LONDON, November 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Dr Ian Gibson MP, Chair of the All Party Writers Group made the key note speech at the Authors' Licensing Collecting Society (ALCS) Annual General Meeting last night at the Stationers' Hall, London.

Following the AGM Dr Gibson announced the winner of the new Educational Writers' Award, sponsored by ALCS and supported and administered by the Society of Authors. The inaugural award was made to Ian Gilbert for The Little Bok of Thunks - 260 Questions to Make your Brain Go Ouch! (Crown House Publishing).

In association with ALCS, the Society of Authors has created this new award to celebrate educational writing that encourages students to read widely and build up their understanding of a subject beyond the requirements of exam specifications. The GBP2000 award will be made annually to an outstanding example of traditionally published non-fiction that enhances teaching and learning for a specific age group. The 2008 award is for titles aimed at 12 - 18 year olds, published in 2006 and 2007.

The 2009 Educational Writers' Award will be for a work for 5-11 year olds, published during 2007 and 2008. The deadline for submissions is 31 May 2009 and the award will be made in November. Please see

As well as welcoming our new Board Member, Hugh Stoddart, the AGM is an opportunity for us to celebrate the contribution of all writers and our work at ALCS promoting and protecting their rights over the last year, said Owen Atkinson, CEO of ALCS. A considerable percentage of our membership are educational writers, he continued. Our involvement with this award demonstrates our commitment to this sector of the writing community by ensuring they are appropriately represented and promoted along with a high standard in educational writing. This award is designed to support wider opportunities for learning over and above the needs of the exam focused curriculum.

The judges described The Little Book of Thunks as a completely original book to get all ages stretching their imaginations, thinking, discussing cogently and debating... a valuable tool for the teacher.

Winning author Ian Gilbert, founder of Independent Thinking Ltd, which sets out to help schools embrace Philosophy for Children (P4C), beat off strong competition from three other shortlisted titles: Simon Basher Adrian Dingle: The Periodic Table - Elements with Style! (Kingfisher); Tish Farrell: Write Your Own Adventure Stories (Ticktock Media); Glenn Murphy: Why Is Snot Green? (Macmillan). The judges made an additional commendation for Meg Harper's Wha'ever (The Spinal Injuries Association).

Writers entertain, educate and stimulate, said Dr Gibson. Learning should be entertaining and education should be as broad as possible so we can stimulate a new generation of thinkers and creators. This new award recognizes all of these points and I am delighted to have the opportunity to present the prize to its inaugural winner, Ian Gilbert.

Editors Notes

ALCS new board member - HUGH STODDART

Screen writer and playwright, Hugh Stoddart was appointed to the Board of ALCS as a director at the AGM on 27/11/2008. Stoddart was an independent member of the Board between 1998 and 2001 and is delighted to be returning to ALCS. He brings considerable experience to the role having formerly served on the Executive Council of the Writers' Guild of Great Britain where he created and ran the Film Committee for three years.

About ALCS

ALCS collects fees on behalf of the whole spectrum of UK writers: novelists, film TV script writers, literary prize winners, poets and playwrights, freelance journalists, translators and adaptors, as well as thousands of professional and academic writers who include nurses, lawyers, teachers, scientists, and college lecturers. All writers are eligible to join ALCS: further details on membership can be found at

The Society collects fees that are difficult, time-consuming or legally impossible for writers and their representatives to claim on an individual basis: money that is nonetheless due to them. Fees collected are distributed to writers twice a year in March and September. Since its inception, ALCS has distributed over GBP170 million to the nation's writers.

The All Party Writers Group (APWG)

Chaired by Dr Ian Gibson MP, the APWG is a forum for elected Parliamentarians in Westminster to consider and discuss matters of importance to writers. As a focal point for authors' interests, with its links to UK writer organisations, APWG is well placed to draw attention to the current issues facing writers amongst an audience of decision-makers at Westminster and beyond. The affairs of the APWG are administered by ALCS

Society of Authors

The Society of Authors has been serving the interests of professional writers for more than a century. Today it has more than 8,500 members (from novelists to doctors, textbook writers to ghost writers, broadcasters to academics, illustrators to translators) writing in all areas of the profession. Services include the confidential, individual vetting of contracts, and help with professional disputes. In addition, the Society holds meetings and seminars, publishes a quarterly journal, The Author, and maintains a database of members' specializations . It administers a wide range of prizes, as well as the Authors' Foundation, which is one of the very few bodies making grants to help with work in progress for established writers.

For further information contact

Contact information: ALCS, The Writers' House, 13 Haydon Street, London EC3N 1DB, Tel: +44(0)20-7264-5700; email Website:

Media Contact: Becca Wyatt: +44(0)1403-780-383; +44(0)7801-061-420; ALCS, Alison Baxter: +44(0)20-7264-5700