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Centre for Children's Literature

Children's literature centre logoThe Cambridge/Homerton Research and Teaching Centre for Children’s Literature is a joint enterprise between the Faculty of Education and Homerton College

Both institutions have a long tradition in children’s literature and a strong national and international profile for high quality research and teaching. The Centre brings together researchers, teachers and students in a vibrant, thriving scholarly community.


  • On November 4, 2017, the Centre hosted the one-day symposium A Bug's Life: Creeping and Crawling through Children's Literature. Professor Sarah Annes Brown from Anglia Ruskin University delivered the keynote address, and Maya Leonard, the author of Carnegie-nominated Beetle Boy, gave a guest appearance.
  • On September 8, 2017, the celebrated multi-award-winning illustrator and political cartoonist Chris Riddell delivered the 10th Annual Philippa Pearce Memorial Lecture.
  • On March 17 and 18, 2017, the Centre hosted the 3rd Cambridge Symposium on Cognitive Approaches to Children's Literature. Professor Karen Coats from Illinois State University and Professor Rosalind Ridley from the University of Cambridge delivered the keynotes.
  • On November 29, 2016, Emma Joy Reay won the 2016 Jacqueline Wilson Award for her MPhil Thesis. Photo of Jacqueline Wilson Award 2016
  • On September 23 and 24, 2016, the Centre hosted a two-day symposium celebrating the 40th anniversary of Mildred Taylor's Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry. Professor Michelle Martin from the University of Washington delivered the keynote.
  • On September 1, 2016, the best-selling author Allan Ahlberg delivered the 9th Annual Philippa Pearce Memorial Lecture.
  • On May 21, 2016, the Centre hosted a One-Day Conference at Homerton College, titled 'Horse Tales: Writing the Equine in Children's Literature'. Invited speakers included the celebrated and prolific writers of equine fiction K.M Peyton, Meg Rosoff, Jane Badger and Susanna Forrest.
  • On April 26, 2016, the Centre and PLACE group hosted a One-Day Mini-Symposium at Homerton College, titled 'Focus on American Children's Literature'. Professor Jerry Griswold was the keynote speaker. 
  • Heartiest Congratulations to the esteemed young adult author Meg Rosoff on winning the world's largest award in children's literature, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA), for 2016! The Centre is particularly pleased since it has nominated Rosoff in the past for the prize, in its capacity as one of the six nominating bodies for the ALMA in the UK. 
  • In late March 2016, a contingent of four students (Jen Aggleton, Flynn Meghanne, Katy Day and Siddharth Pandey) and a lecturer (Dr. Zoe Jaques) from the Centre presented papers at the 37th International Conference of the International Association of the Fantastic in the Arts (IAFA) in Orlando, Florida. View report.
  • In early March 2016, the Centre hosted its Second Cambridge Symposium on Cognitive Approaches to Children's Literature at Homerton College. Professor Peter Stockwell from the University of Nottingham delivered the keynote. 
  • On December 1, 2015, Anna Savoie won the 2015 Jacqueline Wilson Award for her MPhil Thesis. Anna Savoie won the 2015 Jacqueline Wilson Award
  • On November 14, 2015, the Centre hosted its annual Open Day at the Mary Allan Building, Faculty of Education, from 2-5pm. The award-winning children's book author and illustrator Mini Grey was the guest speaker. 
  • From September 15-19, 2015, the Centre celebrated the 150th anniversary of ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ the UK's largest celebration of its kind, titled ‘Wonderland at Homerton College,' inclusive of a three-days international conference, a gala mad tea party, a 'Wonderland in the Classroom' workshop for teachers, and many other attractions. The conference keynote speakers included Professor Dame Gillian Beer (University of Cambridge), Professor Jan Susina (University of Illinois), and Dr. Kiera Vaclavik (Queen Mary, University of London). View a detailed report.
  • On September 10, 2015, the celebrated writer Meg Rosoff delivered the 8th Annual Philippa Pearce Memorial Lecture.
  • The year 2015-2016 has witnessed numerous established and new researchers and writers in children's literature presenting their work at the Centre. These include Dr. Laura Little (Bath Spa University), Eve Tandoi (Cambridge), Professor Kimberley Reynolds (Newcastle University), Professor Karen Sands-O-Connor (Newcastle University), Aidan Chambers, Malin Alkestrand (Lund University).
  • Please click here for information concerning 'The Poetry and Memory Project', which began in January 2014. The interdisciplinary research project investigates the experience of poetry learning and is lead by senior lecturer David Whitley and fellow researcher Debbie Pullinger. 
  • For a list of previous events hosted by the Centre, please see the archives section at
  • Read the latest entry on the Children's Literature at Cambridge blog.
  • Join the Cambridge Children's Literature Facebook group.

What we do

Because of its unique foundations, the Cambridge/Homerton Centre has distinctive strengths that combine to make it a special place for children’s literature research. We aim to:

  • create a favourable environment for high-quality and innovative research in children’s literature
  • combine literary, aesthetic and educational approaches to the subject
  • accommodate theoretical, empirical and interdisciplinary research
  • support practitioners through dissemination of research findings

We have active links with:

  • the artistic community of authors, artists and poets
  • literary and artistic institutions, including the Arts Council, the Poetry Society, the Poetry Book Society, Book Trust, and the British Council
  • other children’s literature research centres and research institutions, nationally and internationally

The Philippa Pearce Memorial Lecture

This is a series of annual lectures given in memory of Philippa Pearce. Previous speakers include Allan Ahlberg, Michael Rosen, Michael Morpurgo, Philip Pullman and Malorie Blackman. For information pertaining to the forthcoming annual lecture, please click here.

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

The Centre is a nominating body for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. Please click here for further information.

The Jacqueline Wilson Award

Established in 2010 in recognition of the high quality research in children’s literature at the Faculty of Education and Homerton College, this award for an outstanding Master’s thesis has been made possible through a generous donation by Jacqueline Wilson, one of the most popular children's books writers in the UK. The winner of the 2014 award was Annabel Leigh. For winners since then, please see the 'News' section above.

The Child and the Book Conference

In 2012, the Centre hosted the eighth international Child and the Book conference at the Faculty of Education in Cambridge. Please click here for further information on this particular event.

book photo montage

Quotation from Matthew Grenby