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Iona and Peter Opie Prize

The Iona and Peter Opie Prize is awarded by the Children’s Folklore Section approximately every two years to the author of the best recently published scholarly book on children’s folklore. The next Opie Prize will be awarded in 2024. The deadline to receive books for consideration is August 15, 2024. The chairs of the Opie Prize Committee are John McDowell at Indiana University and Elizabeth Tucker at the Binghamton University.

To apply:

  1. Submit your application details using the AFS Prize Application Form

Submit books for consideration to the chairs of the Opie Prize Committee:

John McDowell
Folklore Institute, Indiana University, Classroom Office Building
800 E. 3rd St
Bloomington IN 47405

Elizabeth Tucker
500 Magnolia Drive
Vestal NY 13850

2022 Winners

The winners of the Opie Prize were Margaret Bennett, author of Dundee Street Songs, Rhymes and Games: The William Montgomerie Collection, 1952 (Grace Note Publications, 2021) and Jeanne Pitre Soileau, author of What the Children Said: Child Lore of South Louisiana (University Press of Mississippi, 2021).

2020 Winner

The winners of the 2020 Peter and Iona Opie Prize were Brandon Barker (Indiana University) and Claiborne Rice (University of Louisiana) for their book, Folk Illusions: Children, Folklore, and Sciences of Perception. 

2018 Winner

The winner of the 2018 Opie Prize is Yo’ Mama, Mary Mack, and Boudreaux and Thibodeaux: Louisiana Children’s Folklore and Play by Jeanne Pitré Soileau (Folklore Studies in a Multicultural World Series, University Press of Mississippi, 2016).

This excellent study of children’s folklore in post-desegregation Louisiana makes an important contribution to children’s folklore studies and studies of social change in the American South. The author’s engagement in children’s folklore research throughout the state for forty-four years (1970-2014) makes this a remarkable book. African-American and Cajun children’s culture receive particular attention. Folklorists, anthropologists, sociologists, and African American studies specialists will benefit from the author’s observations and insights.

Honorable Mention: Tyler Bickford, Schooling New Media: Music, Language, and Technology in Children’s Culture (Oxford, 2017).

2016 Winner

The winner of the 2016 Opie Prize is Children’s Games in the New Media Age: Childlore, Media and the Playground, edited by Andrew Burn and Chris Richards (Ashgate, 2014).

2012 Winners

The winners of the 2012 Opie Prize were Kathryn Marsh, The Musical Playground: Global Traditions and Change in Children’s Songs and Games (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), and Anna R. Beresin, Recess Battles: Play, Fighting, and Storytelling (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2010).

Honorable Mentions went to Carla Pascoe, Spaces Imagined, Places Remembered: Childhood in 1950s Australia (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011), Steve Roud, The Lore of the Playground: One Hundred Years of Children’s Games, Rhymes and Traditions (London: Random House, 2010), and Elizabeth Tucker, Children’s Folklore: A Handbook (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2008).

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