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2020
Winners announced
Cover image for the book Ella and the Ocean.
Allen & Unwin
Winner
Cover image for the book Detention.
Penguin Random House
Shortlisted
Cover image for the book One Tree.
Penguin Random House
Shortlisted
Cover image for the book Catch a Falling Star.
Walker Books
Shortlisted
Wilam book cover
Black Dog Books
Shortlisted
Cover image for the book Young Dark Emu.
Magabala Books
Shortlisted

The judging panel

Jane McCredie

Senior Judge

Jane McCredie is an award-winning journalist, writer and reviewer who has been widely published in Australia and internationally. A former book publisher, she is the CEO of Writing NSW and the founder and director of the Quantum Words Festival of writing about science. She is the author of Making Girls and Boys: Inside the science of sex and was coeditor of the 2013 anthology of The Best Australian Science Writing. Jane is a graduate of the Australia Council’s arts leaders program and has previously chaired both the Christina Stead and Douglas Stewart panels of the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.

Joy Lawn

Joy Lawn is a freelance reviewer and columnist for The Weekend Australian and Books+Publishing (poetry). Her writing has also appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald and Australian Book Review. Joy has experience in judging state and national literary awards, including the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. She has an MA in Children’s Literature & Literacy. Joy blogs about literary fiction, young adult and children’s literature for PaperbarkWords Blog. She has worked for indie bookshops as a literature consultant and has chaired sessions at the Sydney Writers’ Festival. 

photo of alex wharton

Alex Wharton

Alex Wharton is Head of Middle School at Carinya Christian School, Gunnedah. He is a proud classroom teacher, having taught in a variety of primary and secondary school contexts in metropolitan and rural areas around NSW.

Alex is a Director with the English Teachers Association NSW and is a presenter/writer for the Australian Association for the Teaching of English. Alex serves as the Secretary for the Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Society and is a Premier’s Teacher Scholarship recipient. 

Alex has written and published extensively in the areas of school curriculum and children’s education. He is the inaugural recipient of the Reading Australia Fellowship for Teachers of English and Literacy for his research ‘The Missing Peace: A literary analysis of the Australian representation surrounding the Indigenous and non-Indigenous colonial experience.’

photo of maxine beneba clarke

Maxine Beneba Clarke

Maxine Beneba Clarke is the author of 9 books, including the ABIA and Indie Award winning short fiction collection Foreign Soil, the NSW Premier's Literary Award winning memoir The Hate Race, and the CBCA and Boston Globe/Horn Prize winning picture book The Patchwork Bike. She is the editor of Best Australian Stories (2017) and Growing up African in Australia (2019) and poet laureate of The Saturday Paper.

About the Prize

The Patricia Wrightson Prize ($30,000) is offered for a work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry written for children up to secondary school level. Books containing the work of more than four authors, including anthologies, are not eligible for nomination. In the case of books containing original illustrations, the judges may determine that the award be shared by the writer/s and the illustrator. 

About Patricia Wrightson

The prize, established in 1999, commemorates the work of Patricia Wrightson (1921-2010), one of Australia’s most distinguished children’s authors. In her lifetime Wrightson published 27 books which have been translated into 16 languages. Wrightson, born in Lismore, New South Wales, moved to Sydney during the Second World War where she worked as hospital administrator in Bonalbo. Wrightson became assistant editor and later, editor of the School Magazine, a literary publication for children. By then, she had begun her literary career. Her writing is well known for entwining Australian Aboriginal mythology.  For her services to children’s literature, Wrightson was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Medal in 1986. She was also a multiple winner of the Australian Children's Book Council Book of the Year Award for The Crooked Snake (1956), The Nargun and the Stars (1974), The Ice Is Coming (1978) and A Little Fear (1984). 

Past winners and shortlists

2019

Cover image of Leave Taking.
Winner
Cover image of Dingo.
Winner
Cover image of Maya and Cat.
Shortlisted
The Dog with seven names
Shortlisted
Nevermoor
Shortlisted
Shine Mountain
Shortlisted

2018

Cover image of How to Bee
Allen & Unwin
Winner
Cover image of The Sorry Tale of Fox & Bear.
Dirt Lane Press
Shortlisted
Cover image of The Patchwork Bike
Hachette Australia
Shortlisted
Cover image of The Elephant.
UQP
Shortlisted
Cover image of Blossom.
Omnibus Books for Scholastic Australia
Shortlisted
Cover image of Figgy Takes The City
Omnibus Books for Scholastic Australia
Shortlisted