Digital Book Award Evaluation Criteria

These criteria draw on the theoretical and empirical work by Kucirkova, Littleton and Cremin, 2016 (Knowledge Transfer Partnership between BookTrust and the Open University), adopted and refined in conversation with UK primary school teachers and literacy specialists.  For examples of literacy apps and information about children’s digital books corresponding to these and other criteria, check the Literacy Apps guide from the National Literacy Trust and information on the UKLA Special Interest Group for children’s digital books and literacy apps.

UKLA Digital Book Award Criteria ©2017. UKLA

Terms and Conditions for Entrants:

UKLA Digital Book Award

The UKLA Digital Book Award is a biennial award that recognises digital books which support children’s reading for pleasure and enjoyment of stories. It will reward apps, ebooks and other digital interactive products that use sounds, visuals, and interaction in innovative ways to make a child’s experience of the story richer and more meaningful.

The digital book may encourage individual or shared story experience (between an adult and a child or between children) for children aged 6-8 years.

The Award encompasses all digital books developed, that is Apps for mobile and tablet devices (IOS and/or Android), online or web-based experiences o CD-Roms, digital products that can be viewed on a PC/Mac or connected to an interactive whiteboard, Advanced eBooks or Transmedia (activity across multiple platforms). These digital books may appear on any digital platform, including PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones, Wiis, LeapReaders, Kindle and similar reading devices.

UK publishers and developers are eligible to submit entries for the award. These terms and conditions refer to “Entrant” meaning publishers and developers submitting an entry, on behalf of and with the full authority and consent of named author/illustrator(s), including without limitation consent to all the terms and conditions contained herein. “Entry” means any title meeting the submission criteria entered for the Awards and Entries.

The Judging process

The judging process will occur in two stages.

Stage 1: The Panel will shortlist three titles. The shortlisting judging panel comprises academics working in the area of early literacy, digital literacy and child development.

2017/2018 Panel: Natalia Kucirkova (chair), Julia Gillen, Chris Lockwood, Rebecca Philips, Di Smith, Jemma Monkhouse, Jane Carter and Chris Bailey.

The judges’ decision on the shortlist is final and no correspondence will be entered into. The shortlist of three digital books will be made public. Shortlisted Entries will be contacted by email and will be asked to supply promotional codes for schools participating in the judging process.

Stage2: Shortlisted entries will be judged by teachers in selected schools in the autumn and spring year of 2017/2018. Their votes will be final.

The shortlisting panel and all teachers will evaluate the entries against a set of criteria, which are outlined on the UKLA website. We will consider several indicators of quality, including the recognition excellence and innovation in enhanced digital storytelling, reading and experience of a narrative.

The overall winner will be announced at the Award Ceremony at the UKLA International Conference in the summer of the year of the award. Winners will be invited to nominate a representative from the app team to the ceremony to receive the award as guest of the association.

How to enter

Submissions will open on 1st June each year for books published in the previous 12 months. For the 2018 awards submissions are invited 1st June to 1st August 2017.

Complete the Submission form here.

If your Entry is not free to access, you are asked to provide a free file or download code alongside your preferred method to view or download for administration and judging purposes.

There is no fee to enter the award.

It is at the publisher/developer’s discretion whether an author and/or illustrator is to be detailed on the Entry form. UKLA advises that author, developers and illustrators considered to have ‘contributed substantially’ to Entries are included for joint promotion.

For any queries please email: [email protected] FAO Natalia Kucirkova


Entries must have been first released or made live between February 28th 2016-June 1st 2017 (this year the eligibility period is longer than 12 months because of the transition of the award to biennial). Entries released previously to this date will not be eligible.

All Entries must be made by a UK developer or an established UK publishing house. ‘Established developer’ is here defined as a registered company producing a range of digital products and distributes them nationally through established retail outlets. ‘Established publishing house’ is here defined as a house which publishes a list of titles by a range of authors with ISBNs, sells them in pounds sterling, and distributes its books nationally through established retail outlets. For the avoidance of doubt, ‘established publishing house’ does not include print-on-demand services or publishers which publish titles via a commercial arrangement through which they are paid by the author. Where a publisher and developer have worked collaboratively together, it is at the discretion of the applicant as to who is named on the Entry form, but at least one party must be UK-based.

Publishers may enter a maximum of 3 titles.

Entrants must warrant that the Entry is original; entirely the developer/author/illustrators’ own work, does not infringe any existing copyright, moral or any other rights of any third party, contains nothing obscene, libellous, unlawful or defamatory.