Our Judges for the 2020/2021 CBCA Book of the Year Awards have been appointed. Please see here for the full list of judges.

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 judging panel comprises literary/visual literacy experts in children’s literature, children’s librarians or teacher librarians.
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. Judges will read between 50-180 books per category.

9.3.2 Reporting Requirements

Judges will be required to write a brief report, vote on and discuss each book on-line 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.
Each judge submits a contribution to the Judges' Report.

9.3.3 Category Panel Meetings

Judges work with their panel to be available for teleconferences, Skype meetings and face to face meetings as determined by their panel 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 or at such time as 10 or more entries require further review and discussion.

9.3.4 Judges’ Meetings, Presentations and Announcements

Judges commit to:
- Attendance at a minimum of one face to face meeting, attended by all judges, to confirm the Honour and Winner books, the Shortlist and the Notables list;
- Participation in all briefings;
- Work collaboratively with the panel to implement: video content and/or other 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.

9.3.5 Confidentiality

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.

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.

See Deed of Agreement

9.4 Eligibility for serving as a Judge

All judges hold current individual membership of a Branch of The Children’s Book Council of Australia and have a current Working With Children 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. If appointed, a judge’s obligations to consider and disclose actual and potential conflicts of interest is ongoing.

See Conflict of Interest Declaration

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 is 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 October each year.
Applications close 30 November each year.
Judge appointments will be announced by 31 January of the following year.

See Job Application and Cover Sheet

The Awards Panel, comprising the Awards Committee and 2 CBCA Board directors, are responsible for the selection of judges. 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.