J.M. Barrie Award

The Action for Children’s Arts J.M.Barrie Award is given annually to a children’s arts practitioner or organisation for a lifetime’s achievement in delighting children whose work, in the view of the Trustees, will stand the test of time.


The 2017 JM Barrie Award was presented to ACA President, and chairman of twenty years David Wood OBE. The ceremony was held at the Prince of Wales Theatre on 9 November 2017, and we were delighted to receive a warm welcome from Sir Cameron Mackintosh himself.


Awarded to Michael Morpurgo OBE one of our greatest storytellers, he has thrilled and delighted huge numbers of young readers since becoming a children’s author in the early 1970s. The event was hosted by the BBC and held in the Radio Theatre, Broadcasting House on 10th November 2016.

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Click here to watch the awards ceremony on 10th of November 2016



Awarded to the much-loved children’s author, Dame Jacqueline Wilson for a lifetime of unforgettable writing for children. The event was hosted by the BBC at the DeVere West One, Portland Place on the 5th of November 2015.

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Click here to watch the awards ceremony on 5th of November 2015


Awarded to Bernard Cribbins OBE, in recognition of the decades of delight he has bestowed on generations of children through his wonderful TV, theatre and film work. The event was hosted by the BBC and held in the Radio Theatre, Broadcasting House on 13 November 2014.


See all the pictures of the 2014 J. M. Barrie awards here

Click here to watch the awards ceremony at the BBC on 13 November 2014.


Awarded to Lynne Reid Banks, author of more than forty books for children and a tireless champion of children’s arts for many years.

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Awarded to Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE former presenter of Playschool, author, actress, Chancellor of Exeter University, supporter of children’s charities and Life Peer in the House of Lords.

Click here to watch the awards ceremony at BAFTA on 20 October 2012.


Awarded to Lyndie Wright puppet-maker and co-founder of the Little Angel Puppet Theatre.


Awarded to Shirley Hughes author and illustrator of numerous children’s books, from Dorothy Edward’s My Naughty Little Sister to her own Dogger and Alfie. “The picture book,” she says, “is such a wonderful form and so much hasn’t been done with it yet.”

View photos.

Among the guests at the presentation were ACA Patrons Peter Duncan, Lynne Reid Banks, Philip Pullman CBE and Dame Jacqueline Wilson.


Awarded to Roger McGough poet, performer and promoter of poetry for all ages. His career spans four decades, from the Liverpool Poets and The Scaffold to Poetry Please and the award of a CBE in 2004. The Great Smile Robbery (1982) was the first of many books to make him one of the country’s most popular writers of poetry for children.

View photos.


Awarded to Quentin Blake illustrator and author of numerous books for children. His own books, such as Mr Magnolia, Mrs Armitage on Wheels and Clown, along with his illustrations of Roald Dahl’s books for children, have made his style instantly recognisable. (He designed the ACA logo too!)

View photos

From 2005-2006, the award was known as the ACA Peter Pan Award.


Awarded to Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin, the creators of many classic animation children’s television series including Bagpuss, Ivor the Engine, The Clangers, Noggin the Nog and Pogles Wood.


Awarded to Judith Kerr, author and illustrator of numerous books for children, including The Tiger Who Came to Tea, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit and Mog.


The first ACA Peter Pan Award went to Dick King-Smith (1922-2011), best known perhaps for The Sheep-Pig, the book that was filmed as Babe. He was awarded an OBE in the 2010 New Year’s Honours.