Our Judges for the 2019 CBCA Book of the Year Awards have been appointed. Please see here for the announcement and full list of Judges.

How to Become a Judge

Appointment of Judges

Key Dates:

•  Nominations and applications are open October every year.
•  Closing date for nominations is 30 November.
•  Appointments announced by 31 December.

No Judge may serve on two panels at the same time, but serving on one panel does not preclude a Judge from subsequently serving on another panel in a later year.

Selection of Judges will be based on the following criteria:

•  Recognised standing and qualifications in the field of children’s literature.
•  Wide and current knowledge of children’s literature, especially Australian.
•  Awareness of illustration techniques, design, editing, printing & production processes.
•  Ability to communicate assessment effectively, both verbally and in writing.
•  Awareness of and commitment to the time required.
•  Ability to work within given deadlines.
•  Good working knowledge of current technology including website blogging, video calls, Skype, etc.

Consideration of the following criteria will also be considered by the Awards Sub Committee in determining Judges:

•  Fair representation of all States and Territories;
•  Fair representation of backgrounds;
•  Fair representation of gender and age.

The Awards Sub Committee reserves the right not to appoint from the applications received, and reserves the right to appoint by invitation. Unsuccessful applicants can reapply in subsequent years.

The judges’ biographies will be published on the website with a photo. The information regarding the current judges is updated in August, after the awards have been announced.

Resignation of Judge during term of office

If a judge resigns after 31 October, no replacement is chosen and the remaining judges use the reports and comments of the resigned judge when making their final considerations.

If a judge resigns prior to 31 October the Awards Sub Committee will select a replacement from previous nominations, if possible. If no suitable candidate is available, the Awards Sub Committee will call for nominations or invite possible candidates from the State/Territory of the resigned judge.

Eligibility for serving as a Judge

All Judges must be current individual members of a State Branch of The Children’s Book Council of Australia and hold current Working with Children clearance as determined by regulations/law in their State or Territory. Please see our Working with Children Policy for further information.

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. Please see our Conflict of Interest Policy for further information.

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. Generally this would exclude publishers and their employees and may also exclude authors, illustrators, editors and others whose works would be entered in the Awards during their term of office.

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 Awards Sub Committee.

Should the Awards Sub Committee consider a Judge’s association with a current entry sufficient to influence public perception of bias in the judging of the Awards, they should ask the Judge to clarify their position and then determine to what extent the Judge should continue with judging in relation to that entry.

Judges' Requirements

Reading Requirements

Judges will be required to read all books entered in their category during the judging period and to write preliminary annotations and reports on each entry.

There are 50-120 books entered in each category.

Category Panel Meetings

Judges should be available for teleconferences, Skype meetings or other such meetings as determined by their panel to facilitate discussion, reflection and reporting on entries.

During these panel meetings the Notable, Short List, Honour and Winning books will be discussed and recommended.

There will be two teleconferences held during the judging period to review the books that are being considered for Notables. Held in September and January.

The Short List voting will be via an online forum and teleconference.

Reporting Requirements

Judges will be required to write their brief report, vote and discuss each book in an online forum.

Each judge in a category will be asked to write a first draft annotation on selected books on a rotational basis throughout the reporting period.

Judges will be responsible for editing draft annotations for accuracy prior to the list being handed over to the merchandise editors.

Each judge will be asked to contribute to the Judges’ Report.

All Judges Meeting

At least one face to face meeting will be attended by select or all judges.  During this conference the Honour and Winning books will be determined.

Judges’ Talks

Judges are expected to speak at a range of functions/events on the Notable and Shortlisted books for their local CBCA Branch, which will issue invitations accordingly.

Deed of Agreement

Upon selection each Judge will be asked to sign a Deed of Agreement, acknowledging any conflict of interest, the time commitment, reporting requirements and confirming confidentiality commitment.