Professional writers with extensive experience in children’s literature and poetry are selected to judge the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards. Typically there are two judges each year and they work as a team. Winning entries are chosen because they:
- Stand out from the rest because the poet’s approach to the subject matter is individual or “different”
- Have a distinctive style
- Are a personal response to a situation the poet cares deeply about
- Show that the poet is attuned to his or her surroundings
- Touch deep emotions
- Contain powerfully understated last lines
- Resound with metaphors and similes that captivate the reader
- Contain lines which are a treasure of clear, detailed sensory images
- Are skilfully constructed, with memorable lines and poetic devices such as alliteration, rhythm and internal rhyme
- Are thought-provoking.
From its inception the Awards have hosted some of Australia’s finest writers/poets as judges - many being household names. Donating their services for the first five years, Rosemary Dobson and Joan Phipson allowed the Awards to "find its feet".
From 1990 onwards, judges did not return to the Awards for more than three consecutive years. Since this time writers of the calibre of Barbara Ker Wilson, Maurice Saxby, Robin Morrow and more recently Di Bates, Lorraine Marwood and Bill Condon have continued the high standards set by Rosemary and Joan.
In 2013, the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards will be judged by author Glenda Millard and children’s writer Sally Murphy.
Sally Murphy, senior categories judge
Sally Murphy is a poet and author of verse novels, picture books and more – thirty two books in total. Her first verse novel, Pearl Verses the World, was a 2010 Honour Book in the CBCA Children’s Book Awards, and her second, Toppling, won the Children’s Book Category in both the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards and the WA Premier’s Book Awards for 2010.
Sally and also runs popular book review site, Aussiereviews.com. When she’s not writing or reading, Sally is a busy mum, with six kids, a husband and a dog.
Glenda Millard, junior categories judge
Glenda Millard was born in the goldfields region of Victoria and has lived there all her life. She left school when she was 15 and didn’t begin writing books until her four children were teenagers.
Her first published book was a CBCA notable book in 2000. Glenda is now a full time author with 24 published books including 14 picture books, 7 junior novels and 3 young adult novels. Among the latest:
A Small Free Kiss in the Dark, in 2010 won Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards, SCBWI –Crystal Kite, shortlisted for NSW Premier's Awards, and in 2011 included in the list of Outstanding Books by
US Board on Books for Young People.
Isabella’s Garden was 2010 CBCA honour book and shortlisted in the Queensland and SA Premiers' Awards. Find out more.