LONDON, November 28 /PRNewswire/ --

It was announced last night that Ian Gilbert's The Little Book of Thunks - 260 Questions to Make your Brain Go Ouch! (Crown House Publishing) is the inaugural winner of the Educational Writers' Award, sponsored by the Authors' Licensing Collecting Society (ALCS) and supported and administered by the Society of Authors. Ian Gilbert received his cheque for GBP2000 from Dr Ian Gibson MP at a reception at the Stationers' Hall, London.

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)

'an immediately attractive, ingenious pocket-sized book, full of clear information'

Tish Farrell: Write Your Own Adventure Stories (Ticktock Media)

'a step by step guide to writing stories, inspiring and easy to read'

Glenn Murphy: Why Is Snot Green? (Macmillan)

'an accessible and amusing springboard into serious science, to awaken and encourage the reader's mind.'

The judging panel consisted of three experts in the field of educational writing: author Mel Thompson, teacher Vanessa Carey, and school librarian Laura Taylor. As well as selecting the winner the panel made an additional commendation for Meg Harper's Wha'ever (The Spinal Injuries Association) as 'a model of clarity and engagement offering advice to young people who have suffered spinal cord injury'.

ALCS and the Society of Authors have 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

Editors Notes

For further information on the winning book and shortlisted titles please contact:;; Macmillan's publicity department (educational publicity) on +44(0)207-833-4000;

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


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.

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

Media Contact (please do not publish these numbers), Becca Wyatt: +44(0)1403-780-383; +44(0)7801-061-420; ALCS, Alison Baxter: +44(0)20-7264-5700; Society of Authors, Paula Johnson: +44(0)20-7373-6642,