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The Royal Society Young People's Book Prize aims to inspire young people to read about science and promotes the writing of excellent, accessible books for under-14s.

How does it work?

An expert adult judging panel meet in April each year to choose a shortlist of their favourite science books written in the previous year. Once the six best books have been selected we hand over the task of picking a winner to those who know best – groups of young people aged up to 14 across the UK. 

These groups can be formed anywhere, from schools and libraries to youth groups, or science centres. Participation is open to any group under 14 who are able to read and discuss the shortlist and vote for what they think is the best book.

Each group taking part mirrors the adult short-listing panel, forming their own judging panel. They elect their own Chair, hold judging meetings, discuss the merits of each book and submitting their vote and comments to us to collate and determine the winner. All participating groups have an equal say in deciding the winner. Each group receives a judging pack with all the information they need to take part. The results from all the groups are then collated by us to determine the winner. 

Prize timeline

Date Details
January Call for publisher entries opens
February Call for publisher entries closes
Call for judging panels opens
July Call for judging panels closes
September Shortlist announced
Shortlisted books and judging packs sent out to judging panels
September - January Judging panels judge the books
Young People's Book Prize events take place across the country
January Deadline for results from judging panels
February Winner announced at the Young People's Book Prize award ceremony

What else goes on?

Alongside the prize we:

  • Put on a series of Young People's Book Prize themed events at festivals across the UK. Take a look to see if there are any near you. Confirmed so far this year: Northern Ireland Science Festival and Edinburgh International Book Festival. More details coming soon. 
  • Run a video competition for all the judging panels involved, take at look at some of last year's highlights.


We have specific information for publishers and school/youth groups looking to get involved with the Young People's Book Prize. 

For all queries, contact us at We are always exploring new ideas, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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