I was extremely honoured to be invited to be a guest judge of the Mayoral Literacy Challenge Book Awards for Children for 2021. All students from schools in the City of Charles Sturt are invited to submit their books to the awards. They are announced by the Mayor of Charles Sturt Council at a special event at the Town Hall. These awards started in 1976 and have been running for an incredible 42 years.
To be asked by the Children’s Librarian for Charles Sturt Council to be one of the guest judges for the awards was a thrill. It was wonderful reading through shortlisted the entries for the awards and deciding the winning authors. I was asked to judge the Reception to Year 3 entries. I was incredibly impressed by the standards of writing an illustration by young authors. The level of imagination and creative writing was very high.
The awards provide students with the challenge of creating and writing their own book, which must be their own original work. It provides them with the opportunity to be creative and write for a real purpose for the audience. The selected winners in each year’s group are asked to read their books out to the audience which is a wonderful opportunity for the students to share their works with the audience.
There was a record of 627 entries and 61 individuals and 3 classes received awards for their books. It was very special for me to see the winners walk up onto the stage to be presented with their awards by the Mayor. The children were so impressive and it was a proud moment for their families who were all in the audience.
These book awards for children are so important because they provide all children in the area, the opportunity to create their own stories about whatever they want and to make their own books. Afterwards, the winning books are all uploaded onto the City Of Charles Sturt website where members of the public can read the books from these budding authors and illustrators. https://www.charlessturt.sa.gov.au/council/news-and-media/latest-news/2021/mayoral-make-a-book-literacy-challenge-winners