Talented alumni shortlisted for Waterstones Prize

Published: 8 February 2017 at 15:08

Super Stan cover image

Meg, Matt and Fabi are flying the flag for MA in Children’s Book Illustration course

Three Anglia Ruskin University alumni have today been announced on the shortlist for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2017, widely regarded as one of the most prestigious accolades in the world of children’s books.

Meg McLaren, Matt Robertson and Fabi Santiago, all recent graduates of the MA in Children’s Book Illustration, are shortlisted in the Illustrated Books category which has been dominated in recent years by the work of former students of the Anglia Ruskin University course.

David Barrow and Matty Long were nominated in 2016, whilst three graduates from the course were shortlisted in both 2015 (Suzanne Barton, Victoria Turnbull and Steve Anthony) and 2014 (Courtney Dicmas, Elys Dolan and Gemma Merino).

Shaun Wesley, Bookshop Manager at Waterstones Cambridge said:

“The Cambridge School of Art has produced some fine children’s book illustrators in recent years, and long may it continue. 

“The wealth of talent on display in the work of this year’s shortlisted graduates is testament to the continuing strength of the MA in Children’s Book Illustration.  Congratulations to all involved in the course, and we wish Fabi Santiago, Matt Robertson and Meg McLaren every success.”

Martin Salisbury, Professor of Illustration and Course Leader for the MA Children’s Book Illustration at Anglia Ruskin’s Cambridge School of Art, said:

“The staff and students of the MA Children’s Book Illustration course at Cambridge School of Art are thrilled to learn that once again, the picture books of several recent graduates have found their way onto the shortlist for the Waterstones Prize. 

“In recent years our graduates have been doing us proud by winning publishing awards all around the world.  The Waterstones Prize is particularly prestigious.  Great picture book makers from our course who have featured on the shortlist recently are all now top selling author-illustrators and are an inspiration to the current generation of students.  We shall be keeping our fingers crossed for a winner!”

Meg McLaren is nominated for Life is Magic (Andersen Press, £6.99), the enchanting tale of magician’s assistant Houdini the rabbit.  Meg graduated from the MA in Children's Book Illustration in 2013 and the printmaker and illustrator now lives in Inverness.

Now based in Norwich, Matt Robertson grew up in Suffolk and spent most of his childhood drawing and creating characters. He completed his MA in Children's Book Illustration in 2014, receiving a Distinction for his work.  Shortlisted for Super Stan (Hachette, £6.99), the picture book is a warm and funny tale of superhero sibling rivalry.

Fabi Santiago, who now lives in London, studied art and design in her native Brazil.  Whilst travelling, she discovered the MA in Children's Book Illustration and graduated from the course in 2014 along with fellow nominee Matt Robertson. Nominated for her picture book Tiger in a Tutu (Hachette, £6.99), Fabi’s illustrations are full of movement and bold colours.

The Waterstones Children’s book prize exists to reward and champion new and emerging talent in children’s books. Now in its 13th year, it is widely regarded as one of the most important prizes for children’s books.

The winners will be announced at an evening reception at Waterstones Piccadilly in London, Europe’s largest bookshop, on Thursday, 30 March.  Six books will compete within each category to be crowned category winner, with the three category winners then vying for the overall title of Waterstones Children’s Book of the Year 2017.  The winner of each category will receive £2,000, with the overall winner receiving an extra £3,000.