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SEL8692 : Prize Culture and the Children’s Book

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Lucy Pearson
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module will consider prize culture in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, focusing on prizes for children’s and young adult literature. What is at stake in cultural prizing? What can children’s book prizes tell us about the way our society thinks about literature, literacy, and childhood? How does prize culture negotiate issues such as class and race? We will explore cultural theory around literary prizes and the history of prizes for children’s and young adult literature.

Outline Of Syllabus

We will examine a range of cultural theory on prizing and canonicity, and on childhood and children's literature. This will be considered alongside a variety of children's literary prizes, notably the UK's Carnegie Medal, which will function as case studies of how literary prizing functions in relation to childhood, aesthetics, class, race, etc.

Students will also have the opportunity to consider a range of prizewinning texts from across the 20th and 21st centuries.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion170:0070:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading148:0048:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching112:0022:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study160:0060:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Small group teaching/workshops are the most appropriate teaching strategies for the deep learning required at Masters level. This will be supplemented by directed research and reading designed to enable students to engage with the new skills and materials they will encounter, and independent study through which they will deepen their understanding.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise2A1003500 words
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise1M1000 words.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

A final written exercise will ask students to to apply a critical lens to a specific literary prize and/or prizewinning text, demonstrating a critical understanding of how children's literary prizes can reveal what is at stake in cultural prizing.

The formative assessment will offer students the opportunity to produce a draft of this work for feedback and peer review.

Reading Lists