The BBA was set up in memory of the outstanding children’s writer Henrietta Branford and the gifted editor, Wendy Boase, Editorial Director of Walker Books. They worked together on a number of books, a partnership they greatly enjoyed. They both died of cancer in 1999. Shortly before she died, Henrietta Branford supported a proposal to create a children’s writing competition as a way to find and encourage the writers of the future.
Entrants have to complete a story begun by the winning author of the previous year’s Branford Boase Award. Each summer the winners of the best six stories are invited with their families to attend the Branford Boase Award celebration party in London. There they meet some of their favourite long established authors, the authors shortlisted for the BBA award as well as editors, publishers, agents, and other professionals from the world of children’s books. Each young winner receives a copy of all of the books shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award and are able to have their books signed.