The home of the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Shadow Judging Program.

5 Book covers in two rows with a yellow circle that has text that reads Sun Project Shadowers' Choice Award Winners 2022

The CBCA’s Sun Project: Shadow Judging program is returning in 2023. If you would like to stay up to date with registration information and critical 2023 key dates, or simply want to learn more about the popular program, please sign up to our Sun Project mailing list by filling out your details below.

Sign up for Shadow Judging

Register here so we can send you registration details early in 2023.

* indicates required


Let’s get the 2023 conversation <i>started.</i>

Let’s get the 2023 conversation started.

See the winners in the all the categories of the CBCA Shadowers’ Choice Awards for 2022.

What you are saying

I learnt so much about what it takes to be a judge and the judging criteria for books, which I might use for later books! I enjoyed filming and acting with everyone and I also liked all the planning and the making of our creative response!

Alexander G, St Joseph's Rockdale, NSW

The Shadow Judging challenged us to look at books from a different perspective. It was fun working with the authors that came into school. It was a wonderful experience, and we learnt about how they write their books and what they have to think about when writing. It was really interesting to learn more about the books because authors know the back story of why they wrote the book but we don’t. It was good but difficult judging the books and reading different genres.

Anya, Westminster School, South Australia

The Shadow Judging experience was one of the best experiences in my life. Rabbit, Soldier, Angel, Thief ended up being my favourite book. The experience taught me to never judge a book by its cover.

Jackson J, St. John's Catholic School, Richmond, Tasmania

Shadow judging was a wonderful way to read a wide range of

Maddie S, Caringbah High School, NSW

We enjoyed doing the Shadow Judging Creative piece because we all played a part in putting it together.

Dinugi, Dora and Rachel, Radford College, South Australia

I really enjoyed the shadow judging as it showed me many ways to write and exposed me to many talented authors.

Jade K, Kiama High School, NSW

We loved judging books, its hard sometimes but also fun! We learned heaps about judging criteria and the messages that the authors were trying to teach us. When we are older, we would like to be judges like you for the Children Book Awards. We are very grateful to be shadow judges! Hope we do it next year again!

Misha and Isabelle, Exeter Primary School, Tasmania

It was an amazing learning experience and helped me to analyse books and think about them in depth

Kiara N, Caringbah High School, NSW

I think the Shadow Judging was an amazing experience and I’m so happy I did it. I got to read good books and meet an author.

Eamon G, St. John's Catholic School, Richmond, Tasmania

What is the Sun Project

A vibrant network of young readers, from emerging to young adult, will dive deeply into our Shortlist, express their opinions and share their responses as judges ‘shadowing’ our own CBCA judges. They will use the CBCA Book of the Year Awards criteria to reflect on literary values and to champion their choices. Within their groups they will collaborate and develop their own creative response to a chosen book then share this with the wider community.

Each group will focus on one of five categories: Older Readers, Younger Readers, Early Childhood, Picture Book, or the Eve Pownall Information Book. Every group, and their facilitator, will be supported by a mentor from their state-based CBCA branch. Registrations close for 2022 on June 1.

What is Shadow Judging?

The Shadow Judging program is an exciting addition to CBCA’s annual calendar. We are inviting young voices from across Australia to join the conversation about the books on our annual Shortlist and choose their winners to be announced at the end of CBCA Book Week at their own Shadowers’ Choice Awards.

Thank you to our supporters

PETAA Australian Society of Authors Australian Booksellers Association ABC Kids Storybox ALIA