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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

Aleesah Darlison


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

Dub Leffler

Dub Leffler

Descended from the Bigambul people of South-West QLD, Dub Leffler is one of Australia’s most sought after illustrators of children’s literature. He has written two books for children and is currently illustrating his 23rd title.

Dub’s work has afforded him travel to places as diverse as remote Australia, Europe, Indonesia and America and his illustrations are now in permanent collection in The National Library of Congress in Washington, Dc.

In 2019, Dub recently won The Eve Pownall Award for Book Of The Year from The Children’s Book Council of Australia for Sorry Day. In 2020 two books Dub has illustrated - Rocky & Louie, written by the lovely Raewyn Caisley & Phil Walley-Stack and Strangers On Country, written by the wonderful Kirsty Murray & Dave Hartley - were released.

Dub is currently illustrating Our Dreaming written by the lovely Kirli Saunders.

Oliver Phommavanh

Oliver Phommavanh

Oliver Phommavanh loves to make people laugh, whether it's on the page writing humour for kids or on stage as a stand-up comedian. He also shares his passion for writing with kids, using his experience as a primary school teacher.

His books include Thai-riffic!, Con-nerd, The Other Christy and Don’t Follow Vee. His latest book is Brain Freeze, a collection of 12 short funny stories.

Past winners and shortlist

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).