A number of prominent children’s authors have made the U.K.’s New Year’s Honours list. Philip Pullman, author of the His Dark Materials series, and a campaigning president of the Society of Authors, has been knighted in recognition for his services to literature. Pullman launched the Book of Dust trilogy last year, a companion to the critically acclaimed His Dark Materials books.

Pullman said in a statement, “I believe the profession of letters should be recognized as having a proper place in the life of the nation, along with science, and sport, and music, and scholarship, and many other human activities.” He also gave thanks to his editors, readers, and members of the publishing community, saying, “I’m immensely grateful to those who have worked so hard over many years to edit, publish, illustrate, and sell my books, and to the Society of Authors, which does so much for the profession of authorship. I’m most grateful of all to those who continue to read my books, and I hope they don’t have to work as hard as those who edit them.”

Also among this year’s children’s book honorees, The Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson was awarded a CBE for services to literature; and former U.K. Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell has received an OBE for services to illustration and to charity. Margaret Atwood was given a Companion of Honour, for services to literature. The Canadian author recently announced she is writing a sequel to her classic dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, a popular title among teen and adult readers alike.