Results – Best Picture Book Text 2023

Congratulations to the winner of our Best Children’s Picture Book Text competition 2023

Sarah Dollar


Milo’s Secret Jar

Sarah’s picture book Milo’s Secret Jar was judged the winner by Becky Bagnell after entries closed on 31st August 2023

About the Author

Sarah was born in London but grew up on the beautiful Devon coast, where she lives with her partner and three (very) energetic children. When she isn’t doing poetry workshops or readings at local schools, she is sharing her love of stories with children in her role as a primary school teaching assistant. She writes picture books, chapter books, poetry and even cryptic crossword clues! You’ll find her work in such places as the Dirigible Balloon, Parakeet and PaperBound magazine. Find her on Twitter @ SarahLCDollar .

Our Shortlistees

Claire Lewis with Adrian the Alien

Claire is an author illustrator based in Devon who writes and illustrates poems, picture books and longer fiction for children. When she’s not writing or drawing, she can be found doing design work for her local independent non-profit bookshop or enjoying the wild landscapes of nearby Dartmoor. Her poems, illustrations and a short story have been published in The Toy, The Dirigible Balloon, PaperBound magazine, Tyger Tyger magazineand Little Thoughts Press magazine. You can view Claire’s portfolio on her website ( or follow her on Instagram (@claire_f_lewis) or X (@ClaireFLewis). She is represented by Kate Scarborough at Tyilds Agency (

Charlotte Tulinius with George and Maxwell go to the Market

In Charlotte’s life, there have always been wonderful parallel worlds of magic and fantasy, feeding her love for reading, telling, and creating children’s stories. All her life, she has been talking with animals (don’t tell anyone, please!), and she finds inspiration for new stories in all corners of life. She won her first bike when she was nine by submitting an illustrated picture book manuscript to a coffee company. Still, although she drank lots of coffee at medical school, there was only limited time to explore anything but the medical world. She then became an education researcher working in Scandinavia, the UK, and East Africa, where she returned to writing. When her daughter finally persuaded her to take storytelling more seriously, she did creative writing courses at the UK City Academy London and The Golden Egg Academy and loved every second of it. Her cat allows her and a few other family members to live in their old squeaky Victorian house, but only as long as food is always available. She (Charlotte, not the cat) is looking for representation.

Tracy Bullock with I am a Volcano

Tracy is an autistic writer, teacher and wannabe astronaut/ballerina from Hertfordshire. She writes picture books in both rhyme and prose, creative non-fiction and chapter books. Her stories have won SCBWI’s Slush Pile Challenge, shortlisted in Writing Magazine’s Chapter Book Prize and longlisted in WriteMentor’s Picture Book Awards.

A former primary school teacher, she launched The Writing Den in 2020 to engage children in creative writing and encourage a love of stories and books. She now works in school, supporting reading and phonics programmes.

Tracy occasionally nabs ideas from her three young children to turn into stories. She frequently pays them in hugs of the biggest, squeeziest kind and is hopeful a superstar agent will champion her writing soon. (Hugs are optional if they do!)

Sue Newton with Mummy Bernard

When asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, a young Sue Newton would say an actor and a ‘story-writer’ and a teacher (there were no ‘or’s−she saw no reason why she couldn’t be all three!). Fast forward a few years and Sue found herself teaching 6 – 7 year-olds (well, one out of three ain’t bad!) and specialising in creative writing. She juggled this with life on a farm in the North West of England where her garden was regularly invaded by a gang of marauding chickens and an overwrought cockerel, who occasionally find their way into her stories. Sue is an active member of SCBWI and its North West critique group, who she couldn’t be without, and was excited to be selected as a mentee in the PBChat mentorship programme in 2022. She no longer teaches, has given up on her dreams of being the next Julie Walters, but very much hopes to be a ‘story-writer’ when she grows up.

Carol Jones with Tadpole, Tadpole, What Do You See?

Carol Jones is a children’s author who loves writing picture book stories and has now branched out into writing chapter books. Longlisted for the Writing Magazine Children’s Book Prize and shortlisted for the Searchlight Best Picture Book Text Awards, she has been a member of the SCBWI for the past ten years and joined the Write Mentor hub last year. Carol lives with her family in the inspirational country of Scotland where you can often find her walking her little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Isaac, around the coast while dreaming up more stories for children everywhere to enjoy.

Catherine Leung with The Island of Shhh

As well as being shortlisted for the Searchlight Best Children’s Picture Book Text, a recent highlight for Catherine was third prize in the 2023 Iaminprint Picture Books competition, judged by Little Tiger. In addition to children’s picture books, she writes short stories, flash fiction, and translates children’s fiction from French to English. She also writes regular reviews on children’s literature in translation for the WorldKidLit blog and has worked as an editor at Oxford University Press.

Victoria Gatehouse with The Tiger Feather

Victoria Gatehouse is a children’s writer and award-winning poet. She lives in West Yorkshire with her family and a crazy cockapoo. After originally training as a zoologist, Victoria followed a life-long passion and went on to graduate from the Manchester Writing School and Golden Egg Picture Book Academy. Her poems have featured in children’s magazines including The Toy and Tyger Tyger, and her second poetry book was chosen as a ‘Laureate’s Choice’ by Carol Ann Duffy. As a Library Ambassador, Victoria enjoys organising fun and imaginative literary events to encourage reading from an early age. She is also a licenced theatre chaperone and loves the drama and sparkle backstage during children’s shows. Victoria has won, and been placed in, many writing competitions and was highly commended for Little Tiger ‘Books that Help’ in 2023.

Sharon Dalgleish with What Sort of Dog is That?

Once a librarian, a school teacher, and a chocolate maker—but always a storyteller—Sharon Dalgleish loves to write silly poems, true stories about sharks and slugs, and picture books with humour and heart. Sharon shares her beachside home in Sydney, Australia, with her dog Maisie. The part-blue heeler-part-dingo was rescued thousands of kilometres away in the desert and is exactly the right sort of dog for Sharon. You can find out more about Sharon at her website:

Helen Addyman with Zazzy Z The Last Letter

Helen Addyman has always had a penchant for storytelling. Given toy cars as a kid, hers would have names, personalities and be off to the shops (as her sisters’ vehicles vroomed past)! This passion for words led to a degree in French, German and Linguistics and, more recently, to writing kidlit and poetry. When the pitter-patter of tiny feet (or should that be the clippy-claps of tiny hands, since she can’t walk yet?) burst into her life last year, Helen expected to have no time to write but is overjoyed that her bundle of joy has instead inspired a bundle of ideas (hastily scribbled down whilst baba sleeps!). An active member of SCBWI and the WriteMentor Hub (and two fabulous critique groups), Helen has longlisted in competitions for both picture books and chapter books and was selected for WriteMentor’s summer mentoring programme in 2023. Helen’s children’s poetry has also been published in The Dirigible Balloon.