English Key Facts
Arbeitskreis für Jugendliteratur e.V. (AKJ)
The Association for Children's and Youth Literature (AKJ) is an umbrella organization founded in 1955 and currently has nearly 42 organizational members and about 200 individual members. It is supported financially by the German Federal Ministry for Families, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. The business office is located in Munich and provides support to the non-paid board of directors which is elected every three years by the member assembly.
The AKJ is responsible for awarding the German Children's Literature Award (Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis), which is Germany's only state-sponsored prize for works of fiction. It has been awarded annually since 1956 by a jury of literature specialists and critics in four categories: picture book, children's book, young adult book and non-fiction. In addition, since 2003 an independent young adult jury gives its own award. All award winners receive 8,000 Euro. Furthermore, a special annual award for lifetime achievement is given alternately to a German author, German illustrator or German translator. This award, which is also financed by the Federal Ministry, is set at 10,000 Euro. The prize announcement and ceremony for all these awards takes place in October at the Frankfurt Book Fair.
In its quarterly journal "JuLit" and in various other publications and topical book catalogues, the AKJ provides orientational information as well as valuable selection and evaluation aids for the wide market of children's and youth literature. It organizes national and international workshops and conferences to encourage interaction among those working on a daily basis in the field of children's and youth literature.
Since its founding, the AKJ has been the German Section of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY).