The language for BLBA 2020, author category, is English and the illustrator category is across all Indian languages.

Award Process

  • Author Nominations: English
  • Illustrator Nominations: All Indian languages
  • Key Dates: Nomination Opens: April 17 Nomination Closes: May 31 BLBA events: November – February BLBA Winner Announcement: November


The award invites public nominations. Anyone can nominate. Nomination forms are filled and submitted online. A maximum of 3 authors and 3 illustrators can be nominated by each person. Self-nomination is not accepted.


After nomination closes, a longlist is drawn from the nominated list in consultation with the jury. Publishers are requested for copies of the books of longlisted authors and illustrators. The jury shortlists authors and illustrators, and thereafter, they decide the winners.


Winners are announced in November. The award ceremony takes place at the Tata Lit Live! the Mumbai Lit Fest.

Award Criteria & FAQs

Award Criteria

  1. A body of original and significant work across a minimum of 7-10 years.
  2. Excellence developed through an eagerness to explore and experiment with ideas, genres and the possibilities of their craft.
  3. Stories/visual narratives that are culturally appropriate and avoid/challenge stereotypes.
  4. Demonstrate growth and willingness to break known barriers in what defines a children’s author/illustrator.
  5. Contribution to creating the next generation of readers, writers and illustrators.
  6. Original work means that the text/illustration was created by the nominated author/illustrator and no one else. It may include original re-telling of traditional literature, provided the words are the author’s own.
  7. The author/illustrator should be active and writing/illustrating, and his/her work being published and accessible to children.
  8. The body of work shall be intended for children of ages up to and including 18, and work for this entire age range will be considered.
  9. Text shall include all forms of writing — fiction, non-fiction, drama and poetry. Reprints, compilations and abridgements are not eligible.
  10. The Award is not given posthumously.


  1. How many authors and illustrators can we nominate?
    One person can nominate up to 3 authors and 3 illustrators. While nominating, please remember to click on the appropriate category of nomination i.e. author, illustrator.
  2. Why are author nominations only in one language?
    The author category of the award is language specific, and is based on an Indian language. Every year, an Indian language is selected, and an author with notable contribution in that language is awarded.
  3. What is the language of BLBA 2020?
  4. Is the illustrator category of the award also language specific?
    The illustrator category of the award is not language specific. You can nominate any illustrator whose works are published in India, for books of any Indian language, including English.
  5. Who can nominate?
    Anyone can nominate. Please remember to fill in your information.
  6. How can I nominate?
    You can nominate in 2 ways – fill in the online form and submit directly. You can also download, fill and email the form to us at hello@biglittlebookaward.in
  7. If the form does not get accepted, what do I do?
    If the website is not accepting your form, it could be because you may have missed filling a mandatory field. Before you submit, check all fields have been duly filled. Sometimes, it may also be due to a weak internet connection.
  8. When does nominations close?
    Last date for nominating is 31st May, 2020.
  9. What is the judging process?
    Once nominations come in, a longlist of authors and illustrators is created from the nominations received. Thereafter, books of the longlisted authors and illustrators are procured and sent to both groups of juries. The jury shortlists authors and illustrators, based on which the winner is decided by them through a consensus.
  10. When are the winners announced?
    Winners are announced at the Tata Lit Live! The Mumbai Lit Fest in November.

Jury for Author (English) Category


Anil Menon

Anil Menon is an Indian author writing fiction. His most recent work Half of What I Say (Bloomsbury, 2015) was shortlisted for the 2016 Hindu Literary Award. Along with Vandana Singh, he co-edited Breaking the Bow (Zubaan Books, 2012), an international anthology of speculative fiction inspired by the Ramayana. His debut novel The Beast With Nine Billion Feet (Zubaan Books, India) was shortlisted for the 2010 Vodafone-Crossword Children’s Fiction Award and the 2010 Carl Baxter Society’s Parallax Prize. His short fiction has appeared in a variety of international magazines including Albedo One, Interzone, Interfictions, Jaggery Lit Review, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, and Strange Horizons. His stories have been translated into more than a dozen languages including Hebrew, Igbo, and Romanian. In 2016, he helped found the annual Dum Pukht Writers’ Workshop at the Adishakti Complex in Pondicherry.


Ravi Subramanian

Ravi Subramanian is an author, writing since 2007. His book, ‘If God was a Banker’ won him the Golden Quill Readers Choice Award in 2008. He also won the Economist Crossword Book Award for The Incredible Banker in 2012.  ‘The Bankster’, released in 2012 won him the Crossword Book Award in 2013. In 2014 he won the Raymond Crossword book award for Bankerupt. His books have been translated into Hindi, Tamil and Latvian. Ravi is an alumnus of IIM Bengaluru and has spent two decades working on finance. He is deeply interested in children’s literature and has coauthored a children’s book, ‘My First Book of Money’, with Shoma Narayanan. He lives in Mumbai with his wife, Dharini, and daughter, Anusha. 

Shailaja Menon

Shailaja Menon

Shailaja Menon works as faculty in the area of Language, Literacy and Children’s Literature at the School of Education, Azim Premji University. From 2017-2019, she led the Early Literacy Initiative at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences Hyderabad, a unique initiative dedicated to raising awareness and building knowledge about the teaching and learning of early literacy in Indian contexts. Prior to that, she led a longitudinal project, Literacy Research in Indian Languages (LiRIL), which examined the teaching and learning of early language and literacy in Maharashtra and Karnataka. Shailaja is a founder-anchor of the bilingual children’s literature festival, KathaVana, that is hosted annually by Azim Premji University (2012-present). She has served on the jury for the Hindu Literature for Life awards for Children’s Literature (2016-2018), and the Big Little Book Award (2016-2018). Shailaja’s publications have appeared in international and Indian journals. She has an abiding interest in imparting a love for language, literature and literacy to children, teachers and teacher educators.

Sujata Noronha

Sujata Noronha

Sujata Noronha directs the work of a library based organisation, Bookworm in Goa and is immersed in the acts of reading, teaching and learning. She has Masters degrees in Management and Education and a M Phil degree in Education. Sujata consults with a wide range of NGOs and schools in India and works for the Department of Education of the Tibetan Government in Exile as a Library Consultant. She conceptualised and offers the Library Educator’s Course (English), a first of its kind professional development course for educators, teachers and librarians of school age children with Parag. She co-teaches a First Language Pedagogy Course at TISS Mumbai on the MA Elementary Education program and merges children’s books into every aspect of her work. She believes that everything changes when we read and books are one way of enabling that change. She is committed towards supporting good books for all. 


Usha Mukunda

Usha Mukunda has been an ardent advocate of open libraries for children for over 35 years. She has an Honours Degree in English Literature from Presidency College Calcutta and a Masters’ degree in Librarianship from Bangalore University. She co-founded the Centre for Learning (Bangalore) in 1990 and set up an open library there. As a Consultant for the Parag Initiative of Tata Trusts, she worked with several rural, government and community libraries across India. She was also a Consultant for the Department of Education, Tibetan Government in Exile and facilitated workshops and interactions for the Tibetan librarians in India and Nepal. She participated in the NCERT exercise to select good books and has been a member of a committee to bring out manuals to strengthen school libraries in the southern region. She was a member of the special committee for libraries and knowledge networking under the aegis of the Karnataka Knowledge Commission. In 2009, she was awarded a Karnataka State award for her service to school libraries. Usha is passionate about bringing about discernment of books in herself and in readers wherever they may abide.

Jury for Illustrator Category

Aashti Mudnani

Aashti Mudnani

Aashti Mudnani is a professional book hunter, illustration lover, listener of stories and chai drinker. She started Lightroom, a bookstore for children’s books in Bangalore in 2013 with the help of several people. She loves being outdoors, especially where there are more wild things than cityscapes. But for now, she lives in Bangalore with her two daughters, husband and their cat, Inji.

Proiti Roy

Proiti Roy

Proiti Roy is an illustrator and designer, who started her career in advertising. Soon after, she turned freelance and also started teaching children art and craft. During this period, apart from her advertising and corporate assignments, she began to focus on illustrating children’s books, which was something she wanted to do ever since she could remember. Now, living in Shantiniketan in West Bengal, she continues to illustrate as well as help and rescue street animals in distress.

Rani Dharker

Rani Dharker

Rani Dharker is an author and an artist. Her first novel ‘The Virgin Syndrome’ was ecstatically received and was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize. Rani has a PhD in English Literature and was a professor of English at M S University of Baroda, where she was the leading light in its Shakespeare Society, directing plays and acting. She loves dogs and other four-legged creatures (as well as the ones that fly).

Sunandini Banerjee

Sunandini Banerjee

Sunandini Banerjee is both Senior Editor and Senior Graphic Designer at Seagull Books, and designs all of Seagull’s book covers and catalogues. A digital-collage artist whose work has been exhibited in India and abroad, she is a translator as well as a member of the faculty at the Seagull School of Publishing.


Thejaswi Shivanand

Thejaswi is a teacher at Center for Learning, an alternative school near Bangalore. He is a part of running the school library and interacting with children from age six years to teenagers, over books, for the past ten years and also teaches science. He is a consultant for library programmes and a faculty at the Library Educators Course (English), run by Bookworm, Goa.

Library Educator’s Course

A professional development certificate course that trains practitioners to imagine the library as an open and creative space for all curricular areas, especially reading for pleasure.

More from Library Educator’s Course
Big Little Book Award

An annual award that recognizes and honours original and significant contribution of Indian authors and illustrators to children’s literature in Indian languages.


Parag’s annual Children’s Library Conference where library educators and others engaged in the library, with reading and children exchange ideas, present best practices and challenges.

More from UnConference
Case Studies
Riyaaz Academy – New Narrative for Children’s Illustrators

How do illustrators train? What happens during the course of a contact week at the Riyaaz Academy for Illustrators? This photo essay takes a sneak peek into the various aspects of the course.