Joseph Coelho is the New Waterstones Children's Laureate 2022 - 2024
Joseph Coelho, 42, is an author and poet from Roehampton who is now based in Kent. He writes books, poems and plays and even performs his poems.
His famous stories include:
- ‘Luna Loves…’ picture book series
- ‘My Beautiful Voice’
- ‘Fairy Tales Gone Bad’
His poetry books include:
- ‘The Girl Who Became A Tree’
- ‘Overheard In A Tower Block’ (which was inspired by his childhood growing up in a tower block).
‘Storytelling, in every shape and form, belongs to everyone. I will be a Laureate who celebrates the transformative power of poetry and creativity, and the ability of books and reading to broaden horizons.’
- Joseph Coelho.
After studying archeology at university, followed by many different jobs, it wasn’t the career path that Joseph would have expected. But his life-long love of writing blossomed into writing workshops for schools and directing and writing plays, and the rest is history.
The new laureate has a few missions to accomplish over the next couple of years! Joseph champions diversity in literature and aims to showcase new talent in the industry to make it so every child in the UK can see themselves as a bookmaker.
Coelho is also currently on a mission to join a library in every district of the UK to encourage others to join their library.
His website https://www.thepoetryofjosephcoelho.com/library-marathon/ shows which libraries he has gone to with a little about his visit. Why not see if your local library has had a visit from him?
It’s the perfect time to get that library card out that drawer and go down to check out some of Joseph’s books and get inspired.
What is a Children’s Laureate?
The Children’s Laureate award started in 1999 and was the brainchild of poet Ted Hughes and children’s author Michael Morpurgo. They came up with the idea as a way to celebrate someone who’d made a significant impact in the areas of writing and illustrating children’s books.
The role of Children’s Laureate is awarded to a famous and highly successful writer or illustrator every two years. The recipient must have worked on children’s books during their careers, but not exclusively. They are given the title to celebrate their work and to honour the outstanding contribution they have made.
The Children’s Laureate is decided by a panel of judges who consider recommendations made by several different places and organizations, such as bookshops, libraries, other writers and book critics, amongst others.
Previous winners include Cressida Cowell, Malorie Blackman and Jacqueline Wilson.