Upper School Judge
William Kostakis (born 2 June 1989) is an Australian author and journalist. In high school, he won the Sydney Morning Herald Young Writer of the Year prize for a short story called 'Bing Me'. He went on to sign his first book deal in his final year of high school. His second novel, The First Third won the 2014 Inky Awards, and was shortlisted for the CBCA Book of the Year: Older Readers and Prime Minister's Literary Awards. His latest novel The Sidekicks was released in 2016, and has since been shortlisted for the Queensland Literary Awards.
Middle School Judge
JC Burke is a Sydney based author. Jane did a creative writing course via correspondence whilst recovering from glandular fever. She loved it, so straight after did another course, at Sydney University with Libby Gleeson. It was with Libby that she found out about the Australian Society of Authors Mentorship program. Her application to the ASA’s program was successful and Garry Crew was her mentor. Her first novel was ‘White Lies’ written during the mentorship and Lothian published it in 2002. It was made a CBCA notable book for 2003. Nine Letters Long was highly commended for the 2005 Aurealis Award for best horror novel and The Story of Tom Brennan was awarded the 2006 Book of the Year for Older Readers by the Children's Book Council of Australia.
Primary School Judge
Sydney-based author John Larkin was born in England but grew up in the western suburbs of Sydney. He has, at various stages of his writing career, supported his habit by working as a supermarket trolley boy, shelf-stacker, factory hand, forklift driver, professional soccer player and computer programmer. He now writes and teaches writing full-time. John has a BA in English Literature and a MA in Creative Writing from Macquarie University. John’s The Shadow Girl won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards Prize for Writing for Young Adults 2012, and The Pause won the Queensland Literary Awards Griffith University Young Adult Book Award 2015.
Open School Judge
Paul McDonald is the owner of the Children’s Bookshop in Beecroft. Paul has a Master of Education, working almost 20 years as a teacher of Upper Primary and Secondary. He has won numerous awards in teaching such as a Quality Teacher Award in 2002, The Premier’s English Scholarship in 2004 and awards for his co-ordination of Regional Shakespearean Festivals. His interests include the development of literacy with a particular interest in reading for gifted children, Boys’ Literacy and books for adolescents. In 2012 Paul was awarded the School Library Association of NSW's Maurice Saxby Award for his commitment to and contribution to children's literature.
WA All 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. She is also a long-standing and current Reviewer for the review journal Magpies: Reading about books for children, and also for Reading Time, the official review journal for the Children's Book Council of Australia.