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Maria's debut picture book makes award shortlist

Published: 23 April 2019 at 12:27

Cover of Beyond the Fence, by Maria Gulemetova

Anglia Ruskin University graduate is in the running for CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal

An Anglia Ruskin University graduate has made the final shortlist for the 2019 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal, a prestigious prize celebrating the year’s best books for young children.

Maria Gulemetova, who is originally from Sofia, Bulgaria, has been shortlisted for her debut picture book, Beyond the Fence, which she began during her studies on the MA Children’s Book Illustration course at Anglia Ruskin in Cambridge.

The CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal, which comes with a £5,000 cash prize, is judged by children’s librarians across the UK.  Amongst the eight-person shortlist for this year’s award is previous winner Jon Klassen, who won in 2014 with This Is Not My Hat

Maria, who graduated from Anglia Ruskin in 2015, said:


“I was so pleased when Beyond the Fence was named as one of the 117 titles nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal and I had no expectations the book would make it any further. 

“The nomination alone felt like such an honour and I am very grateful and happy to have made the final eight on the shortlist.  The book was created during the second year of the Master’s program at Anglia Ruskin, where our wonderful tutors were supportive and helped me refine the visual narrative.”


Martin Salisbury, Professor of Illustration at Anglia Ruskin, said:


“We are particularly thrilled that Maria’s debut picture book has been recognised by the Greenaway judges in this way. 

Beyond the Fence is an unusually quiet but deeply meaningful picture book that rewards slow reading.  The book was developed as part of Maria’s final Master’s project during her time as a student with us on the MA.  We are keeping our fingers crossed for her!”

The winner of the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal as well as the CILIP Carnegie Medal, for the best book for older children, will be announced at the British Library on Tuesday, 18 June during a special event hosted by TV presenter Konnie Huq.