Joanne Harris

Joanne Harris (OBE, FRSL) was born in Barnsley in 1964, of a French mother and an English father. She studied Modern and Mediaeval Languages at Cambridge and was a teacher for fifteen years, during which time she published three novels, including Chocolat (1999), which was made into an Oscar-nominated film starring Juliette Binoche. 

Since then, she has written 20 more novels, plus novellas, short stories, game scripts, screenplays, a stage musical (with Howard Goodall) and three cookbooks. Her books are now published in over 50 countries and have won a number of British and international awards. She is an honorary Fellow of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, has honorary doctorates in literature from the universities of Sheffield and Huddersfield, and has been a judge for the Whitbread (Costa) Prize, the Women’s Prize, the Desmond Elliott Prize, the Betty Trask Award, the Primadonna Prize and the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science, as well as for the Fragrance Foundation awards for perfume and perfume journalism (for which she also received an award in 2017). She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2022. 

She is a passionate advocate for authors’ rights, and was the Chair of the Society of Authors (SoA) for four years. She is currently a member of the Board of the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS). 

As a dual national of France and of Great Britain, I’m thrilled and honoured to play a role in the launch of this exciting new prize, which represents so much that is dear to me; the country that taught me to love reading, and the country that taught me how to be a write.

Both our countries have a rich and varied literary heritage as well as a close shared history, and it’s wonderful to see them in partnership for this welcome celebration of young adult fiction. It’s also wonderful to be part of a prize that celebrates translators as well as creators, and I’m looking forward, both to reading the entries, and to working with my colleagues from both sides of the Channel.

The name of the prize is a welcome reminder of the 1904 Entente Cordiale, which marked the end of a period of antagonism between our two nations, and heralded a closer, more understanding relationship,’ adds Harris. ‘I hope that this prize will do the same from a literary perspective: for it is in our stories that we learn to understand one another, and in our shared dreams that we start to glimpse the chance of a better future.

– Joanne Harris



Marie-Aude Murail

Marie-Aude Murail has published over a hundred books, translated into 22 languages, some of which have been adapted into plays or films, and others into comic books. Given the French Legion of Honour for "having contributed to the cultural influence of France", she has been read by millions, of all ages, for the past 30 years. Her books for young people include Vive la République! and Golem (published by Pocket Jeunesse), the l'Espionne series (published by Bayard) for younger readers, Oh, boy !, Simple, Miss Charity, Malo de Lange, as well as the Nils Hazard and Sauveur & Fils series (published by L'école des Loisirs). She also published a family biography in September 2018, En nous beaucoup d'hommes respirent (published by l'Iconoclaste). On 21 March 2022, she was awarded the Hans-Christian Andersen prize by the International Board on Books for Young children (IBBY).



Timothée de Fombelle

Born in 1973, Timothée de Fombelle started his career as a playwright, before devoting himself to children's literature. He has written many sagas, often in several volumes, all of which have won awards and been translated into many languages (Tobie Lolness (Toby Alone), Vango, The Book of Pearl, Alma, etc.), as well as shorter or illustrated texts (Céleste ma planète, Capitaine Rosalie, Esther Andersen, etc.). He has also published a story about childhood for adults: Neverland.

Stories make us, they build us. So how could we not celebrate Children’s literature? These books are building the world of tomorrow. 

– Timothée de Fombelle



Joseph Coelho

Joseph Coelho is a multi-award-winning children’s author and playwright. His YA Story told in poems The Girl Who Became A Tree was shortlisted for The 2021 Carnegie Medal and received a special mention from the Bologna Ragazzi Award 2021. He has written plays for Little Angel Theatre, Tutti Frutti Productions, Polka Theatre and The Unicorn Theatre amongst others. He is two-time winner of the Indie Book Awards (2019 & 2022) with Picture Books If All The World Were... and My Beautiful Voice respectively (illu. Allison Colpoys). His Poetry Collection Werewolf Club Rules (Illu. John O'leary) won the 2015 CLIPPA Poetry Award. His plays for adults have received a special commendation from the Verity Bargate Award and been longlisted for the Bruntwood Playwriting Competition. He is Waterstones Children's Laureate 2022 – 2024.

I am delighted to be a judge for the inaugural Entente Littéraire Prize, (…) Books hold a special place in bringing people together and I cannot wait to read the YA submissions from France and to discover wonderful new voices and new stories. This prize will allow exciting voices both in the UK and France to discover new audiences and in doing so bring us all a little bit closer.

– Joseph Coelho



Patrice Lawrence

Patrice Lawrence FRSL is an award-winning English writer whose work spans genres from contemporary thrillers to historical fantasy. Her books for young adults have won many prizes including the Bookseller YA Prize, the Waterstones Prize for Older Children's Fiction, the Crimefest YA Prize twice, the Woman and Home Teen Drama Award and the inaugural Jhalak Prize for Children and Young People. Her novella, Needle, was shortlisted for the Carnegie Award and won the Little Rebel Awards.  Before becoming a full-time writer, she worked for more than 20 years in organisations promoting social justice.

I often grouch that writing for children and young people is undervalued in literary circles. The same argument can be made for translated work which is especially rare in children’s publishing. It’s such an honour to be an inaugural judge in a prize that celebrates such a wide scope of writing for young people and exposes readers on both sides of the Channel to exciting new work.

– Patrice Lawrence




  • Pictures: Joanne Harris © Kyte Photography / Timothée De Fombelle © Chloe Vollmer Editions Gallimard / Patrice Lawrence © Billie Charity and Hay Festival