Dutch Zilveren Griffel award

A Dutch enthusiast for Rosemary Sutcliff, Anita Meulstee, tells me that in 1971 Rosemary won the Zilveren Griffel – The Silver Pencil – which together with the Golden Pencil award is one of the major literary prizes for Dutch Children’s  and Young Adult literature. Each year in the Week of Childrens’ Books the CPNB (in Dutch the  Collectieve Propaganda van het Nederlandse Boek, which encourages the habits of book buying and book reading) awards the Pencilsfor the best books published in the previous year. From 1954 to 1965 there was only one book awarded, the Children’s Book of the Year for a book by a Dutch writer; from 1966 to 1970 there were two books awarded – one Children’s Book of the Year and a Young Adult Book of the Year, but still only for Dutch writers.

In 1971 there came several awards: the Books of the Year became the Golden Pencil, and several Silver Pencils for best translated books and other notable Dutch books. In addition, there is a Gold Brush (since 1973) and Silver Brushes (since 1981) for the best illustrated children’s books. Between 1997 and 2008 there was the Gold Kiss and Silver Kisses, for the best YA books.

Author: Anthony Lawton

Chair, Sussex Dolphin, family company which looks after the work of eminent children’s & historical fiction author Rosemary Sutcliff (1920-92). Formerly CEO, chair & trustee of various charity, cultural & educational enterprises in UK.

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