Archive for May, 2016

Videos from the award ceremony

May 31, 2016

If you missed yesterday’s award ceremony in the Stockholm Concert Hall, or just want to experience it again, you can watch some videos listed below! There is a video with highlights from the ceremony as well as a video of Meg’s speech and interviews with Meg’s publisher and the chairman of the ALMA jury. Enjoy!

Highlights from the ceremony:

Meg Rosoff’s speech:

Interview with Meg’s publisher, Catherine Clark:

Interview with the chairman of the ALMA jury, Boel Westin:

Meg Rosoff in international media

May 31, 2016

Meg Rosoff became a literary superstar after receiving the Astrid Lindgren memorial award. Below you find some of the international articles and interviews with Meg.

Alma media coverage

The diary of Meg Rosoff in Sweden – in pictures (The Guardian)

After winning the world’s largest cash prize for children’s literature, the Astrid Lindgren memorial award, Meg Rosoff has become a literary superstar in Sweden. Here is her account of her whirlwind tour of a country which takes its children’s books seriously:

Meg Rosoff condemns the UK government’s “assault on childhood” – article in the Guardian

Accepting the Astrid Lindgren award last night, Meg Rosoff attacked overwhelming stress on exams over Culture. She condemned the government’s “assault on childhood”, saying that teaching and learning have become “joyless” in the UK. Read the full article in the Guardian.

The public talk at Kulturhuset in Stockholm between Meg Rosoff and jury member Maria Lassén-Seger (UR Play):

Radio interview with Jenny Aschenbrenner in SR Kulturpodden, (SR P1 Kulturpodd)

“I’m always looking at the edges where things start to break down, the line between being sane and being insane. I don’t believe that life has nice even edges, and it’s those funny areas that I’m interested in.”

TV interview for Babel (Babel SVT 2)

During the award week in Stockholm Meg Rosoff came on a flying visit to record the last show of literary TV show Babel for the season. The host for Babel, Jessika Gedin, interviewed Meg, the writer Nuruddin Farah, originally from Somalia, now living in Cape Town, and the rap artist Silvana Imam.

Radio interview with the laureate shortly after the announcement in SR Kulturpodden, (SR P1 Kulturpodd)

Illustration of Meg’s speech

The illustrator Chris Riddell made a beautiful interpretation of Meg Rosoff’s acceptance speech on his blog.

A wonderful award night

May 31, 2016

What a fantastic evening! Yesterday’s ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall, when Meg Rosoff received the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2016, was such a great experience. Beautiful speeches, brilliant music and wonderful atmosphere. These pictures taken by photographer Stefan Tell give you some highlights from the evening!


The sun was shining and the Stockholm Concert Hall was beautifully decorated.


Katti Hoflin was the compere of the night.


The Swedish Minister for Culture and Democracy, Alice Bah Kuhnke, made the congratulatory speech.


Boel Westin, Chairman of the ALMA jury, read the jury’s citation.


Emotional moment when Meg Rosoff received the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2016.


Meg Rosoff made a very strong and beautiful acceptance speech.


Great music by Bo Kaspers Orkester.


Hamadi Khemiri read an exerpt from Meg Rosoff’s novel “What I was”.


Beautiful musical entertainment by Malena Ernman.


The Concert Hall was full.


Many people wanted to document the evening.


Evening sun when the ceremony was finished.

Meg Rosoff Accepts Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award Before Full Stockholm Concert Hall

May 30, 2016

Meg Rosoff Accepts Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award Before Full Stockholm Concert Hall

Meg Rosoff tonight received the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award from Swedish Minister for Culture and Democracy Mrs. Alice Bah Kuhnke. In her acceptance speech she expressed both praise and criticism.

Rosoff spoke joyfully but also gravely. She expressed pleasure and pride at being recognized for her work as an author. She also described a sense of sorrow for today’s world of child refugees, leaders who know too little about the importance of art, music, and literature for young people, and societies that value lawyers and bankers more than teachers and librarians.

Meg Rosoff emphasized the importance of the imagination, quoting Astrid Lindgren: “Everything great that happened in this world happened first in someone’s imagination.”

– It is a great honour and a great responsibility to carry on the work that Astrid Lindgren began. I am not only grateful for the recognition this prize brings, but for a country that puts such tremendous value on children’s books and children’s imaginations.

In her congratulatory speech, Minister Bah Kuhnke mentioned difficulties facing young people today:

– Teenage-years are a bit like no man´s land. No one is invited to come close and there are no clear sign posts for direction. It is comfortable for the rest of us to keep it on a certain distance. And it can be awfully difficult to dig into our teenagers’ emotions since it forces us to reflect on our own lives. Someone who doesn´t fear this is this year’s laurate of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award; Meg Rosoff.

Musical entertainment was provided by Malena Ernman and Bo Kasper’s Orchestra. Hamadi Khemiri read from Rosoff’s novel, What I Was. The ceremony was hosted by Stockholm City Librarian Katti Hoflin.




For further information, please contact:
Helene Oljons, Communications Officer
Tel +46(0)765401025

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) is the world’s largest award for children’s and young adult literature. The award, which amounts to SEK 5 million, is given annually to a single laureate or to several. Authors, illustrators, oral storytellers and reading promoters are eligible. The award is designed to promote interest in children’s and young adult literature. The UN convention of rights of the child is the foundation of our work. An expert jury selects the laureate(s) from candidates nominated by institutions and organisations all over the world. The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award was founded by the Swedish government in 2002 and is administrated by the Swedish Arts Council.

