IBBY Germany: 1955-
The Association for Children's and Youth Literature – Arbeitskreis für Jugendliteratur (AKJ) – was established in 1955 as the umbrella organization for children’s literature in Germany.
It currently has nearly 40 organizational members and over 200 individual members and is supported financially by the German Federal Ministry for Families, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. The central office is in Munich and provides support to the voluntary board of directors, which is elected every three years by the membership assembly.
The AKJ administers the annual German Youth Literature Award (Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis), which is Germany's only state-sponsored prize for works of fiction. Every year since 1956, the jury, which consists of literature specialists and critics, considers books in four categories: picture books, children’s books, young adult books and non-fiction titles. In 2003 an independent youth jury was introduced to give its own award. A special jury also awards the Sonderpreis (special award) that is given alternately to a German author, German illustrator or German translator for their complete work. The prize announcement and ceremony for all these awards takes place in October at the Frankfurt Book Fair.
In its quarterly journal JuLit and in various other publications and topical book catalogues, the AKJ provides not only guidance and information, but also acts as valuable selection and evaluation aids for the wide market of children's and youth literature. The Section organizes national and international workshops and conferences to encourage interaction among those working on a daily basis in the field of children's and youth literature.