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ALCS Award for Educational Writing

For a seventh year the Society of Authors is administering the ALCS Award for Educational Writing. The award this year is for books published during 2012 and 2013 for the 11-18 age group.

The £2,000 award will be given to an outstanding example of traditionally published non-fiction (with or without illustrations) that stimulates and enhances learning. 

Download the application form for 2014

The deadline for entry is Monday 30 June. Please contact Paula Johnson with any queries.

Pictured L-R: Tom Adams (writer), Andy Mansfield (designer) and Thomas Flintham (illustrator), winners of the 2013 award.

Molecule Mayhem! wins the 2013 Award

The winner of the 2013 ALCS Educational Writers’ Award is Molecule Mayhem! Pop-Up Chemistry Chaos, written by Tom Adams and illustrated by Thomas Flintham.

The result was announced on 3 December by Tristram Hunt MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Education, at the All Party Writers Group (APWG) Winter Reception at the House of Commons.

Presenting the winning author and illustrator with a cheque for £2000, Tristram Hunt commented:

"My congratulations to the winners of the Educational Writers' Award and indeed to all the shortlisted authors on their outstanding writing for children. I'm very pleased to support this ALCS & Society of Authors award which celebrates inspiring educational writing and encourages a spirit of enquiry in young people."

The 2013 Award focussed on books for 5 - 11 year olds, published in 2011 and 2012. Molecule Mayhem! beat off strong competition from three other titles shortlisted for this year’s Award. They were:


World Atlas

Author: Nick Crane   Illustrator: David Dean

Publisher: Barefoot Books



How The Weather Works: A Hands-On Guide To Our Changing Skies and Climate

Author: Christine Dorian   Illustrator: Beverley Young

Publisher: Templar




The Danger Zone: Avoid Working on a Medieval Cathedral!

Author: Fiona Macdonald   Illustrator: David Antram

Publisher: Book House



Molecule Mayhem! Pop-Up Chemistry Chaos, published by Templar and for children aged 7 years and over, investigates such chemical conundrums as where petrol comes from; why onions make us cry; how fireworks work and what on earth a nanotube is. With a wealth of pop-ups, pull tabs, booklets and flaps for young readers to explore, it explains how chemistry shapes the whole world, from atoms and elements to reactions and radioactivity.

This year’s judges - school librarian, Julie Loy; primary school teacher, Ann Mutlow; and children’s writer, Steve Skidmore (pictured) - were unanimous in their praise for the winning title, describing it as:

A fun and engaging book, which brings alive often complex chemical concepts in an inventive and interactive manner, spiriting them out of the lab and into everyday life.  The flaps and pop-ups are well designed and each spread presents a multitude of facts clearly and concisely, and with a fun “do try this at home” experiment on every page. With non-fiction books having to battle against a plethora of e-learning titles, this pop-up book manages to combine interactivity with the traditional book form, and is extremely appealing to dip into and learn from, time and time again. It is a worthy winner.

The winning author, Tom Adams, is a TV producer with more than fifteen years of programme-making experience specializing in science and history documentaries. Winning illustrator Thomas Flintham studied illustration at Camberwell College of Art and his work has appeared in a wide variety of picture books.

Related links

Past winners of the Award

View the Flickr photo gallery

The British Council Award for ELT Writing



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