Public talk at Kulturhuset

May 26, 2016

Last night Meg Rosoff was invited to Kulturhuset in Stockholm, the Stockholm house of culture and city theatre, for a public award lecture. The jury member Maria Lassén-Seger interviewed Meg and their conversation included a variety of interesting topics related to Meg’s writing and children’s literature in general. Among the themes discussed were the role that animals, humour and elements of magic realism play in her stories, and the drift of ages within the characters in her books.

Kulturhuset webb

Meg and Maria Lassén-Seger. Photo: Stefan Tell


Meg also reflected upon the fact that it took her quite a long time to find out that she actually was an author and wrote her debut novel “How I live now”.

“I was convinced I couldn’t do it. There were no manuscripts in the wardrobe because I thought that if I can’t do it really well, I won’t do it. And that was quite a depressing thought.”

Meg also talked about the way she writes and that she doesn’t know herself how the story is going to end when she initiate a new project. Often it starts with just one line and then she sees where that line will take her.

“I think that writing comes from a very deep place, from the unconscious. I imagine it to be a great big dark place from which you sometimes can cross a bridge to the conscious mind. Writers spend a big part of their lives in that dark place and get more and more used to crossing that bridge”.

The award lecture will be broadcasted by the Swedish TV channel Kunskapskanalen on Monday 31st of May at 3.30 pm.

Inspiring morning in Hjulsta

May 25, 2016

This morning it was time for Meg Rosoff to visit Hjulsta elementary school and meet all the enthusiastic and curious students and teachers there. We had a great time! First Meg got to meet a group of seventh graders who had prepared questions for her.


“Where does your inspiration come from?”

“What was your first profession?”

“What was your reaction when you first got to know that you had won the price?”

Meg shared her thoughts with the students and told them, among other things, that it took a long time for her to figure out what she wanted to do in life.

“In a way, I stayed a teenager for a long time. I just couldn’t figure out how to be an adult. I have done everything late in life; I met my husband late, I got my daughter when I was 40 and I didn’t write my first book until I was 45. But, as Shakespeare says, the readiness is all. Sometimes you just have to wait until it’s time for something to happen in life.”

Then it was time for a discussion in the library with ten 15-year-old students who had all read the book “How I live now”. The war theme in the book, the way the story is written and the psychological development of Daisy, the main character, were topics that were brought up for discussion.

To conclude the morning in Hjulsta, the young pupils in the school had prepared some wonderful ALMA inspired entertainment. A group of fourth graders performed their own, fantastic ALMA song as well as a few classic Astrid Lindgren songs from the Pippi Longstocking movies. Then Meg Rosoff got more questions from the pupils. Among other things the children wanted to know what she plans to do with the money she receives as an ALMA laureate.

“Well, I want to buy a spotted horse and be able to lift it with only one hand”, she said and the children laughed.

To get a feeling of what it was like to be in Hjulsta today, have a look at the beautiful pictures taken by photographer Stefan Tell.b_ALMA_2016-05-25_Meg-Rosoff_Hjulstaskolan_022_blogg450






New video with Meg Rosoff

May 24, 2016

Interview with Meg Rosoff in Stockholm during the award week. Stockholm May 24, 2016.


Stockholm at its best

May 24, 2016

Today Meg participated in the award ceremony for the reading promotion project Children and Books at outdoor museum Skansen in Stockholm.

Winners of the competition “A World Class Book” were rewarded at the Solliden stage by Meg among others, eleven-year-olds from Adolf Fredrik’s Music School made some absolutely lovely performances, and the winning contributions and Meg’s books were exhibited in the Brage Hall.

After a fantastic lunch at Gubbhyllan (approx. the old man’s shelf), Meg met Radio Sweden and Swedish Newspaper Sydsvenskan in the so called Ottoman room, as you can see (last pic) the room was already taken by someone wearing a fez…

Enjoy the pics of today!


Meg Rosoff, Tobias Runnfeldt, event director at Skansen, Helen Sigeland and Anne Edeborg from the award office


A huge audience of children from Stockholm’s schools.


Compere Anna Franzon from Skansen interviewing Meg Rosoff.


Choir from Adolf Fredrik’s Music School.


Award Ceremony.


Meg and Anna looking into the Bergsmans Farm dating back to the 18th Century.


Meg and Anna.


First prize winner in the pre school category: Gustav Vasa school with a work based on 2011 ALMA Laureate Shaun Tan’s The Red Tree.


Meg Rosoff exhibition at the Brage Hall made by Anne Edeborg.


Meg and the mysterious man in the Ottoman room.

Fantastic first day of the Award Week

May 23, 2016

Today we´ve had a fantastic day with Meg. This first day of the award week was focused on meeting the press. Look at these amazing photos taken by Stefan Tell!







Meg Rosoff in Babel

May 20, 2016


On Wednesday Meg Rosoff got a taste of what’s awaiting her in Stockholm during the award week. Met by pictures of herself at lampposts around the city, she came on a flying visit to record the last show of Babel for the season.

The host for Babel, Jessika Gedin, interviewed Meg, the writer Nuruddin Farah, originally from Somalia, now living in Cape Town, and the rap artist Silvana Imam.

The three guests with different backgrounds and different means of expression, found a common ground in their conversation. Silvana Imam concluded the show with a performance that left nobody untouched.

If you have access to SVT2, don’t miss Babel Sunday 20.00.