Katya Balen has won both the judges award and the shadowing group’s vote for her novel October, October.
— Yoto Carnegie Greenaway Awards (@CILIPCKG) June 16, 2022
Katya Balen studied English at university and completed post-grad study about the impact of stories on autistic children’s behaviour.
Her debut children’s novel The Space We’re In was a Sunday Times Children’s Book of the Week as well as being shortlisted for the Branford Boase award. October, October, her second novel, and now the 2022 Carnegie winner, was again selected as the Times Children’s Book of the Week and was also an ACHUKA Book of the Day choice. Her third book, The Light in Everything, published earlier this year and also an ACHUKA Book of the Day, is an affirming story of blended families with illustrations by Sydney Smith.
She is co-founder of Mainspring Arts, a not-for-profit organisation that provides mentoring and creative opportunities for neurodivergent adults.
In contrast to most other children’s writers these days, Katya Balen keeps a fairly low profile online. She doesn’t have an author website, is not on Instagram or TikTok, but can be followed on Twitter.