We are thrilled to announce the talented writers that will be judging the Young Writers’ Competition this year.
Judging the Year K - 2 category is Yvette Poshoglian. Yvette is a bestselling author of over 30 books for children including the popular Ella and Olivia series, the Frankie Fox Spy Girl books, the Puppy Diary series and the historical fiction title, My Australian Story: Escape from Cockatoo Island.
Yvette has previously run the NSW Premier's Reading Challenge, is a regular guest and panel host at writers' festivals and works with both students and teachers in the areas of creative writing, storytelling and literacy.
Judging the Year 3 – 4 category is author and playwright Nathan Luff. Growing up on a farm in rural NSW as one of five boys, his colourful upbringing is often inspiration for the stories he tells. He is the author of The Nerd Herd series as well as Chicken Stu and Bad Grammar.
As well as writing plays for young audiences, Nathan works part time as a primary school teacher, specialising in creative writing and the performing arts.
Judging the Year 5 – 6 category is Belinda Murrell, a bestselling internationally published author with a history of writing in her family that spans over 200 years.
Belinda has written more than 35 books including The Sun Sword trilogy, the popular Lulu Bell and Pippa’s Island series and her award-winning Time Slip novels. Her latest book is Searching for Charlotte, a biography written with her sister Kate Forsyth and inspired by the fascinating life of their great-great-great-great grandmother who wrote the first children’s book published in Australia in 1841.
Judging the Year 7 - 8 category is Wendy Fitzgerald, the President of the Northern Sydney sub branch of the Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA). Wendy teaches creative writing at Ku-ring-gai Arts Centre in Roseville and is a creative writing tutor at the Sydney Factory in Redfern. She is also the author of two children's books, Bollywood dreams and Indigo solves the puzzle.
Wendy believes that everyone should follow their dreams and would love to see more children's books that feature characters from different backgrounds.
Judging the Year 9 – 10 category is Will Kostakis, an award-winning author for young adults. Winning the Sydney Morning Herald’s Young Writer of the Year when he was in high school, Will released his first novel Loathing Lola when he was just 19.
His second novel, The First Third, went on to win the 2014 Gold Inky Award and was shortlisted for both the CBCA Book of the Year and the Prime Minister’s Literary awards. His trademark style in the fantasy genre can be seen in his most recent stories, Monuments and Rebel Gods.
Judging the Year 11 – 12 category is Jane Burke (J. C. Burke). With writers for parents, Jane grew up in a world of books but decided to become an Oncology nurse after her mother lost a long battle with cancer. Jane started writing in 1999 and has since published a number of acclaimed books for teenagers and young adults.
The Story of Tom Brennan won the 2006 CBCA Book of the Year (Older Readers) and the 2006 Australian Family Therapists Award for Children’s Literature. It was also on the NSW HSC Syllabus list until 2018. Her other novel Pig Boy also won the prestigious Ned Kelly Award for crime fiction in 2012.