Our judges for Write a Book in a Day 2021
WA Primary, Middle & Upper Divisions Judge
Chloe Mauger has worked in school libraries since the late 1970s. Since her retirement in 1999 most of her professional energies have been poured into working on the Committee of The Children’s Book Council of Australia, West Australian Branch, which she joined in 1998. She has held the roles of president, secretary and committee member and judged a number of prestigious awards including the CBCA Book of the Year Awards and the West Australian Premier’s Book Awards. Chloe is also a reviewer for Magpies: Talking About Books for Children, and has been privileged to be a judge for the Write a Book in a Day competition since 2015
Primary Division Judge
Maddy Proud is a professional netballer currently playing for the NSW Swifts in the Suncorp Super Netball Competition. She is the current captain of the club which won the 2019 Super Netball Championship. Maddy has played professionally since the age of 16, starting her career at the Adelaide Thunderbirds after becoming the youngest player to ever be contracted to a professional netball team. Maddy was the captain of the Australian 21 & Under team from 2012-2013 during which time she led the team to a silver medal at the World Youth Netball Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, in 2013. She is a current member of the Australian Diamonds Squad.
Maddy’s first children’s novel, Grace on the Court, was published in January 2018. The story follows 13-year old Grace Parker as she figures out how to handle the 3 B’s: boys, boy bands and ball sports. She has completed a Masters of Creative Writing at Macquarie University.
Primary Division Judge
Margot Lindgren is a retired Teacher-Librarian who worked in NSW Primary schools for 33 years in a variety of settings from small rural schools to her final role at Avalon Public School. She has a passion for children’s literature which she shares through her blog – Momo Time to Read. It now has over 2000 book reviews. She adds several new titles (Australian and International) each week ranging from Picture Books through to novels for older Primary students. In 2021 she took up the role of CBCA Picture Book of the Year Judge for the 2022-23 Awards. Margot is currently the National Secretary of IBBY Australia (International Board on Books for the Young). Margot is also a regular volunteer at Westmead Children’s Hospital in their Book Bunker and assists as a volunteer in several school libraries each week. In addition to her teaching qualifications Margot has a MEd in Teacher-Librarianship and Post Graduate qualifications in Children’s Literature.
Upper Division Judge
Marita Smith is an author, editor, and gourmet mushroom grower. After finishing a PhB (Hons) in Science at the Australian National University, she worked as a paleobiogeochemist in the Netherlands and then vagabonded her way across Europe working on small farms. She now lives in a tent on the NSW South Coast, where she writes young adult science fiction, cultures bioluminescent fungi, and hangs out with her donkey, Mindy.
Dr Mark Fenech
Primary, Middle & Upper Division Illustrations Judge
Mark has a PhD in Visual Arts, and is an art teacher at St Joseph’s College. He is also a Fellow of the Faculty of Education, University of Sydney.
Middle Division Judge
Mick Elliott is an author, illustrator, TV producer, literacy ambassador and mischief-maker who has been doodling and telling stories since he was a toddler. His hilarious adventure trilogy, THE TURNERS, was nominated for an Aurealis Award and features on the Premiers’ Reading Challenge. His illustrated comedy series, SQUIDGE DIBLEY DESTROYS THE SCHOOL, features a class of outcasts who band together to defeat the tyrannical schemes of their child-loathing vice principal. Mick is an award-winning children’s TV producer and screenwriter, who has worked on acclaimed productions for Nickelodeon, the Sesame Workshop and the ABC. Mick lives in Sydney with his wife, two kids and a garden full of lizards.
National Primary, Middle & Upper Division Judge
Will Kostakis is a writer of all things, from celebrity news stories that score cease and desist letters, to tweets for professional wrestlers. That said, he’s best known for his award-winning YA novels. His first novel, Loathing Lola, was released when he was just nineteen. His second, The First Third, won the 2014 Gold Inky Award. It was also shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year and Australian Prime Minister’s Literary awards, among others. The Sidekicks was his third novel for young adults, and his American debut. It went on to win the IBBY Australia Ena Noel Award. Monuments is his fourth novel.As a high school student, Will won Sydney Morning Herald Young Writer of the Year for a collection of short stories. He has since contributed to numerous anthologies, including Begin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology. Will is a NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge Ambassador.
Middle Division Judge
Felicia Harris has worked as a Teacher Librarian, a HASS teacher and an English teacher for 25 years in schools throughout Western Australia and the ACT. Her favourite job is working as a Teacher Librarian where she has the opportunity to have great conversations about books and can share her love of reading with students.
Felicia is the Vice President of the Western Australian School Library Association (WASLA), and she is the Judges Talks co-ordinator, and a past Vice President, of the Western Australian branch of the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA). She has been a National Judge for the CBCA Book of the Year Awards in the categories of Younger Readers and the Eve Pownall Award for Information Books.
Felicia is the 2019 Western Australian Teacher Librarian of the Year.
When she isn’t reading through her To Be Read pile Felicia is either in her garden, playing with her three cats and two dogs, or hanging out with friends talking about books.
Primary Division Judge
NAT AMOORE is a Sydney-based writer and kidlit podcast host (One More Page) whose debut novel Secrets Of A Schoolyard Millionaire came out in 2019 with Penguin Random House. It had great success as both Dymocks and QBD’s ‘Kids Book Of The Month’, becoming Australia’s #1 bestselling debut Aussie children’s fiction in 2019.
Her second book The Power Of Positive Pranking was released in 2020 and her third book The Right Way To Rock was released in June 2021. 2021 is Nat’s first year as a judge for Write a Book in a Day, check out her video where she share’s tips on writing with parameters.
Judith Rossell is the multi-award-winning author-illustrator of the bestselling Stella Montgomery series. (Withering-by-Sea, Wormwood Mire, Wakestone Hall and A Garden of Lilies; Improving Tales for Young Minds). Judith has written fifteen books and illustrated more than eighty, most recently the novelty board book Play with your Plate, published by Abrams Books in New York, and the picture books Bogtrotter and Pink! both written by Margaret Wild. Her work has been published in the US and UK, and translated into more than twenty languages.
Before becoming an illustrator, Judith worked as a scientist at CSIRO, and in product development for a cotton spinning company. She lives in Melbourne with one very skinny cat and one very fat cat.