June 2019)
Ysgol Caer Drewyn, Corwen, Denbighshire: Steve Skidmore (October 2018)
Zonnebloem Boys Primary School, Cape Town, South Africa: Dianne Hofmeyr (April 2019)

Junior and Secondary Schools

Ansford Academy, Somerset: David Brayley (October 2018)
Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College, Worcestershire: Kevin Brooke (February 2019)
Calthorpe Park School, Fleet, Hants: Ali Sparkes, (December 2018)
Colonel Frank Seely Academy, Nottingham: Daniel Blythe (November 2018)
Didcot Girl’s School, Didcot: Jo Cotterill (February 2019)
Haggerston School, London: Nicola Morgan  (July 2019)
Hinckley Academy and John Cleveland Sixth Form College, Leicestershire: Jo Cotterill (March 2019)
Leeds West Academy, Leeds: Nik Perring (July 2019)
Mary Webb School and Science College, Shrewsbury: Catherine Cooper (April 2019)
Oakfield High School and College, Wigan: Peter Lynas (March 2019)
Pershore High School, Pershore: Kevin Brooke (March 2019)
Ringwood School, Dorset: Ali Sparkes (March 2019)
Saffron Walden County High School, Saffron Walden: Rosemary Hayes (March 2019)
St Peter’s Junior School, Ruddington, Nottinghamshire:  Ali Sparkes (October 2018)
Teign Academy, Devon: Chris d’Lacey (November 2018)
The John Roan School, London: Philip Womack (June 2019)
Ysgol Dyffryn Aman, Ammanford: David Brayley (November 2018)
Ysgol Dinas Brân, Denbighshire: Daniel Whelan (March 2019)

All-Through Schools

The British School, Brussels: Shoo Rayner  (October 2018)
British Embassy School, Ankara, Turkey: Shoo Rayner (March 2019)
Western Academy of Beijing, China:  Steve Skidmore (September 2018)

2017/2018 Awards

Nursery Schools

Sparkles Pre-School, Croydon: Laura Henry (December 2017)

Primary Schools

Bardfield Academy, Basildon: Stewart Ross (January 2018)
Beechwood Park School, Hertfordshire: Jonathan Stroud (July 2018)Blaise Primary, Bristol: Kathryn White (September 2017)
Bourne Abbey CofE, Lincolnshire: Judith Brulo (November 2017)
Brackenfield Preparatory, Harrogate: Vivien Sabel (June 2018)
Captain’s Close Primary, Melton Mowbray: Steve Skidmore (June 2018)
Chadwell St Mary, Grays, Essex: Alan Gibbons (November 2017)
Chestnuts Primary School, London, Karen McCombie (July 2018)
Clifton Green Primary, York: Donna Douglas (November 2017)
Clifton Primary, Hull: Shoo Rayner (April 2018)
Colham Manor Primary, Middlesex: Jennifer Killick (March 2018)
Cordwalles Junior School, Surrey: Ally Sherrick (November 2017)
Elmwood Primary, Chelmsford: Jackie Marchant (November 2017)
Great Chesterford C. of E. Primary Academy, Essex: Linda Newbery (July 2018)

Gwyrosydd Primary, Swansea: Helen Docherty (June 2018)
Gwyrosydd Primary, Swansea: Jay Hulme (June 2018)
Hellingly CEP School, Hailsham: Brian Moses (July 2018)
Heathmere Primary, London: Piers Torday (June 2018)
Little Ealing Primary, London: Isabel Thomas (June 2018)
​​Minchinhampton CofE Primary Academy, Stroud: John Dougherty (July 2018)
Marnel Infant School, Popley: Pippa Goodhart (February 2018)
North Harringay Primary, London: Daniel Whelan (September 2017)
St John’s Primary, Essex: D J Catrell (January 2018)
St Mary’s Catholic Primary, Bicester: Adam Gullain (February 2018)
St Paul’s CofE, Gloucestershire: Shoo Rayner (October 2017)
St Silas CofE Primary, Liverpool: Piers Torday (July 2018)
The Grammar School at Leeds: Vivien Sabel (May 2018)
Weston Favell Primary, Northampton: Adam Guillain (February 2018)
Windwhistle Primary, Somerset: Andy Seed (October 2017)
Wood Farm Primary, Oxford: Charlotte Guillain (January 2018)
Ysgol Clawdd Offa, Prestatyn: Steve Skidmore (February 2018)
Ysgol Esgob Morgan, Denbighshire: Steve Skidmore (September 2017)

Secondary Schools

Bideford College, Devon: Tanya Landman (March 2018)
Calthorpe Park, Hampshire: Julie Sykes (October 2017)
Dame Alice Owens School, Potter’s Bar,  Penny Joelson (July 2018)
Didcot Girls’ School, Didcot: Jo Cotterill (October 2017)
Iceni Academy, Essex: D J Cattrell (April 2018)
Kings Norton Girls’ School, Birmingham: Jo Cotterill (February 2018)
Knights Templar School, Baldock: Miriam Moss (May 2018)
Mary Webb School & Science College, Shrewsbury: Catherine Cooper (May 2018)
Midhurst Rother College, Midhurst, West Sussex: Elisa Marcella Webb (March 2018)
Neston High School, Neston: Candy Gourlay (February 2018)
Patcham High School, Brighton: Dan Freedman (December 2017)
Queen Elizabeth’s Academy, Mansfield, John Simes (July 2018)
Robert Clack, School of Science, Dagenham: Dan Freedman (September 2017)
St Peter’s School, Huntingdon, Penny Joelson (February 2018)
Teign Academy, Devon, Chris d’Lacey (November 2017)
The Bourne Academy, Bournemouth: Daniel Blythe (July 2018)
The Sweyne Park School, Essex: John Townsend (March 2018)
Thorp Academy, Newcastle: Teri Terry (November 2017)
Waycroft Academy, Bristol: Huw Powell (January 2018)
Weaverham High School: Daniel Whelan (March 2018)
Ysgol Eiras, Conwy: Daniel Whelan (March 2018)

All-Through Schools

St Michael’s Catholic SchoolBuckinghamshire: Jennifer Killick (October 2017)