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New Blood Entry — The Black List

Award: Yellow Pencil

Penguin / 2021

Reading plays a crucial role in the rounded development of young people, however 40% of GCSE students can’t find anything to read that interests them.

The Black List is a movement which lobbies the government for change in the curriculum, by spotlighting marginalised and relatable voices in writing, to encourage young readers (14 to 16). This is done by repositioning writing, in an authentic way, as a method of expression akin to spoken word and rap. We aim to help GCSE students realise that consuming words and stories in many forms can empower them to get their own voice heard.

What did the judges have to say?

"Brilliant creative execution across multiple stages of the campaign. It made reading feel bold, exciting and risky in a way that would appeal to young people."

Alexandra Sheppard, Author, Alexandra Sheppard

"A standout throughout and a judges’ favourite. A brilliantly crafted idea told through emotive storytelling, giving a sense of the user journey and speaking with integrity, as and directly to the target audience."

Peter Higgin, Director of Enrichment (CEO), Punchdrunk

"The Black List was so creatively executed when I first watched it I thought, 'Wow this is a real campaign!' due to how polished it was. It also gave pupils agency and the power to have a say in their education which I think is inspiring."

Zaahida Nabagereka, Programme Manager, Lit in Colour, Penguin Random House

"The Black List is a fully comprehensive idea that is ambitious and brilliantly conceived. The creativity and vision in the production of the video is engaging and genuinely exciting."

Josie Tucker, Creative Director, Adapt

"I think it’s fair to say that the written history taught in schools that we all learn focused on one part of history. This idea spoke to me as a request to say, 'You know there’s more, we’re richer than that. Look at all this other stuff that we could talk about and discuss’. – Arif Haq"

Arif Haq, Director of Brand Learning, TwentyFirstCenturyBrand