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

Welcome to our 2023 Sun Project: Shadow Judging Season

We’re excited to announce that registration has opened for participation in the 2023 season.


To register follow the link below to the CBCA online eStore, fill out the form, then follow the prompts through to payment.

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On payment you will receive a digital welcome pack full of program information. An email from Shadow Judging staff will within 24-48 hours containing your groups’ log in information to this Shadow Judging portal.

To register your group or organisation:

  • You must be a current CBCA Branch Member
  • Complete the registration form found by following the Register button
  • Complete payment of $50 (inc GST)
  • Receive your Shadow Judging portal login details


And you are away!

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Helpful startup information

If you have multiple groups that wish to participate, remember to register for each group.

You must register for one group at a time. Each registration is connected to a single vote, and access to a single category within the Shadow Judging portal.

You will receive a tax invoice invoice on payment

Our online store is currently set up to accept payment by credit card and other online payment options only. You will receive a an invoice on payment to assist in reconciling corporate credit cards.

Your access to the Shadow Judging portal will follow payment

For groups returning from the 2022 program you may be able to reinstate your old password. However the Shadow Judging staff will ensure that your previous account is refreshed and ready to use for you on payment. Groups that are new to the program, your access details will be emailed within 24-48 hours of receiving payment.

floating random geometric shapes float around text that reads "Sun Project: Shadow Judging, Registrations now open"

Get in touch

Stay up to date with the 2023 Judging Program

    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.

    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