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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.
The Judging Panel
Aleesah Darlison is a multi-published, award-winning Australian children’s author. She has written over fifty books for children including picture books, chapter books, novels, and series.
In 2021, Aleesah received an Australia Day Award from the Sunshine Coast Council. Aleesah has won numerous awards for her writing including the Environment Award for Children’s Literature, an Australian Society of Authors Mentorship, and CBCA and Speech Pathology Book of the Year Award short listings.
Aleesah’s stories often champion the cause of animals and the environment. She loves creating books that make a difference and she also loves sharing her passion and knowledge of native Australian species with young readers. Her books include the League of Llamas Series, the Unicorn Riders Series, Space Kids, Stripes in the Forest: The Story of the Last Wild Thylacine, and Coco the Fish with Hands, which is part of her Endangered Animal Tales Series. Find out more about Aleesah at www.aleesahdarlison.com.
Melina Marchetta is a bestselling author in more than twenty countries and eighteen languages. She has published award-winning young adult, fantasy and crime fiction. Her much-loved Australian classic, Looking for Alibrandi, swept the pool of literary awards when it was published, and was also released as a film, adapted by Marchetta, winning an AFI Award amongst other awards. In 2009 she won the prestigious Michael L. Printz Award from the American Library Association for Jellicoe Road. Her fantasy series, The Lumatere Chronicles, was also highly acclaimed and award-winning. In 2020 she released the first book in her chapter book series What Zola did on Monday. She lives in Sydney.
Gus Gordon is an internationally acclaimed illustrator and author. He has illustrated and written over 80 books for children. His books Wendy, Herman and Rosie (2013 CBCA Honour book), Somewhere Else (2017 Speech Pathology book of the year), The Last Peach and Finding François have sold in over 20 countries worldwide and have received wide recognition. He has been shortlisted for the German Youth Literature Award, the Sakura Medal in Japan, the Kirico book awards in Spain, the Les Incorruptibles prize in France, the Premio Anderson Children's Book award in Italy and has twice been nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the world's largest award for children's and young adult literature. He lives with his wife and three kids in Sydney, Australia.
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).