The 2019 JM Barrie Award

The 2019 JM Barrie Award was presented to Sir Philip Pullman CBE, recognising a lifetime's achievement in children's literature.

On 7 November 2019, His Dark Materials author Sir Philip Pullman CBE received the 2019 Action for Children's Arts JM Barrie Award, in recognition of a lifetime’s achievement delighting children. The award was presented in a ceremony at the Prince of Wales Theatre, a Cameron Mackintosh Theatre.

British novelist Amanda Craig talked about Philip's life and work, including his latest book The Secret Commonwealth, which was published on 3 October 2019. The award was then presented by child-fans of Philip's: Albee and Noah, before Philip was interviewed by young presenter Emmerson.

At the end of the ceremony, Philip delighted adults and children in the audience alike, reading an excerpt from The Secret Commonwealth.

Philip Pullman and Amanda Craig

Philip Pullman and Amanda Craig

"Winning the JM Barrie Award feels as if I've been asked to join a special club - it's a great honour"

~ Sir Philip Pullman CBE

The Outstanding Contribution Award was presented to Breathe Magic (part of Breathe Arts Health Research). Breathe Magic works with young people with hemiplegia, helping them to develop motor skills through performing magic tricks.

Talking about the organisation, Breathe Founder Yvonne Farquharson said: "The reason why magic is powerful as a particular art form is this: when you see magic, what you see is something that seems impossible. But when you learn magic, you realise that the thing that seemed impossible as actually possible".

Former Breathe Magic programme participant Josh Parsons entertained audiences with an impressive magic performance. He was accepted into the Magic Circle a few weeks later - the first person with hemiplegia to reach this remarkable achievement.

J. M. BARRIE AWARDS 2019 @ The Prince of Wales Theatre, London Action for Children's Arts 7th November 2019, info: picture by Robert Piwko /

Members' Award winners

Leeds Lieder - for their education projects Discovering Lieder, and Cool Lieder.

Find out more here.

Magic Lantern Art - recognising 25 years of bringing art history to schools.

Find out more here.

Amanda Glover - in recognition of outstanding music education work in Scotland.