The Alligator's Mouth Award 

for illustrated early fiction


The Alligator's Mouth Award 2020

Submissions open 23rd Sept, close 8th Nov

direct enquiries to


To enter The Alligator’s Mouth Award 2020 please

download and complete the submission forms below:

The Alligator's Mouth Award 2020

- Submission Guidelines

The Alligator's Mouth Award 2020

- Entry Form

Press Release 8/10/19

Judges announced for The Alligator’s Mouth Award 2020


  • Nick Sharratt and Yasmeen Ismail join the judging panel 


  • Gardners confirmed as an official partner for the children’s book prize


  Returning for a second year, submissions are now open for The Alligator’s Mouth Award 2020 for highly illustrated fiction. Nick Sharratt, who won the 2019 award for Nice Work for the Cat and the King (Alison Green Books, Scholastic Children’s Books), will be returning this year as a judge.


  Joining Nick Sharratt on the judging panel will be: author and illustrator, Yasmeen Ismail; founder of the Bath Festival of Children’s Literature, John McLay; teacher, Richard Charlesworth; co-owners of The Alligator’s Mouth, Margaret Wallace-Jones and Tony West; and Arabella Stein, Director at The Bright Agency.


  Nick Sharratt commented: ‘Young illustrated children's fiction deserves to be recognised as a hugely important area of children's publishing: an essential stepping stone between picture books and longer fiction. I was delighted when The Alligator's Mouth created its award spotlighting books designed specifically for children beginning to read by themselves, and thrilled to be the winner of the inaugural prize. It's now my huge pleasure to be one of the judges for next year's award, which will celebrate the very best books of 2020, for readers aged six to eight.’


  Yasmeen Ismail commented: ‘Awards like this are so important to champion writers and illustrators that may get overlooked in a crowded market. And when you can direct kids to different and exciting new stories from writers they may not have heard of, you are opening doors for them. BIG, EXCITING DOORS! I am honoured to have been selected as a judge and I can’t wait to get reading.’ 


  The Alligator’s Mouth Children’s Bookshop and The Bright Agency launched the children’s book prize last year to champion authors and artists of illustrated early fiction. Book wholesalers Gardners, who offered independent bookshops a discount on the longlisted titles last year, will be continuing their support of the award by joining as an official partner. 


  Gardners said: 'Gardners is delighted to once again be an official partner of the Alligators Mouth Award. The judging line up this year features some stellar names and we are really excited to see the fantastic titles that will no doubt be featured.'


  The award is open to books published in the UK from the last year for readers aged 6-8. To enter the awards, publishers are invited to submit highly illustrated children’s books which have been published between 1st October 2018 and 30th September 2019. Submissions close on 8th November 2019. The longlist will be announced in March 2020. The winner of the prize will receive The Alligator’s Mouth Award trophy. 


For further details please visit:



About The Alligators Mouth Children’s Bookshop


  The Alligator’s Mouth is an independent bookshop in Richmond-on-Thames. Our mission is to connect children with the best and most exciting books - and encourage children to become lifelong readers.


About The Bright Agency


  The Bright Agency is a collective of specialist agents, working across all areas of children’s publishing and representing the best in global talent. Dedicated to discovering, developing and promoting exceptional creative talent in children’s publishing.

About Gardners Books

  Gardners Books is a leading international wholesaler of books, eBooks, music and film to retailers around the world. Gardners enthusiastically supported the inaugural Alligator's Mouth Award and this year joins us as an official partner.

Please direct enquiries to


logo designed by Benji Davies

Please direct enquiries to​


The 2019 Shortlist

WINNER 2019:

Nice Work for

The Cat and the King

by Nick Sharratt

Alison Green Books

The Judging Panel

Nick Sharratt


Yasmeen Ismail


John McLay

author, founder of Bath Festival of Children's Literature

Richard Charlesworth


Arabella Stein

director of The Bright Agency

Margaret Wallace-Jones

co-director of The Alligator's Mouth

Tony West

co-director of The Alligator's Mouth

The Alligator's Mouth

2a Church Court, Richmond TW9 1JL

Email: Tel: 02089486775

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