Author, bookseller and Children and Family Programmer at the Mountains to Sea Festival, Sarah Webb has been celebrated for her outstanding contribution to children’s books in Ireland at the 25th annual Children’s Books Ireland conference.
Fellow author Oisín McGann gave a citation for the award, outlining Sarah’s careerlong dedication to the cause of children’s books and reading for pleasure in Ireland. Sarah was on the committee of the Children’s Literature Association of Ireland, one of the organisations which merged to form Children’s Books Ireland. She then went on to serve on the board of directors of Children’s Books Ireland, acting as vice Chairperson for some time, while working as a bookseller at Eason and Dubray, before going on to publish her own novels for children and adults.
Sarah dedicates a lot of time to travelling the country, bringing a love of books and reading for pleasure to children at schools, libraries and book festivals everywhere. Her involvement with the Dún Laoghaire Mountains to Sea Festival sees her programme a range of events which let young readers meet authors and illustrators from around the world. Most recently Sarah was nominated for a CBI Book of the Year Award as editor of Beyond the Stars, an illustrated collection of short stories by Irish authors and illustrators with proceeds benefitting Dublin’s Fighting Words writing centre.
The CBI award was presented to Sarah on the Saturday afternoon of the CBI conference, a weekend-long celebration of the very best in children’s books both at home and internationally, and which saw a whole array of speakers invited to discuss the numerous and innovative ways in which books and reading can be part of young people’s lives.
Speakers this year included New York Times bestselling author Mac Barnett, young adult authors James Dawson, Louise O’Neill and Kim Hood, Kate Greenaway medal winner William Grill, spoken word poets Aisling Fahey and Steven Camden, bestselling author Annabel Pitcher and French illustrator Barroux. Each speaker addressed the theme of ‘Conceal and Reveal: Truth and Lies in Children’s Books’ in their session.
Podcasts of each session will soon be available on the Children’s Books Ireland website www.childrensbooksireland.ie.
Children’s Books Ireland is the national children’s book organisation of Ireland. Their vision is an Ireland in which books are a part of every child’s life and where meaningful engagement with books is supported by passionate and informed adults in families, schools, libraries and communities all across the country.