Cadwalladr, Donaldson, Scheffler and Vuillard to receive Hay Festival Medals

Hay Festival has today announced the recipients of this year’s Hay Festival Medals to be awarded at the 32nd edition, 23 May to 2 June, in Hay-on-Wye.

Awarded annually since Britain’s Olympic year in 2012, Hay Festival Medals draw inspiration from the original Olympic medal given for poetry. With Athena as muse, silversmith Christopher Hamilton crafts them locally.

Recipients for 2019 will be Carole Cadwalladr (Medal for Journalism), Julia Donaldson (Medal for Poetry), Axel Scheffler (Medal for Illustration) and Eric Vuillard (Medal for Fiction).

Peter Florence, director of Hay Festival, said: “Hay Festival Medals this year will be awarded to honour exceptional work in poetry, illustration, fiction and journalism. The poetry medal winner is Julia Donaldson, who brings parents and children together with books all over the world. The illustration medal goes to her collaborator and Gruffalo co-creator, the peerless German artist, Axel Scheffler, who brings his Drawing Europe Together exhibition to the festival. The fiction medal is awarded for The Order of the Day, a terrifying black comedy by the Goncourt prize-winning French novelist Eric Vuillard. The medal for journalism is awarded for the heroic and rigorous investigative journalism of Carole Cadwalladr.”

Find out more about the Hay Festival Medals, including a list of past recipients, here.

Awards will be given live on stage at Hay Festival 2019, where 600 speakers appear in events across 11 days, 23 May-2 June. The full programme for the festival's 32nd edition in Wales is out now. Award-winning writers gather to launch new work, while global policy makers, pioneers and innovators seek solutions to the biggest issues of our time, from the rise of populism to the climate crisis. A vibrant schedule of late-night music, comedy and entertainment appeals to all ages, while HAYDAYS and #HAYYA programmes encourage younger readers to get creative.

Confirmed speakers and performers include Arundhati Roy, Ian McEwan, Jeanette Winterson, Steven Pinker, Caroline Criado Perez, Stephen Fry, Sandi Toksvig, Jimmy Carr, Bill Bailey, Sara Pascoe, Nish Kumar, Joanna Lumley, Jo Brand, Maxine Peake, Amitav Ghosh, Leila Slimani, Germaine Greer, Keir Starmer, Jacqueline Wilson, Matt Haig, Ade Adepitan, Paris Lees, David Olusoga, David Lammy, Emily Maitlis, Dolly Alderton, Monty Don, Moby and Greg James.

Hay Festival’s free Programme for Schools opens the festival on Thursday 23 May and Friday 24 May, while a series of projects encourage accessibility, including the Beacons Project, free tickets for students in higher education, a student exchange with Bradford Literary Festival, a day for adoptive families run with The Family Place, and Hay Compass, a special space on site to learn and discover for 16-25-year-olds, with free access to inspiring speakers.

Free to enter, the festival village is comprised of 10 tented venues, the Festival Bookshop, HAYDAYS courtyard, Wild Garden, Make and Take Tent, the Scribblers Hut, the Cube, the Mess Tent, and market stalls, cafés, exhibitions and restaurants.

Explore the full Hay Festival Wales programme and book tickets here.