The London Book Fair has announced Klaus Flugge, founder of Andersen Press, as the recipient of the LBF Lifetime Achievement Award 2023.
Klaus Flugge is a leading name in the world of children’s publishing and illustration. After founding Andersen Press – named after Hans Christian Andersen — in the autumn of 1976, he went on to publish some of the most acclaimed illustrators worldwide, including David McKee, Tony Ross, Satoshi Kitamura, Sir Quentin Blake and Chris Riddell to name a few. In 1999, he became the first publisher to receive the Eleanor Farjeon Award for outstanding contribution to children’s books and in 2010 he became the first publisher to be awarded Honorary Membership of the Youth Libraries Group. In 2013 Klaus was made an honorary citizen of the City of Bologna in recognition of his commitment to children’s books abroad.
To celebrate Andersen Press’ 40th anniversary in 2016, he established the Klaus Flugge Prize. Awarded to the most promising and exciting newcomer to children’s picture book illustration, it has become one of the most prestigious and sought after awards for emerging picture book talent.
Gareth Rapley, director of The London Book Fair, said: “We are delighted to name Klaus Flugge the recipient of this year’s London Book Fair Lifetime Achievement Award. For nearly five decades, Klaus has been a luminary in children’s publishing, bringing incredible stories and phenomenal illustrations to millions of children across the globe. His passion for championing emerging talent is hugely inspiring, as is recognized yearly in the picture book prize established in his name. As a dad to young children myself, I love sharing Andersen Press books with my kids, and I look forward to celebrating Klaus in person at the Fair, less than a month from now.”
David Roche, non-executive chair of The London Book Fair, commented: “The LBF Lifetime Achievement Award Judging Panel is delighted to recognise the huge contribution of Klaus Flugge and present the 2023 award to him. Klaus started Andersen Press in 1976 and built an extraordinary roster of talent that has inspired generations. The company is still going strong today, as is he. It is wonderful and typical of Klaus that a prize in his name, and funded personally by him, was set up while he was in his eighties to recognize the most promising and exciting new illustrators. We are full of admiration and love for Klaus, and it is fitting that, like Elmer, we will never forget his fantastic contribution to the international book world.”
Baroness Gail Rebuck, DBE, commented: “Boundless energy, a passion for publishing and brilliant taste in children’s illustration all characterize Klaus Flugge, the remarkable publisher who founded Andersen Press. Klaus combines great taste, a feel for the children’s market and a strong business sense but it is his effervescent creativity and love of books that keep his top roster of authors and illustrators loyal. I am so pleased that after a stellar career and many awards, Klaus is given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the London Book Fair.”
Diana Gerald, CEO BookTrust, said: “I’m delighted to hear that the legendary Klaus Flugge is the recipient of the London Book Fair’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He is behind so many of the tremendous books which have got children to love reading over the decades. In doing this, he will have transformed so many lives as those children reaped the benefits of becoming regular readers. From the sweetest of picture books including David McKee’s Elmer, all the way to Melvin Burgess’s hard hitting YA novel Junk, and everything in between… It’s a spectacular legacy.”
Ian Hudson, executive director and managing director of consumer publishing, Bloomsbury, added: “Klaus Flugge is a Children’s publisher beyond compare. He has always had an amazing eye for illustration, a wonderful nose for a great storyline, and an incredible network of partners around the world who want to publish Andersen Press books. But more than this, he’s a shrewd businessman, a true gentleman and he has a big heart, I feel enormously privileged to have learnt so much from him and to be able to call him my friend.”
The Lifetime Achievement Award committee selected Klaus Flugge from a shortlist of leading international publishing figures.
The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual who has made a truly significant mark in the sphere of global publishing. It is open to publishers, agents, editors, scouts and anyone else involved in international publishing from any country in the world.
Klaus Flugge will be presented with his award at a special reception celebrating the International Excellence Awards winners and the Lifetime Achievement Award during The London Book Fair, on Wednesday 19 April.
PREVIOUS LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD WINNERS:
2022 – Hiroshi Hayakawa, Hayakawa Publishing, Japan
2021 – Margaret Busby, Allison & Busby, UK
2020 – Nigel Newton, Bloomsbury Publishing, UK
2019 – Dorotea Bromberg, Brombergs Bokförlag, Sweden
2018 – Sara Miller McCune, Sage Publishing, US
2017 – Luiz Schwarcz, Companhia das Letras, Brazil
2016 – Gail, Baroness Rebuck DBE, Penguin Random House, UK
2015 – Peter Usborne, Usborne, UK
2014 – Deborah Rogers, Rogers, Coleridge & White, UK
2013 – Michael Krüger, Hanser Verlag, Germany
2012 – Jorge Herralde, Editions Anagrama, Spain
2011 – Sonny Mehta, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., US
2010 – Antoine Gallimard, Éditions Gallimard, France
2009 – Drenka Willen, Harcourt, USA
2008 – Peter Mayer, Overlook Press and Duckworth, UK & USA
2007 – Lord Weidenfeld, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, UK
2006 – Christopher MacLehose, MacLehose Press, UK
2005 – Lynette Owen, Pearson Education, UK
2004 – John Lyons, Little, Brown, UK & USA
The London Book Fair will take place at Olympia London from 18-20 April 2023.