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
Oliver Phommavanh is an children's author and comedian, who uses his experience as a primary school teacher to inspire children to write funny stories. His books include Thai-riffic!, The Other Christy and more recently, What About Thao.
Matt Cosgrove is the million-plus bestselling author and illustrator of the Macca the Alpaca series, Dharma the Llama and co-creator of the brand new Worst Week Ever middle-grade series, set to be translated and released in over thirty territories around the world. With nearly thirty years experience in the publishing industry, Matt regularly speaks at schools and libraries with the simple message: Keep Drawing, Keep Writing, Keep Reading. Matt’s picture book, Alpacas With Maracas, was the official National Simultaneous Storytime selection for 2019, with over 1 million kids across Australia and New Zealand reading together at the same time!
Jasmine Seymour is a Dharug woman belonging to the Burubiranggal people, descended from Maria Lock and Yarramundi. Jasmine has a Masters degree in Indigenous Languages Education (University of Sydney) and is a Dharug language teacher and language activist. She is deeply committed to Aboriginal education and is the secretary of the Da Murrytoola Aboriginal Education Consultancy Group (AECG) and is a qualified primary school teacher (BEd) in Western Sydney where she teaches the Dharug language. Jasmine is currently also enrolled in a Masters by Research at Western Sydney University. Together with Corina Norman she is leading the research, development and delivery of Dharug community language lessons at sites across Sydney, as part of the Dharug Dalang ‘Dharug language’ project. Jasmine is the author /illustrator of Baby Business, winner of the CBCA Best New Illustrator Award in 2020, and is also the author of the 2020 Prime Minister’s Literary Award winning children’s title, Cooee Mittigar, illustrated by Leanne Mulgo Watson. She has also worked as a researcher, collaborating with Grace Karskens on the Real Secret River project and is a co-curator for the Dyarubin exhibition at the State Library of NSW.
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).