CBCA Book of the Year Awards Policy 2020-21:
9.1 The Judging Panel Function Statement
To select from the children’s books published in Australia in the preceding year within the terms, definitions, and criteria governing the awards, the most distinguished contributions to Australian literature for children.
9.2 The Judging Panel
The CBCA Book of the Year Judging Panel shall consist of fifteen (15) members.
Three judges shall comprise the panel for each category of the Awards the exception being PB, which will also judge NI.
The judging panel comprises literary/visual literacy experts in children’s literature, children’s librarians or teacher librarians.
Judges must be a financial member of the CBCA.
Judging panels are formed through application with merit-based processes applied.
The CBCA offers a tenure of two years for judges, with an optional one year roll over term made available on application.
9.3 Responsibilities and Duties of Judges
9.3.1 Reading Requirements
Judges will be required to read all books entered in their category during the judging period. Books will be sent to judges monthly and judges will have four weeks to respond with comments and voting.
9.3.2 Reporting Requirements
Judges will be required to write a brief report, vote on and discuss each book online and face-to-face.
On a rotational basis judges in each category submit a first draft critique on selected books.
The Awards Committee will be responsible for editing draft critiques for accuracy and criteria components.
Each judge submits a contribution to the Judges' Report.
9.3.3 Category Panel Meetings
Judges work with their panel and will be required to participate in teleconferences, online meetings and face-to-face meetings as determined by the Awards Convenor to facilitate discussion, reflection and reporting on entries. During these panel meetings the Notable, Short Listed, Honour and Winner books will be discussed, recommended and selected. Teleconferences are convened at the request of judges, Awards Convenor or at such time as 5 or more entries require further review and discussion.
9.3.4 Judges’ Meetings, Presentations and Announcements
Judges commit to:
- Attendance at all online and teleconferences designated by the Awards Convenor;
- Attendance at the online discussions to confirm the Notable List;
- Attendance at a minimum of one face-to-face meeting, attended by all judges, to confirm the Honour, Winner and Shortlist books;
- Participation in all briefings;
- Work collaboratively with the panel to implement: promotional/educational content in relation to the Notable or Shortlisted books;
- Attendance, where possible, at the CBCA Shortlist Announcement and the CBCA Book of the Year Award Announcement, or other such events organised by CBCA Branches.
The CBCA will cover the costs related to the accommodation, flights and meals for judges to attend the Judges’ Conference. Attendance at other events will be at the judge’s expense. Priority is to attend at local CBCA Branch events to minimise costs.
All judges maintain confidentiality throughout the judging process. All deliberations remain confidential and individual judge reports are destroyed at the close of deliberations.
Any and all requests for information about the Awards should be directed to the National Office. Judges are not authorised to provide information regarding the Awards, entries, prize winners, personal or other comments relating to individual books or categories.
All reports and/or announcements with regard to the Awards are disseminated by the CBCA National Office in collaboration with the Awards Committee and Communications Comittee.
9.3.6 Deed of Agreement
Successful applicants will be asked to sign a Deed of Agreement. This is forwarded to the National Office along with a brief biography for the CBCA website and a current photograph.
9.4 Eligibility for serving as a Judge
All judges must be a financial member of a Branch of The Children’s Book Council of Australia (this can be individual or institutional membership) and have a current Working With Children and Vulnerable People Check (or Police Check) as determined by regulations in their State or Territory.
9.4.1 Conflict of Interest
It is important for perceptions of fairness in the Awards that judges have no conflict of interest in the outcome of the Awards during their term of office. Candidates should carefully consider CBCA’s Conflict of Interest Policy before seeking nomination and must include with their nomination documents a completed Conflict of Interest Declaration form. If appointed, a judge’s obligations to consider and disclose actual and potential conflicts of interest is ongoing.
9.4.2 Vested Interest
A person with a vested interest in the Awards may not be a judge. For the purposes of these Awards a vested interest is taken to be any financial gain obtained from or other financial association with the actual publication process of a current entry in the Awards.
9.4.3 Associations with an Entry
A judge who has a non-financial association with a current entry (such as mentoring the author or editorial role) or a financial association that is subsequent to the publication of a current entry (such as a paid review, a bookselling position or preparing readers’ notes) must declare that association to the other judges and National Board through the Conflict of Interest Declaration.
Should the Awards Committee consider a judge’s association with a current entry as sufficient to influence a public perception of bias in the judging of the Awards, they will refer to the CBCA Board the decision with regard to the judge continuing with their appointment.
9.5 Appointment of Judges
Applications open 1 September of application year.
Applications close 30 October of application year.
Judge appointments will be announced by 31 January of the following year.
Judging panels are formed through application with merit-based processes applied. Each Branch will receive the applications in their State or Territory and compile a shortlist, which the Territory or State Branch returns to the National Office. The National Office will forward the shortlists to the Awards Convenor and Awards Committee for final selection. The appointment of judges is endorsed at the next National Board meeting following the selection process.
Unsuccessful applicants may reapply in subsequent years.
The judges’ biographies and images are published on the CBCA national website.
9.5.1 Selection of judges
No judge may serve on two panels simultaneously, with the exception of PB and NI panels.
No judge can concurrently serve on any other Australian children’s literature awards.
The selection process will be according to the following criteria:
- High level skills in establishing sound, effective and collaborative working relationships.
- Highly developed ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
- Demonstrated ability to effectively prioritise and manage competing demands to meet deadlines.
- Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of the field of children’s literature.
- Recognised qualifications in the field of children’s literature.
- Awareness of illustration techniques and media, visual literacy, design, writing styles and editing as they relate to children’s literature.
- Demonstrated successful experience in using evidence to provide written assessments of children’s literature.
- Demonstrated commitment to promoting excellence in Australian children’s literature.
Resignation of a judge during term of office
Should a judge resign after 31 October, no replacement will be chosen and the remaining judges will use the reports and comments of the resigned judge when making their final considerations. If a judge resigns prior to 31 October the Awards Committee will select a replacement from previous applications, if possible. Should no suitable candidate be available, the Awards Committee will call for applications.
Books already issued to the resigning judge will be returned and access to Awards information terminated.