Insight Creative Writing Competition 2022 - Judges

Year 7 Shortlist Judge: Jack Henseleit

JACK HENSELEIT was born on a winter evening in 1991, just after the stroke of midnight. When the weather is dark and stormy, he writes fairy tales – real fairy tales, where witches and goblins play tricks on unwary girls and boys. Not all of the tales have happy endings.

Jack’s middle-grade horror series THE WITCHING HOURS was first published in Australia in 2017. The first book in the series (THE VAMPIRE KNIFE) was shortlisted for the Ampersand Prize, and has since been sold into 13 territories worldwide. His new junior fiction series CROSS BONES (with illustrator Chris Kennett) is set to be published in July 2022.

Jack lives in Ballarat with his cat, Teddy, who is also his number one writing assistant. Jack writes most of the stories, and Teddy catches most of the mice.

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Year 8 Shortlist Judge: Michael Pryor

Master storyteller Michael Pryor writes fantasy and science fiction, mostly for teenagers. He has published more than thirty-five novels and 50 short stories and he is one of the co-publishers of Aurealis, Australia’s longest running Fantasy and SF magazine. He has been shortlisted for the Aurealis Award eleven times, and nine of his books have been CBCA Notable books. 

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Year 9 Shortlist Judge: Lili Wilkinson

Lili Wilkinson is the author of sixteen books, including Green Valentine, The Boundless Sublime and After the Lights Go Out. She established and the Inky Awards at the Centre for Youth Literature, State Library of Victoria. Lili has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Melbourne, and now spends most of her time reading and writing books for teenagers.  Her latest books are The Erasure Initiative and How To Make A Pet Monster: Flummox.

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Year 10 Shortlist Judge: Danielle Binks

Danielle Binks is a Melbourne-based author and literary agent with Jacinta di Mase Management, her role involves helping authors and illustrators sell their books to publishing houses. Her debut novel was the middle-grade The Year the Maps Changed, and her second book the young adult title, The Monster of Her Age – both with Hachette Books Australia.

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Year 11 Shortlist Judge: Melissa Keil

Melissa Keil is a writer and children’s book editor from Melbourne, Australia. Her novels for teens – Life in Outer Space, The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl and The Secret Science of Magic have been commended in numerous prizes, including the Ena Noël Award, the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, the WA Premier’s Literary Awards, the CBCA’s Book of the Year, and the teens’ choice Gold Inky, and her books have been published all around the world. She is also the author of the Barkly Mansion junior fiction series with illustrator Adele K. Thomas. Melissa has had lots of odd jobs, including IT person, drama teacher, Mexican waitress and Egyptian tour guide, but writing is definitely her favourite. She now spends her free time watching Star Wars and hanging out with her dog, Hugo.

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Year 12 Shortlist Judge: Cath Moore

Cath Moore is a writer, filmmaker and academic. Her latest short film ‘The Pen Licence’ received a Special Jury Mention at the 2019 San Francisco International Film Festival. Cath works as a story mentor/consultant and also writes for print media. She was a contributor in the anthology book ‘Growing up African in Australia.’ Her first novel Metal Fish Falling Snow won the 2021 Victorian Premier’s Literary Prize and was shortlisted for the 2021 Children’s Book Council of Australia awards, the NSW Premier’s Literary Prize and longlisted for the ASAL gold medal.

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