The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) is an initiative of the Swedish Arts Council and has a monetary value of around 431,000 euros aimed at writers, illustrators, institutions and people who work to promote books and reading for young people.

Among those nominated for 2024, the organisation announced that there are three Portuguese authors who are candidates for the first time: illustrator Mariana Rio and writers David Machado and José Vaz.

They are also joined by Bernardo P. Carvalho, António Jorge Gonçalves, André Letria and Catarina Sobral, all from the area of ​​illustration and graphic design, previously nominated for the award.

Mariana Rio (1986), graduated in Graphic Design and Communication Design, has already been awarded in Portugal, the United States and South Korea for her work as an illustrator.

She is the co-author of books such as “A construção do mundo”, with Fábio Monteiro, “Vamos descobrir a Biblioteca Nacional”, with Luísa Ducla Soares, “A casa-a da Doutora Farnsworth”, with Joana Couceiro, and “Fatma”, with Conceição Dinis Tomé.

David Machado (1978), who has just published the illustrated book “Esta história”, with João Fazenda, is the author of short stories, novels and young adult novels, namely “Os reis do mar”, “Não te afastes” and “O tubarão na banheira”(2009).

José Vaz (1940) began writing for younger children in the late 1970s, having published short stories and plays, such as “Para sonhar com borboletas azuis”, “A Viagem à Terra dos Oxalás”, “O Mandarim Fi-Xú” and “Celestino, o rato da biblioteca”.

The total list of nominees includes 245 candidates from 68 countries and the winner will be announced on April 9, 2024, coinciding with the Children's and Young People's Book Fair in Bologna, Italy.

This year, the ALMA award was awarded to North American writer Laurie Halse Andersen, who donated part of the money to the Pen América organisation, to combat book censorship.